Sundays Scripture Readings: October 20, 2013


The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

To help us prepare for this coming Sunday, here are the readings, studies and reflections for this coming Sunday’s Scripture readings. This Sunday is the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Here are the Scripture readings from the U.S. Catholic bishops website.

My own weekly study on the Sunday Readings can be found here at my website.

Here are three short audio reflections on the readings by Sister Ann Shields, Dr. Scott Hahn, and Fr. Robert Barron.

Scripture scholar Fr. Francis Martin’s video meditations on the Sunday Scripture readings can be found here.

Here is a Catholic Bible study podcast (each about an hour long) from the Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. The sister leading the study does a really nice job using primarily, I believe, the notes from the St. Charles Borromeo study linked below.

Further study resources for the Readings: St. Charles Borromeo Bible Study can be found here, Catholic Matters can be found here, the Catena Aurea (“Golden Chain”) of St. Thomas Aquinas can be found here, and the Haydock Commentary can be found here.

Please consider supporting those who provide these free resources.

Discussion, questions and charitable comments are always welcome. If you have additional orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium Catholic resources for this Sunday’s Readings, please feel free to add them. Have a blessed week!


**From the Navarre Bible Commentary

First Reading - From: Exodus 18:8-13

A Battle Against the Amalekites
[8] Then came Amalek and fought with Israel at Rephidim. [9] And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” [10] So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. [11] Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. [12] But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. [13] And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.


17:8-16 In addition to shortages of food and water the Israelites also had to cope with attacks from other groups in the desert over rights to wells and pastures. Their confrontation with the Amalekites shows that the same God who has alleviated their more pressing needs (hunger and thirst) will protect them from enemy attack.

The Amalekites were an ancient people (cf Num 24:20; Gen 14:7; 36:12, 16; Judg 1:16) who were spread all over the north of the Sinai peninsula, the Negeb, Seir and the south of Canaan; they controlled the caravan routes between Arabia and Egypt. In the Bible they appear as a perennial enemy of Israel (cf. Deut 25:17-18; 1 Sam 15:3; 27:8; 30) until in the time of Hezekiah (1 Chron 4:41-43) the oracle about blotting out their memory finds fulfillment (v. 14). The mention of Joshua leading the battle and of Aaron and Hur helping Moses to pray point to the fact that after Moses political-military and religious authority will be split, with the priests taking over the latter.

With the rod in his hand, Moses directs the battle from a distance, but his main involvement is by interceding for his people, asking God to give them victory. The Fathers read this episode as a figure of the action of Christ who, on the cross (symbolized by the rod), won victory over the devil and death (cf. Tertullian, “Adversus Marcionem”, 3, 18; St Cyprian, “Testimonia”, 2, 21).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.


****From the Navarre Bible Commentary

Second Reading - From: 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2

Staying True to Scripture
[14] But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it [15] and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. [16] All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Dedication to Preaching

[1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: [2] preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.


14-15. “Continue in what you have learned and firmly believed”: this is sound advice–that Timothy should not relinquish the truth which he learned from his mother and from the Apostle: “Religion, of its nature, must be passed on in its entirety to children with the same fidelity as it has been received by the parents themselves; we have no right to take religion and do with it what we will; rather, it is we who must follow religion wherever it leads us” (St Vincent of Lerins, “Commonitorium”, 5).

Assiduous meditation on the Word of God and reflection on our experience in the light of faith make for deeper understanding of revealed truth; but the essential meaning of the truths of faith does not change, because God does not contradict himself. Progress in
theolog y consists in obtaining this deeper understanding of the content of Revelation and relating it to the needs and the insights of people in each culture and period of history. In this connection Paul VI wrote: “We also insisted on the grave responsibility incumbent upon us, but which we share with our Brothers in the Episcopate, of preserving unaltered the content of the Catholic faith which the Lord entrusted to the Apostles. While being translated into all expressions, this content must be neither impaired nor mutilated. While being clothed with the outward forms proper to each people, and made explicit by theological expression which takes account of different cultural, social and even racial milieu it must remain the content of the Catholic faith just exactly as the ecclesial Magisterium has received it and transmits it” (“Evangelii Nuntiandi”, 65).

Continued below…

  1. Due to the conciseness of the Greek language (which often omits the verb to b e), this verse can also be translated as “All scripture inspired by God is profitable”; cf. the RSV note. Paul is explicitly stating here that all the books of the Bible are inspired by God, and are therefore of great help to the Church in its mission.

