A Moment before the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Exodus) is part of God’s explanation of what the Ten Commandments mean in everyday life.  Some people stereotype the Old Testament as just a bunch of “Thou Shalt Nots” meant to keep people from enjoying themselves.  Sunday’s Old Testament reading shows us the positive nature of the actual “Thou Shalt Nots” and makes clear the falseness of that stereotype.  

Sunday’s Epistle (1 Thessalonians) picks up where last Sunday’s Epistle left off, with Paul’s shout out to the Thessalonians.  He points out that the way that the Thessalonians live their faith is so compelling that when Paul shows up to tell people about Jesus, he doesn’t have to say a word.  They have already seen the faith lived - by the Thessalonians. 

Sometimes in school you had a teacher who really understood her students, who could see when they weren’t getting it.  The sort of teacher who would stop the class when that happened, and switch into review mode - pulling everybody back into focus, making certain that they knew the one thing that was the key to all of the other things that she was trying to teach.

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is that teacher.  The Old Testament reading and the Epistle point to what’s behind all of the outward appearances, but it’s clear from the Gospel that people aren’t getting it.  Jesus makes it clear – pulling everybody back into focus, making certain that they know the one thing that is the key to all of the other things. 

Sunday’s Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/102614.cfm