Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
Men from east and west will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.
The Word This Week
Its probably a nightmare we all share to some degree or other - being locked out of the house, the sales, the big match, or missing the train, the boat or plane. Contemplating watching the crowds that have got inside, while we can do nothing, can be unnerving. Complacency can leave us in this situation: today the Lord warns all who listen to him to be careful, taking nothing for granted, but making sure that we are (spiritually at least) like the people waiting with their sleeping bags and thermos flasks by the front door of the ticket office.
Notes for Readers
A wonderful, boisterous reading, filled with colour and excitement, as the prophet sees the procession of the nations of the Lord - strange sounding names (dont worry about them - say them as they look), strange forms of transport, all flowing towards the Temple in Jerusalem. Just picture what
At first gance this seems a rather negative and gloomy reading - but it isnt. The author is trying to explain why being a Christian sometimes seems rather hard and difficult: its because the Father loves us, and like any loving Father sometimes has to correct us, to bring us back (if we will listen) to the right path. It starts well, by engaging the congregation with a question - as always, dont be afraid of letting you mean the people listening to you read. From then on there should be a tone of gentleness in this reading, since it is all about encouragement - even when it uses words like punishment. A key line is the one which talks about punishment being no fun at the time, but later bearing fruit in peace and goodness. Watch the last sentence - its a bit short of commas, so make sure you put the pauses in the right places.