23rd Sunday of the Year (b)

Sunday 9th September:                    23rd Sunday of the Year.  (B)

We live in an era of communications explosion.  Yet many still live in isolation.  The personal relationship aspect of people’s lives is diminishing in face of the onslaught of information. We need to learn to open our ears again to hear wjhat is being said and to hear what God is saying to us.  We need to speak to one another, person to person not through emails and texts.

The first reading is from the Prophet Isaiah. To a people, deaf and blind to God and his word, Isaiah promises that when the Messiah comes they will see and hear and become renewed.

The second reading is from the Letter of St. James. It is a contradiction and betrayal of the message of Jesus to honour the rich and humiliate the poor.  This had been happening at religious services.  We are all equal in God’s eyes.  He has no favourites.

Through Jesus healing ministry, the deaf hear and the dumb speak – not just those who are literally deaf and dumb but those who are blind to God’s ways, those who are deaf to his word.

Monday 10th September:       Monday of the 23rd week of the year.      

St.   Paul turns to another failing of the Corinthians.  He warns them against mixing with people of low moral standards because they can be influenced by them to live lives at odds with the teaching they have received.

The Gospel gives us another example of how the Pharisees twisted the Law of Moses about the Sabbath. Jesus shows he is doing good by healing the man’s hand.  The passage highlights the nature of true religion and stresses the need to avoid making institutions more important than the will of God.

Tuesday 11th September:       Tuesday of the 23rd week of the year.

Paul continues his correction of the faults of the people at Corinth. He stresses that when disputes are not settled out of court then love has died and Christians have ceased to be Christian.

The Gospel stresses the need for prayer. It is only be spending time alone in prayer that Jesus chooses the apostles.  Then he takes them with him so that learn from him as he teaches, heals and forgives people on his journey.

Wednesday 12th September:   Wednesday of the 23rd week of the year.

St. Paul, in this section of his Letter to the Corinthians, is responding to questions raised as a result of the early Christian believing the second coming was imminent. That is why Paul suggests celibacy for those not already married and those who are married to be faithful to the commitment they have made.

Jesus is talking about the requirements or characteristics of being one of those who follow him.  It will not be an easy road.

Thursday 13th September:     Memorial of St. John Chrysostom.

John was born in Antioch in 347.  He gained a reputation as a powerful preacher.  His name means ‘Golden Mouth.’  According to the custom of the time, he was not baptised until he was about twenty.  He was a hermit for a number of years before becoming a priest.  In 398, he became Archbishop of Constantinople and worked very hard for the poor and for the reform of his clergy.  He denounced abuse wherever he found it, including the court of the Emperor.  As a result, he was banished and died in exile in 407.

Friday 14th September:           Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.

This feast has its origin in Jerusalem, where from the fifth century the wood of the true cross used to be shown to the people the day after the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of the Resurrection.  It was celebrated in Rome by the seventh century and stresses the victory and triumph of the cross of Christ.

Saturday 15th September:      Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.

           Within the octave of the feast of the birth of Our Lady, we commemorate her sorrows, above all the sorrow of witnessing her son’s death and resurrection on the cross.  This feast was first celebrated in the seventeenth century by the members of the Servite Order.

Father, in your Son Jesus Christ

You have chosen what is poor and weak in this world

To be rich in faith and love and to be heirs to your kingdom.

Speak through us

Deeds of mercy and hope

For you have healed and freed us all.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.