Genesis 37:3–4, 12–13a, 17b–28a; Psalm 105:16–17, 18–19, 20–21; Matthew 21:33–43, 45–46
Two biblical characters are the subject of Broadway musicals by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and both are featured in today’s readings. They are Joseph, the son of Israel (Jacob) in Genesis, and Jesus, the “superstar” of Matthew’s Gospel! Webber seized on the detail of Joseph’s coat (here simply a “long tunic”) as the launch point for one musical. But there’s much in the Joseph story to entertain.
Jeremiah 17:5–10; Psalm 1:1–2, 3, 4, 6; Luke 16:19–31
Jesus tells the parable of a rich man who lived in luxury, failing to notice the beggar named Lazarus at his front door. Only too late—after death—does the rich man take notice of the poor man who had daily suffered on his doorstep.
Jeremiah 18:18–20; Psalm 31:5–6, 14, 15–16; Matthew 20:17–28
To read today’s Gospel, one would think that Jesus’ apostles could have really used a public-relations advisor! The story of the mother of James and John, requesting places for her sons at Jesus’ right and left hands in his kingdom, does not reflect well on these followers of the Lord. What makes it worse, Jesus has just predicted his passion and death. Were they even listening?
Isaiah 1:10, 16–20; Psalm 50:8–9, 16bc–17, 21, 23; Matthew 23:1–12
Priests get asked occasionally—usually by folks of a fundamentalist Christian bent—about today’s Gospel text, in which Jesus tells us we should not use the title father for anyone on earth—only for our Father in heaven. Leaving aside the question of what they might call their own dads, they are missing the point of Jesus’ words, which come at the end of the passage: “The greatest among you must be your servant.