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11th Sunday Ordinary :: op-stjoseph.org

11th Sunday Ordinary :: op-stjoseph.org

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Published by: SaintJoseph on Sep 16, 2008
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Sunday in Ordinary Time 06-17-07Scripture Readings
2 Sm 12:7-10,13
Gal 2:16,19-21
Lk 7:36-8:3, or Lk 7:36-50
Prepared by
Rev. Lawrence J. Donohoo, O.P.
Subject Matter
Justification by faith is the basis for a relationship of love between Christ and the Christian.
Paul teaches and Simon the Pharisee learns that the proud, relentless quest for self-righteousness can be a greater obstacle to repentance than sin itself.
Consciousness of one’s sinfulness is itself an effect of grace and can be an incentive for agreater appreciation of the divine grace of forgiveness–an instance of “O happy fault.”
Love covers a multitude of sins.2.
Exegetical Notes
Context: “[T]his unit is a continuation of Paul’s speech to Peter, but it is apparent that thespeech now has a broader audience. . .Paul’s rebuke of Peter is transformed into atheological statement of the gospel he preaches.” (Matera)
Exegetes differ on whether the phrase “faith in the Son of God” is objective genitive orsubjective genitive, that is, whether it is Paul’s faith in Christ or Christ’s faith that is intended.(Ambiguity in Scripture usually allows us to have it both ways.)
St. Paul speaks of being “crucified with Christ” in the
tense, but now living a life that isnot his but Christ’s living in him in the
tense. The past tense can refer to his lifebeing included in Christ’s life–and death–on the cross, or to his own past conversion as abaptism of fire. The past-present contrast suggests a death-resurrection sequence. Christ’sactions are simply stated in the past (“who loved me and gave himself for me”), leaving it tothe reader to conclude to their present form as well (Paul’s present relationship with theresurrected Christ as “resurrectional”).
Luke’s account has resemblances with Mk 14:3-9, Mt 26: 6-13, and Jn. 12:1-8. “But Luke’sstory takes place in a completely different place in the narrative. The anointing in the otherGospels takes place immediately before the passion account. Luke’s version isinconceivable apart from its present context. . . .[I]n Matthew and Mark, Simon is identified
as ‘the leper,’ whereas in Luke, he is designated as a Pharisee, a point critical to the story’smeaning.” (Johnson)
“Your faith has been your salvation”: “This is the first time in the ministry account that ‘faith’and ‘saving’ have been explicitly joined.” (Johnson)3.
References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
1521 Suffering, a consequence of original sin, acquires a new meaning; it becomes aparticipation in the saving work of Jesus.
2266 Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense.When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation.Punishment then. . .has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to thecorrection of the guilty party.
1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from oursins and to communicate to us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” andthrough Baptism.
1988 Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ’s Passion by dying to sin,and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which isthe Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself.
1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is
, effecting justification inaccordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: “Repent, for thekingdom of heaven is at hand.” Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin,thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. “Justification is not only theremission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.” [Trent]
1990 Justification
detaches man from sin 
which contradicts the love of God, and purifies hisheart of sin. Justification follows upon God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. Itreconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement of sin, and it heals.
1991 Justification is at the same time
the acceptance of God’s righteousness 
through faithin Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or “justice”) here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divinewill is granted us.
1992 Justification has been
merited for us by the Passion of Christ 
who offered himself onthe cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become theinstrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, thesacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly justby the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift ofeternal life.
1994 Justification is the
most excellent work of God’s love 
made manifest in Christ Jesusand granted by the Holy Spirit.
1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the “inner man,” justification entails the
of his whole being.
1427 Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of thekingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in thegospel.”
1430 Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does notaim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the
conversion of the heart, interior conversion 
1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion toGod with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward theevil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution tochange one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace.
826 Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it “governs, shapes, andperfects all the means of sanctification.”4.
Patristic Commentary and Other Authorities
St. Augustine: “[T]he justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heavenand earth. . .[because] heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justification ofthe elect. . .will not pass away.”
St. Thomas Aquinas: “A person is said to live according to that in which he chiefly puts hisaffection and in which delights him most. Thus when someone lives seeking only what is hisown, he lives only unto himself. But when he seeks the good of others, he is said to live forthem. For this reason, since the Apostle set aside his love of self through the cross of Christ,he said that he was dead so far as love of self was concerned, declaring that ‘with Christ Iam nailed to the cross,’ that is, through the cross of Christ my own private love has beentaken away from me.”
St. Thomas Aquinas: “A form of repudiation and of ingratitude would exist if I were to saythat the Law is necessary in order to be justified. If the Law is sufficient, that is, if the worksof the Law suffice to justify a person, Christ died to no purpose and in vain since he died inorder to make us just.”
St. John Chrysostom: “How is this, O Paul? Why do you appropriate a general benefit andmake your own what was done for the whole world’s sake? For he does not say, ‘who lovedus,’ but rather, ‘who loved me.” Considering the desperate condition of human nature andthe inexpressibly tender solicitude of Christ in what he delivered us from and what he freelygave us, and [Paul being] kindled by the yearning of affection towards him, he [chooses toexpress himself in this way. . .Similarly, the prophets often appropriate to themselves hewho is God of all. Above all, this language teaches that each individual justly owes as agreat debt of gratitude to Christ, as if he had come for his sake alone, for he would not havebegrudged this condescension even for one person alone, so that the measure of his love toeach is as great as to the whole world.”
St. Cyril of Alexandria: “That proud and foolish Pharisee therefore did not even think Jesushad attained to the measure of a prophet, but Jesus made the woman's tears an opportunityfor clearly instructing him in the mystery. For he taught the Pharisee and all assembledthere that the Word being God ‘came into the world in our likeness, not to condemn theworld, but that the world might be saved by Him.’ He came that he might forgive the debtors

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