A Word From Father K

As you probably know, each week I sit down at my desk in the evenings after work and look up the Scripture readings for the coming Sunday. I then write an exhaustive investigation into the context and history of each reading. I then attempt to draw all the readings together with the Psalm, and look at what we can learn from them.

I have to say despite my efforts, most Sundays, as I sit and listen attentively to the liturgy of the Word, I hear a new dimension, or gain a new insight which I invariably wish I had picked up studying at my desk.

I suppose this is the power of the kerygma—that is the Gospel preached. It is alive and supposed to be heard—preached—with vigour. That is, of course, an inherent part of what I would like to achieve from my Sunday Scripture blogs. I would like any reader at Mass who has spent some time reflecting via the blog to be able to deliver the Scripture with renewed vigour born of a thorough understanding. It is cathartic in this regard as I am a lay reader myself, and so I hope these blogs help me to deliver a better reading at Mass.

This week, Father Kevin Hale wrote this reflection on the Scripture in the newsletter. It says everything I hope my blog said in a lot fewer words, with greater erudition and beauty, so I thought I would share it with you all:

Dear Friends in Christ

The Readings for the Mass this weekend give us a lesson in contrition and forgiveness. The pardon that Our Lord extends to the repentant women in the Gospel is powerful, but it was her utter humility that won over the Heart of Jesus. She more than made up for her failings and sins by the very public act of repentance in washing and anointing the feet of Our Lord.

St. Augustine comments on the indignation felt by Simon the Pharisee: 
He who is forgiven little, loves little. You who say you have committed few sins, why did you not commit them? Without doubt because God was leading you by the hand...There is no sin one man commits that another cannot commit if God, who made man, does not lead him by the hand.
Humility allows us to see the great debt we owe God and to be aware of our radical personal insufficiency. Being humble, we will ask God for pardon many times every day for our sins of omission and commission , or at least for what is not going well in our life.
St. Ambrose tells us: 
Our Lord wanted love, not ointment; He appreciated faith; He praised humility. You also, of you want His grace, must increase your love. Pour out on the body of Jesus your faith in His resurrection, the sweet odour of the Church and the ointment of other people's charity.
May God bless you as you go about your lives and work this coming week!

Fr. Kevin Hale


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