Item #: 0931-5
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Weeks 10 through 21 of Ordinary Time
Meditations/homilies for the Weekday of the Year - St. Matthew

Author: Rev. Harold A. Buetow
Copyright: 2002
First Printed: 10-18-2002

Norman Rockwell had an uncommon ability of depicting in his paintings the facial expressions of his subjects. He did this especially for many covers of the Saturday Evening Post. His works became popular all over the world. He wrote: “One of the most difficult problems in painting magazine covers is thinking up ideas which a majority of readers will understand. The farmer worries about the price of milk; the housewife fusses over the drapes for the dining room; the gossip gossips about Mrs. Purdy’s highfalutin’ airs. I have to think of an idea which will mean something to all of them. And it’s hard to be universal, to find some situation which will strike the farmer, the housewife, the gossip and Mrs. Purdy.” That’s the problem of the homilist, too, which Father Buetow tackles with extraordinary aplomb in this second of his three-volume set of meditations on the Liturgical Readings for the Weekdays of the Year. In the present volume, embracing mostly the gospel according to St. Matthew, the meaning of Jesus is shown to lie in his fulfillment of all that is embraced in the concept of the Jewish Messiah. Hence this volume, which covers weeks ten through twenty-one in the Church’s Ordinary Time, is entitled The New Out of the Old.

About the Author: The author of a book of Pastoral Talks for Special Occasions (Alba House, 1994) and a highly-acclaimed trilogy of reflections on the Readings for the Sundays and Holy Days of the Liturgical Year (Alba House, 1997): God Still Speaks: Listen! (Cycle A), All Things Made New (Cycle B), and Ode to Joy (Cycle C), Harold A. Buetow, PhD, JD is a priest from the Diocese of Brooklyn who spent thirty years at Catholic University where he taught and was Senior Staff Editor onThe New Catholic Encyclopedia. His present trilogy of Meditations / Homilies for the Weekdays of the Year includes Thirst for Life (Weeks 1 through 9), The New Out of the Old (Weeks 10 through 21), and Rejoicing in Hope (Weeks 22 through 34 of Ordinary Time).

Book: 377 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8189-0931-3
Prod. Code: 0931-5

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          "The burden of this volume is how to increase the value of the Liturgy of the Word in homilies. Matthew proves that Jesus fulfilled his role as the Jewish Mesisah. Matthew did not stress what Jesus did, but rather what he taught. Matthew brings in opposing points of view, pro-Jewish and pro-Gentile, a mystic and a legalist. The result is a balance and impartiality to each side. The purpose of this Gospel is to show that Jesus is the King of Israel, so it has a strong Jewish flavor. Converts from Judaism were to bring the best of their past to their new life as people of God in Jesus. For these reasons scholars believe it was written about 80 A.D. 
          The arrangement of Matthew's gospel is number laden, typically Jewish. Jesus' public ministry can easily be divided into 5, and with the rest, it comes to 7. Read this section in the introduction to discover how Jews found these numbers significant. The first discourse is the Sermon on the Mount; the second is to the apostles to be missionary preachers; the third is the parables; the fourth is the community in the new Church; the fifth deals with His Second Coming and the Last Judgment. Another feature of Matthew's Gospel is his capable bridging of the Old and New Testaments. A third characteristic is how He weaves in ecclesiastical affairs for the Church and the training of the apostles with catechetical intent. Matthew's Jesus attains the hopes of his people, is a lawgiver, a teacher, and an international Christ since He saved the whole world, not only the Jews. 
          Check the incidents related by Matthew only, such as the Magi, flight into Egypt, Holy Innocents, his piety in contrast to that of the Pharisees, money in the fish's mouth, his yoke being easy, the parables of the weeds, of the ten virgins, of the workers in the vineyard. This is what Matthew is about and he gave us the special name for Jesus: Emmanuel. 
          The introduction contains information about the other New and Old Testametn readings that occur in these weeks. For example some themes in 2 Corinthians are Paul's consolation, suffering, honesty, sincerity, hardships, his plea for a collection for the poor Christians in Jerusalem. The main purpose of 1 Thessalonians was to clarify his position on the Second Coming of Christ. In 2 Thessalonians, he explains that the Second Coming would occur only after certain events took place. The most sacred of all days is the day of the at-one-ment, described in Leviticus. Numbers recounts the experiences of traveling from Sinai to the Promised Land. The Old Testament historical books not only interpret history but give a theological statement. In Joshua we learn that God made the sun and moon stand still so that Joshua could win a battle. The book of Ruth teaches filial piety with a reward for that virtue. For Amos and others the deity was a God of justice; for Hosea a God of mercy and love. Micah names the place where the Messiah will be born, Bethlehem. Jeremiah taught that the correct relationship with Yahweh is a change of heart. In religious history the most important movements accepted Habakkuk's statement: the just shall live by faith. Ezekiel asserted that Israel would arise to a new life in his famous vision of the bones." --Jovian P. Lang, OFM in Catholic Library World, June 2003

"These three volumes (Thirst for LifeThe New Out of the Old, and Rejoicing in Hope) are part of one continuous set of reflections on the Lectionary readings for the two-year weekday cycle of Ordinary Time. Each volume concentrates on the selections from each of the Synoptic Gospels, although the author also offers briefer comment on the accompanying first reading for each of the two-year cycle of the weekday readings (from either the Old Testament or the New Testament letters). The reflections offer deft summaries of the biblical message for each passage along with succinct connections to human experience. These volumes could serve either as solid spiritual reading to accompany the liturgical year or as a source of homily ideas." --Donald Senior, C.P. in The Bible Today, Jan/Feb 2003

"About everyday: Fine new 3-volume series that will be a great help to homilists, as well as useful to individuals and groups rooting regular prayer in the liturgy and readings. Title: Meditations/Homilies for the Weekdays of the Year by Brooklyn priest and veteran Catholic University of America professor, Fr. Harold A. Buetow, PhD JD. Titles available: (1) Thirst for Life: Weeks 1 through 9 of Ordinary Time - St. Mark, which also includes coverage of the Epistles, as well as Old Testament books (Genesis, History and Wisdom), with major focus on the Gospel. (2) The New Out of the Old: Weeks 10 through 21 of Ordinary Time - St. Matthew, plus attention to 2 Corinthians and 1 & 2 Thessalonians, along with Old Testament writings (Pentateuch, Historical, and Prophecy books); with major emphasis on the Gospel; (3) Rejoicing in Hope: Weeks 22 through 34 of Ordinary Time - St. Luke; looking at the Epistles, Book of Revelation, and Old Testament writings (History, Prophecy, and Wisdom), with chief emphasis on the Gospel. Common to all three -- What the author calls "too much material" to be used on any one weekday, since the material is condensed, useful year after year; when possible, the First Readings (Year 1 and Year 2) are connected with the day's Gospel. Noted: The text concentrates on the correct emphasis, relevance and human realities versus dwelling on technicalities (source Q, J, E), or modes of speech. Each book carries helpful Introductions to the Scriptures featured in that text." --Crux of the News, December 16, 2002

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