19th Sunday of the Year (b)
Sunday 12th August: 19th Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading is from the First Book of Kings. Tired of being God’s voice to a people that does not listen, Elijah is on the verge of a breakdown. Through and angel, God gives him food to march 40 days to encounter God and to receive from him new strength for his mission as a prophet.
The second reading is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians. A follower of Christ, he reminds us, must be loving and forgiving, like Christ, who sacrificed himself for us. In the Eucharist, he can give us strength to follow him.
The Gospel passage is from St. John’s Gospel. Just as we need bread or food to live, so we also need bread for eternal life. Jesus is that bread for the life of the world.
Monday 13th August: Monday of 19th week of the year.
Having listened to Isaiah, Jeremiah we now turn to Ezekiel considered as the third of the major prophets. He lived in the period when Jerusalem was destroyed and he was one of those sent in to exile in Babylon. Today we hear part of the great vision which he received when he was called to be a prophet.
The Gospel passage tells of Jesus reminding us we cannot ignore civil authority in our lives. If it is right and just we have to respond to it and obey – even to paying taxes !
Tuesday 14th August: Memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Maximilian Kolbe was born near Lodz in Poland in 1894. He had a great devotion to Our Lady and, after he was ordained, he founded a number of Marian communities and issued Marian magazines. During the war, he was imprisoned in the concentration camp at Auschwitz and there offered to take the place of a married man who was condemned to die. He was starved to death in 1941. He was canonised by Pope John Paul ll in 1982.
Wednesday 15th August: Solemnity of the Assumption.
After her life on earth was over, Our Lady died but immediately her body was assumed into heaven so that it did not undergo corruption. This feast has been described as Our Lady’s Easter since we celebrate not only her passing from this life but also her resurrection and ascension into the glory of heaven. Pope Pius XII officially promulgated this dogma of the Church on 1st November 1950.
Thursday 16th August: Thursday of 19th week of the year.
In a very expressive and symbolic action, Ezekiel shows how the king and most of the people will have to go into exile because they remain rebellious against God but will eventually be restored to become the People of God.
Jesus used the parable of the unjust steward to remind us to be on guard against double standards and hypocrisy. We should be understanding and forgiving by nature. We should mirror the loving forgiveness of the Father towards us.
Friday 17th August: Friday of the 19th week of the year.
Ezekiel gives a grim reminder of how the chosen people have fallen. He reminds the people of how much God loves them in spite of their infidelity.
Jesus redefines the law of marriage – what God has joined together let no-one put asunder. The love of husband and wife is an image of God’s love for all people.
Saturday 18th August: Saturday of the 19th week of the year.
Ezekiel reminds the people that each person is individually responsible for the good or evil that we do. Again, he calls them to repentance so that they might live their lives to the full, as God would want them to.
Jesus holds up a child as a model of openness to God and the good news of Jesus. We are called to imitate children in this way.
Lord our God,
May your Son, Jesus, sustain us on our journey.
Keep us from discouragement,
Give us courage to make him visible
In our words and in our deeds.
Let him lead us to the mountain.
Where you live as our God
For ever and ever.