The books of Sacred Scripture enjoy special authority because “the divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself. To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their powers and faculties so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more. Since, therefore, all that the inspired authors, or sacred writers, affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture, firmly, faithfully and without error, teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scripture” (Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 11).

Therefore, the Bible is very useful in preaching and teaching, in theological research and for one’s own spiritual advancement and that of others. Referring to the training of future priests, the Second Vatican Council recommends that they “receive a most careful training in Holy Scripture, which should be the soul, as it were, of all theology” ("Optatam Totius, 16).

St Gregory the Great has this to say about Scripture’s usefulness “for teaching”: “Anyone preparing to preach in the right way needs to take his points from the Sacred Scriptures in order to ensure that everything he says is based on divine authority” (“Moralia”, 18, 26).
And the same Father says elsewhere: “What is Sacred Scripture if not a kind of letter from almighty God to his creature? …] Therefore, please study and reflect on the words of your Creator every day. Learn what the will of God is by entering deep into the words of that God, so as to desire divine things more ardently and set your soul aflame with great yearning for heavenly delights” (“Epistula ad Theodorum Medicum”, 5, 31).

Scripture is also profitable “for reproof”, St Jerome writes: “Read the divine Scriptures very often, or, to put it better, never let sacred reading matter out of your hands. Learn what it has to teach, keep a firm hold on the word of faith which accords with doctrine, so as to be able to exhort others with sound doctrine and win over your opponents” (“Ad Nepoitanum”, 7).

  1. “Man of God”: see the note on 1 Tim 6:11. This description shows the basis of a priest’s dignity. “The priestly vocation is invested with a dignity and greatness which has no equal on earth. St Catherine of Siena put these words on Jesus’ lips: 'I do not wish the respect which priests should be given to be in any way diminished; for the reverence and respect which is shown them is not referred to them but to Me, by virtue of the Blood which I have given to them to administer. Were it not for this, you should render them the same reverence as lay people, and no more…you must not offend them; by offending them you offend Me and not them. Therefore I forbid it and I have laid it down that you shall not touch my Christs” (J. Escriva, “In Love with the Church”, 38).

Concluded on the next post…

  1. The last chapter of the letter, summing up its main themes, is in fact St Paul’s last wi ll and testament and has the features of that type of document: it begins in a formal manner (vv. 1-5), protests the sincerity of his dedicated life (vv. 6-8) and concludes with some very tender, personal messages (vv. 9-22).

The opening is couched in a solemn form (also found in 1 Tim 5:21) similar to a Greco-Roman will, laying on the heirs an obligation to carry out the testator’s wishes: “I charge you”; a series of imperatives follows. To underline the importance of what the testator is requesting, God the Father and Jesus Christ are invoked as witnesses, guarantors of the commitments which will devolve on the heirs. By swearing this document the testator is performing an act of the virtue of religion, because he is acknowledging God as Supreme Judge, to whom we must render an account of our actions.

“Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead”: a graphic, catechetical expression (cf. Acts 10:42; 1 Pet 4:5), confessing belief in the truth that all men without exception will undergo judgment by Jesus Christ, from whose decision there is no appeal. This has become part of the Creed; in a solemn profession of faith, the “Creed of the People of God”, Pope Paul VI elaborated on this article of faith as we have seen in the commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:5 above.

  1. “Preach the word”: that is, the message of the Gospel, which includes all the truths to be believed, the commandments to be kept and the sacraments and other supernatural resources to be availed of. In the life of the Church the ministry of the word has special importance; it is the channel God has established whereby man can partake of the Gospel; priests have a special duty to preach the word: “The people of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God, which is quite rightly sought from the mouth of priests. For since nobody can be saved who has not first bel ieved, it is the first task of priests as co-workers of the bishops to preach the Gospel of God to all men. In this way they carry out the Lord’s command, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15) and thus set up and increase the people of God” (Vatican II, “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 4).

