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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading – so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different – often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways.

Genesis 45:1-15

This is a weaving of J and E sources, hence one notices some repetition. Themes of knowing and deceiving will now be resolved.

Isaiah 56:1, 6-8

Whilst increasingly contemporary scholarship seeks to look at the final whole product of the book of Isaiah, since 1892 many scholars have accepted that chapter 56 begins a “Third” Isaiah. Isaiah was the eighth century prophet, who was followed by “Second” Isaiah during the sixth century exile. Around 520 BC Third Isaiah preached at the same time as Haggai and Zecharaiah.

Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

The focus of Romans 1-8 has been including non-Hebrews into the heritage of God. The non-Hebrew disobedience was met with God’s mercy – now Paul applies similar logic to Hebrew disobedience.

Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28
Jesus’ mission has been directed not to Samaritans and Gentiles (Matthew 10:5-6). Jesus is met by a Canaanite (non-Hebrew) woman in non-Hebrew territory (Tyre and Sidon). Jesus follows the customs of his culture. He insults the woman, but she is the only woman recorded in the gospels who matches Jesus’ normally sharp wit.

Today’s readings online