Biblical Readings for each day's Mass,
(for the Liturgical Year 2020)

02 September, 2020
Wednesday, Week 22

1st Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Avoiding envy and strife; collaboration should marks God's co-workers

Brethren, I could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving like ordinary men? For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely men?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are equal, and each shall receive his wages according to his labour. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

Responsorial: from Psalm 33

Response: Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own

Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord,
 the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down;
 he sees all mankind. (R./)

From his fixed throne he beholds
 all who dwell on the earth,
He who fashioned the heart of each,
 he who knows all their works. (R./)

Our soul waits for the Lord,
 who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
 in his holy name we trust. (R./)

Gospel: Luke 4:38-44

Jesus heals Simon Peter's mother-in-law, then moves on with his mission

After leaving the synagogue Jesus entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.

As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.

At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, "I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose." So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.


May your words, O Lord, be in my thoughts, on my lips, and in my heart. May they be my guide on life's journey and keep me near to you.

Needing to mature, as persons and as Christians

Our nobler instincts urge us to live with wisdom and responsibility. But this does not happen without reflection and effort. Even Paul’s converts did not have any shortcut to heaven but often seemed to lose sight of their Christian identity. He calls them "infants," not adults, not yet ready for solid food. Like children they were quarreling over petty matters. Well, it looked petty when contrasted with true devotion for Jesus. They were split apart into jealous communities and claimed different spiritual leaders. Religion was being "used" and their natural tendency to pride and independence ended up in ridiculous ecclesiastical bickering. Paul reminds them that every church leader was God’s co-worker and that the church is nobody’s private property, or rather, "you are God’s garden."

Belonging to God and to each other

The first part of today's gospel is very instructive. Jesus learns that Simon Peter's mother-in-law is sick with a high fever. What followed was told over and over again, and Luke has reduced it to its bare bones as follows: 1) the mother-in-law is critically ill; 2) friends ask Jesus to bless her; 3) He commands the fever to leave her; 4) she gets up and begins to serve them, presumably with food.

It is remarkable that, as soon as she felt cured, that woman "got up immediately and served them." The family setting is enhanced when we hear that the people around Jesus "interceded with him for her." They showed a warm sense of community.

Such community spirit is not found everywhere, even among believers. Paul's converts were no shining example of it, but often seemed to fall into disunity. He calls them "infants," not adults, not yet ready for solid food. Like children they were quarreling over petty matters. Such quarrels contrasted with true devotion for Jesus. They were split apart into cliques, each following a different leaders. Their jealousies led to ridiculous bickering. Paul reminds them that every church leader was God's co-worker and that the church is nobody's private property, or rather, "you are God's garden." Many church problems would almost solve thermselves if we all shared that sense of belonging to God.