Reflections on Daily Readings 2022
September 25th - October 29th, 2022
September 25 – October 1, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Sixth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Amos 6:1, 4-7; Psalm 145; 1Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31
Through the Prophet Amos in the first reading we see the Lord warning the people that because of their faith in earthly things and their disloyalty to him they will suffer destruction – all that they have will be taken from them because of their fickleness. The Psalm reminds us of the faithfulness of God and of all that he does for his people. In the gospel, Jesus gives us the story of the rich man and the poor man named Lazarus. The rich man failed to really take notice of the poor man or to reach out to him and help him. As a result the rich man went to Hades while the poor man went to heaven. Despite all the warnings and all the teachings from and about God the rich man failed to heed them and so suffers after his death for his misdeeds. The story is a reminder to us that we have all been given the Good News with its promise of eternal life but it is now up to us to actually take those lessons on board and secure our place in heaven.
In the second reading from his first letter to Timothy, we see St Paul encouraging Timothy to be faithful to the teaching to which he has dedicated his life so that he may secure for himself eternal life.
Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Job 1:6-22; Psalm 16; Luke 9:46-50
This week we turn to the Book of Job which dates to about the beginning of the fifth century before Christ. In its opening section we see how Job was afflicted by Satan who wanted to prove a point to God. Job represents all those who serve the Lord faithfully and yet endure suffering in their lives. Despite his great misfortunes, Job still praises God and refuses to do or say anything wrong. In the Gospel, the disciples have been arguing about who is the greatest but Christ tells them that the greatest is actually the least. We are challenged today to be a humble people and to accept everything that comes our way – whether we see it as good or bad – with dignity and with praise for God.
Tuesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23; Psalm 87; Luke 9:51-56
In our first reading from the Old Testament Book of Job, we see Job cursing the day of his birth because of the misfortunes that have befallen him. However, he does not curse the Lord or sin because he believes that God does not punish without just cause and so would say nothing negative against God. In the Gospel we read that Jesus resolutely headed for Jerusalem to suffer and to die for us. We are challenged to be Job-like and not to “give out” to God when evil afflicts us but to see in it a way to show our love and trust for God and so be more worthy of the great sacrifice which Christ made for us.
Memorial of St Vincent de Paul, Priest
Vincent was born in France in 1581. He became a priest in 1600 and, on a visit to Paris, he met with Fr Bérulle and Mme de Gondi who changed his heart forever. He then became totally immersed in the plight of the poor and destitute. In 1625 he founded the Congregation of the Missions (the Vincentians) and, in 1633, the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul to carry on his work. He died in 1660 and is the patron saint of all charitable societies and in particular the society which bears his name.
Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Job 9:1-16; Psalm 87; Luke 9:57-62
In our first reading today Job tells his friends that God is always right for we do not know his mind. Therefore how can we be right and God be wrong? In his speech he outlines the greatness and the glory of the Lord. In the Gospel we see a number of men coming to Jesus to follow him but each has a condition to be filled before they will set out with him. Our following of Christ must be unconditional if we are to be true disciples and so enter the kingdom of heaven.
Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 (or Revelations 12:7-12); Psalm 137; John 1:47-51
The text from the book of Daniel speaks of one of great age taking his seat upon his throne and receiving sovereignty, glory and kingship and with all peoples worshiping him. In the alternative reading from the book of Revelations we read of Michael the Archangel leading the hosts of angels into battle on behalf of the Lord against the dragon, known as the devil of Satan. They are victorious and the glory of the Lord is declared. In the gospel we see Jesus speaking with Nathanael when the latter came to him late at night. Nathanael says that Jesus is the Son of God and Jesus commends him for his faith. He goes on to tell him that he shall see great things in heaven including the angels who dwell in the Lord’s presence and act as his messengers.
Michael is traditionally regarded as the chief of the Archangels and a special protector against the attacks of Satan. Gabriel is the special messenger of the Lord who visited Mary at the Annunciation. Raphael is known as “The Healer of the Lord” because he brought healing to people as found in the Book of Tobias and St John’s Gospel.
Friday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Job 38:1, 12-21, 40:3-5; Psalm 138; Luke 10:13-16
In our first reading for today, we come to the high point in the Book of Job. The Lord himself speaks with Job and questions Job about the world of nature because Job has told his friends that what has happened to him has its source in God and not in nature. At the end of the conversation Job declares that he has been frivolous and will not speak of this again. In the Gospel, Christ tells his followers that those who reject their teaching of the Good News reject not just those who proclaim it but also Christ and the Father. We know that those who reject the Good News will not be allowed to enter the Kingdom.
Memorial of St Jerome, Priest & Doctor of the Church
Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius was born in Dalmatia between 340 and 347. He is regarded as the most learned Father of the Church in matters concerning the Bible. In 385 he retired to Bethlehem where he continued his great work of translating the Bible into Latin and also wrote several Biblical commentaries. He could be quick to temper but also very quick to remorse. He referred to those who sought to amend the Bible as “presumptuous blockheads.” In his Prologue to his commentaries on the Prophet Isaiah he wrote that “Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” For his services for Pope St Damasus he is depicted as a cardinal though he was never elevated to the College of Cardinals. He died in 420 in Bethlehem. Jerome is the patron of librarians.
Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux, Virgin & Doctor of the Church
Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin – popularly known as ‘The Little Flower’ – was born in Alençon, northern France, in 1873, one of nine children born to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin. While still young (at the age of 15), and despite opposition, she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Lisieux. By word and example she taught the novices the virtues of humility. Following a difficult illness (tuberculosis) she died on September 30, 1897. Thérèse was canonized in 1925 with successive popes referring to her as ‘the greatest saint of modern times’. She became famous for her ‘Little Way’ which is found in her remaining letters and her biography. She was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997. She is co-patroness of the Missions and secondary patron of France.
Isaiah 66:10-14 or 1John 4:7-16; Psalm 102; Matthew 11:25-30 or Matthew 18:1-4
In the reading from the Prophet Isaiah, the Lord is telling Jerusalem and its inhabitants that they are to be comforted as a child is looked after by its mother. To Jerusalem he will send peace flowing like a river.
Our alternative reading from the first letter of St John tells us that we must love one another because God loves us. Not alone will God love us, but he will also live in us. Despite the poor health and trials Thérèse suffered in the final years of her life, she continued to love and trust in God and this was lived out in how she loved her sisters in Community, even when their odd habits and eccentricities caused her distraction. She was devoted to Christ whose life, death and resurrection were the embodiment of God’s incredible love for us and which inspired Thérèse.
Both gospels which can be used today carry the same theme – that of becoming like little children in how we trust God. In one we see Jesus praising God for having revealed his truth to mere children, and in the other he tells us to become like a little child for they are the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Often the most learned in the world miss God’s message because they want to analyse and rationalise it. However, those who look at it with a child’s mind, as did St Thérèse, will find the true meaning in its hidden depths. At times, Thérèse’s writings are very much in line with those of a child and yet the message is very simple but also profound, demonstrating that she had grasped the message of God which she tried to live that out in her own short life.
October 2 – October 8, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Seventh Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4; Psalm 94; 2Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10
In our first reading from the Prophet Habakkuk we are told that the “upright man will live by his faithfulness.” At times we all struggle and wonder if God is present but the reading reminds us that God is always there even in the most difficult of moments. In our gospel text from St Luke we see Jesus exhorting the disciples to unwavering faith in response to their quest for greater faith. They had asked him to increase their faith but his reply puts the onus back on them to increase their own faith. Faith is a free gift from God to all of his sons and daughters but it is also a gift which we must work at if it is to achieve its potential in our lives.
In our second reading we see St Paul exhorting his readers to “fan into a flame the gift that God gave” them, a gift which was not a quiet thing but a thing of great power and love. This can be done with the assistance of the Holy Spirit if we but open our hearts to his power within us.
Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 1:6-12; Psalm 110; Luke 10:25-37
This week our first reading comes from the New Testament and today’s passage comes from St Paul’s letter to the Galatians written about 57-58 AD. This was a predominantly Gentile Christian community in Northern Galatia in what is present-day Turkey. In today’s passage Paul reminds us that there are those who preach different things and call it ‘the good news.’ We must be on our guard against them for there is only one Gospel and we must accept it in its entirety. Believing in anything else can lead us from the truth and the love of God. In our Gospel we have the story of the Good Samaritan which illustrates for us that everyone – including our enemies – is our neighbour and so we should reach out to them in their need no matter how inconvenient that might be. We have the example of Christ who cured people so long as they had faith in him.
Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 1:13-24; Psalm 138; Luke 10:38-42
In our reading from the letter to the Christian community in Galatia we are told how St Paul used to persecute the early Church. This all ended, however, when he answered the call of God to serve the Gospel. Paul had been forced to defend himself because of Jewish teachers who had visited the area and told the people that Paul had no authority to teach. In the Gospel, we see Jesus visit the home of his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus. He is welcomed and Martha plays the host and fusses over food and other niceties while Mary sits at his feet. When Martha complains that Mary is doing nothing, the Lord tells her to relax and to take a leaf out of Mary’s book because Mary is spending time with her Lord and listening to what he is saying. It is very easy for us to neglect quality time with the Lord in prayer and the reading of Scripture but these are the things which make our relationship with him stronger.
Memorial of St Francis of Assisi, Deacon
Francis was born in Assisi in 1181. After a pleasure-filled youth he left home and founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209. Ten years later he went east to convert the Muslims but was unsuccessful either with the Crusaders or the Muslims. In 1224 he received the stigmata, the first recorded incident of the stigmata in history. With St Clare he established the Franciscan nuns in 1212. He died a deacon in 1226 and was canonized just two years later.
Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14; Psalm 116; Luke 11:1-14
In our first reading St Paul continues to tell the Galatians of the work he has done in the name of the Gospel, even to the point of disputing with St Peter – an acknowledgement of the foremost position of Peter among the Apostles. All this is to show them that he is trustworthy and that his message is the truth. In the Gospel from St Luke, the disciples ask Jesus how they should pray and he teaches them the “Our Father.” This one prayer covers every aspect of life and is a prayer we should use every day with sincerity and understanding.
Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 3:1-5; Psalm – see Luke 1; Luke 11:5-13
St Paul is admonishing the Galatians in the first reading for they believe that they have received the Holy Spirit because they have kept the Law. Paul tells them that it has nothing to do with the Law but with their faith. In the Gospel, Christ teaches us to ask the Father for whatever we need. All our prayers are answered by God if only we would ask, though we might not always like the answer we receive. We are called on today to believe in God and to trust in him for if we simply keep the Commandments but do not believe it will count for very little.
Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
Acts 1:12-14; Psalm – Luke 1; Luke 1:26-38
The readings and the Psalm today focus very much on Our Lady. In the first reading we see the apostles and a number of others gathered with Mary in the upper room between the Ascension and Pentecost. They are gathered together in prayer. The Psalm is Mary’s beautiful prayer, the Magnificat, in which she praises God. In the gospel, we see the archangel Gabriel greeting Mary at the Annunciation. She says ‘yes’ to God in complete trust and confidence. Today’s memorial reminds us to be steadfast in prayer and to always trust in the Lord for he will be with us to strengthen and to guide us.
This memorial has been observed since 1571 when the Christians gained victory over the Turks through the intercession of Our Lady at the naval Battle of Lepanto.
Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 3:22-29; Psalm 104; Luke 11:27-28
St Paul tells us in the first reading that because of our faith in Christ we are all sons and daughters of God. In fact we are all either son or daughter because such distinctions do not exist in the sight of God. To Paul, the Law of Moses was no more than a ‘guide’ until such time as the people were mature enough to accept the path of faith. For Paul, that time has now arrived and the path has been given to the world through Jesus Christ. In the Gospel we are told that those who are happiest are those who hear the word of God and keep it and live by it. We are challenged to hear the message of Christ in the Scriptures and to live by that message every day of our lives and to participate in the spread of that message.
