2nd Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Time of the Year. (B)
Weekdays – Year 1.
Sunday 18th January: Second Sunday of the Year. (B)
Now that the Christmas season is behind us and we are well into the New Year, the liturgy challenges us to reflect on what following Christ means.
The first reading, from the first Book of Samuel, describes God’s call to Samuel and how Samuel learns to answer it.
For the next five Sundays, the second reading is taken from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. This includes guidelines for a young, new vibrant Christian community. In this week’s passage, Paul gives explicit teaching on sexual morality. He reminds those who are baptised that they are part of the Body of Christ and so should lives that demonstrate this.
The Gospel, from St. John, describes the calling of the first of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew, John and Peter.
Monday 19th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
The first reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews, shows that Jesus has perfectly fulfilled the requirements of priesthood. He was appointed by God could understand human weakness. Above all, he offers prayer and entreaty ‘aloud and in silent tears’.
St. Mark, in this extract, shows how a new age has dawned with Jesus. Jesus is shown as placing no value on mere empty externals.
Tuesday 20th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
The author reminds his readers of the promises attaching to their good deeds and encourages them to persevere in the faith, ending, as always, on a note of hope.
In the Gospel, we hear of Jesus horror of hypocrisy. He points out the laws were made to serve people, not the people to serve the laws.
Wednesday 21st January: Memorial of St. Agnes.
When she was twelve years old, Agnes suffered martyrdom in Rome probably at the beginning of the fourth century under the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. The Pope decorated her tomb with sacred verses and many of the early Church Fathers, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, spoke of her with great praise.
Thursday 22nd January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
This passage is a definition of the priestly office of Jesus. It is not a shadow or a copy of something else but is unique, the very essence of priesthood.
Jesus is overwhelmed with the approach of all those looking for a cure. Again, faith is defined as the essential characteristic.
Friday 23rd January: Memorial of St. Francis of Sales.
Francis was born near Savoy, France, in 1567. As he grew up, he became very religious and wished to consecrate himself to God. His father was not keen on this but he persisted and after studying law at university, he began his studies for the priesthood and was ordained. He spent much of his time working as a missionary near Lake Geneva. At first, he met a lot of hostility but his determination and excellent preaching bought great numbers into the Church. Later he became a Bishop and was much in demand as a preacher all over France. He set himself to show that the lives of ordinary people who are not priests or religious could and should be made holy. He is patron saint of writers, editors and journalists.
Saturday 24th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
On the Day of Atonement, the Jewish High Priest entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood of animals inside. He then emerged and sprinkled the people. The people were thus purified and the bond re-established between them and God. Christ, by his death, enters the Father’s presence and from there he re-establishes the bond between God, lost by our sinfulness and us.
Jesus was under great pressure. Even his relatives misunderstood what he was about.