23rd Sunday of the Year (b)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 6th 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 also those who are blind to God’s ways, those who are deaf to his word.
Monday 7th September: Monday of the 23rd week of the year. St. Paul begins this passage in his letter to the Colossians with a new insight. The difficulties and sufferings endured by Paul help the Church to grow and deepen and he is in fact sharing in the suffering of Christ himself. Christ is not just for the Jews but for all.
The Gospel shows how the Pharisees twisted the Law of Moses regarding the Sabbath. Jesus challenges this by showing that he was doing good and saving life by his actions.
Tuesday 8th September: Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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.
Wednesday 9th September: Wednesday of the 23rd week of the year.
Paul passes on some very practical advice. The Colossians are to stay away from the wrong and sinful influences of the world around them. Life is to be modelled on Jesus and his example.
We have the first extract from the Sermon on the Mount in today’s Gospel. Jesus gives the basic requirements and recommendations for those who wish to follow him. He preaches the Beatitudes as the way by which his followers should live their lives.
Thursday 10th September: Thursday of the 23rd week of the year.
In yesterday’s section from the Letter to the Colossians Paul was warning against the wrong behaviour that could be seen in the lives of those around the Christian community, values and ideals which were to be avoided. Today’s section points in the direction of the qualities and ideals that should be the hallmark of the follower of Christ
Jesus stresses the standards he expects from those who follow him, some of which would challenge the expectations of those listening and watching. The rewards for these efforts will be a place in heaven.
Friday 11th September: Friday of the 23rd week of the year.
We move in to the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. Timothy was a convert who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey and remained in Ephesus when paul moved on. This letter to him is to give him advice on how to organise the community and also advice on his personal behaviour and outlook. Paul also stresses how the grace he had received from God helped him change from the persecutor of Jesus to the love of Jesus.
Jesus gives a strong warning about how we judge others. In looking at others too much we might miss the faults we have and which need to be corrected.
Saturday 12th September: Saturday of the 23rd week of the year.
Paul restates his main message – Jesus came to save all sinnersof whom he was the greatest. Mercy had also been shown to Timothy and now he must pass that on to others.
Jesus stresses the need for sincerity. If we don’t have good in our hearts how can we pass good on to others so we need to follow the example of the man who built his house on rock and have a good foundation in our lives and there is none stronger than Christ himself.
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.