18th Sunday of the Year (c)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 31st July: 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 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.
Tuesday 2nd August: Tuesday in 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 3rd August : Wednesday in the 18th week of the year.
In the first reading, Jeremiah continues his message of hope for the people of Israel who are in exile in Babylon. He promises them that they are not forgotten and that the Lord will restore them because they have sought and found pardon for their faults and failings.
In the Gospel, another example of faith is put before us. A Canaanite woman approaches Jesus much to the embarrassment of the apostles who want to send her away but Jesus in a way tests her faith and then grants her wish.
Thursday 4th August: Memorial of St. John Mary 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.
Friday 5th August: Friday in 18th week of the Year
We move on to another prophet in the first reading – the prophet Nahum who lived At the same time of Jeremiah’s final years. He stresses the justice and mercy of God who will always come to the help of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Jesus highlights to his followers that it will not be an easy road they are asked to follow. It will require hard work, suffering and hardship.
Saturday 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 the
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.