20th Sunday of Year (b)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 16th August: 20th Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading is from the Book of Proverbs. Wisdom is described in terms of a banquet. Christians see this as a foreshadowing of the Eucharistic banquet to which we are all invited.
In the second reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul tells the followers of Christ to give good example and to bless and thank God for the many blessings they have received.
The Gospel passage, from St. John’s Gospel, contains Jesus’ great promise of eternal life to those who eat his body and drink his blood in the Eucharist.
Monday 17th August: Monday in the 20th Week of the Year.
We move to the Book of Judges. These were the de facto leaders of the People of Israel at this stage in their history. They tried to help the people remain loyal to teachings and directions of Moses and Joshua but with limited success. Many of the false gods of the neighbouring peoples were more appealing to the people so they left the God of Israel.
The Gospel passage again reminds us of the tension and the temptations of material things which can draw us away from the following of Christ.
Tuesday 18th August: Tuesday in the 20th Week of the Year.
Gideon is the Judge we read about today. He tried to save the people from their enemies – this had been allowed because they had turned their back on God and the promises they had made. Gideon was convinced he had spoken to a messenger from God.
Jesus continues his teaching on the difficulties caused by material possessions and about how they can obstruct and damage our relationship with him.
Wednesday 17th August: Wednesday of the 20th week of the year.
For their early years in the Promised Land, the people claimed that their only king would be God. No one was to claim kingship for himself and the Judges constantly reminded their people about this.
Jesus uses the parable of the landowner and the vineyard workers to stress how his love and generosity is for all people of all time who accept him as Lord and Saviour.
Thursday 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
Friday 21st August: Memorial 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.
Saturday 22nd August: Memorial of the Queenship of Our 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.
God our Father, we thank you
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.