Preacher’s Sketchbook: Thirteenth 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

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 386

Only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind’s origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God’s plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.

The Cathechism of the Catholic Church, n. 391

Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church’s Tradition see in this being a fallen angel called “Satan,” or “the devil.” The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: “The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing” (IV Lateran Council, Denz 800).

St. John Chrysostom, from Homilies on 2 Corinthians

As it is written, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack. Now this happened in the case of the manna. For both they that gathered more, and they that gathered less, were found to have the same quantity, God in this way punishing insatiableness. And this he said at once both to alarm them by what then happened, and to persuade them never to desire to have more nor to grieve at having less. And this one may see happening now in things of this life not in the manna only. For if we all fill but one belly, and live the same length of time, and clothe one body; neither will the rich gain aught by his abundance nor the poor lose aught by his poverty…. For if we stand in need one of another, yet even the compulsion of this need draweth us not toegether unto love; had we been independent, should we not have been untamed wiled beasts? Perforce and of compulsion God hath subjected us one to another, and every day we are in collision one with another. And had He reoved this curb, who is there who would readily have longed after his neighbor’s love?

St. Jerome, from Homily 77

Note the separate stages, mark the progress. As long as she was hemorrhaging, she could not come into his presence. She was healed by faith and then came before him. She fell at his feet. Even then she did not yet dare to look up into his face. As long as she had been cured, it was enough for her to cling to his feet. She ‘told him all the truth.’ Christ himself is the truth. She was giving praise to the truth. She had been healed by the truth.

St. Basil the Great, from Against Anger

And why does the appelation “poor man” disturb you? Remember your nature — that you came into the world naked and naked will leave it again. What is more destittue than a naked man? You have been called nothing that is derogatory, unless you make the terms used really applicable to yourself. Who was ever hauled to prison because he was poor? It is not being poor that is reprehensible but failing to bear poverty with nobility. Recall that the Lord, “being rich, became poor for our sakes.”

Fr. Kevin Gabriel Gillen, O.P.