Ordinary Season of the Year. (a)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 17th September: Twenty-Fourth Sunday of the Year. (a)
Both the first reading and the Gospel today invite us to be merciful and forgiving to each other, as God is towards us. If we nurse anger, how can we expect compassion?
St. Paul, in the second reading to the Romans, tells us the good news that, whether alive or dead, we belong to God.
The Gospel has a sting in its tail. If we fail in forgiveness, we risk being judged according to our own standards. In fact we judge ourselves.
Monday 18th September: Monday of the 24th week of the year.
St. Paul’s message, in writing to Timothy, is very clear. We must pray at all times for one another but especially for those in positions of authority. Our prayers should be prayers of petition and thanksgiving for the graces we have received.
After the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus leaves and heads for Capernaum. He is again deeply impressed by the faith of one who is not a believer, the centurion who asks for healing for his servant.
Tuesday 19th September: Tuesday of the 24th week of the year
St. Paul used the image of the human body to illustrate how the body of Christ should function. Each part has a unique role to play, working together for the good of the whole. Each person has different gifts but we all share the one spirit.
The raising of the widow’s son at Nain points to the compassion of Jesus. It is also a sign that God has visited his people.
Wednesday 20th September: Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-Gon,
Paul Chong Ha-Sang and Companions.
The Gospel was brought to Korea as early as the beginning of the seventeenth century by a group of committed lay people. At first, they were without priests but eventually French missionaries arrived. 103 members of this Christian community were among the martyrs as well as three bishops and seven priests. The persecution took place between 1839 and 1867. Andrew Kim was the first priest to be martyred and Paul Chong the first lay apostle. Pope John Paul II canonised the group when he went to Korea in 1984.
Thursday 21st September: Feast of St. Matthew.
Matthew was a tax collector, one of the most despised jobs in Israel. The Gospel today tells us of his call to follow Christ. He acknowledged is sinfulness and repented. He is the author of the first of the Gospels that was written in Aramaic. Later accounts state that Matthew evangelised Persia and probably Ethiopia. He was martyred there and his remains were eventually transferred to Salerno in the tenth century.
Friday 22nd September: Friday of the 24th week of the year.
Paul continues to emphasise that Timothy must preach and teach according to what he has received from Jesus through Paul. He is to be on guard against temptation and those who seek to make money out of him.
Jesus continues to travel preaching and teaching the Good News to anyone who will listen. A group of disciples accompanies him and the evangelist mentions in particular that there were women in the group, one of whom was Mary of Magdala.
Saturday 23rd September : Memorial of St. Pius Pietrelcina. (Padre Pio)
Fransesco Forgione, the future Padre Pio, was born on 25th May 1887 in Pietrelcina, Southern Italy. At the age of fifteen he entered the Capuchin novitiate at Morcone and was ordained at the age of 23. Due to his frail health, he lived outwith the monastic community, always wearing the distinctive habit. He was sent to San Giovanni Rotondo for a short stay. In fact he spent the rest of his life there. In September 1918, the signs of the stigmata appeared after he had celebrated Mass. These wounds bled continually for fifty years and caused him acute physical pain. Despite this, he made himself available to thousands of people who came to him seeking advice and confession. He died on 23rd September 1968 and was canonised by Pope John Paul on 16th June 2002.