25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Asking God for What We Need

Parable of the Unjust Servant, Andrey Mironov, 2021
Used with Permission: CC BY-SA 4.0

Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Timothy 2:1–8
September 18, 2022

Last week, we began to read the first letter of St Paul to Timothy. The letter presumes that this is the same Timothy that Paul met in Lystra (Ac. 16:1-2) and is now his legate in Ephesus. It was a major city in the empire and was a fertile place for the gospel to grow. It was also a place where other religious concepts had taken root. Paul is instructing, perhaps better mentoring, Timothy on how to approach this wonderful opportunity but one fraught with danger as well.

We saw last week that there were false teachers who were leading some of the Christians away from what Paul had taught. They were most likely born Jews who were baptized Christian but now used Greek techniques of Bible interpretation and had many Greco-Roman assumptions. We will see some of these reflected in today’s reading but mostly Paul will concentrate on how the Christians should interact with the wider society.

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Homily – 24th Sunday Ordinary Time (Fr. Smith)

Today’s Gospel passage has been called the greatest short story ever written. Its power is undeniable, and we must admire Luke’s economy of words. Yet it is misnamed. The younger son we call Prodigal appears only briefly. The father, however, is found in each of the five episodes of the parable. Indeed, when we remember that prodigal originally meant extravagant or imprudent it is the father who seems to better fit the description. He gave his love totally and unreservedly not only to the impetuous younger son but to the cold-hearted older one. Neither one of them seemed to appreciate or respond to it.  I think we might better call this the parable of gratuitous love. 

The dictionary definition of gratuitous is “lacking a good reason” and the synonyms are unjustified and unearned. The first example supplied is ‘gratuitous violence”. It has a theological meaning as well which was not commonly used until Popes Benedict and Francis revived it. (see below 1) 

They both believed that living in a consumerist society where we can easily define ourselves by what we have, not who we are, and love can be made a mere transaction. If you do this for me, I will do that for you, and we will call it love. It is very rational and perhaps more common than we are comfortable admitting.  

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Community Mass – 24th Sunday Ordinary Time

On Sunday, September 11, 2022, join us in person or online for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Our current Sunday Mass times are:

The readings will be from Cycle C.

Entrance: Sing to the Mountains – 519

Readings/Psalm: 1163

Offertory: Amazing Grace – 645

Communion: I am the Bread of Life – 945

Closing: Canticle of the Sun – 576

The Gather 3rd Edition Hymnal/Missals are available for use in the church – pick one up as you enter and return it after Mass. Instructions on how to use the hymnal missal are available here: https://www.stcharlesbklyn.org/hymnal-missal/ .

Today’s readings are also available to read online at the USCCB website https://bible.usccb.org .

Beginning and Ending with Jesus

The Prodigal Son in Modern Life: The Return,
James Tissot, c. 1882, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
(About this Image)

So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
(Luke 15:20)

Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Second Reading
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Timothy 1:12–17
September 11, 2022

For the next month we will be reading the 1st and 2nd letters to Timothy. Together with the Letter to Titus, they form what have been called for several centuries the “Pastoral Epistles.” Scholars disagree if they were written by St. Paul, but all acknowledge that the format is different from the undisputed Pauline letters. They were addressed to individual disciples of Paul instructing them how to be a Pastor. They have more recently been called the “mentoring letters” and as we begin the synodal process again we should take them very much to heart. (Paul wrote the letter to the individual Philemon, but as we saw last week this was a very exceptional case and does not diminish the uniqueness of the mentoring letters.)

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