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Sunday, November 3, 1996

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31st Sunday Ordinary Time

Malachi 1:14—2:2, 8-10
Psalm 131
1 Thessalonians 2:7-9, 13
Matthew 23:1-12

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"true doctrine" (mal 2:6)

"The lips of the priest are to keep knowledge, and instruction is to be sought from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts." —Malachi 2:7

If priests and priestly people don't teach true doctrine:

  • they will be cursed (Mal 2:2);
  • their blessing will be made a curse (Mal 2:2);
  • they will be deprived of the material benefits due to them (Mal 2:3);
  • they will have dung strewn in their faces (Mal 2:3);
  • they will be carried off with the dung (Mal 2:3);
  • they will cause many to falter (Mal 2:8);
  • they will be made "contemptible and base before all the people" (Mal 2:9).

Moreover, if priests and priestly people teach the truth but don't practice what they preach, they are still in trouble. The Lord calls them "frauds" (Mt 23:13, 23, 25, 27, 29), "blind guides" (Mt 23:16, 24), and "blind fools" (Mt 23:17).

The Lord makes abundantly obvious that it is exceedingly important to give and to receive true teaching. "That is why we thank God constantly that in receiving His message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God at work within you who believe" (1 Thes 2:13).

Prayer:  Father, I will not only "tolerate" but accept "sound doctrine." I will not surround myself with "teachers who tickle" my ears (2 Tm 4:3).

Promise:  "So well disposed were we to you, in fact, that we wanted to share with you not only God's tidings but our very lives, so dear had you become to us." —1 Thes 2:8

Praise:  Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life! (Jn 11:25) Alleluia! Glory and praise forever.

Reference:  (Please order for yourself, prayer group, or parish, our monthly bulletin insert, John Paul Speaks.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, April 2, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 1996