The Psalm 146 gives us a variant form the corporal works of mercy, which exactly fits and emphasizes the theme of the Gospel in the arrangement of the lectionary, in light of which it might be a good idea to review them with personal stories or how the whole parish, or whatever congregation is practicing them.

Timothyis charged by Paul to “keep the commandment”. It seems odd to use the definite singular, and so makes it unlikely to refer to all the Ten Commandments or any one in particular. More likely it probably refers to Timothy’s commission (Ordination) when he was made bishop. The command is to live a devout life and also to bear witness to the Gospel at all costs. The witness (evangelization) is before the whole world, hence the mention of Christ before Pilate. The command given in the ordination prayer is similar today and uses the language of I Timothy. In this way the minister gives honor to Jesus, “the only king.”

The command leads then to the corporal works of mercy as the work of the ministers of the church. In other words, evangelization is most effective because people can see the breath and scope of the charity and believe.

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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