16th Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 19th July: Sixteenth Sunday of the Year. (B)
It is a great pity that our world, that the people in it have become so heartless as to do away with compassion and pity. We need look no further than the crisis in the Middle East today to see what happens when we lose sight of them
The readings today remind that this is not God’s way. He cares for us with a love deeper and even more tender than that of a mother for the child to which she has given life.
The first reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah. The leaders of Israel have been bad shepherds he says. God will, however, give his people a good shepherd, the Messiah.
In the second reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us that, in Christ, the barriers of hostility between different groups of people have been broken. All can be united in and through Christ.
In the Gospel, even though Jesus and the disciples needed a break, Jesus could not close his heart to the leaderless people who came looking for him. Does he say the same today as he looks on his world being torn apart? Is he moved to pity because we are like a sheep without a shepherd because we are not living his message?
Monday 20th July: Monday of 16th 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 21st July: Tuesday of the 16th week of the year.
The powerful story of the crossing of the Red Sea makes it very clear that Israel’s liberation is entirely the work of God. They are saved by passing through the waters of the Red Sea just as we are saved by passing through the waters of Baptism.
Jesus points to his disciples and explains who and what a disciple is. He reminds us that Jesus regards anyone who does the will of his Father as part of his family.
Wednesday 22nd July: Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene was one of the first to meet the risen Christ. There has been much confusion through the Church’s history as to her real identity. Some thought she was the Mary who washed the Lord’s feet with her tears, others Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. It is accepted now that she was one of the good women who followed Jesus and she is named as one of those standing at the foot of the cross when others had fled. Very little is known about her life.
Thursday 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.
Friday 24th July: Friday of the 16th week of the year.
The God of Israel now gives the people of Israel his rules for living through Moses. These are still our commandments – how well do we remember them.
Jesus explains the parable he had delivered to the disciples about the sower and the seed. We are to be the rich soil in which the seed is planted and through God’s grace bear fruit in our lives and in the lives of all those around us.
Saturday 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.
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD
This is what God asks of each one of us.