20th Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 17th August: Twentieth Sunday of the Year. (a)
The theme of the first reading and the Gospel today is that of openness and inclusiveness.
The first reading from the Prophet Isaiah reminds us and teaches us that God’s house is open to all those who worship with sincerity in their hearts. No one should feel excluded or be excluded because they are different in any way.
St. Paul, writing to the Romans, reminds us that God never takes back his gifts. Our sinfulness and disobedience can be changed when we accept God’s mercy.
In the Gospel, we hear of the pagan woman, a Canaanite, the sworn enemies of the Jewish people, who had extraordinary faith In Jesus and how that faith was rewarded.
Monday 18th August: Monday of the 20th week of the year
Ezekiel uses his own experience to teach about the exile. He talks about the death of his wife and the sense of loss. So with the people of Israel who will lose everything as they go into exile.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches reminds us how easy it is for material possessions to become an obstacle to God working in our lives and how important it is that we have right attitude to them.
Tuesday 19th August: Tuesday of the 20th week of the year.
Ezekiel is now in Babylon with the people who have been exiled. He tries through his teaching to bring hope to them in their darkness. He also warns the Jews about following the example of the surrounding countries and turn away from God because of what has happened to them,
Jesus continues his teaching on the difficulties caused by material possessions and about how they can obstruct and damage our relationship with him.
Wednesday 20th August: Memorial of St. Bernard.
Bernard was born in 1090 near Dijon in France. At the age of 22, he entered the Cistercian monastery of Citeaux along with 30 of his friends. He was eventually chosen as Abbot of a new foundation in Clairvaux where he led a life of intense prayer. He was still able to respond to requests for help and advice from Popes and Kings as well as attend Councils of the Church. He died in 1153
Thursday 21st August: Memorial of St. Pius X.
According to Baron von Pastor, a Papal historian Pius X (born as Joseph Sarto)”was one of those chosen few men whose personality is irrestible. Everyone was moved by his simplicity and his angelic kindness. Yet it was something more that carried him into all hearts; and that something is best defined by saying that all who were ever admitted to his presence had a deep conviction of being face to face with a saint.” His declared aim when he became Pope was ‘to renew all things in Christ.’ One of the liturgical reforms he introduced and encouraged was the frequent of Holy Communion. He also had a deep sense of social justice and his charities were immense. He died in 1914 just after the outbreak of World War 1.
Friday 22nd August: Memorial of the Queenship of Our Blessed Lady.
Pope Pius XII instituted this feast in 1955, originally on 31st May. It was moved to be closer to the Feast of the Assumption to stress the fact that it is precisely because she has been taken body and soul into heaven that Our Lady can exercise her role as Mother and as Queen.
Saturday 23rd August: Saturday of the 20th week of the year.
This is the last extract from the Prophet Ezekiel. Again the promise of the return of the remnant from exile to Israel is made. The Temple would be rebuilt, the glory of God would remain and the people would once again live as God’s chosen people praising and glorifying him for all he had done.
The Pharisees are taken to task for interpreting the law in such a way that it has become a burden; they have made it more important than the people. They have become hypocrites and have not practiced what they have been preaching.
For nourishing us on the way to you
With the true bread and drink of life, your son, Jesus Christ.
In this and in every eucharist,
Let him take flesh again in us
That we may do for one another what he has done for us,
That we may be present to one another
As he is present and available to us
And that, with him, we may live your life
Now and for ever.