This week’s Liturgical Calendar
Sunday 18th June: Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. (a)
Today, St Paul, in talking about our unity in Christ, says we are like the grains of wheat that have been brought together to form one loaf. It is a beautiful image. It reminds us That God gives us the Body and Blood of Jesus himself to be our nourishment on our journey of faith and life. Today we celebrate the wonderful gift of the Eucharist.
In the first reading, from the Book of Deuteronomy, the author exhorts the people to remember that they are God’s people who need to nourish themselves on his word.
The second reading, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, reminds us of the unity that should mark the body of Christ which is his Church.
The Gospel, from St. John, reminds us that just, as food and drink are needed to nourish the body, so Christ nourishes us for this life and eternal life with the gift of himself in the Eucharist.
Monday 19th June: Monday in the 11th week of the year.
St. Paul reminds the people that this is the favourable time spoken of by Isaiah. Therefore, they must not miss the opportunity or neglect the grace God gave them. They must use the example of their own lives to show they are the chosen people of God.
Jesus continues his radical teaching. No longer is it to be an eye for an eye. The follower of Jesus must go to the opposite extreme to try to bring about conversion to God’s ways in the lives of those who have sinned.
Tuesday 20th June:
Paul tells the Corinthians about the Macedonians with whom he is staying. He describes how, even in their poverty, they were extremely generous and cheerful. Not it is the turn of the people of Corinth to show their support for the Christians in Jerusalem who are being persecuted because of their beliefs.
In the Gospel, Jesus presents another strand of his radical teaching His followers must now love their enemies. God makes no distinction but awaits the conversion of the sinner. They have to strive for the same degree of perfection.
Wednesday 21st June: Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga
He was born in Lombardy to a family with royal connections. He studied in Florence and spent some time in Spain. His father wanted him to become a great soldier but from his earliest years, Aloysius wanted to work for God. He undertook a routine of much prayer, fasting and abstinence and eventually, in 1585, he became a Jesuit novice in Rome. He died in 1891 during a plague in Rome while caring for the other victims. He is the patron of youth.
Thursday 22nd June: Thursday in 12th week of the year.
Paul continues his appeal for the Jerusalem collection and he gives a theological and scriptural basis for this.
Three religious practices had a very high priority for the Jews – almsgiving, prayer and fasting. Jesus warns against carrying any of these out with any kind of attention seeking or showiness.
Friday 23rd June: Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.
Today the Church celebrates the immense love of God for us, revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. His heart is a symbol of that love.
Saturday 24th June: Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist.
There are only three birthdays celebrated in the course of the Church’s liturgical year that of Jesus himself, Our Lady and the one we celebrate today – John the Baptist. It highlights how important John the Baptist is seen to be in the life and tradition of the Church. This feast dates from the fourth century and at one time was preceded by a day of fasting. The Preface of the Mass sums up the life and mission of John the Baptist. He was the one, chosen by God, to prepare the way of the Lord.
God of power and might,
When we cry out to you in the tempests of life
Reassure us that you care and are with us,
Even when you seem to be absent.
Stay with us through your Son Jesus, he who is Lord
Forever and ever.