30th Sunday of the Year (b)
Sunday 28th October: 30th Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah. It presents a vision of a time when all God’s people are gathered together, with everyone sharing the gift of new sight. It tells of what God can and will do for his people.
The second reading is from the Letter to the Hebrews. We are reminded that while Christ is our High Priest, he also knows our weaknesses. He understands our human condition because he is one like us in all things but sin.
The Gospel passage, from St. Mark, tells how Jesus responds to the plea of the blind man, Bartimaeus, by restoring his sight. He stands for all those who are spiritually blind and whose lives lack direction. Through faith this can be changed and people can have a new sense of purpose, energy and direction in their lives.
Monday 29th October: Monday of the 30th week of the year.
St. Paul sets very high standards for those who read his words. They are called to be imitators of God. The followers of Christ were to set new standards in a world which living by immoral standards.
Again, we are presented with a scene showing the healing power of Jesus – both in physical and spiritual terms. It is paralleled by the hypocrisy of the synagogue official which is condemned by Jesus.
Tuesday 30th October: Tuesday of the 30th week of the year.
Today, in the first reading from the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul begins his reflection on marriage. He sees it as the perfect union between a man and a woman. This is the ideal he puts forward in a world which sees the opposite as the case. Women had few rights and divorce was rampant.
The Gospel passage from St. Luke, presents an image of the Kingdom of God. It begins in a small way but grows to have great influence.
Wednesday 31st October: Wednesday of the 30th week of the year.
The Christian faith did a lot for women but did even more for children. Paul highlights the links between father, mother, husband, wife, parents and children in this section of his letter.
In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that simply saying we know him will not be enough. We need to shsow we know him by the qualities in our lives.
Thursday 1st November: Solemnity of All Saints.
This feast is probably Celtic in origin. It is a feast which enables us to venerate those many saints who have not been formally canonised nor included in the Church’s calendar. They are often known as ‘the anonymous saints.’ These may well include people we have known and loved in our own lives. We are linked with them in the Communion of Saints as they now intercede for us before God.
Friday 2nd November: Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed.
As far back as the seventh century, it was the custom to set aside a day for prayers for those who have died. It was a Benedictine Abbot, St. Odilo, who set it on November 2nd following the lead of St. Augustine who stressed the need of praying for the dead outside their actual anniversary since they needed our prayers to reach heaven.
Saturday 3rd November: Saturday of 30th week of the year.
Paul visited Philippi on his second missionary journey and, after leaving them, wrote to them from Rome while in prison there. He is filled with hope and confidence and urges them to keep on growing in their faith.
Again, Jesus heals on the Sabbath, something which would appal the Pharisees. He tells them they have not listened to his message and we are told he is sad at the lack of faith not just among the Pharisees but among the people.
Grant unto them
Let perpetual light
shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.