Reflections on Daily Readings 2024

October 27th - November 30th, 2024

October 27 – November 2, 2024

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

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 125; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

The book of the Prophet Jeremiah was written just before the Babylonian captivity and in it the prophet predicts the downfall of the Jewish people because of their iniquities. In our passage today we see the Lord telling the people that he will bring them back to their home. Despite all they have done he will heal and cure those who are sick and will comfort the people as he guides them. The Psalm continues the theme of bondage in Babylon. In the gospel we see Jesus restoring sight to a blind man. As with all the miracles worked by Jesus the blind man had to ask for healing which reminds us that nobody will be forced to accept the love of God. Jesus is also the fulfilment of the text from Jeremiah because he is the one who is leading us to our true homeland – which is the kingdom of God – and he comforts us as he does so.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews speaks today of the priesthood. He reminds us that nobody chooses to be a priest but is called to that service by God himself. Priests come from among the people – they are not born into a special class with superhuman powers – they are regular human beings with the same faults and failings as everybody else and because of this are able to intercede for us and to minister to us on God’s behalf.

Feast of Ss Simon & Jude, the Apostles

Very little is actually known about these two apostles. Simon, known as “the Zealous,” is named in the list of the Twelve. Jude (Thaddeus) is believed to be the brother of James the Less and also the author of the epistle which bears his name. Tradition holds that Simon and Jude were martyred together in Persia but there is no proof for this.



Ephesians 2:19-22; Psalm 18; Luke 6:12-19

Our first reading from the letter to the Ephesians speaks of the Church being founded on the Apostles. St Paul speaks about the role the Apostles played in the establishment of the Church and of how their lives can give a sure foundation to the faith of each of us. The gospel passage recounts the naming of the Twelve Apostles by Christ. What is significant about his choice is that they were ordinary people who believed in him and acknowledged their sinfulness and need of grace. More importantly, Jesus spent time in prayer before he made his choice. We too should pray before we make our own important decisions and try to live as the Apostles did – completely faithful to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:21-33; Psalm 127; Luke 13:18-21

Our first reading from the letter to the Ephesians today does not appear to be very politically correct these days but St Paul’s underlying message of respect is all the more important in today’s overwhelming climate of individualism and self-centredness. Paul speaks of married life and says that a husband and wife should have the same relationship with each other as Christ has with his Church. Today’s Gospel sees Christ using two brief parables to show how the kingdom flourishes and grows. It can only grow if we allow it to do so and if we each help in its spread.

Ephesians 6:1-9; Psalm 144; Luke 13:22-30

Today’s first reading is a continuation of yesterday’s text from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and sees great emphasis being placed on respect for one another. Today he speaks about the relationship between children and their parents and between slaves and their masters. Paul lived at a time when slavery was a way of life and his underlying principle is that all men and women should live in respect and love following the example of Christ. Jesus tells his listeners in today’s Gospel that everyone is invited to the kingdom where many will enter but not those who fail to do the will of God. Saying we believe in God is not enough unless we put that faith into practice.

Ephesians 6:10-20; Psalm 143; Luke 13:31-35

St Paul tells us in our final section from his letter to the Christian community in the port city of Ephesus that it is the devil we must fear and not our fellow men and women. To combat the devil we must allow God to clothe us in spiritual armour and to pray constantly while spreading the Gospel. In the Gospel text some Pharisees come to warn Jesus to leave Jerusalem or he will die at the hands of Herod. However, he tells them that it is his destiny as a prophet to die in Jerusalem. He then weeps at the fact that Jerusalem has rejected both him and his message.

Solemnity of All Saints

Today we celebrate not only the publicly canonised saints but also all those who have reached eternal life with the Lord, including our deceased relatives and friends who have died and are counted among the Communion of Saints.



