Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Weekday Readings



The Thirtieth Week of the Year, October 26 - 31 2020

Luke 13.10-17
In this Gospel reading there is a glimpse of eschatological victory in the cure of the crippled woman looking toward the second coming of Christ.  At the words of Jesus the glory of his Father with all the angels is manifest in a simple miracle.  All the adversaries of the Kingdom are put to shame by this miracle anticipating their final defeat when Christ is manifested in glory: “this daughter of Abraham has been released from the shackles of Satan.”  And all the peoples of the world rejoice in the glorious things that have been done by Christ Jesus.  A true Sabbath of wholeness and wellness fills all creation in its being made new in transfigured glory.  A creation held bound by Satan is set free.  It is the eternal cosmological event.  Now it is prefigured in the cure of the woman bent over for all those years.  Our prayer opens us up to be healed by Jesus.  The Spirit of Jesus sustains us against the opposition that now rages against the Kingdom. Thy Kingdom come.
Luke 13.18-21
In my prayer I experience the Kingdom of God.  It is like a bush standing against the sky.  It has grown from a very small seed.  It is small but strong.  It resists all its adversaries.  I am sheltered amid its branches.  I have found my nest within the safety of its branches.  I will remain and grow with the bush into eternal life.  And then in the other image, so miraculously rises the bread of eternal life.  The yeast, such a smelly, vile substance can bring about the transformation of the dough into bread.  God uses the weakness of our humanity to raise the bread of eternal life for the whole world.  My prayer puts me into the miracle of grace that is the Church, the first fruits of the Kingdom of God.  My prayer becomes the daily deepening of my soul within the soul of Christ, the eternal Word, who enlightens me, enlivens me, who holds me in the bosom of his Father.
(Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles (meditation is on weekday Gospel.)

Luke 13.22-30
What is it to be saved?  The people in Noah's ark were saved from the flood.  Abraham pleaded with God to save the people of Sodom because there was a minimum of just men in the city.  The whole human race is born outside of the Kingdom of God.  Every one born into the human family has to be saved.  Only if I am in Christ Jesus by his grace, in faith, hope and love will I be saved from the condemnation laid against the human.  Only Christ will save me from my sins.  Left to myself I deserve hell for my sins.  Only Jesus saves me from that eternal separation from God.  Membership in the human race does not merit me automatically a place in the Kingdom.  My prayer is an awesome relationship with Christ in the Spirit.  It is the narrow, open door.  Prayer flows into everyday behavior that reflects the narrow, hard road to salvation in Christ.  The road that leads to perdition is wide and easy.  Lord, deliver me.  Libera me, Domine!  "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling."  Yet I should not feel everyone is on the way to perdition and only I and people like me only am safe.  Everyone else is more worthy than I to be saved.
Luke 13.30-35
Jesus feels the rejection by Jerusalem.  It is their free will.  “Let the pagan, secular governments know that I go about doing the work of the Kingdom.  Then let them do with me as they will.  I finish my course on the third day.  It is the Day of Resurrection.  That day will abide through all the ages until I come again in my glory.  Come to me and abide now in me in your love, faith and hope.  Take the yoke of my Spirit and live for the Father that you can accomplish the work that I give you.  Know in the depths of your heart the Presence that is the Trinity.  Be transformed into the fullness of your humanity through me.  Let me gather you into me as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.  Be willing.  Surrender in your prayer and in all the events of your life.  I am there with you, my companion and friend.”
Luke 14.1-6
Jesus is invited to dine with religious people.  What an occasion that could have been!  In several parables, to dine with the Son of God is described as the very essence of God's Kingdom.  Here in the gathering-in at the banquet also describes the essence of prayer.  To be with Jesus in the conviviality of sharing through love is the space and time, the intention and goal of prayer.  There is a problem, however, with this particular dinner.  He is invited not to be received, but to be watched, to be observed so as to capture him in a situation that would dishonor him and that would justify their hostility.  They center their opposition around observance of the Sabbath.  They have created a wall of legalities that impede full union with God in Christ.  Sabbath brings shalom: The resting in God and in the power of his creative acts brings healing and reconciliation.  Chaos is overcome in the act of resting in God.  Christ reveals the quintessential dimension of the Sabbath that by surrendering into God in a restful repose of abandonment one is cured and saved: the work of creation is thereby completed.  Heal me, Lord of the Sabbath, in my moments of prayer with you.
Luke 14.7-11
The strategy of genteel etiquette becomes the parable of humility in the Kingdom.  My prayer must make me seek a true place among people which is most probably to be last since I must acknowledge that I am the greatest sinner of all. Yet the solution is to flee feelings about myself in relation to others and rest in the grace of Christ.  It is in the divine mercy that I am elevated into the state of the children of God.



 --William Fredrickson, Obl. Sec. OSB, D.Min.


For questions, comments or other communication, please contact:
William Fredrickson