15th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Is 10:5–7, 13b–16
Thus says Yahweh: Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger, the staff of my fury! Against a godless nation I send him, against a people who provoke my wrath I dispatch him, to plunder and pillage, to tread them down like mud in the streets. But the mind of his king is far from this, his heart harbors other thoughts; what he wants is to destroy, to make an end of all nations.
For the king says: “By my own strength I have done this and by my own wisdom, for I am clever. I have moved the frontiers of peoples, I have plundered treasures, I have brought inhabitants down to the dust, I have toppled kings from their thrones.
“As one reaches into a nest, so my hands have reached into nations’ wealth. As one gathers deserted eggs, so have I gathered the riches of the earth. No one flapped a wing or opened its mouth to chirp a protest.” Does the axe claim more credit than the man who wields it? Does the saw magnify itself more than the one who uses it? This would be like a rod wielding the man who lifts it up; will those not made of wood, be controlled by the cudgel? Therefore the Lord, Yahweh Sabaoth, is ready to send a wasting sickness upon the king’s sturdy warriors.
Beneath his plenty, a flame will burn like a consuming fire.
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27
On one occasion Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise you, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to simple people. Yes, Father, this is what pleased you.
“Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
The learned and the clever always have so much to say! I was once at a conference, the theme of which was “Enabling the Laity.” The platform was shared by a priest and a layman. The priest spoke first, and the first thing he said was that he had a lot to say, and that he would need most of the available time. This he did, leaving the layman only fifteen minutes to rush through a mere fraction of his carefully prepared talk. Enabling the laity! That priest gave us a perfect example of how to disable the laity. How wonderful if there were an outbreak of silence in the Church!
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