Keep Your Eyes on the Road.
In the United States:
The Tenth Thursday of Ordinary Time.
Lessons from the primary feria, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:
• II Corinthians 3: 15—4: 1, 3-6.
• Psalm 85: 9-14.
• Matthew 5: 20-26.
Outside the United States:
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
Lessons from the primary proper, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:*
• Deuteronomy 8: 2-3, 14-16.
• Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20.
• I Corinthians 10: 16-17.
• [Optional Sequence] Lauda Sion…**
• John 6: 51-58.
The First Class Feast of Corpus Christi.
Lessons from the proper, according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite:
• I Corinthians 11: 23-29.
• Psalm 144: 15-16.
• [Sequence] Lauda Sion…**
• John 6: 56-59.
The First Thursday of the Apostles Fast; the Feast of the Holy Prophet Amos; and, the Feast of the Venerable Jerome, Priest of Stridon.***
Lessons from the pentecostarion, according to the Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite:
• Romans 5: 10-16.
• Matthew 8: 23-27.
9:22 AM 6/15/2017 — Yesterday, we heard Our Blessed Lord tell us that He has not come to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them; and, today He continues this same thought by reminding his disciples that their faith must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees. These Jewish leaders were very good at sticking to the rules, but had forgotten what it was all for. In our first lesson, the Blessed Apostle Paul expands on Our Lord’s instruction by reminding us that we, too, can fall into the same trap as the Pharisees when we obsess over rules and regulations without keeping the big picture clearly in mind. For him, adherence to the rules is essential, just as it is for Our Lord, but becomes meaningless if not done for the right reason, which he expresses by describing how the children of Israel read the law of Moses as if it were covered with a veil, and that veil is only removed when one reads the law in the light of Christ who fulfills it. The point that both Our Lord and the Apostle to the Gentiles are making is that everything we do in our religious lives—in the Church, in the social arena, in the confines of our own personal interior lives and spiritual practices—is for the purpose of ensuring our own salvation.
Our Lord ends His instruction to us today with a peculiar analogy about settling with your opponent before you get to the court house. He’s not giving legal advice. He’s pointing out that all of us are continually traveling the road that leads to our Final Judgment, and the “opponent” of which He speaks are all those worries and concerns and resentments and passions that tempt us off the straight and narrow road. For the third time in as many weeks, I’ll repeat what has clearly become my favorite homiletic tag-line: “Our one purpose for being on this earth is to work out our salvation. Everything else is just window-dressing.” The words are easy to say, not so easy to appreciate when we feel burdened by so many worldly concerns, but Saint Augustine said it much better: “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee” (Confessions, I, 1).
* The proper lessons for this feast are variable according to the current dominical cycle.
** Regard the post for this coming Sunday for a translation of the sequence.
*** Cf. the footnote attached to the post here for an explanation of the Apostles Fast.