21st Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 24th August: Twenty-First Sunday of the Year. (a)
The first reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. It tells how Shebna, the master of the palace, has feathered his own nest, looking for fame and comfort rather than serving the Lord. Now he is to be dismissed from high office and replaced by Eliakim who will be a true servant.
In the second reading St. Paul, writing to the Romans, warns us not to presume that we can understand the mystery of God. He is beyond our abilities.
The Gospel contains St. Peter’s declaration of faith in Jesus and Jesus’ promise to make him the rock on which he will build his Church.
Monday 25th August: Monday of the 21st week of the year.
We leave the Old Testament behind and turn to St. Paul’s second Letter to the Thessalonians where he arrived as part of his second missionary journey. He spent time preaching about Jesus as the long awaited Messiah to the people there but was persecuted and had to move on. The letters were written to comfort the people and to clear up some points of doctrine for them. In particular, they were anxious about the second coming of Jesus. Paul encourages them to carry on doing what they were doing and then it won’t really matter.
In the Gospel Jesus attacks one of his greatest dislikes – hypocrisy especially among those who were the leaders of the community. They were making things very difficult for the people but were not following their own teaching in their personal lives.
Tuesday 26th August: Tuesday of the 21st week of the year.
St. Paul continues to encourage and support the Thessalonians. Don’t believe what you are hearing about the second coming. Be true to what you have been taught, he tells them.
Jesus continues his criticism of the hypocrisy shown in the lives of the leaders of the people. They are not putting into practice what they preach. They are spending too much time on the externals and neglecting the conversion of heart needed for the true follower of Christ.
Wednesday 27th August: Memorial of St. Monica.
St. Monica was born in Northern Africa about the year 331. What we know of her is drawn from the writings of her son, St. Augustine. She prayed constantly for the conversion of her son from the unholy life he was leading and a few months before she died, he was baptised. Her commitment and perseverance are models for us all in the life of prayer. She is regarded as the Patron Saint of Mothers.
Thursday 28th August: Memorial of St. Augustine.
St. Augustine was a great philosopher, theologian, orator, pastor and man of God. We know a great deal about him from his own writing especially from his ‘Confessions.’ He talks about his search for meaning to life and all the difficulties he encountered before his final conversion and total commitment to Jesus. He was born in 354 and died in 430 and is regarded as one of the greatest fathers of the Church.
Friday 29th August: Friday of the Passion of John the Baptist.
This feast has its origin in Samaria where the Baptist’s skull was venerated in the fourth century. It became part of the universal calendar in the seventh century. St. John is unique in that he is honoured with two feast days – his birth and his death.
Saturday 30th August: Saturday of the 21st week of the year.
St. Paul continues his argument against relying totally on human reason. He chooses the weak, in human terms, to speak for him. And so the weak become great in the eyes of God.
Today we hear another famous parable. We are reminded that we are all given talents in life. They are to be used for the greater glory of God.
Lord our God,
In response to your love,
We have chosen you at baptism
As the God of our lives.
In the strength of this Eucharist
Help us renew,
Day after day,
This commitment to you and your kingdom.
Let your Son build up with us
A community of peace and service
And when it is slow in coming
Reassure us that, in your own good time,
The seeds will bear fruit that lasts
Forever and ever.