The first reading for today comes from Romans 11. In the previous chapter, Paul had chastised the Jews for their infidelity to God, referencing from two different passages of Isaiah. Despite this, in the passage for today, Paul asserts that God remains faithful to His chosen people. Paul posits that the invitation to the Gentiles is not to replace the Jews in God’s affection but, rather to make the Jews jealous and to draw them back, and that would happen when “the full number of Gentiles comes in.’
The Gospel reading from Luke is one of five examples Luke offers of Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath in which Jesus allows Himself to be drawn into conflict with the ritually fundamentalist Pharisees. In this instance He has been invited to the home of Pharisee along with a man suffering from ‘dropsy’, probably a form of edema, knowing that it was unlikely that Jesus could resist another prohibited healing and attempting to entrap Him.
Our selection skips over this part of the episode to highlight a parable in which Jesus recommends humility. The implication of this is that those who allow themselves to be humbled in this life will be exalted in the next.
Today is also the Memorial of St. Charles Borromeo, a leading figure of the 16thCentury Catholic Reformation. He was born of a wealthy, aristocratic family, related through his mother to the Medici Pope Pius IV. He was made administrator and eventually Archbishop of Milan along with many other administrative responsibilities but was initially kept in Rome as a key advisor to the Pope. His efforts were key in reopening the Council of Trent and he did important work on the catechism, the Missal, and the Breviary, and instituted the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. He died in 1584 at the age of 46 and was buried in his cathedral in Milan.