This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 16th July: Fifteenth Sunday of the Year. (a)
The prophet Isaiah, in the first reading, speaks of the power of the Word of God. Just as he shows his care for the earth by sending rain, so he shows his care for us by sending his word, a word which will always have an effect.
St. Paul reminds us that a life of glory awaits us. Within that context any suffering we may face takes on a new meaning.
Jesus compares the word of God to a seed falling into the ground. He uses the parable to tell us about how we grow in faith.
Monday 17th July: Monday of 15th week of the year.
We move forward to the Book of Exodus. The people of Israel are now slaves in Egypt. They are growing in number so Pharaoh orders all new born males to be killed.
In the Gospel, we are reminded that being a follower of Jesus involves hardship and sacrifice at times. Tensions will grow between those who follow his teachings and those who do not, even in families.
Tuesday 18th July: Tuesday of 15th week of the year.
The story we hear today begins us on the journey of Moses. It is meant to illustrate God’s care for his chosen one and it explains how a Hebrew child receives an Egyptian upbringing. Moses grows into a man of great integrity, promoting justice amongst the Egyptians and his own people.
In spite of his miracles, the people still do not accept Jesus as Messiah. They will not listen. Jesus shows his sadness at this in what he says – their towns would suffer more than Tyre, Sidon and Sodom.
Wednesday 19th July: Wednesday of the fifteenth week of the year.
Moses is out in the wilderness, looking after his father-in-law’s flock when he had the vision that transformed his life forever. In the burning bush, which did not burn, he is called by God to bring his people out of Egypt.
Jesus prays in thanksgiving to his Father, as the Almighty Creator and Lord of the Universe. The ordinary people respond to this more than their leaders. Jesus gives thanks for them and their willingness to accept him as Son of God.
Thursday 20th July: Thursday of the 15th week of the year.
In the vision at the Burning Bush, Moses was sent to free his people. He is told God’s name – ‘I Am who I am.’ This conveys the idea that God of Israel is always present among his people to guide them and assist them.
Jesus offers hope and courage to the ordinary people who are open to his message. Their leaders had made their religion a heavy burden, reducing it to a list of rules and regulations instead of it being a living faith with openness to others.
Friday 21st July: Friday of the 15th week of the year.
Pharaoh is finally persuaded to let the People of Israel go free. Their last act in captivity is to eat the Passover. Moses gives the detail of how this ritual meal is to be celebrated.
We are given another example of the Pharisees putting the letter of the law before the spirit of the law. They make laws that are almost impossible to keep in relation to the Sabbath.
Saturday 22nd July: Feast of St. Mary Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene was one of the first to meet the risen Christ. There has been much confusion through the Church’s history as to her real identity. Some thought she was the Mary who washed the Lord’s feet with her tears, others Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. It is accepted now that she was one of the good women who followed Jesus and she is named as one of those standing at the foot of the cross when others had fled. Very little is known about her life.
Lord our God,
You have given us yourself
In your Son Jesus Christ.
Do not allow us to be possessive of him
But help us realise
That your life and love are ours for good
Insofar as we are willing to grown in them
And share them
With our neighbour.
Give us this conviction and
The strength to put it into practice.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.