This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Sunday 8th July: Fourteenth Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading today is from the Prophet Ezekiel. He is an ordinary priest, called by God to be a prophet. He is instructed to speak God’s word insistently to a people who do not want to hear it or respond to it.
The second reading is from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. Paul defends himself and his role as an apostle. God works through him despite Paul’s human weakness. This makes it all much easier to be instrument of God’s power and majesty.
In the Gospel, the people of Nazareth reject Jesus and his teaching. They know him as a young carpenter. How can he claim to be the Messiah, how can he perform miracles? How can anything good come from Nazareth?
Monday 9th July: Feast of Our Lady of Aberdeen.
Standing high on a pedestal in a side chapel of a Brussels church is one of Scotland’s treasures, a statue of Our Lady and Child that was saved from destruction in Aberdeen during the Reformation. For sixty-five years, it was hidden until it was shipped to safety in the Low Countries. Despite her intention to keep the statue in the Royal Palace, the lnfanta of Spain, the Archduchess Isabella, was persuaded to place it in the newly built Augustinian church in Brussels. The statue remained in this church until 1796, when it was again removed for protection into private hands, this time to escape the ravages of the French Revolution. An Englishman, John Morris, safely restored it to the Augustinians in 1805 and it remained in their care as an object of devotion until 1814 when it was removed to the neighbouring Church of Our Lady of Finisterre. It is still venerated there as Our Lady of Good Success .Since the Restoration of the Scottish Hierarchy in 1878, devotion to Our Blessed Lady in Aberdeen, throughout the diocese, and further afield, has focused on copies of this ancient statue including the statue (left) which stands in the Chapel of Our Lady at Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen
Tuesday 10th July: Tuesday of the 14th week of the year.
The first reading this part of the ordinary week come from the Prophet Hosea who lived around the same time as Amos. He denounces in no uncertain terms the idolatry of the people of Israel who were coming under the influence of the neighbouring pagan gods and their prophets and practices. The have ignored God. They have blasphemed. This will be remembered by God and they will be punished for their infidelity.
Jesus continues to carry out his work of healing and casting out devils. The authorities remain doubtful still in spite of what they see and hear. Jesus bemoans the lack of leadership for the people.
Wednesday 11th July: Feast of St. Benedict.
St. Benedict was born at Norcia in Italy about 480.He was sent to Rome to study but was appalled by the low moral standards he found. He moved to Subiaco in the mountains. After about three years, some friends gathered there with him and he set up a number of monasteries, the last of which is Monte Cassino which has survived to the present day and is the mother house of the Benedictine Order. He died in 548 and was declared one of the Patrons of Europe in 1965 by Pope Paul VI.
Thursday 12th July: Thursday of the 14th week of the year.
Today we hear how God treats his people as a mother treats her child even when it has turned away. He will never forget his people.
Jesus gives his instructions to the apostles. Above all, they must bring peace and reconciliation to the homes, towns and people they visit in Jesus’ name.
Friday 13thJuly: Friday of the 14th week of the year.
At the end of the book, there is a very optimistic section. The people of Israel are encouraged to turn back to the Lord so that he can show them his love. The just will be able to walk in his ways.
Jesus, in the Gospel, is still giving instructions to the apostles as they prepare to go out. They must not be afraid of what to say. The Spirit will be with them to encourage and lead them even when they are faced with difficulties and challenges.
Saturday 14th July: Saturday of the 14th week of the year.
We move now to Isaiah, one of the major prophets of the Old testament. This book is the second longest in the Old Testament. Today we have an account of the call of Isaiah. He is reluctant at first to accept the call and is terrified abaout the consequences. Eventually he is persuaded by God to accept the call to be a prophet.
Jesus gives more instructions to his apostles. They have to become more like their teacher.