Season of Patterns
When God created the sun and the stars, He laid down for us a pattern that can be followed and used so that we don’t get lost. The Lord also lays down a pattern for us to follow through Sacred Scripture and apostolic tradition. In this month’s Liturgy, we get his pattern through the prophets; not only in how they are similar but how they are different. Our Gospels give us a blueprint of ministry to follow.
The scripture readings of this season show us a pattern of the single mindedness of bringing the light of Christ into the world. The prophets and leaders of the Old Testament laid the groundwork giving us a ‘roadmap’ of hope and expectation. Even though there was failure, the Divine Will of God appointed holy men to perform righteous acts. These can be found throughout the writings.
As we look at the healings and mighty deeds, we see the pattern of the kingdom. Man is not meant to live in the darkness of sin and death and disappointment; man is created to live in the presence of God.
Outline for Season of Patterns: 1st readings about prophetsUnusual calls/ the naming of the prophets by God
[14th]Ezekiel 2:2-5 Ezekiel’s call by God to be a prophet, Ezekiel filled with the Spirit
[15th]Amos 7:12-15. Amos was a layperson, a shepherd when called as a prophet into ministry
Jeremiah, called in youth, Jeremiah 1: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” [RSV]
Elisha, trained by Elijah, sign from God: to see Elijah depart in the supernatural chariot of fire
The need for prophetsAmos: time of prosperity yet decadence; current ministry inept; indicted exploitation of the poor and distorted justice;
Jeremiah: the people’s extreme disobedience to God causing Babylonian captivity
Ezekiel: Ezek 2: preach to the rebellious. Also ministered/encouraged people during Babylonian captivity; international crisis and conflict; he also preached against wicked shepherds [Ezek 34]
Jeremiah’s call to clean out the leadership [16th] [God will adjust the leadership when it is needed]
Righteous acts Elisha’s multiplication of loaves for 100 with leftovers [2 Kings/17th]
Ezekiel was a visionary, instilled hope [after the fall of Jerusalem]; He used strength & courage even though the people were hard of face & obstinate
Single-mindednessEzekiel: preaching submission to God as key to blessing [ 9:4, 16:60-63,18:30-32,36:22-38]
Elisha: chose ministry above wealth burning his plow and slaughtering the oxen
Amos’s vision: a proper view of God brings everything else into perspective 7:10-17
14th 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul’s thorn [enemy] in the flesh, Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient” “When I am weak, then I am strong” Paul was willing to put up w/persecution for the sake of Christ. His submissiveness/weakness allowed the power of Christ to dwell within him.
As you look at the healings and mighty deeds, you see the pattern of the kingdom. Man is not meant to live in darkness, the darkness of sin and death; the darkness of disappointment, man is created to live in the presence of God.When man lives in darkness, the Lord sends a prophet to bring his light. Jesus shows us how to live in LightIn the Gospels, Jesus lays the pattern for us to follow, bringing the presence of God through ministry:
Ministering to others [15th Sunday Mark 6:7-13] sending them in twos [called by name] to heal and cast off demons; the pattern of Christian fellowship “two” showing our need
Showing the need for retreat, especially by those in ministry; yet how the needs of the people press in on even time of rest. Jesus teaches them –also very important. [16th Sunday Mark 6:30-34] 17th Sunday John 6:15 “Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.”
John’s Gospel 6:1-15 shows us that we can tap into the supernatural to take care of people’s temporal needs’ echoing 2 Kings 4:42-44 Elisha’s miracle for 100 [17th Sunday] [in a modern calamity/or during great need/ Jesus’ disciples can feed the hungry. The Eucharist feeds millions each day.
16th Ephesians 2:13-18 Jesus “broke down the dividing wall”: one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace”15th Ephesians 1:3-14 hymn of blessing. He chose us. In Christ we have: redemption, forgiveness, riches, wisdom, insight, etc. “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” the “first installment of our inheritance”
The effect of the prophets, Jesus, and disciples:17th Ephesians 4:1-6 Live worthy of your call; Virtues listed; 7 unity one: body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God & Father in all.
The challenge: We are all exposed to the plan of God but we can reject it and use doubt to limit the power of God in our lives. Neighbors of Jesus heard him teach [14th Mark 6:1-6] and knew of the mighty deeds but they “took offense” at his message, but their lack of belief, their lack of faith limited the power of God in their lives.
