17th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 27th 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 28th July: Monday of the 17th week of the year.
Jeremiah was uncomfortable in his role as a prophet. In spite of this and because of the promise he had made to God. Today we hear part of a prayer, on behalf of the people, begging God to come and rescue them.
In the Gospel, Jesus explains the parable of the good seeds and the weeds. In nature they grow together until they are harvested and then separated. Judgement day will see good and evil people separated.
Tuesday 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.
Wednesday 30th July: Wednesday of the 17th week of the year.
Jeremiah is anxious because he is receiving a lot of opposition from the people. They don’t like his message. Often he feels that even the Lord has abandoned him. He is comforted by God reminding him that he will stand by him and delieer him from those who are his enemies.
We hear more parables today. If we really appreciated and valued the word of God, we would be prepared to pay a big price, make a huge sacrifice to ensure it is being nurtured.
Thursday 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.
Friday 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.
Saturday 2nd August: Saturday of 17th week of the year.
Jeremiah has a lucky escape. He continues to preach a message that is very unpopular because he believed he was doing God’s work Rooted in prayer, he believes all things are therefore possible even when the odds seem stacked against him.
We move away from the parables today and hear about the fate of John the Baptist who remained loyal to his mission of preparing the people to welcome the Messiah even though it was unpopular.
Lord our God,
By the power of Jesus our Transfigured Lord,
You call us to transform the world in which we live and move and have our being in the image of Jesus your Son.
Commit us to Justice and Love
That we might play our part in transforming this harsh and cold world
Into a sign and token
That you are with us.
We ask this through
Christ our Lord.