18th Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 2ndAugust: Eighteenth Sunday of the Year (b)
The first reading is from the Book of Exodus. The people are complaining about their lack of food and the fact they seem to be lost in the desert. God sends them manna from heaven as a sign that he has not abandoned the.
St. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, urges them to to come closer to Christ and leave behind their old way of life.
The Gospel, from St. John, tells of Jesus revealing himself as the bread from heaven, who meets our deepest longings and hungers.
Monday 3rd August: Monday in the 18th week of the Year.
This week we move on to the Book of Numbers for our first reading. We follow the history of the people of Israel in the desert. The people are still complaining about having no food and Moses feels they are blaming him for their predicament. He turns to God for help.
In the Gospel we hear of Jesus’ disappointment at Peter’s lack of faith. Along with the other disciples they had shown they did not completely trust him and recognise him for who he was. He continues to stress the need for faith.
Tuesday 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.
Wednesday 5th August: Wednesday in the 18th week of the Year.
Moses has to put up with more complaining from the people. Those who had been travelling ahead as scouts come back with fearful stories of the Canaanites. The complaints against Moses pile up. Because of their failure to trust in God, they would spend more time in the desert (forty years), as a result, building up their faith and loyalty. This meant that none of those who left Egypt ever entered the Promised Land.
We are given another great example of faith in today’s Gospel. The Samaritan woman persuades Jesus to heal her daughter even though she is not of the House of Israel. Jesus’ healing power is not restricted but is for all.
Thursday 6th August: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. (b)
The Transfiguration of the Lord is always celebrated on 6th August each year and it is one of the few feasts which are celebrated even on a Sunday. It is also the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945. So perhaps today more than ever we need to pray for peace in our world especially in the Middle East where so many innocent people are being killed each day while world governments stand by and watch.
The first reading is from the Prophet Daniel and has been seen by the Church as referring to Jesus whose glory was seen at the Transfiguration.
The second reading is from the 2nd Letter of St. Peter. He was privileged to be present at the Transfiguration and uses this fact to call for a genuine renewal of faith.
The Gospel presents St. Mark’s account of the events of the Transfiguration. He explains it in terms of Jesus being the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets. The whole incident is meant to prepare the disciples for the struggles they will face as disciples in the days that lie ahead of them.
Friday 7th August: Friday in the 18th week of the Year.
We move on to the Book of Deuteronomy, which contains many of the discourses of Moses. It is the fifth and final book of what is called the Pentateuch. The People of Israel have been influenced by the gods of the Egyptians and Moses is trying to move away from that influence and believe in the one true God. He reminds them of the wonders the Lord has worked for them and of the commandments they had been given. The first is that they should love God.
To be a disciple, to be a follower of Jesus will result in suffering and hardship at times. Jesus reminds us of this and reminds us that we will not have to face this alone.
Saturday 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.
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.