21st Sunday of the Year (c)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 21st August: 21st Sunday of the Year. (c)
The first reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah. The vision is of the people of Israel returning from all over the world to the heart of their faith and belief – Jerusalem. It is a sign of salvation for all since it is people of every language and nation will witness God’s glory.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Hebrews and is the author’s attempt to tackle the age old question of suffering. He sees it as part of the human condition. He sees it as part of the way in which God moulds us into the people he wants us to be.
St. Luke, in the Gospel, reminds us that salvation cannot be taken for granted. It is a gift from God to those who respond and embark on the struggle to follow in his ways.
Monday 22nd August: Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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.
Tuesday 23rd August: Tuesday 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.
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 24th August: Feast of St. Bartholomew.
We know little about this apostle (sometimes referred to as Nathaniel) other than that he was numbered among the twelve. According to legend, he preached the Gospel in India and was martyred there but there is no real foundation for this. What is certain is that he was one of the chosen companions of Jesus and so is worthy of a special place in our devotion.
Thursday 25th August: Thursday of the 21st week of the year.
The first reading is from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. There was much worship of false gods there especially Venus. Paul had established a Christian community while on his second missionary journey. Now he responds to a question raised about false apostles who were preaching false doctrine. He reminds the Corinthians of the many blessings they have received from God.
Directing his words particularly to the leaders of the local community, Jesus reminds them that, at his coming, he should find them doing what they are supposed to be doing i.e. serving the community and not lording it over them.
Friday 26th August: Friday of the 21st week of the year.
St Paul is aware of how divided the Corinthians are and how easily swayed they are by false philosophies. He reminds them their salvation lies in Jesus who saved them by his death on the cross.
The main point of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins is to remind us to be always ready to respond to the call of the Lord. We do not know when he will call us.
Saturday 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.