Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
The publican went home at rights with God; the Pharisee did not.
The Word This Week
Notes for Readers
Who are we more likely to listen to: a well-dressed, confident person, or a shabby, rather dodgy-looking individual? Where we sometimes will judge by outward appearances, and listen accordingly, the Lord, as this reading tells us clearly, takes not notice of such things, but only sees what we say in our hearts. Society, then as now, frequently pays more attention to the appearance than the message widows, orphans and the poor are mentioned because they were most often the overlooked in society. You will need to read this firmly and deliberately: make sure that people have settled down after the opening prayer that you have full attention before you open your mouth, since the first line is the most important, and if people miss it, they may find the rest of the reading hard to follow. The last two lines return to the beginning a confident proclamation of Gods attention to those whom society often ignores.
2 Timothy 4:6-8.16-18
Paul is coming to the end of his letter and his life and so the tone becomes more personal and reflective. You will have to reflect this in the way you read, but make sure you read all the way to the end! Looking at the first line, one could get the impression that Paul is rather downcast. But when you read the rest you see that his spirit is not in any way subdued! He is completely confident in his mission, in Gods presence and power, and in the crown of righteousness which is awaiting him. So while this might be a reflective reading, it is bursting with optimism and hope. This might sound obvious, but make sure you emphasise that this is a reading from the second letter of Saint Paul at the beginning: we sometime skip over the title of readings, but since this is such a personal reflection from this saint whom we read so often, make sure that you emphasise his name today.