Apocalypse 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12

In the reading from the Book of the Apocalypse the author speaks of the faithful who have died and are now radiant in the presence of God in heaven. They are radiant because their robes have been washed in the blood of the Lamb who is our redeemer. Before the final judgement all those who have been faithful will be given a seal on their forehead as the Jews sealed their doorposts on Passover night. In our second reading St John asks us to think of the love which God has lavished on us – a love which allows us to be called the sons and daughters of God and therefore grants us a place in heaven with God. For John, this means that anybody who thinks of this would automatically try to purify themselves and try to live up to this great gift and grace. In the gospel, we have Christ’s tremendous blueprint for Christian living – the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount – which has the power to transform our world but only if people live out that teaching in their lives. These readings are apt for today’s feast because the saints did live out the Beatitudes and did recognise and appreciate the great love which God lavished on them and so lived their lives in such a way that people could see the love of God in their midst. As a result, the saints – who were living, breathing human beings like each and every one of us – now enjoy the beatific vision in the eternal kingdom.

Solemn Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

Today we remember all the members of the Church who have died in Christ. While we remember them at their funerals and anniversaries we also remember them in a very special way on this day and pray for their eternal happiness. On this day, each priest has the privilege of celebrating three Masses.



Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 26; Romans 5:5-11; Matthew 11:25-30 or Mark 15:33-39, 16:1-6

In our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah we read that the Lord of hosts will destroy Death for ever. We know that Christ has triumphed over death and yet people still die. What is important for us to keep in mind is that while our earthly body may die our soul does not. It lives on and the banquet which Isaiah speaks about takes place in heaven. In the second reading St Paul tells us that we have been saved by Christ who died for us even while we were still sinning. This is the hope that we should have and if we live according to that hope then we will all be reunited in the kingdom where death has no power. In the gospel text from St Matthew we see Jesus praising the Father in heaven for revealing the mysteries to children rather than to the learned and the clever. The text concludes with Jesus calling to him all those who are overburdened. Matthew is reminding us that the way of Christ is a way of fulfilment at the end of which is eternal life and a time of rest which will never end. Only if we trust God like little children and act accordingly can we enter the kingdom of heaven. In the alternative gospel passage from St Mark we read of the death of Christ which is a moment of great despair for his mother and for the disciples. But in the second part there is a very obvious contrast because we now see the Risen Lord and so we are filled with great hope. Christ, who was human, has been raised from the dead and through his resurrection we too have the promise of resurrection and eternal life. Today in a very special way we pray for all who have died but we do so in hope – hope of the resurrection which has been promised to each one of us and to all who have died.

Any of the readings from amongst those from the Lectionary for the Dead may be used today.

November 3 – November 9, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Thirty-First Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 6:2-6; Psalm 17; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34

In our first reading today from the Book of Deuteronomy we see Moses encouraging the people to follow the Law of God and to keep his commandments. If they do this then they will live in the Lord’s favour. The passage concludes with the Shema Israel – the great command to love God which is so central to Jewish faith. In the time of Christ the scribes were a very important group within Judaism because they were the ones who interpreted the Laws and sacred texts for the people. In today’s gospel we see one of the scribes asking Jesus about the most important commandment to which Jesus replies with the Shema Israel which we read in the first reading. The scribe applauds the answer and then goes on to give an explanation of the text and is in turn applauded by Christ because he is so close to the kingdom. The Shema Israel is a text which we too should take to heart and ponder on as it reminds us of the central role which God should play in our hearts and in our lives.

In the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews we are told that Christ’s power to save is utterly certain. Christ is the ultimate high priest who retains his priesthood for ever and whose sacrifice for sin need never again be repeated. In the Temple it was the custom for each high priest to offer regular sacrifices to the Lord to atone for the sins of the people, but for us this was done by Christ and need never again be repeated. Our sins are wiped away and will continue to be wiped away if we turn to the Lord and ask for forgiveness with a genuine heart.

