13th Sunday of the Year (b)

Sunday 1st July:           Thirteenth Sunday of the Year.  (B)

The first reading today is from the Book of Wisdom.  We are reminded that God is the author of life.  He did not make us for death but for life now and the time to come.

In the second reading from the second Letter to the Corinthians, Paul encourages generosity in those who have a lot to share.  He appeals for a generous response to a collection for the poor inJerusalem.

The Gospel shows Jesus’ power and generosity by healing the woman with the haemorrhage and then raising the daughter of Jairus, a synagogue official.

Monday 2nd July:          Monday of 13th week of the year.         

         The first reading this week is taken from the Prophet Amos, a man who came from the southern kingdom but preached mainly in the northern kingdom about 40 years before it was to be destroyed. He didn’t depend on the king for support and so could speak out openly wherever and whenever he found dishonesty and injustice.  He used a style called ‘oracle.’  He has been denouncing the neighbours of the northern kingdom but now turns on the people themselves much to their surprise and anger. They had turned their back on the God of Israel despite the love and care He had shown them. For breaking the Covenant in this way, they are to be punished.

Jesus reminds his followers how full commitment is needed if they are to be true followers.  At the start of another week, let us pray for a renewal of our commitment to Christ so that it may be seen in our lives.

Tuesday 3rd July:          Memorial of St. Thomas.      

As so often happens, we learn little aboutSt.   Thomasother than the brief events mentioned in Gospels. He is chiefly remembered for his lack of faith in the Risen Jesus, refusing to accept the facts until he could see for himself. From doubting Thomas he becomes believing Thomas. Then he makes his great act of faith, ‘My Lord and My God.’  According to tradition he was martyred inIndiaand Pope Paul VI declared him patron saint of India in 1972.

Wednesday 4th July:     Wednesday of the 13th week of the year.

           Amos teaches that the people are to seek good and not evil so that they will be aware of God being with them. Only then will the sacrifices and external observance be of any real meaning.

In the Gospel, we have the strange story of the demoniacs being cured and the devils ending up in the pigs – animals whose meat the Jews were forbidden to eat.

Thursday 5th July:        Thursday of the 13th week of the year.

We are given a short biography of the work of Amos and all that he had done in the service of the Lord, often against the odds. He had been fearless in preaching and teaching often attacking the king.  As a result, his prophecy that the Israelites would be sent intoIsraelfor their breaking of the Covenant caused uproar.

Behind many of the miracles of Jesus was a spiritual message. Today’s Gospel is even more specific.  He can forgive sins just as he cures the paralysed man.

Friday 6th July:             Friday of the 13th week of the year.

          Amos denounces even more of the social injustices that the rich were inflicting on the poor. They were being swindled and reduced almost to slavery. The day is coming when this will be reversed – the Day of the Lord is approaching.

Jesus reminds his followers that he has come not to call the virtuous but sinners.  Mercy was vital in his dealings with others.

Saturday 7th July:                  Saturday of the 13th week of the year.

In this last extract from the prophet Amos, we hear two oracles.  These were probably written after the exile and were intended to give the people new hope.  The nation will be rebuilt, the cities and the vineyards will be restored.  This is the promise of the Lord.

Jesus stresses that while he is with the disciples they will not fast; the time will come when they will and they will also suffer as a result of being his disciples.

Father of all that lives and breathes,

 your Son Jesus Christ touched people and

 they were healed and they lived.

May he touch us with the warmth of his love

that our love may revive others

 especially those who are suffering and are in need of any kind.

Through Christ our Lord.