18th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Cycle of the Year (a)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 3rd August: Eighteenth Sunday of the Year. (a)
The first reading contains an invitation from God to come to the source of life. The banquet stands for the life of love and friendship God wishes to share with his people.
St. Paul assures us in the second reading, that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. No matter the difficulties challenges and problems, we are certain that Christ loves us and does not leave to face them alone.
The miraculous feeding of the 5000 is a pointer towards the Eucharist. Jesus shows his compassion for the people by healing their sick and giving them food to drink.
Monday 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.
Tuesday 5th August: Tuesday of the 18th week of the year.
Things are not looking good for the people of Israel. They are in exile, in despair, without hope. They feel God has abandoned them. Jeremiah’s message is one of hope. The remnant will be saved and restored. A new people of Israel will arise and return to Jerusalem.
In the Gospel, Jesus, after feeding the five thousand takes time to be on his own to pray and reflect. However, in spite of the miracle he has worked, the disciples still lack faith in him when he appears to them walking on the water. Peter eventually makes his act of faith ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
Wednesday 6th August: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
This feast reminds us that, according to ancient tradition, the mystery of the transfiguration took place. It was there that three disciples – Peter, James and John – became witnesses to the power, the glory and the majesty of God. This was to strengthen their faith and prepare them for what lay ahead of them as disciples. Their faith would be severely tested especially by the Passion and Death of Jesus. This feast is an opportunity for us to renew our faith in Jesus, our crucified and risen Lord, in whose glory we hope one day to share.
Thursday 7th August: Thursday of the 18th week of the year.
This is the last section for a while from the Prophet Jeremiah. It is a message of hope. After their exile in Babylon is over, the Lord will make a new covenant with the people of Israel, one they must not break as they did with the old one.
The Gospel presents us with another test of faith, this time for the disciples themselves. It is Simon who speaks on their behalf and as a result of his profession of faith he becomes the leader of the disciples, the one on whom Christ will build the Church.
Friday 8th August: Memorial of St. Dominic.
Dominic was born in Castille in Spain in 1170. He studied for the priesthood and, when he was 46, Pope Honorius entrusted to him and his companions the mission to preach the Word of God to combat heresy that was rampant at the time. This was the beginning of the Dominican order. They worked from smaller houses rather than traditional monasteries and combined a life of study and contemplation. Dominic died in 1221.
Saturday 9th August: Feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
Born in 1891 in Germany, Edith Stein was the eleventh child of a Jewish family. Initially she opted for atheism but gradually she came to realise she wished to become a catholic and was baptised on January 1st in 1922. She joined the Carmelites in Cologne in 1933 before moving to Holland to be with her sisters. She was arrested by the Germans in August 1942 and gassed in Auschwitz on August 9th. She was canonised by Pope John Paul in 1998. She left behind a legacy of deeply spiritual writings which reflected her own deep faith and wish to identify her life with that of the suffering Christ.
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.