14th Sunday of the Year (b)

This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.

Sunday 5th July:                     Fourteenth Sunday of the Year. (B)

The first reading today is from the Prophet Ezekiel. He is an ordinary priest, called by God to be a prophet. He is instructed to speak God’s word insistently to a people who do not want to hear it or respond to it.

The second reading is from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. Paul defends himself and his role as an apostle. God works through him despite Paul’s human weakness. This makes it all much easier to be instrument of God’s power and majesty.

In the Gospel, the people of Nazareth reject Jesus and his teaching. They know him as a young carpenter. How can he claim to be the Messiah, how can he perform miracles? How can anything good come from Nazareth?

Monday 6th July:          Monday of 14th Week of the year.

The story of the Chosen People continues with Jacob, the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Again, he is promised in a vision that his descendants will be very numerous.

Jesus allows himself to be touched by life when he sees and shares the distress of people who come to him. He shows compassion towards them and heals and comforts them.

Tuesday 7th July:          Tuesday of the 14th week of the year.

          Today we read of the incident when Jacob had a meeting with an angel of God and showed how strong he was. His name is changed to Israel and we hear of his eleven sons.

Jesus continues his work of healing and casting out devils, even though the Pharisees remained sceptical. Jesus is sad because his people lack good leaders.

Wednesday 8th July:     Wednesday of 14th week of the year

The lectionary tells us nothing of Joseph’s youth, about his being sold to the traders, about his captivity in Egypt and his rise to power. Instead, we reach the point where the brothers arrive in Egypt looking for provisions because of the famine back home. Joseph orders the youngest brother to be arrested for theft and the other brothers believe this to be a punishment for the way they had treated Joseph.

The apostles are named and sent to ‘the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ Later they would travel beyond that into Samaria and then to the rest of the world.

Thursday 9th July:        Feast of Our Lady of Aberdeen.  

Standing high on a pedestal in a side chapel of a Brussels church is one of Scotland’s treasures, a statue of Our Lady and Child that was saved from destruction in Aberdeen during the Reformation. For sixty-five years, it was hidden until it was shipped to safety in the Low Countries. Despite her intention to keep the statue in the Royal Palace, the lnfanta of Spain, the Archduchess Isabella, was persuaded to place it in the newly built Augustinian church in Brussels. The statue remained in this church until 1796, when it was again removed for protection into private hands, this time to escape the ravages of the French Revolution. An Englishman, John Morris, safely restored it to the Augustinians in 1805 and it remained in their care as an object of devotion until 1814 when it was removed to the neighbouring Church of Our Lady of Finisterre. It is still venerated there as Our Lady of Good Success .Since the Restoration of the Scottish Hierarchy in 1878, devotion to Our Blessed Lady in Aberdeen, throughout the diocese, and further afield, has focused on copies of this ancient statue including the statue (left) which stands in the Chapel of Our Lady at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen

Friday 10thJuly:            Friday of the 14th week of the year.

          Joseph invites all his family to come to Egypt, including his father Israel (Jacob). There is an emotional reunion and the long Joseph story has a happy ending.

More instructions are given to the apostles. They must not be afraid of what to say because the Spirit will be there to lead them and inspire them. There is also a hint that they will face persecution for the kingdom.

Saturday 11th July:      Feast of St. Benedict.

          St. Benedict was born at Norcia in Italy about 480.He was sent to Rome to study but was appalled by the low moral standards he found. He moved to Subiaco in the mountains. After about three years, some friends gathered there with him and he set up a number of monasteries, the last of which is Monte Cassino which has survived to the present day and is the mother house of the Benedictine Order. He died in 548 and was declared one of the Patrons of Europe in 1965 by Pope Paul VI.