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Sunday, 10/28/2018, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As Good As Already Done

First Reading Commentary: Jeremiah 31:7-9

Today’s prophecy from Jeremiah is a promise which God has made to us countless times. Once again, God promises to bring His people back from the land of the north and the ends of the earth. The blind, the lame, the mothers and those with child; they all shall return.

What God was really saying is that He will not forsake any of His people and that includes all of us. We are all His creation and therefore we are all His people. Even if we become lost in sin, He will find us and save us. Jesus made this promise very clear in the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Matthew 18:10-14. We may refuse to follow Him but that will never stop God from trying to bring us home.

But there is advice in verse seven of this prophecy which tells us to shout with joy for Jacob, proclaim praise and say, “The LORD has delivered His people.” Remember; this was a prophecy of what was to happen and not an account of what had already taken place.

So, the real advice here and the message that we should not ignore is that we should have faith in God! Enough faith to know and believe: that if God says that He will do it, it is as good as already done.

High Priest and Savior

Second Reading Commentary: Hebrews 5:1-6

Once the altar is prepared at Mass, the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins with the priest saying, “Pray my brothers and sisters that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.” The reason why the priest says this is explained in the first three verses of today’s reading from Hebrews.

Our priests are human just like the rest of us and they come from among us. They are not perfect and they make mistakes. But they are called to be our representatives before God in offering gifts and sacrifices in atonement for our sins.

On behalf of himself and everyone present, the priest asks God to accept the sacrifice of the bread and wine. He will then bless and consecrate the bread and wine so that it might become the living Body and Blood of Christ. The transformation from bread and wine to Body and Blood occurs when the priest recites the words that Christ said at the Last Supper.

The point that I want to make in this commentary is that the priesthood is made up of men who have been called by God to be our representatives. God does not want someone to represent us who cannot relate to us as human beings.

Think of it this way: Union members do not elect someone to represent them to the company unless that person is a member of the union. This person knows what the members need and is committed to championing their cause. When he negotiates with the company, he does not speak for himself alone but for the whole body of the union.

In the same way, a man is called into the priesthood to be our representative at the altar. He knows our sins because he has committed some of them himself. He knows what we need because he is one of us. And, when he celebrates Mass, he is petitioning for all who are present as well as himself.

This is why the Father sent the Son to be one of us. Because of His humanity, the Son experienced everything that we do. He felt everything that we feel. The only thing that He did not do was sin. But because the Son lived among us as one of us, no one is able to represent us better to the Father.

Christ was and still is our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. See, Psalm 110:4 and Genesis 14:18. Christ is our Mediator to the Father and it is for this reason that Christ did not glorify Himself as our High Priest. Instead, He gave glory to the Father. Even on the Cross, Christ gave glory to the Father. It is because of His sacrifice on the Cross, that Christ is both Priest and Savior.

Believe and Ask in Faith

Gospel Commentary: Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho, the blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting on the roadside begging. As Jesus approached, the man called out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” At first, he was rebuked by many of the people in the crowd but Jesus stopped and called him over.

Never in the gospels do we see Jesus refuse anyone who calls out to Him. Nowhere in the bible do we see God refuse anyone who calls out to Him. In fact, throughout Scripture, we see the exact opposite. God wants us to call out to Him in faith and God wants us to come to Him in faith during our time of need. That is when God showers us the most with His love and that is ultimately what happened to Bartimaeus.

There are those who will discourage us from calling on God. They will lead us into believing that we can solve our problems on our own in a worldly way. That simply does not work. Oh, sometimes, we may seem to get what we want but it will be an illusion because we will never have everything that we need. When we try to deal with our problems on our own instead of calling on God for help, we turn our backs on His love and the salvation that He has planned for us.

So, in spite of the people who were rebuking Bartimaeus, Jesus called him over and asked, “What do you want me to do for you.” This is the second week in a row that Jesus asks this question to someone who approached Him with a request. God wants us to tell Him what we want. Not because He wants to know—He already does. God wants to hear us say it and God wants our prayers of petition to be consistent with the saving grace that He has planned for us.

Mark tells us that Bartimaeus said, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus said, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” The man’s sight was restored immediately and he followed Jesus.

There are two messages in this gospel that are more important than the miracle that was performed. The reason why Jesus performed this miracle is where the first message lies. It is all about faith! This man knew who Jesus was and he had great faith in Jesus. That is why he jumped up with great enthusiasm when Jesus called him and because of that faith, Jesus gave Bartimaeus his sight.

This is not the only miracle of Jesus where He made it very clear that it was being performed because of faith. We know that God answers all prayers so sometimes we get the idea that we do not have anything to do on our part. But we do! First and foremost, we must believe. Everything which we receive from God is by His grace and grace never comes our way if we do not believe!

We also have to pray for what we need and not just for what we want to satisfy our worldly pleasures and desires. We must pray for God’s Will to be done which is one of the lines in the Lord’s Prayer. If Jesus taught us to pray that way, we should. But it all begins with faith. If faith, need, and God’s Will are not all present in our prayers, we may not get an answer and if we do, it may not be what we want.

The second message does not come from what Jesus said but from what He did. The crowd rebuked the blind man but Jesus called him and healed him. We have no right to tell someone not pray or how to pray. We have no right to demand that someone believe in a certain thing or in a certain way. We can and we should let other people know what we believe and why we believe it because of our call to evangelize. But ultimately, it is our God given right to believe what we will and pray in whatever way that we choose.

What Jesus did here is a demonstration of the fact that God is always there for us and will take care of us no matter what someone else has to say negative about it. In fact, He will pay no attention to what someone else has to say negative about it. He will listen to the intercession on our behalf from Mary and the saints, which is why we should pray to them, but no one can stop us from praying except ourselves. We should all be like Bartimaeus who was given his sight because he asked in faith.

Reading 1          Jeremiah 31:7-9

Thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them back from the land of the north; I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst,
the mothers and those with child; they shall return as an immense throng.
They departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them; I will lead them to brooks of water, on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first-born.

Responsorial Psalm          Psalm 126:1-6

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2          Hebrews 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters: Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring, for he himself is beset by weakness and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
In the same way, it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him:
     You are my son: this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place:
     You are a priest foreveraccording to the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel          Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me."
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me."
Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."
So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you."
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."
Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you."
Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

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The Descent of the Holy Spirit
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paragraph 767 "When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church."174 Then "the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun."175 As the "convocation" of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.176

The Holy Spirit came to Mary and the Apostles as tongues of fire.

Saint of the Day

Saints Simon & Jude
(1st Century)

Jeremiah's prophecy is a promise from God that He will bring all of His people back to Himself.

Jesus is the Great High Priest as well as the Sacrament of the altar which is offered in atonement for our sins.

Alleluia Cf. 2 Timothy 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Our Savior Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Don't let anyone keep you away from prayer because when we ask God in faith for what we need, He delivers.

Saints of the Week

St Narcissus of Jerusalem
(d. c. 216)

St Alphonsus Rodriguez
(1533 – 10/30/1617)
Patron Saint of: Majorca

St Wolfgang of Regensburg
(c. 924 – 8/31/994)

The Solemnity of All Saints

The Commemoration of All
the Faithful Departed


St. Martin de Porres
(11/9/1579 – 11/3/1639)
Patron Saint of:
African Americans, Barbers, Hairdressers, Race Relations, Radio & Social Justice

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