Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homiy from the

  • August 21, 2016 10AM Mass


The poems Fr Dennis references this year is:

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • Somehow, the readings seem appropriate with the start of the school year and the theme of “discipline,” as our summer season of adventures winds down.
  • D2 reminded us that each Cycle (A – Mark, B – Matthew, or C – Luke) is based primarily on one gospel (and the Gospel of John is used to fill in and during Triduum and other special liturgical seasons).  The gospel passage is chosen for an appropriate liturgical theme (e.g., the summery Eastertide readings are an unlikely match as Lenten readings).  Once the gospel passage for a Sunday is selected, the first reading (generally Hebrew Scriptures) is chosen to match it; and then the 2nd reading (generally a progression through one of the epistles).  As a result, the 2nd reading may or may not match the gospel & first reading.
  • First reading, Isaiah — the prophecy is God’s glory going out to all nations.  As the Jewish community spread out across the globe/lands; God is going to be active there, too; and they will come from East and West to Jerusalem (not just Jews) … as equals to Jews … and some will be called / taken as priests and Levites.  What?!?!?  At the time, this was an unfathomable notion, as the Jews (and Jews alone) were God’s chosen people.
  • All world religions face this challenge:  How can God be my God .. and everybody’s God?  It’s human nature, we each need to establish God’s Love for me, and then we are more open to God loving everyone else, too.  In the Consecration, the 2011 text changed from “My blood will be poured out for you and everyone” to “blood poured out for you and for many.”  “Many” in Hebrew means “everyone” as ancient languages often counted “1, 2, many.”
  • Jesus is someone his disciples (then and us now) must hold in the mystery of being a remarkable personal friend and savior of the world.
  • Our poem this Sunday is Mary Oliver’s Singapore.  D2 prepped us that he would physically be moving from one place in front of the sanctuary to another (say, four feet away) and back to model the structure of the written poem, in which the new experience she is having is on the left side of the page and her experience of nature & poetry to that point on the right side of the page.  Her final stanza is in the middle, her new center after this epiphany. (Alas, the online link rl found does not match the formatting of the 1990 House of Light version reprinted in New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1. that Fr Dennis found and used.)
  • “A darkness was ripped from my eyes” — Mary Oliver’s is a paraphrase of God being not just for me but for everyone.  Her poem clearly states how she doesn’t like the idea of this woman’s work, of a life compelling this sort of work, or the lack of nature’s beauty in this setting (and thus, this poem she is writing).
  • But the woman’s smile convinces her that light can be in such a job, a light that can shine out of such a life … with the result that the poem is filled with trees and birds .. they are just in a new form.
  • God is not a matter of head knowledge but in experience of all forms, our God and my God.

There was a good Charlie Brown & Snoopy image with friend and savior text … and probably all kinds of copyright violations, even by fair use standards. So, I went with the Salvadoran Good Shepherd crucifix …  🙂

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