Preacher’s Sketchbook: Thirtieth Sunday of the Year

October 19, 2011

Each week, a Dominican member of the Provincial Preaching Advisory board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass.  The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily.   Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.


St. Clement of Alexandria, from Pedagogus

And let us as babes, hearing of the sins of others, keep from similar transgressions, through dread of the threatening, that we may not have to undergo like sufferings. What, then, was the sin which they committed? For in their wrath they slew men, and in their impetuosity they hamstrung bulls. Cursed be their anger (Gen 49.6). Who, then, would train us more lovingly than He? Formerly the older people had an old covenant, and the law disciplined the people with fear, and the Word was an angel; but to the fresh and new people has also been given a new covenant, and the Word has appeared, and fear is turned to love, and that mystic angel is born—Jesus. For this same Instructor said then, Thou shalt fear the Lord God (Deut 6.2) but to us He has addressed the exhortation, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.”

St. Clement of Alexandria, from Stromateis

By brother is meant not merely one born of the same parents but a member of the same tribe or one of the same faith, who shares in the same Logos. The law does not deem it right to collect interest on the capital. It seeks to enable free giving to those in need, with hands and minds wide open. God is the creator of this free gift. It is He who shares His goods, exacting as the only reasonable interest the most precious things men possess: gentleness, goodness, high-mindedness, fame, glory.

Origen, from Exhortation to Martyrdom

Some people give no thought to the question of demons, that is to say, to the fact that these demons, in order to be able to exist in the heavy atmosphere that encircles the earth, must have the nourishment of exhalations and consequently are always on the lookout for the savor of burnt sacrifices, blood, and incense…. For the demons and they that have kept them on earth, where they could not exist without the exhalations and nourishment considered vital to their bodies, work as one in doing evil to mankind.

St. Augustine, from Sermon 350A

People are renewed by love. As sinful desire ages them, so love rejuvenates them. Enmeshed in the toils of his desires the psalmist laments: I have grown old surrounded by my enemies. Love, on the other hand, is the sign of our renewal as we know from the Lord’s own words: I give you a new commandment—love one another.

Ambrosiaster, from Commentaries on 13 Pauline Epistles

Those who, eager to believe, suffer insults and injuries from their fellows, are precisely those who may be called imitators of the Apostles and of the Lord Himself. He suffered the same things from the Jews, as did the Apostles who endured persecution as they pursued their faith in God.

From the Mishna Avot

Simon the Just used to say the world depends upon three things: observance of Torah, service of the Temple, and acts of loving kindness.

From the Opus Imperfectum

He who loves his neighbor does not speak false testimony about him whom he loves, nor does he kill him or lie about him whom he loves.

Other Resources

Sunday Preacher’s Resource: Thirtieth Sunday of the Year (Year A)

Readings for Thirtieth Sunday of the Year (Year A)

Additional Preaching Resources

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