Ordinary Time of the Year. (B)
Weekdays – Year 2
Catholic Education Week.
Sunday 28th January: Fourth Sunday of the Year. (B)
In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, a prophet is promised to the people, to speak in God’s name. This prophecy is seen as being fulfilled in Jesus and his preaching.
In the second reading, from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Paul seems to be downplaying marriage and stressing the role of celibacy. His passion for the Kingdom is overriding everything in his life. He wants his followers in Corinth to give undivided attention to the Lord before everything and everyone else.
In the Gospel, Jesus teaching makes a deep impression on people when he takes on the forces of evil. He teaches with authority.
Monday 29th January: Weekday of the fourth week of the year.
David had two sons, Solomon and Absalom. Absalom tried to destroy him following on his own punishment of banishment for the murder of his half-brother Amnon. This is a fulfilling of part of the prophecy of Nathan we heard last week. David fled from Jerusalem as Absalom and his armies approach.
The Gospel presents the stag range story of the demons and the pigs – forbidden meat to the Jews. The power of Jesus is without limit.
Tuesday 30th January: Weekday of the fourth week of the year.
The rebellion of Absolom, David’s son, is defeated. David tries to be generous in victory but his troops disobey his orders and kill Absolom. The reading presents David, grieving over the death of his son.
The Gospel presents us with two scenes which show the results of faith in the healing power of Jesus. Both the woman and Jairus show this in their approaches to Jesus for help and healing.
Wednesday 31st January: Memorial of St. John Bosco.
John Bosco was born in Castelnuovo in the archdiocese of Turin in 1815. His father died when he was two and he was brought up by his mother. From his earliest years, he wanted to be a priest and work with disadvantaged and homeless boys. Some time after his ordination, he managed to set up a training school and by 1856 there were 156 residents with four workshops, a printing press and classes in Latin and the classics. At first, he had a number of priests helping him. This developed into the Salesians, named after their patron saint, St Francis of Sales. John Bosco died in 1863.
Thursday 1st February: Weekday of the fourth week of the year
The Book of Samuel dealt with Samuel, Saul and David. The Book of Kings from which the first reading is taken deals with the aftermath of David’s rule. His son, Solomon, succeeded him so now we hear of his reign including the building of the Temple and his eventual unfaithfulness. David encourages Solomon to be faithful to the ways of God.
Jesus sends his disciples out on their first mission – this was to be their first test of faith. They brought the healing power of Jesus to many.
Friday 2nd February: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
This is a feast both of Jesus and of Our Blessed Lady. We commemorate the presentation of Jesus in the temple, forty days after his birth in accordance with the Law of Moses. It shows us the obedience of Mary and Joseph to the law of God, given to Israel. Through the eyes of faith, the presentation was the fulfilment of God’s promises to his people.
Saturday 3rd February: Weekday of the fourth week of the year.
When Solomon became King, the country was at peace. He was faithful to God at first offering sacrifices at the best places he could find until the temple could be rebuilt. In a dream he is offered anything he wishes from God. He asks for a discerning heart to enable him to distinguish good from evil. He was given a wise and shrewd heart along with riches and a long life, seen as a blessing from God.
The disciples and Jesus try to get away to a quiet place to reflect after the death of John the Baptist but the crowds follow. Jesus takes pity on them and is worried about them – he feeds them physically and spiritually.