Sundays in October, November and December 2019

Sunday 6 October
Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Habakkuk 1.2–3,2.2–4
Psalm 94
2 Timothy 1.6–8,13–14
Luke 17.5–10

Habakkuk is one of the shortest prophetic books of the Old Testament, but its themes offer a key to the development of the theology of Israel. Here there is a clear element of dialogue between the prophet and God. At a time of political and social chaos, the prophet wants to know why God is inactive, when there is threat from foreign nations – the growth of the Babylonian Empire; when the social order is crumbling – ‘all is contention and discord flourishes’ and when religious observance is ignored. The prophet wants to know ‘how long’ – when will God step in and act? It is a question that is a universal one where people experience injustice, danger and threat. The response from the readings and from the Christian tradition is that such questions do not have simple answers, or at least instant answers that will satisfy the specific questions. All three readings offer a common alternative perspective: the response to struggle is increased faithfulness. Faith and faithfulness are the response which is insisted upon by the Scriptures we are given.

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Breaking the Word - Sundays

In the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Fathers of Vatican II decreed that: ‘The treasures of the Bible are to be opened up more lavishly so that a richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word’. (SC.52) The lavish feast of Sacred Scripture at the celebration of the Eucharist is designed to nourish and inspire the faithful. The following reflections on the Sunday readings for the next two months are an attempt to help readers and listeners to both savour and  ponder the selected passages so as to be drawn ever closer to the source of that nourishment. The author is a parish priest in Dorset and Vicar General of the Diocese of Plymouth.