Typically, the lectionary readings are so planned that the Hebrew Testament reading in some way enriches, foretells, enhances, or complements the Gospel. When the seventy-two return, they re rejoicing, St. Lujke tells us this coming 14th Sunday of Ordinary time. It is that one word that the first reading picks up. Paul’s boasting in the second reading, too, is the cause of his joy. So, the thread throughout seems to be “rejoicing.”

The first reading from the end of Isaiah is extremely sensuous, intimate, and almost blushing imagery. God is likened to a mother with “her abundant breasts,” suckling her child, Israel. The repeated word here is “comfort,” not in the American sense of living well and securely, but rather comfort from life’s woes, threats, and struggles. Accompanying this comfort, is the freedom from our scarcity mentality, a modern anxiety, overcome by God’s promise of prosperity and wealth

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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