Scripture Notes – Sunday September 27th 2020

Subject: Scripture notes: Which of the two did the father’s will?

A vine growing in Laragh, Co Wicklow, Ireland

Dear friends, 

A very warm welcome to all to Hearers of the Word for Sunday, 27 September 2020.

1. Jubilee for the Earth: the Season of Creation 2020
The Season on Creation is a month-long “festival”, inviting renewed reflection on creation, the environment, climate justice and solidarity. There are excellent resources available, of which this is merely a selection.

Season of Creation (international and ecumenical).
Irish Bishops’ conference.
Anglican Communion.
Vatican Resources.
Lutheran World Federation.

There are lots and lots of resource for different kinds of communities and events.

2. Matthew on faith and works
Today’s parable — unique to Matthew — places tremendous emphasis on the practice of the faith, on doing, on obedience, on behaviour, on deeds. Perhaps Matthew is countering some potential complacency on account of grace or even reacting to St Paul. The emphasis is good, even essential, but carries a risk.

The risk is to forget that our behaviour is a response to grace and is never, ever, a means of earning it in the first place. Keeping that risk in view, what can we learn from today’s parable? Perhaps, it could be expressed in a cumbersome way like this.

God first loved us and this love precedes everything. Because God desires our love in response, God respects our freedom of will. At the same because,  as a lover, God desires that our response should come from deep within each person, from the heart. Our response finds expression in how we live and love and in the choices we make. Slowly, step by step, we integrate life and faith, always in response to God’s grace in loving us in the first place. 

So, what we do really does matter…precisely because all really is grace, both gracious love and loving grace.

The YouTube exploration offers a more developed contemporary context.  

3. Sunday 26A20 (27 September 2020)
Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (portable)

The YouTube videos are intended to be a further exploration of the Gospel, with an eye to spiritual, pastoral and practical concerns.

Gospel exploration (YouTube)
Gospel exploration (Zoom)
Full set  (YouTube)

4. Charity cycle
This was to have taken place (privately) on Saturday the 12th or the 19th of September but my bike wasn’t ready (don’t ask!). I’ll be doing the cycle later in September. Many of you have already contributed — I’m very grateful. If you’d still like to be part of the venture, the click here. Last year, you gave €12,500. The collection stands right now at €10,854+. Many thanks to all.

Wishing you all every blessing in the week to come,