17th Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 26th July: Seventeenth Sunday of the Year. (B)
Who are we in the eyes of God ? What can God do for us ? After all, we are no more than little people in a vast world. Today’s Liturgy shows us that God can do a great deal through us and with the little we have to offer. If we put our time and talents at his disposal, he can turn them into blessings for many.
The first reading is from the second Book of Kings. In a time of famine, the prophet Elisha orders bread destined for a religious offering to be given to the hungry poor. As there is not enough, God sees to it that there is more than sufficient to satisfy everyone.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Ephesians. Paul encourages the Christian community to be one and avoid disputes and factions.
The Gospel, from St. John’s Gospel, presents Jesus revealing himself to us as the giver of bread to the hungry. He will use this sign later to reveal himself as the bread of life in the eucharist.
Monday 27th July: Monday of the 17th week of the year.
Last week, in the course of the first readings, we heard abaout Moses still trying to form the people into the People of God. God had given him the commandments. Now Moses comes down from the mountain only to find that the people have reverted to their old ways, worshipping false gods and idols. They try to make excuses and in the end, Moses pleads with God for forgiveness for them.
Jesus continues with another parable in the Gospel. The Kingdom of God may begin as something small and insignificant but it will grow eventually and have a lhuge influence on the workld and its peoples.
Tuesday 28th July: Tuesday of the 17th week of the year.
Moses was still trying to follow out God’s commands and form the People of Israel into the People of God. The Tent we read about was a sign of God’s presence as the one true God in their midst.. They can see Moses in dialogue with God on their behalf because they were still rebellious. He pleads for forgiveness.
Jesus explains a parable he had told earlier. It is another message to say that theyre will always be an opportunity to repent and turn to God’s ways.
Wednesday 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.
Thursday 30th 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 31st July: 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 1st August: Saturday of the 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 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. He stood by his principles and died as a result at the hands of a weak man and a selfish woman.
We give you thanks, loving Father,
For giving us Jesus your son
As our food on the road to you and one another.
Give us the will and the strength
To bring to a hungry world food
And a fair share in the riches of the earth.
Help us also to break the bread
Of dignity and hope for all.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.