16th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 23rd July: Sixteenth Sunday of the Year. (a)
Christ’s parable, in the Gospel, originally addressed the problem of sinners in the Kingdom of God. The Pharisees believed that the Kingdom was for saints only; sinners therefore had to be ruthlessly weeded out. Jesus takes a different position. Up to the moment of the Last Judgement, the Kingdom will be a mixture of good and evil.
The first reading from the Book of Wisdom reminds us that God is a God of mercy, understanding and compassion. We should try to imitate these qualities in our lives.
St. Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit helps us to pray when we can’t find the words to express what is on our minds.
The Church and the world are like fields in which wheat and weeds grow side by side until they are separated at harvest time.
Monday 24th July: Monday of sixteenth week of the year.
On seeing the Israelites leaving Egypt, Pharaoh changes his mind about their release. He could not afford to lose the work force of slaves. The Israelites lose confidence in God and grumble at Moses who has to reassure them that all will be well; that God would defend them as he had promised.
The message of Jesus is similar. He confronts those who reject him. They lack faith and are looking for a special sign, unwilling to accept that he is the sign of God’s presence among them. He talks to them in terms of Jonah; he would be in the earth and after three days rise up again.
Tuesday 25th July: Feast of St. James.
James was the son of Zebedee and the brother of St. John. He was a Galilean by birth and, by trade, a fisherman, along with his father and brother. With Peter and John, he formed a special grouping within the apostles – witnessing the healing of Peter’s mother, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the transfiguration and the agony in the garden. He was the first of the apostles to die for his faith around the year 42/43. He was buried in Jerusalem but according to Spanish tradition, his relics were transferred to Compostella in Spain around 800. This not accepted by all scholars.
Wednesday 26th July: Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne.
Details about Joachim and Anne are sketchy and found only in apocryphal literature. In one of these it is claimed that Mary’s birth was miraculous because Joachim and Anne were sterile There were originally two feasts but they were combined in 1969.The feast is celebrated on the day that the basilica in honour of St. Anne was dedicated in Constantinople in the year 550.
Thursday 27th July: Thursday of the sixteenth week of the year.
At the foot of Mount Sinai in the wilderness, Moses was given a public seal of approval from God. This should have been enough for them to trust in this one true God and not in the gods of the Egyptians.
Jesus again speaks to the people in parables. The stories always carry a spiritual message. Only those who close their ears and hearts will miss it.
Friday 28th July: Friday of the sixteenth week of the year.
There has been confusion in the past about the identity of this Mary. She is not to be identifies with Mary, the repentant sinner who washed Our Lord’s feet with her tears, not with Mary, sister of Martha. She is one of the disciples of Jesus, one of the first to see the risen Christ. St. John also names her as one who stood at the foot of the cross. In fact, we know very little about her life but her love for Christ is amply attested to in the Gospels.
Saturday 29th July: Memorial of St. Martha.
Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. She is the patroness of innkeepers and hostels. It was to their home that Jesus was frequent visitor. She was generous, hardworking who tended to get irritated when things didn’t work out quite so well. She was a woman of deep faith and unbounded trust in the power of Jesus.
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD
This is what God asks of each one of us.