Philippians 2:1-4; Psalm 130; Luke 14:12-14

St Paul asks us in the first reading from his letter to the Philippians in northern Greece, to be a humble people and to always regard others as being better than we are. He also says that we should be of one mind thereby avoiding factions and divisions. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that we should not do something for the sake of a reward or a returned favour in this life but that we should be charitable to those who cannot give anything back. Therefore our reward will be all the greater for it will be given in the next life.


Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Charles was born in 1538 to a privileged background – his mother was a Medici. Though he was ordained a priest in 1563 he had been made a cardinal three years earlier by his uncle, Pope Pius IV. He was responsible in part for reassembling the Council of Trent but his greatest achievement was in sorting out his own diocese and improving the liturgy there. He was also the first to begin what are known as “Sunday Schools.” He was selfless during the plague and was one of the greatest churchmen of the Counter-Reformation. He died in 1584 and was canonized in 1610.

Philippians 2:5-11; Psalm 21; Luke 14:15-24

In our first reading from the letter to the Christians at Philippi, we have one of the most beautiful passages in Sacred Scripture in which St Paul speaks about how much Christ gave up in order to become one like us. Given his great sacrifice how can we fail to make sacrifices which are as nothing in comparison to his? In the Gospel, we have the parable of the man who gave a great banquet but whose original guests did not show up. He then gave his invite to others and they came. The message of Christ was first given to the Jews but they did not accept it so it was preached to the Gentiles and the pagans. Therefore all peoples have an invite to the eternal banquet of heaven.

Feast of All the Saints of Ireland

On November 1st we celebrated the Feast of All Saints. Today we remember in a particular way all those Irish men and women who make up part of the Communion of Saints.



Ecclesiastes 44:1-5; Psalm 14; Luke 6:17-23

The first reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes calls on us to praise illustrious men and then lists those who have held positions in society and who are remembered for their great and noble works. But in the last section it speaks of generous men and those who kept the covenants and handed them on to their children. Today we praise those Irish people who kept the faith which was handed on to them and for which they are now counted among the Communion of Saints, though their names have long since been forgotten. In the gospel, we have Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes in which Christ is promising the kingdom to those who are poor in spirit. Those who live by the Beatitudes are those who will inherit the kingdom and be counted among the Communion of Saints.


Memorial of St Nuno Alvares Pereira, Carmelite

Nuno Alvares Pereira was born in 1360 near Crato in central Portugal. He became a soldier and rose through the ranks becoming the champion of Portuguese independence. He was most decisive in ensuring Portuguese independence from the kingdom of Castile between 1383 and 1385, for which he was named Protector and Constable of Portugal. He married at the age of sixteen and his wife gave birth to three children, the two boys dying early in life. After his wife had died, Nuno joined the Carmelites in 1423 and entered the Carmo Convent in Lisbon (which he himself had founded in fulfilment of a vow, one of several churches and monasteries he had built). In religious life he remained a favourite of the king and the royal court who would not allow him to give up all his possessions or titles (he was Count of all three countdoms in the kingdom). Devoted to Our Lady, he took the religious name Brother Nuno of St Mary and lived in the Carmo until his death in 1431. He was canonized in 2009.

Philippians 3:3-8; Psalm 104; Luke 15:1-10

St Paul speaks about how perfect a Jew he himself was before his conversion. However his former standing as a Jew is often a disadvantage because people are not always ready to accept that he is now a true Christian. If we want to be accepted as true Christians then we must convert today and not continue in our sinful ways. Christ tells us in the Gospel that there is more rejoicing in heaven over the conversion of a sinner than for the right living of the virtuous. The virtuous are doing no more than is expected of them while the repentant sinner has come to accept the word of God and make it the guiding light in their life.

Philippians 3:17-4:1; Psalm 121; Luke 16:1-8

In today’s first reading from the letter to the Philippians, St Paul calls on us to remain faithful because there is a glory awaiting us which only the faithful can attain. If we are unfaithful then we will be lost forever. Paul reminds us that our true homeland is in heaven where we will share in the glorified body of Christ. In the Gospel we have the story of the steward who was to be sacked for his malpractices but who made a number of deals in order to secure his future. Our future is in heaven and so we should make that future secure by faith in God and living by the Gospel.

