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Posted March 13, 2007

Book: Homilies for Weekdays – Year 1
Author: Don Talafous
Liturgical Press. Collegeville, MN. 2006. Pp. 219

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Looking for homily suggestions that faithfully represent the Scripture readings and offer hearers of the text practical applications for Christian life? Homilies for Weekdays, the final of two volumes by Father Talafour, contains creative suggestions of what a homilist might say about the daily readings following the Lectionary cycle.

This extensive compilation for each day is a result of many years of experience in preparing homilies. Written on both a popular and pastoral level, these homily ideas may also serve as daily reflections or meditations on the scriptural texts for readers interested in nourishing their Christian lives.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent – On not blaming “them”

Reading: Gen. 17:3-9, John 8:51-59

The disputes we hear daily between Jesus and the Jews in the Gospel lead up to the next week, Holy Week. In them we hear about Abraham, the father of the Jews, Judaism. Christianity, and Islam are often called the “Abrahamic faiths,: that is, religions rooted rooted in the faith of Abraham. All three share the history of God’s concern for human beings which stems from God’s calling of Abraham. Spiritually, we are related. For that reason, it is all the more necessary that we not be misled by expressions in the Gospels that blame the Jews for Christ’s death. In today’s Gospel we do hear three references to Jesus’ enemies as “the Jews.” A close look at all the Gospels and specific details about the death of Jesus shows us that this is a shorthand expression for the leaders of the Jews” the scribes, chief priests, Pharisees, etc. The Second Vatican Council and various popes have stressed that there is no justification for anit-Semitism on the part of Christians and no excuse for anti-Jewish behavior and talk. Jesus himself, of course, was a Jew. The references in Gospel readings should remind us not to buy into anti-Semitism, or, even worse, contribute to it by our language or actions. The sins of humankind led to the crucifixion of Jesus. If he had been born in Ireland, his opponents would have been the establishment and leaders of that country, the Irish. We can profitably apply this further as part of our following of Christ by opposing any prejudicial behavior or talk about any group: African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, etc. If we look for applications of the love we celebrate at this Eucharist, this is a most important and obvious place to begin.

Table of Contents:

The Liturgies of the week throughout the Liturgical Year 1