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Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C, November 10, 2013
Lectionary index # 156

Twenty-second digests for the congregation: Arrange with your liturgy committee to have these brief historical introductions read to the assembly before you do each reading.

The presider may speak these before the first and second readings, and before rising for the gospel acclamation. Print this page, cut it at the blue lines, and give the introduction paragraphs to the person who will speak them.

Thirty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C, November 10, 2013
Before the first reading:

Less than 200 years before Jesus, a pagan king tried to force Jews to break their ancestral laws, and persecuted them cruelly when they refused. In this description of their resistance, we hear an early reference to the hope that the dead will some day be raised.
Between psalm and second reading:

Saint Paul and the first readers of this early letter believed Jesus was soon to return in glory, bringing history to its climax. Paul is anxious about two goals: to keep the Thessalonians on track, and to get the gospel spread as widely as he can in the short time remaining.
Before the gospel acclamation:

The initial audience of Luke's gospel were pagans who knew little about the controversies within Judaism that Jesus faced. To explain to them how Jesus made enemies, the writer links stories of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his expulsion of money-changers from the temple, and some inflammatory teachings, including this passage about resurrection from the dead.

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First reading, 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14 [Jerusalem Bible translation]

Our Liturgical Setting: We've been reading this year the gospel of Saint Luke, which is organized around Jesus' fateful journey to Jerusalem. We're nearing year's end, and the end of Luke's gospel, too. The setting of today's gospel, Luke 20:27-38, is this: Jesus has entered Jerusalem to great acclaim, and expelled traders from the temple, (chapter 19), had his authority questioned, and delivered teachings sure to infuriate the religious leaders (chapter 20). Now he gives another controversial teaching, about resurrection from the dead.

The Historical Background: The Second Book of Macccabees is late, from the second century B.C.E. It's a story of invaders who tried to get the Jews to give up their faith, and of heroic resistance. In today's passage, the resisters express their hope of resurrection, and this hope helps them defy their persecutors. The conviction that the dead will be raised on the last day had not become widely accepted at this time, nor even by the time of Jesus (which is why it was controversial in Jesus' own teaching).

Your Proclamation: The whole story of the seven brothers and their mother is long. The editors of the Lectionary seem to have conceded to today's shortened attention span, and have cut out plenty of detail. This makes a cursory reading confusing. To make the story clear in your proclamation, add emphasis as follows:

Second Reading, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 [Jerusalem Bible translation]

The Historical Background: In last Sunday's introduction to 2 Thessalonians, we saw that some believed that the day of the Lord (Jesus' coming again in glory) had already happened. That was not so, but the belief that it was just around the corner was common among the Thessalonian Christians. So the author is anxious about two things: Proclaiming It: In the first long sentence (which you should read slowly because it's so long), emphasize "encourage your hearts and strengthen them."

In the second long sentence (slowly again) emphasize "the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified."

Then "that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do."

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Several other commentaries on these passages. All are thoughtful, all quite readable, from the scholarly to the popular.
Links may be incomplete more than a few weeks before the "due date."
Father Roger Karban of Belleville, Illinois, USA, writes a newspaper column about every Sunday's readings. Here are his essays for today's passages, from: courtesy of The Evangelist, official publication of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York, or of The Belleville Messenger, of the Diocese of Belleville.

Read all of Father Karban's recent columns here, at the site of FOSIL, the Faithful of Southern Illinois.

Saint Louis University's excellent Sunday liturgy site
Most welcome here are Reginald Fuller's commentaries.

(Caveat lector. As of September 30, 2013, Lector's Notes' author is speculating about the exact URL of SLU's offering, since it's not yet posted. If you get a 404 Not Found, try here).

Lutheran pastor and college teacher Dan Nelson's notes for a study group
Dan covers the same gospel, different verses of 2 Thessalonians, and a first reading from Job 19
The Text This Week; links to homilies, art works, movies and other resources on the week's scripture themes 2001 column on today's second reading by Father Francis X. Cleary, S.J. (Log in using 0026437 and 63137).

The Lectionary selections in the frame at the left, if any, are there for your convenience. The publishers of the page in that frame have no connection, except for membership in the one Body of Christ, with the publisher of this page. Likewise the publishers of the pages on the links above.

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Last modified: September 30, 2013