26th Sunday of the Year (a)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 1st October: Twenty-Sixth Sunday of the Year. (a)
The first reading is from the Prophet Ezekiel. He insists, in the name of God, on personal responsibility for the good or evil we do. God seeks to forgive us and wants us to live in his love.
St. Paul, in the second reading, reminds us that we must have the same fundamental disposition as Our Lord. We are called to be humble and self-effacing before God and people.
The self-righteous leaders of the people reject Jesus and his teaching and also reject and condemn sinners. The sinners, however, are the ones who welcome Jesus and are converted. Who does the will of God? With whom do we identify?
Monday 2nd October: Monday in 26th week of the year.
Zechariah gives a series of oracles. They were to encourage the small group (the remnant) who had come home from the exile. The day would come when Jerusalem would be restored to her former glory and the people would be once again God’s people and he their God.
Jesus responds to a question – ‘who is the greatest?’ His reply shocks his listeners. True greatness is found in the simplicity of a child.
Tuesday 3rd October: Tuesday in 26th week of the year.
Today we have two more oracles from Zechariah. Jerusalem will become the city which draws all people to itself to find the presence of God and grow in the realisation that God is with them.
In the Gospel, we hear how the disciples still have a lot to learn especially the need to prepare for rejection when they moved out without Jesus to carry on his mission.
Wednesday 4th October: Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi.
Francis was born in 1181. He lived a very lavish life until he was about twenty. He was captured by soldiers from a neighbouring city and held prisoner for over a year. He then took on the Christian life despite severe opposition from his father. In 1208, while praying in the church of the Portiuncula, he felt called personally by God to leave all things and follow him. He put on the garment, which we now know as the Franciscan habit. Others joined him and so the Franciscan Order came into being, living vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. In 1224, Francis received the stigmata. He is also credited with building the first crib to help the people understand the story of the birth of Jesus. He was a man of generosity, simplicity and devotion to God. He died in 1226.
Thursday 5th October: Thursday in 26th week of the year.
Due to the Feast Days at the start of the week we missed the beginning of Book of Nehemiah. He was a taster for the Persian King. He had to taste the wine to make sure it was not poisoned. He used this position of trust to beg the King to allow him to return to Jerusalem and help rebuild it. The King agreed to his request and so he returns and immerses himself in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem as well as the community. He becomes the governor of Jerusalem and sets about rebuilding the walls of the city. Ezra proclaims the Law and a great feast takes place.
The numbers of people following Jesus had grown quite considerably. He had sent out the apostles and now he challenges the disciples about their commitment to him.
Friday 6th October: Friday in 26th week of the year.
We have missed the opening sections of the Book of Job but now we pick it up as we hear God’s response to all Job’s questions and to his despair. Job realises how insignificant he is in the sight of the whole of creation and how small minded he has been and awesome is the power of God.
Yesterday we were told what the disciples were to do if they were refused welcome in any town. Now we hear Jesus condemns the towns that have closed their ears to his message.
Saturday 7th October: Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.
This feast was instituted by Pope Saint Pius V, in thanksgiving, on the anniversary of the battle of Lepanto in 1571. It was claimed that the Christians were victorious over the Turks because they had prayer the Rosary on the eve of the battle and invoked Our Lady’s help.
The feast is reminder to each one of us to use the prayer of the rosary as a means of reflecting on the life of Jesus and of drawing closer to him and each other as a result.