22nd Sunday of the Year (b)

Sunday 2nd  September:                   22nd Sunday of the Year.  (B)

The first reading is from the Book of Deuteronomy.  Moses reminds the people of Israel to remain faithful to God’s law. By observing it and keeping it, they will retain possession of the Promised Land and will live in God’s presence.

The second reading is from the Letter of St. James. This will be the case for the next five Sundays and each week we will hear from a collection of popular moral teachings, similar in style to the Sermon on the Mount. The faith is explained in a very easy, down to earth way.

Having read from St. John’s Gospel for the past few weeks, we now take up the extracts from St. Mark’s Gospel.  Today, we hear how Jesus reminded the religious leaders that what’s inside people is more important than externals and empty ritual.

Monday 3rd  September:        Memorial of St. Gregory the Great

Gregory was born in 540 and came from an educated family in Rome.  He lived in the sixth century and died in 604.  Rome was under attack by barbarians.  There were plagues and earthquakes.  When his father died, Gregory distributed his estate among the poor of Rome and turned the family home into a monastery.  He became a deacon, serving the Pope and became his emissary.  When he became Pope he made sure everyone was treated with Justice.  He took as one of his titles ‘the servant of the servants of God.’  Gregorian chant dates back to him, as does the calendar we use today.  He is regarded as the Apostle of the English and sent St. Augustine of Canterbury to England to bring about its conversion.

Tuesday 4th September:                   Memorial of St. Cuthbert.    

Today is the Feast of St. Cuthbert, the patron saint of our parish.  He was born in 635 and entered the monastery in Melrose when he was 17.  He became known as a preacher and teacher and travelled around the borders and northeast England.  He settled in Lindisfarne (Holy Island) but spent time on Inner Farne, living as a hermit.  He became Bishop if Hexham but was unhappy in this role and returned to Lindisfarne where he died.  Initially he was buried there but because of the fear of his grave being vandalised, the monks moved his body.  His final resting place is Durham Cathedral. 

Wednesday 5th September:    Wednesday of the 22nd week of the year.

Paul now criticises the Corinthians for their behaviour, like people with no faith.  They are dividing themselves into factions each following different teachers.  He reminds them that they must be for Christ.

Jesus has made a great impact in the area around Capernaum.  He uses to teach the apostles that they, too, will have to proclaim the Good News in other areas and towns also.

Thursday 6th September:       Thursday of the 22nd week of the year.

Paul reminds the Corinthians that, to God, the things of this world, the wisdom of this world, is foolishness. He is not convinced by the merely human arguments he hears.

Jesus uses the miracle of the great catch of fish to teach the disciples about trust.  By trusting in him, they caught the fish; by trusting in him, they will bring many people to the Kingdom of God.

Friday 7th September:   Friday of the 22nd week of the year.

St Paul continues to try and encourage and inspire the Corinthians in their faith and in witnessing to Christ.  He reminds them that they are entrusted, as stewards, with the mysteries of God to be passed on through what they say and what they do. He prays that they will be found worthy of that trust.

The Pharisees and the Scribes continue their campaign to trap Jesus and bring him down.  Jesus is aware of their scheming and challenges them by drawing the parallel between what is old and what is new and how they can be mixed or not.

Saturday 8th September:        Feast of the Birthday of Our Lady.

          We know very little of the early life of Our Lady.  Traditionally, we believe that her father and mother were Joachim and Anna.  Today’s feast is a feast of Eastern origin and was first celebrated in Jerusalem in the 5th century and introduced to Rome in the 7th.

In this week of the Feast of St. Cuthbert (4th September)

Let us ask God’s blessing on the people of our Parish that they continue to grow in love of God and each other.

Let us also remember the priests and people of the Parish who served the parish so faithfully and have died and gone to their eternal reward.

May they rest in peace.

St. Cuthbert, pray for us and them.