6th Sunday of the Year (a)
Sunday 16th February: 6th Sunday of the Year. (a)
The first reading is from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. The author reminds us that we are all faced with a choice – life or death. He encourages us to choose life.
The seconds reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. St. Paul reminds us that wisdom of God is revealed to those who love God and it will lead them to glory.
The Gospel passage, from St. Matthew, has Jesus reminding us the Law and the teaching of the Prophets comes to fruition in the person of Jesus and his new commandment of love of God and of each other.
Monday 17th February: Monday in the sixth week of the year.
The Old Testament story is laid aside for a few weeks and we turn to the New Testament and to the Letter of St. James. He stresses throughout his letter perseverance in the following of the newfound Christ and the importance of following the lifestyle laid down in the Gospels. He stresses the close link between faith in God and love of neighbour. In this first extract, we are told how perseverance will lead to spiritual maturity.
The Pharisees are getting angry with Jesus and with their failure to catch him out. They cannot respond to his wisdom and his insights when they tackle him. Now they decide they want a sign from him that he is the Messiah.
Tuesday 18th February: Tuesday in the sixth week of the year.
James now encourages his readers to persevere in the face of the challenges and temptations that will come their way, reminding them loyalty to Christ leads to glory.
Jesus again confronts the weakness of the faith of the disciples. They are constantly looking for material rewards. He tells them to look beyond that.
Wednesday 19th February: Wednesday in the sixth week of the year.
James encourages us to control our desires and our actions. Be quick to listen and slow to speak he teaches. Be practical in the help you give to those in need as a sign of your faith in God and your love for God.
In the Gospel, we hear the account of the miracle of the blind man being given his sight. This time the miracle occurs over a period of time.
Thursday 16th February: Weekday of the sixth week of the year.
James gives us more practical advice that. If our relationship with Jesus is correct, we will not fall into the trap of main distinctions between people. We will treat everyone with respect and with dignity.
The Gospel presents us with Peter’s great proclamation of faith, followed by his lack of understanding and even criticism of what Jesus was saying about himself.
Friday 17th February: Weekday of the sixth week of the year.
James contrasts a dead faith with a living faith. The latter will involve actions and not just words. A live faith will be shown by its good deeds.
Today Jesus talks about the conditions needed if we are to be true followers of his. There will be a need to renounce ourselves and take up our cross daily.
Saturday 22nd February: Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle.
This is a very old feast, dating back to the 4th century. It has been kept on this date as a sign of the unity of the Church founded on the apostle Peter and his successors.