18th Sunday of the Year (c)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 4th August: 18th Sunday of the Year. (c)
The first reading could be seen as a reflection on the vanity of human life. The author uses the example of people acquiring wealth only for it to be left to heirs when they die. The point being made by the author is that the things, which are meant to bring comfort and status in fact do not bring peace of mind or fulfilment. It is faith in God and an afterlife that brings about this.
The second reading from the Letter to the Colossians contains the same theme. It is a warning against materialism, greed and intolerance.
The Gospel, presents the parable of the rich fool, storing up wealth here on earth and is set in the context of Jesus’ teaching about the difficulties that possessions can bring when trying to follow Christ. St. Luke’s primary purpose is the decision we have to make between the fragile security of earthly wealth and the real riches of God’s Kingdom.
Monday 5th 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 6th August: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
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.
Wednesday 7th 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 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.
Friday 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.
Saturday 10th August: Feast of St. Lawrence.
Deacon Lawrence is one of the most heroic of the age of martyrs. He was a Spaniard called from Toledo to Rome. In 258, the Emperor Valerian began a fierce persecution of the Church. He had the Pope put to death. Lawrence was one of the Pope’s chief executives and had charge of the Church’s property. Knowing this would be confiscated by the Emperor, and that he himself would probably be captured and put to death, he devised a plan to distribute all the Church’s wealth to the poor of Rome. As a result, he was sentenced to a particularly cruel death being burned on a gridiron. His basilica is one of the seven major churches of Rome.
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.