PS: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s 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.

Saint Ambrose:

Are you ashamed to do as David did?… When he recognized that he was himself condemned by [the prophet Nathan’s] story, he said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Therefore do not take it ill if what was said to King David is said to you “You are the man.” For if you listen with attention and say, “I have sinned against the Lord,” if you say,…“O come, let us worship and fall down, and weep before the Lord our Maker,” then it will be said to you also, “Because you repented, the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas:

The Apostle says, with Christ I am nailed to the cross, i.e., concupiscence or the inclination to sin, and all such have been put to death in me through the cross of Christ: “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed” (Rom 6:6). Also from the fact that I am crucified with Christ and have died to sin; and because Christ rose again, I, too, have risen with him rising: “Who was delivered up for our sins, and rose again for our justification” (Rom 4:25). Thus, therefore, does Christ beget a new life in us, after the oldness of sin has been destroyed. Hence he says, And I live, i.e., because I am nailed to the cross of Christ, I have the strength to act well, now not I according to the flesh, because I no longer have the oldness which I formerly had, but Christ lives in me, i.e., the newness which has been given to us through Christ.

Saint Peter Chrysologus:

Why does [this woman] run through all the doors, pass through all the groups of servants, fly even to the private hall of the banquet, and turn the whole house of joy into one of lamentation and wailing? She did not come uninvited; she was under command. She entered not as one rashly daring, but as one ushered in. He who ordered her to be absolved by a heavenly judgment is the One who caused her to be brought to himself…. When she came, she came to make satisfaction to God, not to please men. She came to provide a banquet of devotion, not of pleasure. She set a table of repentance, served courses of compunction and the bread of sorrow. She mixed the drink with tears in proper measure, and to the full delight of God she struck music from her heart and body.

Pope Francis:

When our people are anointed with the oil of gladness, it is obvious: for example, when they leave Mass looking as if they have heard good news. Our people like to hear the Gospel preached with “unction”, they like it when the Gospel we preach touches their daily lives, when it runs down like the oil of Aaron to the edges of reality, when it brings light to moments of extreme darkness, to the “outskirts” where people of faith are most exposed to the onslaught of those who want to tear down their faith. People thank us because they feel that we have prayed over the realities of their everyday lives, their troubles, their joys, their burdens and their hopes. And when they feel that the fragrance of the Anointed One, of Christ, has come to them through us, they feel encouraged to entrust to us everything they want to bring before the Lord: “Pray for me, Father, because I have this problem”—these words are the sign that the anointing has flowed down to the edges of the robe, for it has turned into a prayer of supplication, the supplication of the People of God.

Pope Benedict XVI:

Faith and charity each require the other in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path.  Indeed, many Christians dedicate their lives with love to those who are lonely, marginalized, or excluded, as to those who are the first with a claim on our attention and the most important for us to support, because it is in them that the reflection of Christ’s own face is seen…. It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ and it is his love that impels us to assist him whenever he becomes our neighbor along the journey.

Fr. Pius Pietrzyk, O.P.