Preacher’s Sketchbook: Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 28, 2012

Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s 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. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies

So it was on this account that the Lord Himself gave the sign of our salvation, namely, Him who is Emmanuel, born of the Virgin, because the Lord Himself saved them who were not able to save themselves. On this account Paul, preaching on human weakness, said, I know that nothing good dwells in my flesh, thereby pointing out that the good of our salvation is not from ourselves but from God.

St. Augustine, The Trinity

The law was given to that people as proclaimed by angels, but the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ was being prepared and foretold by means of it; and he, as God’s Word, was present in a wonderful and inexpressible way in the angels through whose proclamation the law was given. So he says in the gospel, If you believed Moses, you would believe me too, since he wrote about me (Jn 5:46).

St. Augustine, Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Charity

Also, so that nobody, although not boasting of his works, may boast of the freedom of his will, as if he had earned as a reward the very freedom to do good works, let him hear the same proclaimer of grace saying, For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae

The New Law does not void observance of the Old Law except in the point of ceremonial precepts… Now the latter were figurative of something to come. Wherefore from the very fact that the ceremonial precepts were fulfilled when those things were accomplished which they foreshadowed, it follows that they are no longer to be observed: for if they were to be observed, this would mean that something is still to be accomplished and is not yet fulfilled. Thus the promise of a future gift holds no longer when it has been fulfilled by the presentation of the gift. In this way the legal ceremonies are abolished by being fulfilled.

 The Second Vatican Council, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions

The Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ—Abraham’s sons according to faith—are included in the same Patriarch’s call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people’s exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles. Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles, making both one in Himself.

 The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The New Law is called a law of love because it makes us act out of the love infused by the Holy Spirit, rather than from fear; a law of grace, because it confers the strength of grace to act, by means of faith and the sacraments; a law of freedom, because it sets us free from the ritual and juridical observances of the Old Law, inclines us to act spontaneously by the prompting of charity and, finally, lets us pass from the condition of a servant who “does not know what his master is doing” to that of a friend of Christ – “For all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” – or even to the status of son and heir.

Pope Benedict XVI, Truth and Tolerance

For the early Church there was no clear break between the prayer of the nations, the prayer of Israel, and the prayer of the Church. Of course, the “novelty” of Christian worship and practice was a fundamental category of the Christian faith: the Lord has brought something new, the new thing itself; but this new thing had been prepared for, and history, for all its confusions and errors, had been leading up to it.



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