16th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sunday 20th 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 21st July: Monday of sixteenth week of the year.
Today the Prophet Micah speaks very clearly to those who think they can placate God by offering ritual sacrifice whereas he stresses that what God really wants is sincerity of heart. They have been reminded about this many times but have failed to respond.
In the Gospel, the people are looking for a sign from Jesus that he is from God. They won’t simply accept his words or his miracles. He reminds them of the sign of Jonah from the Old testament and uses this to teach about his forthcoming Resurrection.
Tuesday 22nd July: Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene.
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.
Wednesday 23rd July: Feast of St. Bridget.
St. Bridget is the patron saint of Sweden. She was born in 1304. From a very early age, she devoted her life to Christ in prayer. She married a Swedish Prince and was totally committed as a wife and as mother. On his death, she founded a convent and this was the beginning of new order of nuns – the Bridgettines. Initially men and women lived in separate buildings but used the same church in a ‘double monastery’. She died in Rome in 1373.
Thursday 24th July: Thursday of the sixteenth week of the year.
Jeremiah is in a sad if not depressed mood in the extract today. He is anxious about the people and fears for them now that they have abandoned God.
Jesus continues to speak to the people in parables which always have a deeper message, a spiritual message. Only those who close theirn hearts and their ears will miss the message.
Friday 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.
Saturday 26th July: Feast of St. Joachim & 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.
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD
This is what God asks of each one of us.