Category Archives: Curtis Mitch

Reflecting on the Gospel for the Epiphany of the Lord

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 2:1:

The word magi originally described members of the Median and Persian priestly caste who advised the king and interpreted dreams. The term later was used more broadly to denote those who possessed mystical knowledge as priests, astrologers, soothsayers, or sages. Their popular association with kings today may be based on Old Testament passages that recount kings bringing gifts to the royal Davidic son (Ps 72:10–11), including gifts of gold and frankincense (Isa 60:3–6). In the Jewish tradition magi would bring to mind the opponents of Daniel in Babylon, who were associated with enchanters and sorcerers and claimed to interpret dreams and signs (Dan 1:20; 2:2; 4:4; 5:7 LXX). Hence, one would not expect magi from the East to be among the first to pay homage to the Jewish messiah. This account thus sets up a theme that will be repeated throughout Matthew’s gospel: Israel’s king is welcomed by those one would least expect while Jewish leaders work against him (2:4).

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.
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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, reflecting on Matthew 1:1:

In this opening verse, Matthew introduces us to the holy name of Jesus, which has been invoked in prayer from the very beginning of Christianity. From a biblical perspective, the very fact that we can call on the name of Jesus is astonishing. In ancient Judaism, God’s name came to be invoked only once a year and only by the High Priest. Now, with God becoming man in Christ, we have the privilege of calling on the name of the Lord. “The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: ‘Jesus,’ ‘YHWH saves’” (Catechism 2666).

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 25:32-33:

The Son of Man’s first action is to assume the role of a shepherd who divides the sheep of his flock from the goats. It is often pointed out that Middle Eastern herdsman normally allow their animals to graze together and that sheep and goats tend to be valued equally. This makes it difficult to say for sure why the judgment is depicted as a separation of sheep from goats. Nevertheless, it is clear from the outset that the sheep represent the saints, for they are placed at the Lord’s right, which in ancient cultures represented the good, fortunate, or honorable place (see 1 Kings 2:19; Ps 110:1), while the left represented the bad, unfortunate, or dishonorable.

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 25:24-27:

Confining ourselves to the storyline of the parable, the master’s rebuke seems excessively harsh. But if the talents represent each servant’s “knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (13:11), then the severity of the charge is understandable. Being entrusted with the message of salvation entails great responsibility. To sit on that message or to bury it for ourselves is a serious breach of responsibility to the Lord, who calls us to share his good news with the world. He does not want us to give it back to him unshared and unfruitful.

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 25:13:

The lesson of the parable is summed up in the injunction: stay awake. Many find this a strange ending to a parable in which all ten virgins, the wise and foolish alike, fall asleep while waiting for the bridegroom (v. 5). Jesus, however, it talking about spiritual vigilance. One makes oneself ready for the Lord’s arrival by dutiful fulfillment of responsibilities. Failure to exercise prudence and diligence is dangerous in the spiritual life. After all, no one knows the day or the hour when the bridegroom will come.

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 23:1-12:

Chapter 23 is the grand finale to the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders in Matthew, only now debate gives way to denunciation as Jesus charges the scribes and Pharisees with hypocrisy and infidelity to their own religious heritage. The severity of the language, consistent with the practice of Israel’s prophets, underscores the seriousness with which Jesus treats wrongdoing committed in the name of religion. The chapter is not only an exposé of corruption among Israel’s teachers but is also a warning to Christian leaders of the pitfalls to be avoided in pastoral ministry.

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 22:40:

Jesus adds that the whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments. Literally, the text says that the Torah and the Prophets “hang” on the double love commandment, as though these two precepts support the full weight of biblical religion in all of its various aspects. No other commandment of the Bible is properly observed if either one of these is transgressed or compromised. For the aim of all divine Scripture is to bring us out of ourselves to love and serve God and our fellow human beings.

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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