Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year for the Church. The Advent season includes the four Sundays that precede Christmas. It is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. In this season, we recall two central elements of our faith: the final coming of the Lord in glory and the incarnation of the Lord in the birth of Jesus. Key themes of the Advent season are watchful waiting, preparation, and justice. In this new liturgical year, the Gospel of Matthew will be the primary Gospel proclaimed (Lectionary Cycle A). In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus speak about the need for wakefulness, for watchful waiting, for the coming of the Son of Man.READ MORE
“You say I am a king.” So Jesus responds to Pilate, when Pilate presses him on his kingship.
“Are you then a king?” asks Pilate.
“You say I am a king.” So Jesus admonishes Pilate, with this half-affirmation at best, because he knows what kind of king Pilate has in mind: the beastly kind, the prophet Daniel’s tyrant of ten horns, who rules by the lie that might makes right. The kind of king whose reign begins and ends steeped in others’ blood. As Jesus stands before Pilate, he stands ready to shed his own blood for a different kind of reign. He’s not Pilate’s kind of king at all.READ MORE
In the context of Luke, today's Gospel appears near the end of Jesus' teaching in Jerusalem, just prior to the events that will lead to his crucifixion. His warnings and predictions are ominous but can be read in many ways.
To those who first heard Luke's Gospel, those may have been words of encouragement. The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans was history (70 A.D.); Luke's Gospel, Catholic scholars propose, was written between 80 and 90 A.D. His audience was probably Gentile Christians. Luke here tries to interpret the fall of Jerusalem for them and to locate it in God's plans for humankind (salvation history).READ MORE
In today's Gospel, we hear about an encounter between Jesus and some Sadducees. The Sadducees were a party of Judaism active in Jesus' time, descended from the priestly family of Zadok. They were literal interpreters of the written Law of Moses, which means that they were in disagreement with the position of the Pharisees, who offered an oral interpretation of the Law of Moses.READ MORE