7th Week of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Cycle of the Year (a)
Weekdays Year 1
Sunday 19th February: 7th Sunday of the Year. (a)
In the first reading from the Book of Leviticus, we are reminded that we imitate the holiness of God when we refuse to exact vengeance or bear a grudge against another.
St. Paul, writing in his first letter to the Corinthians, points out to them that God is present in the community of believers gathered together rather than in a particular building, in this case the Temple. The people become the living Temple of God.
In the Gospel passage we are told that what should differentiate the disciples of Jesus from others is their willingness to love others as God loves them. Nobody should be excluded from Christian love. To be perfect like Jesus is the example that we must show in our own communities.
Monday 20th February: Monday in the seventh week of the year.
We move back into the ordinary cycle of the readings for year 1. The first reading comes from the wisdom book of Ben Sirach, a high placed Jewish official of Jerusalem in the 2nd century BC. This Book is also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus. He begins his teaching by reminding us that, whatever wisdom we can attain in human terms, falls short of the wisdom that comes from God.
The Gospel passages come from St. Mark. Today we read of Jesus healing a man who is possessed. He demands faith and trusting prayer, otherwise we are closed to God’s action and grace.
Tuesday 21st February: Tuesday in the seventh week of the year.
Today we read of the sufferings that come to people who are good and test them as gold in a fire.
Jesus foretells his passion, death and resurrection for the second time but the disciples still do not understand. Do we? Do we understand the cross when it is placed on our shoulders?
Wednesday 22nd February: Feast of the Chair of St. Peter 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. It is a day when we are asked to pray especially for the Pope and his ministry.
Thursday 23rd February: Memorial of St. Polycarp.
St. Polycarp is considered by many scholars to have been a disciple of St. the Evangelist. He trained many of his own disciples, became a Bishop and was highly respected. He was martyred around the year 155.
Friday 24th February: Friday in the seventh week of the year.
Wisdom teaches us true friendship. The author suggests we have plenty of acquaintances but few real advisors or close friends. He outlines the qualities of a true friend.
We are warned by James in this section to leave judging to God. We are also encouraged to use proper speech. For Christ, marriage is meant by the Father to be indissoluble since it mirrors God’s love for each one of us. His love is faithful and permanent. Married love is to be the same.
Saturday 25th February: Saturday in the seventh week of the year.
We are given a reminder, in the first reading that God made us to rule over the creatures of the earth and even the earth itself. Therefore we have a duty to care for and preserve his creation
Jesus gives us a good practical example of how we are to be – like little children. Otherwise, we shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.