Ezekiel 2: 2 “ As he spoke to me, spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking 3 say to me: Son of man, I am sending you”Jeremiah 1: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” RSV
Jeremiah 1:6 “I don’t know how to speak I am only a child.”
2 Kings 2: 9 “When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.””
Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John collected by Henri Fesquet. Catholic Family Book Club. 1965. Pope John XXIII quoted p237 “We are face to face with someone who seems awesome. But he is not strong; he is not powerful, because he is the expression of error, of covetousness, of violence. Sometimes we are invaded by misgivings and become fearful at the thought of the morrow. Nevertheless, this giant must succumb before the will, the grace and the mercy of God. Nor must we think that the victory of this Goliath need bring destruction and universal ruin in its wake, because, even at times when he is dominant, there are still souls nourished with the same light as ourselves, and who remain faithful and very close to us and who share the same Christian and apostolic ideal.”
Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers Year B 2009. Mary A. Ehle. Liturgy Training Publications. P 227 “In the Old Testament thorns were symbols of enemies (Numbers 33:55).”
2 Corinthians 12:7 “Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.”
Galatians 4: 12 I implore you, brothers, be as I am, because I have also become as you are. You did me no wrong; 13 you know that it was because of a physical illness that I originally preached the gospel to you, 14 and you did not show disdain or contempt because of the trial caused you by my physical condition, but rather you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 Where now is that blessedness of yours? Indeed, I can testify to you that, if it had been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.
Matthew 6: “25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” … “33 But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. 34 Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
Luke 9:1 “He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal (the sick). 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.”
Luke 22: “35 He said to them, “When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals, were you in need of anything?” “No, nothing,” they replied. 36 He said to them, “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a sack, and one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.”
Mark 6: “8 He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick–no food, no sack, no money in their belts. 9 They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.”
Mark 10: “23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!””
Mark 16:34 “Jesus tries to take them away to rest but the people find them.”
Ephesians 4: “4 one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Acts 8: 18 When Simon [the Magician] saw that the Spirit was conferred by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me this power too, so that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive the holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your money perish with you, because you thought that you could buy the gift of God with money. 21 You have no share or lot in this matter, for your heart is not upright before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your intention may be forgiven. 23 For I see that you are filled with bitter gall and are in the bonds of iniquity.” 24 Simon said in reply, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” 25 So when they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem and preached the good news to many Samaritan villages.
New American Bible (NAB) readings are referenced from the Lectionary for Mass, for use in the dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition ©1997, 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.
14th Sunday in Ordinary
Ezekiel 2:2-5 Ezekiel’s call by God to be a prophet, receiving the spirit
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul’s thorn in the flesh, “My grace is sufficient” “When I am weak, then I am strong”
Mark 6:1-6 Prophet without honor in native place, Jesus unable to do miracles due to lack of faith
15th Sunday in Ordinary
Amos 7:12-15 false prophet tells Amos to get out. Amos was a shepherd when called as a prophet
Ephesians 1:3-14 hymn of blessing. He chose us. In Christ we have: redemption, forgiveness, riches, wisdom, insight, etc. “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit” the “first installment of our inheritance”
Mark 6:7-13 sent “them out two by two” taking nothing; shake dust, the twelve successful in healing and driving out demons
16th Sunday in Ordinary
Jeremiah 23:1-6 Woe to shepherds that mislead; I will appoint shepherds, “the days are coming” “raise up a righteous shoot to David”
Ephesians 2:13-18 Jesus “broke down the dividing wall”. One new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace”
Mark 6:30-34 after disciples returned the crowds kept them busy. Jesus took them on a retreat but the people found them and Jesus taught them
17th Sunday in Ordinary
2 Kings 4:42-44 Elisha’s miracle of multiplication of loaves for 100 with leftovers as prophecy said
Ephesians 4:1-6 Live worthy of your call; Virtues listed; 7 unity one: body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God & Father in all.
John 6:1-15 Miracle of the loaves & fish of 5000 men; 12 baskets leftovers; reaction: recognition of Jesus as messiah; Jesus withdrew alone