Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
The house built on rock and the house built on sand
The Word This Week
Solid as a rock is something we say about people we can trust and rely on: its an image which figures in our readings this Sunday: we are invited to consider where we are going to build our lives. What are the props and supports that will hold us up in times of difficulty and trouble? The Biblical texts teach us quite clearly that in the midst of a changing and sometimes unpredictable world, and even when we are let down by other people, there is something that we can always rely on God. But relying on God does not always come easily as
Notes for Readers
First reading: Deuteronomy 11:18.26-28.32
Quite often our readings are made up of contrasting ideas: today Moses does this for the people giving them a straight 50-50 choice between blessing and curse. There is almost a non-committal tone to Moses words it is a genuine free choice: he will not stop them if they should choose to disobey. This is a good opportunity for a reader directly to address the congregation with some eye contact if possible! The first paragraph is slightly different: Moses almost pleads with the people to remember what he has taught them. This is quite a short reading, and there is always a tendency to rush through. Remember that a short reading gives you more time to make the correct emphasis, and allow your tone of voice to work with the words. The choice that is being offered (both to the people of
A horribly difficult reading to start our journey through the letter to the Romans this year! The key to this reading is that anyone can be justified because of what Jesus has done. Typically, Saint Paul uses some difficult words and concepts to express this: remember, he is writing to a mixed group of new Christians, some of whom have spent all their life as faithful Jews, obedient to the Law and the Prophets, some of whom have been pagans (which simply means non-Jews). The biggest novelty that Paul is teaching is that reconciliation is not just about following the rule-book, but about accepting the free gift of Gods grace. Youve only got two sentences in this reading, so you have to work out where to pause within each sentence. In the first sentence, you need to work out what is the main clause: the key words of the first sentence are: Gods justice has been revealed outside the Law. Make sure you emphasise these. In the rest of the passage, Paul teaches that absolutely anyone, irrespective of religious background, can share in what he calls justification. Stress the word both when it appears; mentally underline the words so as to win reconciliation through faith, since this is the main promise of Pauls teaching.