Ordinary Time of the Year. (B)
Weekdays – Year 2.
Sunday 14th 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 15th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
Saul had a number of battles against the Philistines and the other enemies but he was not always a good king. Often, he interpreted Samuel’s words to suit himself. In this reading, he is challenged about not following out his orders to the full. Saul thought a good sacrifice was the answer to everything whereas Samuel insisted that obedience to God’s ways was what mattered.
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 16th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
Samuel was disappointed that Saul had allowed himself to be rejected by God as King so he sets out to find another person. He ends up in Bethlehem and with the family of Jesse. He anoints the youngest of the family – David.
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 17th January: Memorial of St. Anthony.
Anthony was born in Memphis in Upper Egypt in 251. Before he was twenty, he inherited a large estate when his parents died. He took the words of scripture to heart, sold everything off, and gave the money to the poor. He spent the rest of his life, living as a hermit in various parts of Egypt. He founded a number of monasteries but the monks lived in individual cells rather than in one main building. His isolated life was interrupted for a short period when he was asked to preach against the Arian heresy that taught that Jesus was not divine. He was over one hundred years old when he died.
Thursday 18th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
As David’s popularity increased so did Saul’s jealousy of him. Eventually he plans to kill him. Saul’s son, Jonathan, persuaded his father not follow through on his plans.
Jesus is overwhelmed with the approach of all those looking for a cure. Again, faith is defined as the essential characteristic.
Friday 19th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
Saul did not keep his word and made several attempts on David’s life, believing David was plotting against him and trying to kill him. Matters come to a head when David has the opportunity to kill Saul but does not take, showing he had no plans to overthrow Saul. Saul finally admits that David will be King.
At this point in his work, Jesus picks his apostles for his chosen disciples. They were then sent out to carry on the work of Jesus.
Saturday 20th January: Weekday of the second week of the year.
When David heard the news about the death of Saul and his son Jonathan he was very upset and in this extract we hear a kind of eulogy as David mourns him
Jesus was under great pressure. Even his relatives misunderstood what he was about.