“In season and out of season”, that is, even in adverse circumstances (cf. v. 3), or when hearers are disinclined to accept the Christian message. Timothy and, like him, all other sacred ministers, ought to behave towards the faithful in accordance with the demands of Christian life and doctrine. “What do men want, what do they expect of the priest, the minister of Christ, the living sign of the presence of the Good Shepherd? We would venture to say that, although they may not explicitly say so, they need, want and hope for a priest-priest, a priest through and through, a man who gives his life for them, by opening to them the horizons of the soul; a man who unceasingly exercises his ministry whose heart is capable of understanding, and a man who gives simply and joyfully, in season and even out of season, what he alone can give–the richness of grace, of divine intimacy which, through him, God wishes to distribute among men” (A. del Portillo, “On Priesthood”, p. 66).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.


**From the Navarre Bible Commentary

Gospel Reading - From: Luke 18:1-8

Persevering Prayer. Parable of the Unjust Judge
[1] And He (Jesus) told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. [2] He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; [3] and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him saying, Vindicate me against my adversary.' [4] For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself,Though I neither fear God nor regard man, [5] yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’ [6] And the Lord said, “hear what the unrighteous judge says. [7] And will not God vindicate His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? [8] I tell you, He will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


1-8. The parable of the unjust judge is a very eloquent lesson about the effectiveness of persevering, confident prayer. It also forms a conclusion to Jesus’ teaching about watchfulness, contained in the previous verses (17:23-26). Comparing God with a person like this makes the point even clearer: if even an unjust judge ends up giving justice to the man who keeps on pleading his case, how much more will God, who is infinitely just, and who is our Father, listen to the persevering prayer of His children. God, in other words, gives justice to His elect if they persist in seeking His help.

  1. “They ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Why must we pray?


"Prayer is in fact the recognition of our limitation and our dependence: we come from God, we belong to God and we return to God! We cannot, therefore, but abandon ourselves to Him, our Creator and Lord, with full and complete confidence …].

"Prayer, therefore, is first of all an act of intelligence, a feeling of humility and gratitude, an attitude of trust and abandonment to Him who gave us life out of love.

"Prayer is a mysterious but real dialogue with God, a dialogue of confidence and love.

Continued on the next post…



"For the Christian, in fact, prayer acquires a particular characteristic, which completely changes its innermost nature and innermost value. The Christian is a disciple of Jesus; he is one who really believes that Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the Son of God who came among us on this earth.

"As a man, the life of Jesus was a continual prayer, a continual act of worship and love of the Father and since the maximum expression of prayer is sacrifice, the summit of Jesus’ prayer is the Sacrifice of the Cross, anticipated by the Eucharist at the Last Supper and handed down by means of the Holy Mass throughout the centuries.

"Therefore, the Christian knows that his prayer is that of Jesus; every prayer of his starts from Jesus; it is He who prays in us, with us, for us. All those who believe in God, pray; but the Christian prays in Jesus Christ: Christ is our prayer!


“It must be humbly and realistically recognized that we are poor creatures, confused in ideas, tempted by evil, frail and weak, in continual need of inner strength and consolation. Prayer gives the strength for great ideas, to maintain faith, charity, purity and generosity. Prayer gives the courage to emerge from indifference and guilt, if unfortunately one has yielded to temptation and weakness. Prayer gives light to see and consider the events of one’s own life and of history in the salvific perspective of God and eternity. Therefore, do not stop praying! Let not a day pass without your having prayed a little! Prayer is a duty, but it is also a great joy, because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ! Every Sunday, Holy Mass: if it is possible for you, sometimes during the week. Every day, morning and evening prayers, and at the most suitable moments!” (John Paul II, “Audience with Young People”, 14 March 1979).

  1. Jesus combines His teaching about perseverance in prayer with a serious warning about the need to remain firm in the faith: faith and prayer go hand in hand. St. Augustine comments, “In order to pray, let us believe; and for our faith not to weaken, let us pray. Faith causes prayer to grow, and when prayer grows our faith is strengthened”
    (“Sermon”, 115).

Our Lord has promised His Church that it will remain true to its mission until the end of time (cf. Matthew 28:20); the Church, therefore, cannot go off the path of the true faith. But not everyone will remain faithful: some will turn their backs on the faith of their own accord. This is the mystery which St. Paul describes as “the rebellion” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and which Jesus Christ announces on other occasions (cf. Matthew 24:12-13). In this way our Lord warns us, to help us stay watchful and persevere in the faith and in prayer even though people around us fall away.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.


More helpful resources for this Sunday’s Readings:

Ignatius Insight

Msgr. Charles Pope

The Sacred Page

A couple more coming up as they become available! :slight_smile:


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