Preacher’s Sketchbook: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Each week, a Dominican member of the Provincial Preaching Advisory board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.

Sketchbook

Saint Gregory the Great

The divine voice commanded the prophet as he lay and bade him rise. But he could in no way have risen if the spirit of the almighty had not entered into him, because by the grace of almighty God we can indeed try to perform good works but cannot carry them through unless he who commands us helps us.

Pope Benedict XVI

What is this “thorn” in the flesh?… St Paul understands clearly how to face and how to live every event, especially suffering, difficulty, and persecution. The power of God, who does not abandon us or leave us on our own but becomes our support and strength, is revealed at the very moment when we experience our own weakness…. Therefore, to the extent that our union with the Lord increases and that our prayers become intense, we also go to the essential and understand that it is not the power of our own means, our virtues, our skills that brings about the Kingdom of God but that it is God who works miracles precisely through our weakness, our inadequacy for the task. We must therefore have the humility not to trust merely in ourselves, but to work, with the Lord’s help, in the Lord’s vineyard, entrusting ourselves to him as fragile “earthen vessels.”

Saint Bede the Venerable

Not as if he who knows all things before they are done, wonders at what he does not expect or look forward to but knowing the hidden things of the heart, and wishing to intimate to men that it was wonderful, He openly shows that He wonders…  Christ is despised in his own house and country,…and therefore he worked few miracles there, lest they should become altogether inexcusable. But he performs greater miracles every day amongst the Gentiles, not so much in the healing of their bodies, as in the salvation of their souls.

Symeon the New Theologian

They said: Is not this the son of Mary and of Joseph the carpenter. Now kings and rulers worship Jesus as Son of the true God, and himself true God, and he has glorified and continues to glorify those who worship him in spirit and in truth,…from clay into iron…. He was no different in appearance from other men…. For anyone to recognize him in that human body, and to believe that he was the God who made heaven and earth and everything in them was very exceptional.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The essential nature of sinfulness consists in the turning away from God…. Hence the more it separates a man from God the more serious the sin. Now by disbelief most of all a man departs from God; for he has no true knowledge of God and his false knowledge does not approach God but keeps far away from him. Nor can it be that he who has a false opinion of God knows him in a way, for what he thinks is God is not really God. Clearly then disbelief is greater than the other sins which occur in the perversion of morals.

Servant of God Luigi Giussani

A prophet is one who announces the significance of the world and the value of life…. The power of prophecy is the power to know what is real…. Being a prophet means to cry out before everyone that Christ is everything.

Fr Pius Pietrzyk, OP