Liturgical Bible Study Guide: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Christian Affirmations and Personalized Bible Scriptures

1st Reading – Malachi 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10

The book of Malachi gets its name not from the author, who is unknown, but from the opening words of the book “An oracle. The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.” Malachi is a Hebrew word meaning “my messenger.”

We know nothing of the author’s life, but from his small book we learn something of the kind of person he was. Despite his attacks on priests (Malachi 1:6-2:4), he was favorable to the Levitical priesthood (Malachi 2:4-7), and he insisted on the people’s obligation to contribute to the expenses of the Temple and the support of the personnel (Malachi 3:6-12). He had a humane concern for the wife who suffers rejection (Malachi 2:14-16), for the people of Judah who wonder about God’s love for them (Malachi 1:2-5), and he was sure that those who wrong the defenseless would eventually receive their just rewards from God (Malachi 3:5). He had a religious sense of God’s honor (Malachi 1:6-14) and of the transcendence which enables God to enforce his will whenever He wishes (Malachi 1:5).

Although there is no way of dating Malachi precisely, it is surely more recent than 515 B.C. because it presupposes the Temple already built, with its regular system of worship functioning. In our reading today we hear God’s messenger addressing the priests who have defiled God’s altar by offering blind, diseased and crippled animals instead of the unblemished as required. He also blames the lay people who brought them in the first
place.

2nd Reading – 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13

Having given thanks for the faith of the Thessalonians, Saint Paul now describes his ministry among them.

Gospel – Matthew 23:1-12

Having been questioned by the chief priests, elders, and as we heard last week, the scribes, Jesus now addresses the crowds about their conduct.

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Bible Study guide from Fr. Cielo Almazan

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