Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our first reading is taken from the Prophet Isaiah. The temple was a very important place for the Jews. They could go there regularly for prayers and sacrifice. No one entered the temple except the priests when they made their daily offerings. The temple was God’s house. Other men could pray in the area closest to the priest’s court. The next area was the court for the women and then there was a court for the Gentiles. Isaiah is saying that the foreigners (non-Jews) who kept the Sabbath and held to God’s covenant would be welcome in the temple and could even offer sacrifice. God’s house would be a house of prayer for all people and faith in God would be a saving grace for all people. This was a very radical understanding at any time in Jewish history, especially 500 years before Christ. It was even radical at the time of Jesus. When His followers started preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, they said the Gentiles, provided they followed Christ faithfully, were equal with the Chosen People when it came to God’s saving mercy and love. The Church is open to all people, saints and sinners. Remember that a saint is a sinner who never stopped trying.
God bless you.