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

The Church commonly known as the Basilica of St John Lateran is actually dedicated to the Most Holy Saviour and St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist and was first dedicated in 324 AD. It derives its importance from the fact that it is the “Most Holy Lateran Church, of all the churches in the city and the world, the mother and head” (Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput – from an inscription on the front wall of the church). This basilica is also the Cathedral Church of the Bishop of Rome and Primate of Italy – the Pope (St Peter’s in the Vatican is a basilica but not a Cathedral Church). In celebrating its dedication we celebrate the dedication of our own local churches also for they are all joined together.



Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Psalm 45; 1Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22

In the first reading from Ezekiel we read how a stream flowed from the Temple and gave life in abundance wherever it flowed. If we look at the distance from the Temple as a timeline then we see that over time the river grows to become a great torrent with the Temple being Christ. What is in the river could be seen as the members of the Church and what is on the banks as those who come into contact with members of the Church. Whether the people be in the river or on the bank, all receive life from the river. In the second reading St Paul reminds us that we are all God’s temple through the Spirit which has been given to us and therefore we must preserve this temple and strengthen it in the faith. The Temple is not just a stone building but it is each and every one of us who has God within them. In the gospel we see Jesus driving out of the Temple those who had dishonoured it. The Church is the house of God and it is the source of life for us and that is what we celebrate today. It is our duty to build up the Church of God – the church within each of us and the church as the unity and gathering of all who believe in Christ.

November 10 – November 16, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Thirty-Second Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

1Kings 17:10-16; Psalm 145; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44

In the first reading from the first book of the Kings we see the great Prophet Elijah arriving in the town of Sidon. There he meets a widow and asks her to make some bread for him. The widow replies that she and her son have nothing but Elijah tells her not to worry for she will not die of starvation if she does as he asks. The widow trusts him and the words which the Lord addressed to her through Elijah and so she goes and makes some bread for him and, miraculously, there is more than enough for her son and for her to live on. The Psalm is a psalm of praise for all that the Lord does for us. In the gospel text from St Mark we see Jesus teaching the people. He sees a widow putting two small coins in the collection plate while several wealthy men put in a lot more. However, Christ praises the widow because unlike the men she had no surplus and so the money she contributed was money that she needed to live on while the men put in money which they would not miss. We are reminded in this text that being charitable with our surplus wealth is very easy while giving of what we need is something very different but is what we are called to do as Christians. Only in this way can we truly show to others the love of God present in our world. As Christ gave all that he had for our sakes so we are called on to give of what we need for his sake.

We are again reminded in our second reading today from the letter to the Hebrews that Christ has abolished all sacrifice for sin by his sacrifice of himself on the cross. Therefore we should live as a redeemed people who believe in their redemption and who want to enter eternal life.

Titus 1:1-9; Psalm 23; Luke 17:1-6

We begin this week with St Paul’s letter to St Titus (in 65 AD), a fellow missionary who he had left behind on the island of Crete to continue organising the Christian community there. In our opening passage Paul speaks of the sort of character a person should have if he wishes to be appointed as a sacred minister by Titus. In fact, as Christians, it is a standard by which we could all try to live. In the Gospel, Christ tells us that we must forgive others who come to us seeking forgiveness and if they are sorry for the wrong they committed. It is a reminder that we cannot stand before God and ask him to forgive us if we have not forgiven others for the wrongs they may have committed against us.


Memorial of St Martin of Tours, Bishop

Martin was born about the year 335 to a Roman officer and was himself drafted into the army. However, he believed that Christians should not take part in war and he refused to take part. He was a disciple of St Hilary of Poitiers and founded a community of hermit-monks which later became a Benedictine monastery. Reluctantly he was elected Bishop of Tours in 371, though he continued his monastic lifestyle as much as possible. He brought monasticism to Gaul and had a considerable influence on the Celtic churches. He died in 397.

Titus 2:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 36; Luke 17:7-10

St Paul speaks in the first reading from his letter to St Titus about how we should behave and act as Christians. We do this because of the glory which we are awaiting and which will be given us by Christ, though we do not know when. Paul also reminds Titus that the example of his own life in Crete will be very important for the growth of the faith there. The Psalm continues Paul’s theme. We are reminded by Christ in the Gospel that we are servants of God and that really we should not expect praise for living as Christians because, in so living, we are simply doing our duty. Yet there are those who do it simply to earn the praise of others and the Lord knows this and will not accept it.


Memorial of St Josaphat, Bishop & Martyr

Josaphat was born about the year 1580 in Vladimir in the Ukraine. He became a Byzantine Rite monk and later abbot of Vilna at a time when the Orthodox Dioceses in Kiev were united with the Holy See and to this union he devoted his life. In 1617 he was made Archbishop of Polotsk where he touched the lives of many people through his gentleness and wisdom. For his efforts to bring about union with Rome he was murdered by a mob in White Russia in 1623.

Titus 3:1-7; Psalm 22; Luke 17:11-19

St Paul continues to offer us a blueprint for living in the first reading from his letter to St Titus – his appointed leader of the Christian community in Crete. He also tells us that it was the compassion of God which saved us and nothing we ourselves had done when he sent his Son in to the world. We have the story of the ten lepers in our Gospel passage for today. Only one man returned to thank Christ for the gift of health which Christ had given him and by this act of faith he was saved. How often do we stop to thank God for all that we have received? The greatest act of thanksgiving we could make would be to live righteously in keeping with the Gospel.

All Carmelite Saints


Romans 8:28-35, 37-39; Psalm 23; Matthew 5:1-12

Today we remember all those members of the Carmelite Family whose heroic lives have pointed the way to heaven for us and who have been recognised as saints and blesseds. Our first reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans speaks of how God wants all people to become true images of his own divine Son. All those he intends for this have been called by him and with them he shares his glory. If we too believe then we will follow the example of how the saints lived their lives, in fidelity to the gospel message of Jesus Christ. In this way, we too will share the Father’s glory in eternity.

The Gospel text from St Matthew gives the account of the Sermon on the Mount, specifically the Beatitudes. The text reminds us that the Lord is with us and that those who suffer rejection, or humiliation, or even death, for the sake of the Kingdom will enjoy life in the Kingdom. Far from being downcast at being ill-treated for the sake of the Gospel, the people are to be happy because they will be rewarded for their faithfulness. The saints would have been aware of this text and would no doubt have taken great courage from its message and so have won the crown of righteousness.

All Carmelite Souls


Romans 14:7-9, 10c-12; Psalm 114; Matthew 25:31-46

Today we commemorate all those members of the Carmelite Family who have gone before us to their eternal reward. In our first reading from the letter to the Romans, St Paul reminds us that when we are called from this life each of us will have to stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives. We belong to the Lord and so we must live life accordingly, because in doing so we secure our entry to the Kingdom.

Our gospel today sees Jesus teaching his disciples about the judgement of God and takes up the same theme as the first reading. He tells them, as he tells us today, that those who do the will of God will enter and inherit the Kingdom of heaven, while those who refuse to reach out to their brothers and sisters in their need, will not enter the Kingdom for they have rejected God by their very rejection of others. If we too want to be part of the Kingdom, then we must reach out to others every day. There is a powerful reminder that Jesus Christ is to be found in every person we meet or encounter regardless of what we think of them or how they are presented to us.

3 John 5-8; Psalm 1; Luke 18:1-8

St John tells us in our reading from his third letter that we should support the servants of the Gospel in any way we can for in supporting them we too help in the spread of the Good News. Of importance is our support of the missionary endeavour still taking place throughout the world. We are not all able to be missionaries but our help for them is our way of spreading the Gospel of Christ. Through the parable of the unscrupulous judge and the poor widow we are told by Christ in the Gospel that God will hear the prayers of his faithful ones and answer them even if he appears to take a long time in doing so. Therefore we are to persevere in our prayers and not loose heart.

November 17 – November 23, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Thirty-Third Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

The Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Daniel 12:1-13; Psalm 15; Hebrews 10:11-14, 18; Mark 13:24-32

The Book of the Prophet Daniel is the earliest statement of belief in the resurrection of the dead in the Old Testament. The author speaks of those who have been “sleeping in the dust” coming back to life. Of those who come back to life some will go on to everlasting life while others to eternal shame. The Psalm asks God to keep us faithful to him. In the gospel, Jesus tells us that the Son of Man will come in his glory and will gather to himself all those who have been faithful to him. The text reminds us that this will be at a time that we do not know and so we must always be prepared. Jesus also tells us that his words will never pass away but will always be there to remind the people of the faith. No matter what might happen in our world the message of Christ will never be silenced.

In the second reading, the author reminds us that through his suffering and death on the cross, Christ has perfected us. We no longer have to make offerings for sins, for Christ has made the one eternal offering which was himself. To enter heaven therefore, we need only to believe in Christ, to confess our sins and to live out our faith as we are called to do.

Apocalypse 1:1-4, 2:1-5; Psalm 1; Luke 18:35-43

For the final two weeks of the Church’s year we turn to the last book of the Bible – the Book of Apocalypse or Revelation – attributed to St John and put together between 70 and 95 AD. The book is written in a style common at the time of Christ and which the author addresses to seven Churches in what is today Turkey. In today’s text the Church in Ephesus is told that even though it worked hard for the faith it does not love as much as it did in the past. We are reminded that we cannot slip back to our old ways but must keep striving forward towards heaven. In our Gospel text Jesus gives sight to a blind man because the man had faith and asked to be cured. This is a reminder that if we have faith then we can ask anything of God and he will answer us.

Apocalypse 3:1-6, 14-22; Psalm 14; Luke 19:1-10

In our first reading from the Book of the Apocalypse we see the Lord telling the Churches of Sardis and Laodicea that he knows them well. He recounts their good points but also points out their flaws – for those in Sardis it is their lack of perfection which displeases the Lord, while he accuses the Laodiceans of being lukewarm in the faith. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that he came to save those who were lost but, like Zacchaeus, they will only be saved if they wish to be saved. Were the Lord to look closely at each of us what flaws would he point out? More importantly, we must ask ourselves if we are willing to do what we can to eradicate those flaws and so enter the kingdom of heaven.

Apocalypse 4:1-11; Psalm 150; Luke 19:11-28

In our first reading from the Book of the Apocalypse, or Revelation, the author writes of the glory of God and of the praise given him by the host of heaven. The four principle creatures have been seen as the four Evangelists and, indeed, the images found here are often used in art – the lion for Mark, the ox for Luke, the man for Matthew, and the eagle for John. This text was to give hope to those Christian communities who were being persecuted because of their faith. The Gospel today gives us the parable of the man who was to be made king and who gave money to three servants. The first two servants made a profit with the money entrusted to them and they were rewarded for this while the third man did nothing and was punished. The money can be seen as our faith which we have a duty to build up and to strengthen while also helping the growth of the faith in the world. Lip-service to the Lord will count for nothing.

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today’s feast has been observed in the Church since the eighth century. We know that Mary said ‘yes’ to the message of the Annunciation but today’s feast commemorates that Mary had a relationship with God before that – if not then the message of the Annunciation would not have been given to Mary. The feast of the Presentation of Mary recalls the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple and suggests that Mary’s life was, in some way, consecrated to God from her earliest years.



Zechariah 2:14-17; Psalm – Luke 1:46-55; Matthew 12:46-50

As is so often the case on memorials of Our Lady, the readings focus very much on her Divine Son. Today’s memorial is no different for the first reading sees the Lord telling us that he is coming to dwell in the midst of his people, and that he will make Jerusalem his very own. This reminds us of Christ who lived among the people and for whom Jerusalem was so important. In the gospel text we have the familiar story of Jesus being sought by his family. He tells the people that whoever does the will of God are his real family.

Apocalypse 10:8-11; Psalm 118; Luke 19:45-48

We continue to read of St John’s vision of heaven in our first reading from the Book of the Apocalypse. In eating the scroll given him by the angel, John is indicating that he has fully understood the message he has received (similar to the Prophet Ezekiel centuries before). The sweet taste of the scroll signifies the glory of heaven which awaits us, while the bitter taste represents the trials that we must go through before entering into the glory promised us. In the Gospel, Christ drives the money changers from the Temple and cleanses it. He then teaches the people every day in the Temple which infuriates the elders who wish to get rid of him. The people on the other hand, are so captivated by Christ’s preaching that the authorities are unable to act against him for the time being.


Memorial of St Cecilia, Virgin & Martyr

Very little is actually known about Cecilia. Tradition has it that she was married at a young age to Valerian, who later converted to Christianity, and was martyred with his brother, Tiburtius, both of them being later canonized. Cecilia was later martyred by beheading in her own home after the attempt to suffocate her failed. However, there is no proper record of this. It is thought that perhaps her following comes from the belief that she founded a church in Rome. She is the patron saint of musicians though for reasons unknown. She is named in the Roman Canon of the Mass (Eucharistic Prayer I).

Memorial of St Columban, Abbot

Columban was born in Leinster in the mid-sixth century and became a monk. He left Bangor for France and founded the famous monastery of Luxeuil in the Vosges. In 610 he was exiled from France by Queen Brunhilda and went to Italy where he founded the equally famous monastery of Bobbio. He defended and maintained Irish customs and his strict Rule was very influential on European monasticism during the sixth and seventh centuries. He died in Bobbio in 615.



Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 95; Luke 9:57-62

Our reading from the Prophet Isaiah speaks of how all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God and of how they will rejoice in that salvation. St Columban – as a monk and missionary – sought to bring that salvation to people by founding monasteries and teaching the people. The Psalm commands us to “proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples,” which is what Columban did. In the gospel passage from St Luke, we see some men telling Jesus that they will follow Jesus once they have taken care of certain things. However, Jesus tells them that they must follow him immediately. Columban did this even in the midst of difficulty. We are challenged today to be like Columban and to freely and readily go where the Lord leads and to spread his word in all we do and say.

November 24 – November 30, 2024

Ordinary Time – The Thirty-Fourth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle B; Weekday Cycle 2.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Daniel 7:13-14; Psalm 92; Apocalypse 1:5-8; John 18:33-37

The last Sunday of the Church’s year is always celebrated as the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. It is a reminder that everything comes form God through Jesus who is king of all. The first reading is taken from the vision of Daniel in the Old Testament in which Daniel sees the sovereignty and eternal kingdom bestowed upon the Son of Man. In the second reading from the Book of the Apocalypse we read that not only has the Son of Man been made universal king, but that he has also made us a line of kings to carry on his work and to serve God. In the Gospel we read from St John’s account of the Passion of Christ and in the excerpt we have we see Jesus standing before Pilate who asks him if he is a king. He tells Pilate that he is but not of the same sort of kingdom that Pilate would be familiar with. An important element in the account is that Christ tells Pilate that he was born in order to serve the truth and that all those who believe in the truth will listen to him.

Apocalypse 14:1-5; Psalm 23; Luke 21:1-4

Our first reading this week continues to come from St John’s Apocryphal dream and in today’s passage we are told of the Just who have been allowed entry into heaven. The image speaks of the Lamb who stands in triumph at the end of the world surrounded by those who have been faithful despite their persecutions. This would have been a support to the early Christian communities who were being persecuted by the Romans because of the faith. We have the story of the widow’s mite in the Gospel passage. For us to give away what is surplus is not really a sacrifice because we will not miss it. For us to give of what we need is real charity and a true sacrifice.

Apocalypse 14:14-19; Psalm 95; Luke 21:5-11

St John’s vision today tells of the harvesting of the earth which will take place at the end of time. Christ is the one who will reap the harvest of those who have been faithful to him. In the second analogy we see an angel placing the grapes of the unfaithful in to the winepress of God’s anger. In the Gospel, Christ foretells the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and also warns his followers to be on their guard against those who claim to be messiahs and who preach of impending doom. The Temple was the most important place for the Jews and any talk of its destruction was seen as heretical and, therefore, the message of Christ would have been seen in a very poor light in certain quarters.

Apocalypse 15:1-4; Psalm 97; Luke 21:12-19

As we read from St John’s vision in our first reading we should be encouraged to praise God by the vision of the Christians who have led victorious lives for the faith and the Gospel. At the time that the book was written the early Christians were being persecuted by the Romans and so this book would have brought great consolation and encouragement for them. In our Gospel passage for today, Jesus warns his disciples that they will suffer for him and that through it all he will be with them to strengthen them and to protect them. This protection will be ours also if we are willing to stand up for and witness to the Lord.

Apocalypse 18:1-2, 21-23, 19:1-3, 9; Psalm 99; Luke 21:20-28

In our first reading we read St John’s vision of how Babylon – representing the city of Rome and the greatest city of evil – has been destroyed by God for its wickedness. At the end of the passage the assembly of heaven sings a hymn of praise for the punishment of the city and for the fact that God “judges fairly, he punishes justly.” Again in our Gospel from St Luke, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the people for their lack of faith and perseverance. He says that there will be many signs – terrifying and frightening signs – but that will be the time to stand confidently for liberation will be near at hand.

Apocalypse 20:1-4, 11-21:2; Psalm 83; Luke 21:29-33

In our first reading from Apocalypse (Revelation) we are told that the dead are judged by God according to what they did in life in terms of their faith. In order to be saved their names had to be written in the book of life. We are told about the 1,000 year reign of Christ at the end of which the dragon (Satan) would be set free for a short time. Some Christian-based groups of our own time – such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses – take this passage to be literally true and see the release of the dragon to be the great battle of Armageddon when sinful and unfaithful humans will be wiped out forever and only the righteous will live. Most Christian groups see the passage as an allegory to encourage the early Christians to remain faithful and to do all they can to ensure that their names will be found in the book of life. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that even if the earth and heaven pass away his words will remain for ever. As sure as the trees bud and flower in summer, his words will come to pass.

Feast of St Andrew the Apostle

Like so many of Christ’s apostles very little is actually known about Andrew. He was the brother of St Peter, a disciple of John the Baptist, and was the first to be called by Christ. In St John’s Gospel he tells his brother of Jesus with the words – “We have found the Messiah.” He is also mentioned in the gospels as the one who brought the Gentiles to Jesus and the one who pointed out the boy with the loaves and fishes. He is said to have preached the Gospel in Asia Minor and Greece and to have been martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achaia. He is the patron saint of Scotland, Greece and Russia.



Romans 10:9-18; Psalm 18; Matthew 4:18-22

In the first reading from the letter to the Romans, St Paul speaks of the importance of spreading the Good News because if the Word is not spread then people will not hear of Christ and so will be unable to believe in him or to call upon him. In our gospel text for today’s feast we read of the call of St Andrew by Christ. Andrew responded generously to the Lord’s call and without hesitation and he spread the Gospel among the peoples even to the point of giving his life in martyrdom for Christ. His example of spreading the Good News is set before us today and we are reminded that we have all been called by Christ to do the very same in our own day.

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