22nd Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 30th August: 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 31st August: Monday of the 22nd week of the year.
Because many of the Thessalonians thought that the second coming of Christ was imminent, there was confused thinking about those who had died before it happened. Paul assures them that all who die in Christ will share in the Resurrection and so be with God forever.
For the rest of the year we revert to St. Luke’s Gospel. We begin at the point where Jesus is about to launch his public mission but is sad because he cannot do this in his home town. The people cannot or will not believe in him and in his teaching.
Tuesday 1st September: Tuesday of the 22nd week of the year.
The Thessalonians expected Paul to tell them when the second coming of Christ would be. They expected it to be soon. In this last section of his letter, Paul stresses that no one knows when this will happen. In any case, we should be living our lives in such a way that it does not matter. We are to be ready at all times.
The Gospel readings come from St. Luke. We begin with a section recounting events near the beginning of Jesus’ public mission. He is disappointed at the lack of faith in his own neighbourhood but is amazed at what he finds when he moves away. The people listen and are drawn to his teaching.
Wednesday 2nd September: Wednesday of the 22nd week of the year.
The first reading comes from the Letter to the Colossians. Colossae was a key town on the trade route from Ephesus. Paul is writing to combat some heresies that have sprung up in the town. As usual, he opens the letter by acknowledging the faith of the people.
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 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.
Friday 4th September: Memorial of St. Cuthbert.
Today is also 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.
Saturday 5th September: Saturday of the 22nd week of the year.
Paul reminds the Colossians of their old way of life. They must turn away from this now since they have been reconciled by Jesus’ suffering and death. They have to be on guard against temptation.
The Gospel continues the theme from yesterday’s passage where the Pharisees had been trying again to catch Jesus out. He reminds them that the Sabbath is made for the people not the other way round.
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.