24th Sunday of the Year (b)
Sunday 16th September: 24th Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading today is from the third song of the suffering servant in Isaiah. The prophet expresses his trust in God. He and God’s people suffer but he is sure God is with him and will bring justice.
In the second reading, from the Letter of St. James, he stresses that he knows a person is saved by faith. However he reminds us that faith must be visible in the good works of those who bear the name Christian.
In the Gospel, Peter recognises Jesus as the promised saviour He has difficulty in accepting that win life for us, Jesus must suffer and die. Likewise, his followers will face suffering and challenges in their lives as they try to follow the example of Jesus.
Monday 17th September: Monday of the 24th week of the year.
St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, reminds them of the respect they should show when the gather for the Lord’s Supper. This section is part of the letter where he is reflecting on various aspects of the unity of the Church which is being threatened by various factions building up.
The attitude of the centurion in the Gospel passage is put there as an example of faith. Jesus has been searching for signs of faith amongst the people and for the openness that the centurion possessed. The centurion’s words of humility are a model for us all.
Tuesday 18th September: Tuesday of the 24th week of the year.
St. Paul used the image of the human body to illustrate how the body of Christ should function. Each part has a unique role to play, working together for the good of the whole. Each person has different gifts but we all share the one spirit.
The raising of the widow’s son at Nain points to the compassion of Jesus. It is also a sign that God has visited his people.
Wednesday 19th September: Wednesday of the 24th week of the year.
Today we have one of the greatest and most familiar passages from St. Paul’s writings. It is his great hymn to love. He reminds us to be ‘ambitious for the higher gifts.’
Despite having worked two miracles in their presence, many of his listeners still do not believe. Jesus criticises them for their lack of faith and understanding. No matter what good a person does, people still find fault, still find reasons to criticise.
Thursday 20th September: Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-Gon & Companions.
The Gospel was brought to Korea as early as the beginning of the seventeenth century by a group of committed lay people. At first, they were without priests but eventually French missionaries arrived. 103 members of this Christian community were among the martyrs as well as three bishops and seven priests. The persecution took place between 1839 and 1867. Andrew Kim was the first priest to be martyred and Paul Chong the first lay apostle. Pope John Paul II canonised the group when he went to Korea in 1984.
Friday 21st September: Feast of St. Matthew.
Matthew was a tax collector, one of the most despised jobs in Israel. The Gospel today tells us of his call to follow Christ. He acknowledged is sinfulness and repented. He is the author of the first of the Gospels that was written in Aramaic. Later accounts state that Matthew evangelised Persia and probably Ethiopia. He was martyred there and his remains were eventually transferred to Salerno in the tenth century.
Saturday 22nd September: Saturday of the 24th week of the year.
We come to the last reading from the New Testament for the time being. Paul is talking about the Resurrection and we will be new types of being. The call is to be with God and see him face to face.
Jesus uses a familiar parable – that of the seed falling on different kinds of ground to teach about his word and how it has to bear fruit but only if the ground on which it falls – us – is prepared and ready.
Send us out into our world
To help bear one another’s crosses
And to share one another’s joys
So that we may not simply admire your Son
For having born his cross, suffered and died for us,
But follow him on the road that leads to life and glory
We ask this
Through Christ our Lord.