22nd Sunday of the Year (c)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 1st September: 22nd Sunday of the Year. (c) The first reading is from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. It sets the theme of today’s Mass – humility. The author praises the humble person as one who will find favour with God. The second reading continues the extracts from the Letter to the Hebrews.It links two Mounts – Mount Sinai and Mount Zion. The first was where Israel encountered God in anj awesome and terrifying event which stressed the gap between God and his people. The second stands for the heavenly Jerusalem, the ultimate destination of every follower of Christ. The Gospel passage links with the theme of humility. Jesus challenges his listeners and through them us as to how we live out our lives. Humility should be one of the pillars on which our lives are built. St. Augustine, whose feast we celebrated last week said ‘If you ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility and the third is humility.’
Monday 2nd September: 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 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.
Wednesday 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.
Thursday 5th September: Thursday of 22nd week of the year. Paul prays for the Colossians. He asks that their faith grow and deepen. He asks that they be strengthened by the power of God and grow in his love and in the love of each other. Jesus uses the miracle of the great catch of fish to teach the disciples about how they must draw people into the net of God’s love.
Friday 6th September: Friday of the 22nd week of the year. Paul talks of the nature of Jesus and does so in a powerful him of praise. He stresses that the Church is now his body. The Pharisees try to catch Jesus out again. They challenge Jesus eating with those they regarded as sinners and undesirables. He defends himself by pointing out that his new kingdom is one which offers mercy and forgiveness to all. Saturday 7th
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 for them.
Lord our God
You have called Leo your servant
as bishop and pastor of your Church
in St Andrews and Edinburgh.
May he keep watch over the whole flock
to which the Holy Spirit has appointed him as shepherd,
preaching the word of God with unfailing patience and sound teaching
so that with faith and love he protects the bride of God, his holy Church.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen