Reflections on Daily Readings 2024

June 30th - July 27th, 2024

June 30 – July 6, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Thirteenth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Psalm 29; 2Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43

In our first reading today from the Book of Wisdom we are told that God takes no pleasure in death. The author tells us that God created us to live but that it was the devil’s jealousy which brought death into the world. In our gospel reading from St Mark we see Jesus raise a little girl who had died. In so doing he shows that he has power over life and death and can give life back whenever he wishes. While on the way to the little girl a woman in the crowd touches the hem of Christ’s cloak and is instantly cured because she believed in Christ. We are called on today to have faith in Christ and to share with others knowing that a great reward awaits us – that of eternal life with Christ.

St Paul reminds us in the second reading that we should share what we have with those who are in need but he tells us that we don’t have to suffer hardship in order to satisfy their need. We give what we can without going short ourselves.

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16; Psalm 49; Matthew 8:18-22

Our first reading today comes from the Prophet Amos who served the Lord about the year 760 BC. In our text, the Lord is recounting some of the many sins of his people. He reminds them of what he did for them and tells them how he will deal with them in a way that nobody in Israel will be able to escape. The Psalm continues the accusations against the people. In the Gospel, Jesus is calling the people to follow him, though some do not wish to come right away. The message in the readings for us today is that we are called to follow the Lord and to respond to that call immediately and not when we fell like it. Secondly, those who have been called are expected to live a life worthy of the Lord, one in keeping with the Gospel values.


Memorial of St Oliver Plunkett, Bishop & Martyr

Oliver was born in Meath in 1625 and ordained priest in Rome in 1654. Soon after he was made professor at the Propaganda Fide College and in 1669 was created Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. It was a difficult time for the Church in Ireland and even though he was on very good terms with the Protestant bishops, he was forced into hiding in 1673. Following his betrayal he was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle. His trial in Dublin collapsed due to lack of evidence and he was sent to London where a grand jury said there was nothing to answer for. Following a third (fixed) trial he was sentenced to death. He was hung, drawn and quartered in 1681, the last Roman Catholic to be martyred at Tyburn, London. He was canonized in 1975.

Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12; Psalm 5; Matthew 8:23-27

Today’s reading from the Prophet Amos continues yesterday’s theme of reminding the people of how much they have sinned against God. They are also given warning that the Lord means to punish them for their sins. Today’s Psalm could easily have been the words on the lips of the Prophet Amos. In the text from St Matthew’s Gospel, we see Jesus command the forces of nature and calm a storm. The readings remind us of the infinite power of God and that, in Jesus, he has made a covenant with us which we must honour.

Feast of St Thomas the Apostle

Very little is known about Thomas other than what is found in the Gospels. Also known as Didymus (The Twin) his questioning of Christ’s teaching and his disbelief in the resurrection show that even the closest followers of Christ had doubts and that, even in doubting, the Lord is there to give strength and guidance. Tradition holds that he brought the faith to Southern India where he is said to have died. He is the patron saint of architects, builders and India.



Ephesians 2:19-22; Psalm 116; John 20:24-29

The first reading from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians tells us that we are all part of God’s household and that that household has the Apostles and prophets for its foundations. In the gospel, we see St Thomas doubt the words of the others when they say that Jesus has risen and appeared to them. When Jesus appears to them again eight days later, Thomas is in the room and believes once he can physically touch the Lord. In this way Thomas represents all peoples down through the centuries who have not personally seen the Risen Lord. Thomas’ great declaration of faith – “My Lord and my God” – should be all the proof we need.

Amos 7:10-17; Psalm 18; Matthew 9:1-8

In today’s first reading Amos is confronted by King Jeroboam and Amaziah, his royal priest. They do not like what Amos prophesies but in reply, Amos tells them that his words do not come from a group of prophets, like Amaziah, but directly from God. He then tells them how the kingdom will end. In the Gospel, Jesus forgives a paralytic man his sins which outraged the scribes. He tells them that he has the power to forgive and heals the man to prove his authority. The people are amazed and pleased to see this. We are reminded that not everyone, such as Amaziah, speaks the truth but that the words of Jesus are truth and life.

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12; Psalm 118; Matthew 9:9-13

In the reading from the Prophet Amos the Lord tells his people that the punishment they will receive will be in the form of a famine. A spiritual famine is to fall upon them for their sins against the Lord in which they will not hear the word of the Lord. In the Gospel, Jesus is scorned by the Pharisees for eating with tax collectors and sinners but, in reply, he tells them that their sacrificial ways do not please him. What the Lord seeks is true mercy. Those who are virtuous are not called to conversion for their hearts are already set on God, but those who are still in need of conversion are the ones who are being called. If we in our day turn our backs on God then we live without his word, but if we seek God then his word will take root in our hearts and we will live the life he seeks.

Amos 9:11-15; Psalm 84; Matthew 9:14-17

In the first reading from the Prophet Amos, the Lord tells his people that he will revive their fortunes and re-establish the kingdom of David. We know that this will happen in the person of Jesus, the Messiah. In the Gospel, Jesus tells John the Baptist’s disciples that his own disciples do not fast in his presence because they have the Lord of Life with them. When he is gone from them then they will fast and mourn. We have the Lord always with us and so we should rejoice and live by his precepts so that we may never be abandoned as were the people of old when they sinned against God.

July 7 – July 13, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Fourteenth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 122; 2Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6

We read in the text from Ezekiel how the Lord spoke to the prophet and sent him to preach his word. Whether the people believe or not the prophet will still speak to them. In the gospel passage from St Mark we see Jesus being rejected in his own home town because the people thought they knew him. As a result of their rejection of him he is unable to do very much for them because his ministry and mission depended on people both listening and believing. Christ will not force any of us to do his will and if we don’t want to do his will then we simply ignore him as did the people in his home town. Christ is no longer physically present with us as a preacher but his Church is and she preaches his message and brings forgiveness whether people wish to listen or not. As members of that Church each of us was commissioned at baptism to preach that message.

St Paul tells us in the second reading that no matter what people say or think he will continue to preach the word of God to them. He may be weak in the eyes of the world but he knows that at such times he is strongest in his mission and that Christ is with him.

Hosea 2:16-18, 21-22; Psalm 144; Matthew 9:18-26

In today’s reading from the prophet Hosea, who was writing about the year 755 BC, the Lord is speaking of his relationship with his people. So strong is his love for his people that he speaks of marrying Israel for ever. Hosea was the first to use this marriage image when talking about God and his people but it is one which was to be used by later prophets and also St Paul. In the Gospel, Jesus restores life to a little girl who has died. More importantly, he cures a woman whose faith was so strong that she believed that she would be cured even if she only touched his cloak. She was also courageous enough to own up when Jesus asked who had touched him – strict Jewish law would have decreed that she should not be in a crowd as that could result in those coming into contact with her being impure and unable to attend synagogue. We are called on to be like this woman and to believe in God completely. He has chosen us out of all of creation to be his bride and therefore he will not abandon us.

Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13; Psalm 113; Matthew 9:32-38

In our first reading today we read that despite the fact that the Lord has chosen his people as his spouse the people turn from God and spurn him. He recounts their sins and how they abused his altars and created false idols for themselves. Now, God is about to punish them. In the Gospel, Jesus is sorry to see many people coming to him for they have nobody to minister to them. We are called on to be labourers in this great harvest. We do not all have to become priests and religious but we are all called to live according to the Gospel values, in this way the kingdom of God will be strengthened daily and more people will become shepherds of the flock.

Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12; Psalm 104; Matthew 10:1-7

Today we read in the text from the Prophet Hosea that Israel has turned from the Lord and worshipped false gods, and so the Lord is now going to punish the people. If the people had retained their integrity they would not be in such a situation. Hosea pleads with the people to change their ways and return to the Lord. In the Gospel we see Jesus choosing his twelve closest companions and sending them out to preach in his name. Because Israel was the Lord’s Chosen People through the ages, the apostles are told to go with the message to the house of Israel first and to leave the others aside for the moment. While the names of the Twelve appear in a few places in the New Testament no two lists are in the same order, though St Peter’s name always appears first.

Feast of St Benedict, Abbot & Patron of Europe

Benedict was born in central Italy in 480. He was sent to Rome to study but left the city for the life of a hermit in Subiaco, not far from Rome, about the year 500. So many gathered around him that he founded twelve communities of monks, but in time left them because of their lack of discipline. He moved to Monte Cassino and established the famous monastery there on the site of a pagan temple to Apollo. He wrote a Rule for the monks which has become the foundation of spirituality and monastic life though it is not believed that he intended starting a religious order. He is the spiritual head of monks in the Western Church as St Basil is spiritual head of those in the Eastern Church. He died while at prayer in March 547 and was made Patron of Europe by Paul VI in 1964.



Proverbs 2:1-9; Psalm 33; Matthew 19:27-29

The first reading from Proverbs exhorts us to apply ourselves in seeking the truth for there is a great treasure to be found in the truth. When we discover it then we will “understand what virtue is, justice and fair dealing.” In the gospel, Jesus assures Peter that those who have left everything for him will receive a great reward, that reward being eternal life. The readings are quite appropriate for the feast of St Benedict for they recount exactly the sort of life Benedict lived. We too are called to seek truth and to give up everything for the sake of Christ and the kingdom.

Hosea 14:2-10; Psalm 50; Matthew 10:16-23

In our first reading for today, the Lord speaks through the prophet Hosea and tells his people what he wants of them. Those who listen and believe in the message will walk in righteousness but those who reject it will stumble and fall. In our Gospel passage Jesus continues to instruct the Twelve in today’s text from St Matthew. In it he warns them of the hardships that will come but he strengthens them by telling them that they will have him with them and that the words they will speak will be from him – therefore they need have no cause for fear. We are called to live righteously before God and to remember that those who preach the true Gospel in his name are doing so with the guidance of the Lord. As the people of the Old Testament were invited back to God despite their sins, so too we will be welcomed if we ask the Lord for forgiveness.

Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 92; Matthew 10:24-33

We now move to the book of the Prophet Isaiah and today’s passage recounts the call of Isaiah to be God’s messenger. This took place about the year 742 BC while the young Isaiah was visiting the Temple in Jerusalem. Though Isaiah felt unworthy of the task the Lord was with him and so made him worthy. Isaiah responded by accepting God’s call and following the path of the prophets. Jesus’ instruction to the Twelve continues in today’s Gospel reading and he tells them that no matter what happens they need have no fear. As Isaiah was called so too we are called to spread the Gospel of Christ in our own way. If we truly believe in God then we need have no fear of what others may say against us for living as Christians.


Memorial of St Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes

Juana (Juanita) Fernandez Solar was born on July 13, 1900, in Santiago, Chile. Academically gifted she excelled in school and was awarded her school’s prize for outstanding student. She enjoyed sports and had a talent for music and, after leaving school, helped orphans and the poor and taught catechism. From the age of fifteen and at the request of a Carmelite nun in Santiago, she kept a detailed diary which gives great insight into her faith and prayer life, as do the many letters which survive. She was very much inspired by the biography of St Thérèse of Lisieux and by the writings of St Elizabeth of the Trinity, St Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) and St John of the Cross. She entered Carmel in May 1919 taking the name ‘Teresa of Jesus’ and died of typhus on April 12, 1920, having been given a dispensation in periculo mortis to make her profession of vows as a Carmelite nun. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1993, the first Chilean saint.

July 14 – July 20, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Fifteenth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Amos 7:12-15; Psalm 84; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:7-13

In our first reading we see Amos being dismissed by Amaziah because Amaziah does not like the message which is being preached by Amos. Amos tells him that it is not his own message but God’s message and that he preaches at God’s command. In our gospel we see Jesus sending out the Twelve in pairs to preach and to cure. They do so and are successful because they do so in his name and with his authority. No matter what people may think, the message of God cannot be silenced simply because they may not like what it says or who it is who is preaching. We are the successors to the Twelve and we are the Church and so we too should proclaim the kingdom of God to the people of our own time whether they like it or not, knowing that a great reward lies in store for those who do listen and believe.

For our second reading for the next few weeks we turn to St Paul’s letter to the Christians at Ephesus. In today’s passage we are told that we were chosen by God before the world was created to be his own people. In choosing us he wants us to life in love and to be spotless in his sight. We do this by believing in him and living according to his precepts.


Isaiah 1:10-17; Psalm 49; Matthew 10:34-11:1

In today’s passage from the book of the Prophet Isaiah God tells his people that ritual sacrifice no longer pleases him. He wants the people to truly believe in what they are doing rather than just performing. He wants the people to be concerned with justice and peace. The Psalm takes up this theme. In the Gospel from St Matthew, we see Jesus telling his listeners that he has not come to bring peace but trouble. This is because his message calls for a conversion of heart and a new way of life which many will and, indeed, still do reject. Our readings challenge us to make this conversion and become true Christians in thought, word and deed.


Memorial of St Bonaventure, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

Giovanni di Fidanza was born between 1218 and 1221 in Tuscany, Italy. He joined the Order of Friars Minor and rose through the ranks becoming the Order’s seventh Minister General in 1257, devoting much time to the unity of the Order. He was approached with a view to making him Archbishop of York in northern England, but this he refused. Eventually he was made bishop of Albano, Rome, and a cardinal in 1273. One of the key mystical theologians and scholars of his time he attended the Council of Lyons in 1274 at which he died. One of his tasks at this council was the re-unification of the Latin and the Orthodox Churches which seemed to begin well but failed soon after his death. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1588.

Solemnity of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Carmelite Order had its formal beginnings among a group of crusaders on Mount Carmel in Israel beside a spring used by the Old Testament prophet Elijah. In the centre of their compound they built a chapel dedicated to St Mary of the Place, which was Mount Carmel. This devotion to Mary continued and became stronger as the centuries passed and is best exemplified in the full title of the Order: The Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. This particular feast was first celebrated in the fourteenth century and became the patronal feast of the Order early in the seventeenth century. It was recognised by Pope Paul V (1605-1621) as the feastday of the Scapular Confraternity.



1Kings 18:42b-45a; Psalm 14; Galatians 4:4-7; John 19:25-27

In the first reading we see the holy prophet Elijah instructing his servant to keep watch on the sky, for the drought which had plagued the land was soon to end. When he saw the small cloud, the servant was told to go and tell King Ahab to prepare for the rains. The unnamed servant symbolises the Carmelite who is attentive to his master, who awaits his master’s word and then brings that word to others, the master being Jesus Christ. The Psalm reminds us that only those who seek after purity will be admitted to God’s house.

In the second reading, St Paul wrote to the people of Galatia that the One who redeemed them was born of a woman and was therefore subject to the Law as all humans are. Yet it was by his life, death and resurrection that the people are redeemed because, for Paul, only someone born under the Law could redeem the subjects of the Law and free them from its slavery so as to live the true life God had intended. Our Lady is the woman who gave birth to the Saviour and, through the motherhood bestowed on her at the foot of the Cross, we are all her children. We also share in the gift of the Holy Spirit which binds us in adopted sonship.

In the gospel, we see Jesus on the Cross with very few close family or friends to support him. Before he died, he looked after his mother by placing her under the care of John, the Beloved Disciple. But Mary didn’t simply become a guest in John’s house or someone for him to look out for: she became his mother and John became her son. It is a powerful reminder that we are all the children of Mary, brothers and sisters to one another and to Jesus Christ, and that we must have a care and concern for others. Mary is also seen in her sorrow as one who is silent but who still trusts in the wisdom of God even in what must have been a very dark moment in her life as she watched her Son die without dignity. For Carmelites, these readings are important for we are the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and therefore we are servants of the Lord and of his Word.

Isaiah 10:5-7, 13-16; Psalm 93; Matthew 11:25-27

The people are reminded by the prophet Isaiah in today’s first reading that kingdoms and powers rise and fall but that everything is subject to God’s power. Isaiah foretells that the King of Assyria will be used by God as the stick to discipline the people of Judah for the sins they have committed. In the Gospel, Jesus says that it is children who truly understand the message of the kingdom. By this he is saying that those with no preconceptions or theories can easily grasp the message he brings. To truly understand that message we need to have a clear mind and childlike trust.

Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Psalm 101; Matthew 11:28-30

Our first reading today tells us that those who live righteously before the God who judges all will have a happy life. Those who do not live by the law of God will have a troubled life. Christ calls the people to himself in the Gospel and tells them that if they believe in him he will support them. The yoke which each of us has to carry is an easy one because faith in Christ will make the burden lighter and easier to carry. True faith is what we must have and that faith is demonstrated in righteous living.

Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8; Psalm 38; Matthew 12:1-8

In our first reading we see that Hezekiah is now King of the southern kingdom of Judah. He is told by Isaiah that he is about to die so he prays to God and is cured because of his faith. In the Gospel, Jesus admonishes the Pharisees for being too legalistic about the Sabbath day. His disciples had been out walking with him and had picked a few heads of corn as they passed through the corn fields. What the Lord wants is mercy and not legalism for only in mercy is true faith to be seen.

Solemnity of St Elijah the Prophet

The Prophet Elijah is the greatest of the Old Testament prophets and, with Moses, is one of the two great figures of the Hebrew Scriptures who represent the Law and the Prophets. In Hebrew, his name means ‘The Lord is my God’, and this he lived out in his life and work. He defended God on Mount Carmel as the one true God against the prophets of the false god, Baal, and for which he was hunted by Queen Jezebel. He is a key figure for the Carmelite Order whose early members lived beside the spring on Mount Carmel which was used by the prophet himself. His devotion to God, his prayer life, his intimate union with God are examples for Carmelites as they strive to bring God’s presence alive in the lives of others.



1Kings 19:1-9a, 11-14a; Psalm 15; 1Peter 1:8-12; Luke 9:28b-36

In our reading from the first Book of the Kings, we read that, having slain all the prophets of Baal, Elijah is now threatened by Queen Jezebel who seeks his life in retribution. In fear, he flees into the wilderness but is supported by the angel of God. When he reached the mountain, he stood before God who made himself known to Elijah, not in the form of great and wonderful power, but in the form of a gentle voice, a quiet breeze. When asked why he was there Elijah replied: ‘I am filled with a jealous zeal for the Lord of hosts’.

St Peter tells us in the second reading that what the prophets had been looking forward to was the presence of Christ on earth. That presence has now been revealed to the people who have now received the Holy Spirit for their good.

In the gospel, we read St Luke’s account of the transfiguration of the Lord. During the transfiguration he was joined by Moses who represents the Law, and by Elijah who represents the Prophets. In this way, we are shown that the authority of Jesus Christ is greater than these two pillars of the Jewish faith, and we are also reminded that their teachings pointed to his arrival. Elijah is a shining example of one who answered God’s call and gave his life to the service of God. Even his name bears witness – the Hebrew ‘Elia’ means ‘The Lord is my God’.


Alternative Readings:

Songs 3:1-4 (or Corinthians 5:14-17); Psalm 62; John 20:1-2, 11-18

The first reading from the Song of Songs tells of a person seeking the one whom they love. Today we can understand it as Mary Magdalene seeking the Lord. In the gospel from St John we see Mary at the empty tomb and been greeted by Christ himself, now risen from the dead. For her faithfulness to him she has been rewarded by being the first person to see the Lord after his resurrection and also by being the one to proclaim that news to the apostles.

July 21 – July 27, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Sixteenth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 22; Ephesians 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34

In our first reading we see the Lord condemning those shepherds who have not cared for their flocks but have allowed them to be scattered and destroyed. The Lord says that he will raise up true shepherds who will properly pasture his sheep. In the gospel passage from St Mark – which is the conclusion to the passage begun last week – we see the Twelve returning to Jesus after they had been preaching in his name and they return rejoicing. They go off to be alone and to rest but the people follow them because they want to hear more about Christ and his message. He takes pity on them and teaches them himself. Little has changed between Christ’s time and ours – the world badly needs those who will preach Christ’s message of salvation. No matter who we are or what we do in life, as baptised Christians we were all commissioned to go out and to preach the good news of the kingdom both in word and in the example of our lives. There are still many in our world who have not heard about Christ or who have forgotten about him or not really come to know him. Each of us has a duty to bring our fellow men and women to the truth and the knowledge of God.

In the second reading St Paul tells us that Christ is the link which joins so many people together in peace. All who believe in him regardless of their skin colour or their nationality have a place in the kingdom and so all are brothers and sisters in the eyes of God.

Feast of St Mary Magdalene 

Songs 3:1-4 (or Corinthians 5:14-17); Psalm 62; John 20:1-2, 11-18

The first reading from the Song of Songs tells of a person seeking the one whom they love. Today we can understand it as Mary Magdalene seeking the Lord. In the gospel from St John we see Mary at the empty tomb and been greeted by Christ himself, now risen from the dead. For her faithfulness to him she has been rewarded by being the first person to see the Lord after his resurrection and also by being the one to proclaim that news to the apostles.


Mary of Magdala was one of the followers of Christ who is mentioned in all four Gospels. She stood by the cross of Christ as he was dying and she was the first to see the risen Lord. Because she was the one who told the apostles that the Lord had risen, she is often referred to as “the apostle to the apostles.”

Feast of St Bridget of Sweden, Patroness of Europe

Bridget was born between 1302 and 1304 in Sweden and in 1316 was married to Ulf Gudmarsson and together they had eight children. She became the chief lady-in-waiting at the royal court of King Magnus II in 1335, possibly due to her father’s post as a provincial governor. She was widowed in 1344 and from then on devoted her life to the poor and destitute. She travelled to Rome for the Jubilee Year in 1350 and spent the rest of her life there. She also established the Bridgettines though it never received official approval in her lifetime. She died in Rome in 1373 and her remains were returned to her native Sweden, to the Bridgettine monastery she had founded. Catherine – her fourth child – followed her mother and dedicated her life to the poor and to the strengthening of the Bridgettines. She too was widowed at a young age and she too was canonized.



Galatians 2:19-20; Psalm 33; John 15:1-8

The first reading from St Paul to the Galatians speaks very much of the life of St Bridget of Sweden. She gave what she had in the service of the poor and of Christ and the life she lived was not hers but Christ’s. The gospel speaks of the vine whose branches bear much fruit if they remain pure and part of the vine tree. We are called to be like Bridget and to give of what we have in the service of the Lord and of his people. If we do so then we will produce much fruit for the kingdom.

Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10; Psalm 70; Matthew 13:1-9

In our first reading today we read of the call of Jeremiah to be the prophet of God. Jeremiah is afraid – like Moses and so many other prophets – and does not want the job but the Lord strengthens him and the words that Jeremiah will proclaim are the words of God himself. This is about the year 626 BC. The Gospel text from St Matthew recounts the parable of the sower. The seed fell in various places and produced different effects. Today is a good time to ask ourselves whether we are the good and fertile soil of the parable or whether the Lord sees us as one of the lesser soils. As the Lord strengthened Jeremiah with his word, so too will he strengthen us if we allow him to do so.


Memorial of Blessed John Soreth, Carmelite Priest

John Soreth was born at Caen in Normandy and entered Carmel as a young man. He studied at Paris and pre-dated St Teresa of Jesus (of Avila) in his attempts to reform the Order. He was Prior General from 1451 until 1471 and was responsible for the Constitutions of 1462. He introduced nuns into the Order in the Netherlands in the early 1450s and also promoted the Third Order. He died in 1471.

