The 22ndSunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday 28 August 2022
Lectionary Readings: Sir. 3:17-20. 28-29; Ps. 68:4-7. 10-11; Heb. 12:18-19. 22-24; Lk. 14:1. 7-14
Theme: Way of the Kingdom of God.
Humility, gratuitousness and disinterested love are central themes proposed by the liturgy of this 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, reflections that accompany the challenges for the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
In the First Reading, a sage from the beginning of the 20th century, II BC, advises humility as the way of pleasing God and human beings, brings success and happiness. The author seeks to convince his countrymen that Israel possesses, in its God-revealed “Torah”, true “wisdom” – a “wisdom” far superior to the Greek “wisdom” and this wisdom leads us to humility, which is one of the fundamental qualities that people must cultivate.
In the Second Reading, the Letter to the Hebrews, the author invites the recipients of the letter to fidelity to the Christian vocation and to rediscover the newness of Christianity, not out of fear, but out of love (of Christ) which is the way to true joy and which gives itself free of charge to all of us. He insists that the encounter with God is an experience of communion, of closeness, of love, of intimacy, which gives meaning to the Christian’s journey.
In the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus “on the way to Jerusalem” at table, on the Sabbath day, in the house of one of the chiefs of the Pharisees. There is no Shabbat break, but it must be the solemn Sabbath meal, which was taken around noon, on returning from the synagogue. Guests were to be invited to her; during the meal, the discussion of the day’s readings continued. Luke is also the only evangelist who shows the Pharisees so close to Jesus that they even invited him home and sat down at table with him (cf. Lk 7:36; 11:37).
The text has two parts. The first (verses 7-11) addresses the issue of humility; the second (verses 12-14) deals with gratuitousness and selfless love. The novelty is not in the words themselves, since they were known to all (cf. Prov. 25. 6-7); but the way that Jesus uses them. He describes the Kingdom of God: the “Kingdom” is a space of fraternity, communion, sharing and service, which excludes any attitude of superiority, pride, ambition, dominion over others; whoever wants to enter it must make himself small, simple, humble and have no pretensions to be better, fairer, or more important than others.
For Reflection and Discussion: 1. This Sunday’s liturgy invites us to rediscover our faith and the meaning of our options, to overcome the settling down, the self-indulgence and laziness that so often lead us to a lukewarm Christian journey, without demands, without commitments, that easily cause us to give in and retreat when difficulties and challenges arise. How have I lived the practice of my faith? 2. Have I been the last or do I always seek to be in the spotlight and be the first?
Bibliography: McKenzie, J.L. Dictionary of the Bible (New York: 1965)
This week’s Sunday Liturgy Commentary was prepared by
Nayon Nigel Cezar, NDS, Israel, Bat Kol Secretary.