Ordinary Cycle of the Year (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 11th June: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. (a)
There is a beautiful Russian icon of the Blessed Trinity painted by a monk by the name of Rublev. It shows the three Divine persons sitting at a table but the place at the front of the table is empty. This place is meant to symbolise welcome towards the stranger and the outsider, a place that is meant for you and for me and for the whole human family. It signifies God’s invitation to us to share in the life of the Trinity.
In the first reading, God has revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai as the God who is faithful to his promises. He is a God rich in tenderness and compassion. In the second reading, St. Paul uses a familiar form of greeting and blessing, one that is still used as a greeting at the beginning of Mass. He encourages the Corinthians to live in peace and harmony.
In the extract from John’s Gospel, we reminded how God has shown his love for us by sending his Son to save us all. All who believe in him will be saved.
Monday 12th June: Monday of the tenth week of the year.
Corinth was a leading city in Greece, a bridge between East and West. Paul had gone there during his second missionary journey and developed a deep and lasting relationship with the Christian community that was established there. Only two letters have survived and the one we begin reading from today begins as usual with a greeting from Paul and from Timothy. He then praises God for giving us his help and strength in the middle of all our difficulties.
Today we begin reading from St. Matthew’s Gospel on the weekdays. We take it up at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. We are given the ideals, the values which Jesus expects us to achieve if we to be truly his followers.
Tuesday 13th June: Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua.
He was born in Lisbon in 1195, originally being called Ferdinand. He changed his name to Anthony when he joined the Friars Minor. He was very inspired after a visit to Assisi where he met St. Francis. He became for his preaching in Italy especially in Padua where he lived for the last few years of his life. He was only 36 when he died.
Wednesday 14th June: Wednesday of the tenth week of the year.
Paul goes on to defend the title of Apostle which had been given to him by Jesus. He claimed that all his qualifications came from God. He had been given the responsibility of preaching the Good News.
Jesus reminds the crowd that the law of the old covenant was good but Jesus takes it further. This is what the teachers and rabbis must preach now. Jesus fulfils and completes the old law.
Thursday 15th June: Thursday of the tenth week of the year.
Paul continues to emphasise how the New Covenant gives true freedom to those who are on the way to salvation. They are like morriors and reflect the brightness of the Lord. He stresses he is preaching, not himself, but Jesus himself.
In the Gospel, Jesus condemns some of the Pharisees because they were interpreting the law to suit themselves. Sincerity of heart and genuine concern are most important and this is stressed by Jesus in the readings over the next few days.
Friday 16th June: Friday of the tenth week of the year.
Paul continues to defend his position as apostle in spite of what his detractors said. He uses one of the most powerful images found in his writings. We are the earthenware jars that hold a great treasure. The power of the resurrection is taking root and having an effect in the lives of the believers.
Saturday 17th June: Saturday of the tenth week of the year.
The Corinthians judged people by human standards and Paul is trying to help them see that those are not God’s ways. There is a new way forward and we all need to become aware of the goodness of God.
Jesus again stresses the Law. He shows how he has come to build on it and develop, not destroy it.
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
And shall be evermore.