A Note on Today’s Readings Proper 9: Sunday closest to July 6—Year A
Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
Today’s reading from Matthew is when Jesus learns of the murder of John the Baptist. He mourns that people rejected him and John: John, for his severe message of judgment and ascetic lifestyle, and Jesus for his message of God’s love for all people and his zest for living. Nevertheless, God’s blessing is available for all who accept Jesus’ call and for all those who minister God’s love to other people.
The first reading continues the story of our ancestors in faith. Sarah has died and Abraham sends his servant to his far-away relatives to find a wife for Isaac. We hear of the servant selecting Rebekah, who becomes the next mother of God’s chosen people.
We continue in the second lesson to read from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Although, as we heard last week, we have died and been raised in baptism, we still find that sin is alive in us. Paul struggles here with the notion that we are dead to sin and yet sin is still active in our lives. He comes to no easy answer but instead rejoices in God through Jesus who is the only solution to this quandary.
In the liturgy, we are reconstituted as resurrection people. We find the principles of living in the world to be those of God’s Kingdom rather than those of the world. In worship and in our ministry to the helpless we become signs of contradiction to the world’s standards.