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Sunday Scripture readings, Nov. 13, 2016




Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

            Cycle C. Readings:

            1) Malachi 3:19-20a

            Psalm 98:5-9

            2) 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

            Gospel: Luke 21:5-19

            During my childhood, long before the days of downloadable music and satellite radio, there was vinyl (which, curiously, is making a comeback!). In our home, there was quite a collection of record albums, and my mother exposed us to the music of Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin and all the great composers.

            My favorites were the symphonies, and I learned to pick out the various instruments — oboe, flute, trumpet, harp and tympani — that retained their distinct voices while combining in a beautiful, harmonious composition.

Word to Life for Nov. 13, 2016
“He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity.” — Psalm 98:9

            Indeed, the word “symphony” literally comes from the Greek words meaning “sounding together,” or a combination of different elements in harmony with one another.

            Today’s psalm depicts the kind of symphony that resonates throughout all of creation as a result of the Lord’s coming to “rule the earth with justice.” Harp, trumpets and horns are complemented by the sounds of rivers clapping their hands and mountains shouting for joy.

            But what does that symphony look like in terms of everyday living? St. Paul gives us a clue in his letter to the church at Thessalonica, when he contrasts “disorderliness” with the harmony of community life when its members perform their daily occupations conscientiously and peacefully.

            When performing a musical score, the orchestra is responsible for conveying the composer’s vision while closely following the lead of the conductor through the various symphonic movements. Jesus cautions us about the importance of remaining faithful despite changing or alarming circumstances — not following deceptive counsel but focusing on his leadership.

            We each have our own unique part to play in the Father’s vision of peace and justice. Let’s “keep calm and play on.”

— Sharon K. Perkins


            Describe your experience of living in a community that is disorderly or disharmonious. What insights do today’s readings offer for the healing of such a community?