Welcome back to the Sunday Mass notes for 9-13-2015. This week while I was studying the first reading from Isaiah Chapter 50 I came across an interesting commentary on a web site. This supposedly Christian pastor wrote about the identity of the servant figure in the reading either as the Nation of Israel as a whole, or perhaps as he said, “an individual person.” Then he gave an analysis of verses 4 – 9a in which he never once identified the “servant” mentioned there with the Person of Jesus Christ. This contradicts the Gospel narrative who very clearly ascribed these exact events in describing the Passion of Jesus Christ (for example Matthew 26:67). This week we will study that reading from Isaiah and learn about what Jesus had to say in the Gospel reading about those who like the pastor I mentioned, deny or ignore that Jesus is the Christ of God presented by Isaiah. This week we will also learn from James about two types of faith, one that saves and one that does not. The key idea that runs throughout the three readings today is the faithfulness (or lack thereof) of God’s servants.
Welcome back to the Sunday Mass notes for 8-24-2014. This week we open with the first reading from Isaiah where we see and explain meanings of the phrase “the key of the house of David.” Then we move to the second reading from Romans 11 where you will read many additional verses beyond what was published in the lectionary in order to understand the meaning of God’s Word based on its context. Finally, we conclude with the Gospel message from Matthew 16 and study the meaning of a phrase similar to what we saw in the first reading, “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” in which Jesus emphasized the importance of Peter as the first among equals of the disciples.