These readings are about exercising prudence in Christian charity. Although the Lectionary does not use the widow’s mite in these readings, both Mark (Mark 12:1-2) and Luke (Luke 21:5-6) portray the widow giving everything she has, her widow’s mite, to the temple, as a misguided waste. That, at least, is one opinion. The temple is about to be destroyed. These readings are profoundly about the virtue of prudence, that virtue that balances the other virtues, one with the others.
Malachi goes on to preach about the sun of justice with its healing rays. When people are miraculously healed, they frequently speak of healing warmth. The road to virtue is one of warmth and healing. The temple focus of these readings is the souls of the Faithful. The idea is to take the command to love one another seriously, while sticking to the road of righteousness.
Love is appropriately associated with material goods. It is one thing, nevertheless, to follow the money when trying to follow church politics; it is something else to pretend that crass materialism is all there is to church politics. God himself and love are also involved. The road to perdition goes the opposite direction to the road to salvation.
Psalm 98:5-6, 7-8, 9 (cf. 9)
The Lectionary uses Psalm 98, an Enthronement Psalm, at
the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time,
Reading Page verses Sunday
56B 422 1, 2-3, 3-4, (cf. 2b) Easter 6
144C 901 1, 2-3, 3-4, (cf. 2b) Ordinary 28
159C 969 5-6, 7-8, 9 (cf. 9) Today
The difference in the Responsorial is that for today, The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice, whereas for October 10, and Easter, The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power. Today is apocalyptic; October 10 was prophetic. Psalm 98 is ancient, dating from the time of the monarchy.
In the prophetic version the Lectionary used earlier,
Faithfulness requires more than observation, but also commitment. If anything, Malachi and
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
Verse 10, if anyone
was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat,
Standing erect and raising your heads is a proud, rather than a humble, posture. Can one be humble of heart without looking like a wuss or wimp? Luke thinks so, because your redemption is at hand. Luke, throughout his Gospel, looks forward to a reversal of fortunes.
People are standing around, admiring the
Verse 7 contains one of the 152 questions in Luke. In this case,
These readings begin with Malachi and Psalm 98 warning that
God will come with justice and judgment.
2 Thessalonians prudentially insists that work is required and that
those who do not work ought not to eat. Finally,
the Gospel is about the beauty of the
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
 Verse 1. Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 472.
 Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 474.
 Francis D. Weinert, “Luke, the Temple and Jesus’ Saying about Jerusalem’s Abandoned House (Luke 13:34-35)", the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1 (January 1982) 70.
 Paul Elbert, “An Observation on Luke’s Composition and Narrative Style of Questions," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 2004) 100, 102, 106.