Harvest / 16th Sunday after Trinity / 26th Sunday in the Year (1-10-2017)

Harvest / 16th Sunday after Trinitatis / 26th Sunday in the year 2017/18 [III / A]

Ev. sermon text Cath. 1st Reading Cath. 2nd Reading Cath. Gospel
15th Sunday: Klgl 3, 22-26.31-32
Harvest: Isa 58, 7-12
Ez 18, 25-28 Phil 2, 1-11 Mt 21, 28-32

Isa 58: 7-12

1) Exegetical considerations

The date of the present text is generally estimated at 530 v. Christ and Trito-Isaiah. It is therefore younger than the first two parts of the Book of Isaiah. The last chapter presupposes the end of the exile and the return of the exiles to Israel. In this passage, Isaiah is concerned with the behaviour of those in the community who, with the example of fasting, are holding on to outer appearances and ignoring the social dimension of fasting. His criticism of fasting precedes this text. Fasting, correctly understood is an important feature for Isaiah in the rebuilding of the kingdom.

2) Sermon impulses

For Isaiah, fasting means much more than simply foregoing something and the observance of the rites of fasting. Isaiah connects fasting with social issues. What significance does fasting have in our society today? Are we not in danger of succombing to the same danger? Fasting has become a fad, a fad that everyone (conducts) sorts out for themselves.. Fasting is individualized and largely detached from any social context. At least some people may use the the season of Lent to engage with social projects. However fasting requires a change of heart and calls every one to practical acts of charity and compassion. Away from self-centredness and a turning towards care of one's neighbour. In view of the situation of In the face of the present situation of refugees and displaced in the world, the word of Isaiah is still as relevant as it was after 1500 years ago.

3) References to sustainability

Where there is no peace, where war and hunger govern the country. Where oppression drives people to flight, where men and women wrong their fellow humans , a life in harmony with nature will never be possible. Sustainability requires peace. Social and environmental issues are inseparable. Pope Francis, in his encyclical "Laudato si", has pointed out these connections very clearly. Alongside the social dimension of fasting the question of responsible involvement with creation is inevitably linked to fasting. Fasting is about a relationship with God, which takes into account, responsibility both for neighbour and for creation.

Ez 18, 25-28

1) Exegetical considerations

Ezekiel is with many others of his people in Babylonian exile. These experiences form the background to the short passage, which is about the accusation that YHWH has not treated his people justly. It is a question of man's repentance. It is in his power to renew himself morally from within. YHWH seeks repentance because this is his plan which does not want the death of his people, because he is God of life.

2) Sermon impulses

The classic connection between deeds and consequences, which we find in many places in the Old Testament, also appears here. Israel has acted wrongly and is suffering his punishment for this action. Hence the call for repentance is all the more urgent. YHWH, however, proves to be the God of life. It is about Israel aligning its life with YHWH. The path of men, who do not follow the covenant and the instructions of Yahweh, but think that they can lead their life without him, leads to the darkness of death. Where the path of people, who place themselves at the center of their actions leads, can be seen every day with just a look in the press reports. "Repent, create yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!" is the way to overlasting life in communion with God and calls us to action.

3) References to sustainability

Our time is marked by great environmental degradation, exploitation and social injustice. At the same time, as in no other time before, there is a high degree of sensitivity to the commitment to the preservation of creation. Conversion, return to life has, here particularly, a very deep meaning. It is only if we succeed in mastering the ever increasing problems and creating a world community which lives in harmony with nature and its resources and which recognises its limits, that this world will remain a place worth living in for future generations.

But until that time comes, a 'turn around' is also required. The ecumenical process of "Repentance to life - shape the change" is a good example from the many organizations that are concerned about this. (See: www.umkehr-zum-leben.de/en/startseite)

Steffen Glombitza

- Neue Jerusalemer Bibel

- Stuttgarter Neues Testament

- Stuttgarter Altes Testament
- Novum Testamentum Graece, Ed. XXVII

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