12th Sunday of the Year (c)

Ordinary Season of the Year.  (c)

Weekdays – Year 1

Sunday 23rd June: The first reading is from the Prophet Zechariah..  He emphasises God’s continuing love for the people of Israel and for the land of Israel.   It looks forward to a time when a new spirit will be poured out on the people and they will mourn over someone they have put to death.

The second reading is from the Letter to the Galatians. Paul reminds us very forcefully, that clothed in Christ through Baptism, there should be no differences between us. We all have access to God’s love and grace.

Peter’s confession of faith is always followed by a prediction of the suffering that will come the way of the true disciple.  Luke’s account is no different. Peter is the one who acknowledges Christ.  Jesus stresses that just as he himself will suffer and die so also will the true disciple.

Monday 24th June:   Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist.

There are only three birthdays celebrated in the course of the Church’s liturgical year that of Jesus himself, Our Lady and the one we celebrate today – John the Baptist.  It highlights how important John the Baptist is seen to be in the life and tradition of the Church. This feast dates from the fourth century and at one time was preceded by a day of fasting.  The Preface of the Mass sums up the life and mission of John the Baptist.  He was the one, chosen by God, to prepare the way of the Lord.

Tuesday 25th June:       Tuesday in 12th week of the year.

This week we begin the history of God’s dealings with the Chosen People.  They were descended from Abraham.  Abram is again promised many descendants who will take up their abode in the land of the Canaanites.  We learn that he was a peaceful man, trying to avoid falling out with Lot, his travelling companion.

Jesus reminds us that we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves.  He reminds us that this will not always be easy.

Wednesday 26th June:             Wednesday in 12th week of the year.

          Abram’s faith is tested.  He had no heir, yet he was told his descendants would be as numerous as the stars.  God made a covenant, or sacred pact, with Abram; his descendants would have all the land from Egypt to the Euphrates.

Jesus reminds us how a good person will produce good results.  We are to be aware of the false prophets.

Thursday 27th June:     Abram wondered how he was going to have any children.  He believed his wife was too old so he had a child by his servant girl, Hagar.  She too would have many descendants.

The person who listens to the words of Jesus, takes them seriously and acts on them is like one who builds his house on a rock.  That is the house which perseveres in the storm.

Friday 28th June:           Memorial of St. Iraneus.

Iraneus is one of the most important fathers of the early Church.  He was born around 125 in Asia Minor.  He is said to have been a disciple of St. Polycarp who is turn was a disciple of St. John the Apostle.  This shows how close in time Iraneus is to the early days of the Church.  He became Bishop of Lyons and combated the heresies of his day.  He died in 202.

Saturday 29th June:      Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul.

We know from the Gospels that Peter was from Galilee, that his brother was Andrew, that he was married and that he was a fisherman.  He is portrayed as a very impetuous man e.g. he said he would never betray Jesus.  On the other hand, he was a man of great faith and determination.  He was martyred in Rome in 64.

Paul, who was originally known as Saul, came from Tarsus and was brought up as a very strict Jew.  He was also a Roman citizen.  He was as scrupulous upholder of the Law and joined the Pharisees, becoming a ferocious persecutor of the early Christians.  After his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, he became an very committed Christian, setting off on various missionary journeys.  His story is found in the Acts of the Apostles and in the various letters he wrote to the early Christian communities.  Tradition tells us he was martyred in Rome in 67.