The earth has yielded its fruits; God, our God, has blessed us. May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

How about we learn something new today?  Well, some of you may already know this, so I’ll change my question.  How about I learn something new today?  What is a Jubilee?  Why do I ask?  We read about this today in our first reading from Leviticus.  I don’t know how any of you feel about reading some of the “exciting” books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, but my eyes tend to glaze over reading this stuff.

When the years are many, the price shall be so much the more;
when the years are few, the price shall be so much the less.
For it is really the number of crops that he sells you.
Do not deal unfairly, then; but stand in fear of your God.
I, the LORD, am your God.

That’s not nearly as exciting as our Gospel…

But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

That sounds like the making of a Hollywood movie…I’m pretty sure it was a movie.  Anyway, I digress – back to today’s lesson.  I’ve recently found that when I’m stumped on the meaning behind a reading from our Mass, I’ll go to the footnotes of that particular passage and see if that can shed any light on what I’m reading.  Here are the footnotes from our reading from Leviticus (LV 25: 1, 8-17):

 [25:817] The fiftieth year is the jubilee, determined by counting off “seven weeks of years.” It is sacred, like the sabbath day. Specifically, in it indentured Israelites return to their own households and land that has been sold returns to its original owner. Different laws are found in Ex 21:16Dt 15:131218 (cf. Jer 34:822).

The fiftieth year is the jubilee, determined by counting off “seven weeks of years.” It is sacred, like the sabbath day.

Reading that, my mind starting wandering the way it usually does and then I thought, I wonder how we define the word Jubilee.  So I went to Merriam-Webster on line and found this…



ju·​bi·​lee | \ ˈjü-bə-(ˌ)lē  ˌjü-bə-ˈlē\

Definition of jubilee

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1aa special anniversary especially a 50th anniversary
ba celebration of such an anniversary
ba season of celebration
3: often capitalized a year of emancipation and restoration provided by ancient Hebrew law to be kept every 50 years by the emancipation of Hebrew slaves, restoration of alienated lands to their former owners, and omission of all cultivation of the land
4aa period of time proclaimed by the Roman Catholic pope ordinarily every 25 years as a time of special solemnity
ba special plenary indulgence granted during a year of jubilee to Roman Catholics who perform certain specified works of repentance and piety
5a religious song of African Americans usually referring to a time of future happiness
As I was reading this, another thought popped into my head.  In reading the first reading, God instructs the Isrealites to take the Jubilee year off from working the fields…
It shall be a jubilee for you,
when every one of you shall return to his own property,
every one to his own family estate.
So where am I going with this?  Our Archbishop, Robert Carlson, is about to enter his Jubilee year of priestly ordination having been ordained a priest in 1970.  He also turned 75 this year and by Church law, had to send in his resignation to the Vatican.  With that in mind, I am guessing that by the end of this year, going into Archbishop Carlson’s Jubilee year, the announcement will be made as to who his predecessor will be.  In his 50th year, our Archbishop will be allowed to return to his own family estate and retire in peace.
So now you know how the mind of Jerry Dorhauer works…how I can get from Leviticus to Archbishop Carlson’s retirement in under 500 words baffles me too.  I hope you found this as enlightening as I did.
Do something great for our Lord today – pray for vocations.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s