Feast of St James the Apostle

Also known as James the Greater, he was the brother of St John the Apostle and Evangelist. Not much is known about him other than what is to be found in the Gospels where he has a special place among the Twelve with Peter and John. In Spain it is believed that he preached the Gospel in the Iberian Peninsula and that his relics were buried at Santiago de Compostela, but this is not maintained outside of Spain. He was the first of the apostles to die having been martyred by Herod Agrippa between 42 and 44 AD.



2Corinthians 4:7-15; Psalm 125; Matthew 20:20-28

In our passage from the second letter to the Corinthians St Paul tells us that, because he believes and proclaims the word of God, he will be raised to life with Christ. The death and the life of Christ are at work in him in a very powerful way. There is also a reminder that there will be trials in witnessing for the Lord. In the gospel we see Zebedee’s wife coming to Jesus to ask that her sons sit at his right and left in heaven. Jesus can grant them places in heaven but only if they suffer for him through the spread of the Gospel. We too are called to live lives worthy of the kingdom no matter what trials may come our way. We are to carry our cross every day for Christ and to proclaim the Gospel by the example of how we live.

Jeremiah 3:14-17; Psalm – Jeremiah 31:1-13; Matthew 13:18-23

The Lord calls his people back to him in the first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah. He tells them that he will give them shepherds to guide them and that Zion will be their focal point as is a throne in a throne room. Today’s Gospel text explains the parable of the sower. We are called on to be the rich soil in to which the seed fell and produced a harvest. We are reminded today to look into ourselves from time to time in order to rid ourselves of anything which might reduce our faith and so separate us from the love of God.


Memorial of Sts Joachim & Anne, Parents of Our Lady

These are the names traditionally given to the parents of Our Lady, though nothing is known about them. Anne is the Patron Saint of Canada, women in labour, miners, cabinet-makers and home-makers.

Jeremiah 7:1-11; Psalm 83; Matthew 13:24-30

In our reading from Jeremiah today, the Lord is telling the people how they must behave towards God and towards others. If they act according to his will, then he will stay with them. This is about the year 609 BC and Jeremiah is warning the people that the fact that the Temple is in Jerusalem will not mean that Jerusalem will stand against their enemies – God will only be on their side to protect them if they are faithful to him. In the Gospel, Jesus uses another parable – that of the seed and the darnel which grow side by side – one useful, the other useless – but the farmer leaves them both to grow until the harvest. In our world there are both good people and bad people and both grow and live side by side. The good should not worry that the bad grow and appear to prosper better than they, for the Lord will weed the good from the bad on the day of judgement. We must continue to live good lives converting ourselves more and more to the Gospel.


Memorial of Saint Titus Brandsma, Carmelite Priest & Martyr

Anno Sjoerd Brandsma was born at Bolsward, The Netherlands, in 1881, joined the Carmelite Order in 1898 taking the name ‘Titus’, and was ordained priest in 1905. Following studies in Rome he lectured in philosophy at the Catholic University of Nijmegen from 1923 to 1942, where he also served as professor and Rector Magnificus. He was also a journalist and was involved in a number of publications, being appointed ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists in 1935. During the 1930’s he visited Ireland and stayed in Kinsale with the Carmelite Community there – to improve his English – before giving a series of lectures in the United States. Throughout the 1930s Nazi propaganda was on the rise but Fr Titus refused to support or print anything in support of the Nazi regime, working instead to maintain the freedom of the Catholic press and education in the Netherlands. By 1942 it was required that the press in the Netherlands print articles in favour of the Nazi regime but, continuing to refuse, Titus was arrested by the Gestapo on January 19, 1942, and imprisoned in his native country before being sent to the concentration camp at Dachau where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners. In Dachau he was experimented on in the medical wing and was finally put to death by lethal injection on July 26, 1942. Saint Titus was canonised by Pope Francis on May 15, 2022.

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