17th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 30th July: Seventeenth Sunday of the Year. (a)
In the first reading today, King Solomon is offered any gift he wishes from God. He chooses the gift of wisdom and receives it.
St. Paul, in the second reading, reminds us that those who love God can turn everything to their spiritual advantage.
The Gospel passage presents us with several parables to describe the Kingdom of Heaven. What God is offering to us is so precious that it is worth everything we have.
Monday 31st July: Memorial of St. Ignatius Loyola.
He was born in 1491 in Spain. He chose a military career initially. While convalescing after being seriously wounded, he read the lives of the saints and the Life of Christ. As a result and after much reflection, he was converted to a life of holiness. He began his studies for the priesthood and was eventually ordained in 1538 after much studying and also suspicion from Church authorities. He gathered around him a small number of like-minded dedicated men, including the future St. Francis Xavier, from which were formed the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, who put themselves directly under the Pope’s authority, ready to go anywhere and undertake any work asked of them by the Pope. He died in 1556.
Tuesday 1st August: Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori.
He was born in 1696 near Naples, becoming a very successful lawyer. He had gained doctorates in both civil and canon law by the time he was 17. He gave up the practice of the law in order to become a priest and was ordained in 1726. He is the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists), whose main work is the preaching of missions and retreats. He himself was a very popular preacher. He became a Bishop in 1762 and gave himself totally to the service of his diocese before going back to his order and dying in 1787 at the age of 91.
Wednesday 2nd August: Wednesday of the 17th week of the year.
After praying for so long in the presence of God, the face of Moses showed forth the glory and the majesty of God. The people realised that God really was with them and so began, at last, to listen to Moses as he passed on to them the instructions he had received from God.
Jesus gives us two more parables which remind us that our faith is like a pearl of great price and we should value it just as much.
Thursday 3rd August: Thursday of the 17th week of the year.
The tablets of stone on which the details of the law were written are now put into a special tent or tabernacle and carried with the people wherever they went. The Lord guided the people on their journey.
Jesus gives another parable which talks of the separation of the good and the evil people at end of time.
Friday 4th August: Memorial of St. John Vianney.
This saintly man is regarded by most as the patron saint of priests who work in parishes. He was born of poor parents near Lyon in 1786. He received very little formal education. He eventually began his studies for the priesthood but found Latin very difficult. He persisted and was ordained in 1815. He was given charge of the obscure and somewhat backward parish of Ars where he remained for 42 years. However, in a short space of time, by his own personal witness and commitment, he had completely changed the whole moral and spiritual life of that small community. His fame spread and people came from all over France especially to go to confession. He died in 1859 and was canonised in 1925.
Saturday 5th August: Saturday of 17th week of the year.
The first reading is from the Book of Leviticus, the rules for the priests. One big festival was to be the jubilee celebration – every fifty years. During this festival, the people had to ensure that no wrong was done to any neighbour. This is the root of the Holy Years which are declared by the Pope in modern times, the last being in 2000.
Today we read of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. He stood by his principles and died as a result at the hands of a weak man and a selfish woman.