October 9 – October 15, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Eight Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
2Kings 5:14-17; Psalm 97; 2Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19
In our first reading today from the second book of the Kings we read of the cure of the leper Naaman. He had come to the Prophet Elisha who told him to bathe seven times in the Jordan. Having been cured he returned to Elisha and proclaimed that he now believed in the one true God and that he would offer holocaust to none other. In the gospel we have the story of the ten lepers who were cured of their disease by Christ in answer to their request. Sadly, only one of the ten gave thanks for the cure and he, we are told, was a foreigner – someone who did not share the same faith as the Jews with Jesus. The story reminds us of Naaman in the first reading who was not a Jew but who gave thanks to God for his own cure. The point of the two stories is that we must give thanks to God for what we have because everything that we have comes from his bounty. All too often we take what we have for granted and it is only when others from outside the faith give thanks that we realise how arrogant we have really been.
In the second reading from his second letter to St Timothy, St Paul reminds us that God is always faithful. Even when we go astray and walk away from him, God is always there to welcome us back and to lead us home to paradise.
Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1; Psalm 112; Luke 11:29-32
In our first reading from the letter to the Galatians we continue St Paul’s explanation of how we have been freed from the Jewish Laws and given the path of faith by Christ. Paul talks about Abraham’s slave wife, Hagar and her child, Ishmael, who – for Paul’s purposes – represent the Jewish people, and Abraham’s free wife, Sarah and her child, Isaac, who represent Christians. Paul says that we have been born free in the waters of baptism because our slavery to sin has been broken by Christ. In the Gospel the people are asking Jesus for a sign to prove that he is the Messiah. He doesn’t give them a sign but reminds them of Jonah, telling them that they have something greater than Jonah in their midst.
Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 5:1-6; Psalm 118; Luke 11:37-41
Some of the Galatians believed they had to be circumcised and live under the Law in order to be saved. But St Paul tells them in the first reading that the Law cannot save them – faith is what they need in order to be saved and they should not worry about signs such as circumcision. Paul reminds them that true faith proves itself through charitable works and not through external sings on the body. In the Gospel, Jesus admonishes a Pharisee for wanting to wash before meals when on the inside he was unclean. The heart is what God looks at – not the outside. We too are called by both readings to look into ourselves and to make ourselves inwardly pure. One way of doing this is by giving alms to the poor.
Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Galatians 5:18-25; Psalm 1; Luke 11:42-46
In our last section from his letter to the Gentile Christians in Galatia, St Paul tells us that we should always live with the Holy Spirit guiding our lives. If we live by our own will then we only fall into sin. Paul tells us of the vices found in living by the flesh and the contrasting virtues found in living a life in the Spirit. Jesus, in the Gospel, admonishes Pharisees and lawyers for putting obstacles before the people so that they cannot truly worship the Lord, especially when those things place the Pharisees themselves in elevated positions before the people.
Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 1:1-10; Psalm 97; Luke 11:47-54
We begin reading from St Paul’s letter to the Christian community at the large seaport of Ephesus which he wrote while in prison in Rome between 61 and 63 AD. In today’s passage Paul tells us that God had a secret plan from the beginning of Creation and that that plan has now been revealed. It is a plan for all things to be united under Christ who shed his blood that we might be saved. Again in the Gospel from St Luke, Jesus is rebuking the officials for their hypocrisy because it prevents the people from reaching closer union with God. That union was destined from Creation and set in place by Christ.
Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 1:11-14; Psalm 32; Luke 12:1-7
St Paul tells his readers in the letter to the Ephesians that they have already been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is at work in them and brings them freedom as sons and daughters of God. Paul reminds them that the message was first preached to the Jewish people as the ‘Chosen People’ and then to all peoples and so they too have a right to share in the salvation promised through Christ. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that what we do is known to God who knows us intimately and cares for every fibre of our being. Knowing this, and with the Holy Spirit working in us, we should do everything to ensure that we live as God wants us to live.
Memorial of St Teresa of Avila, Virgin & Doctor of the Church
Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada was born in Avila in Spain in 1515. She entered the Carmelites and made great progress in the way of perfection and was granted mystical revelations. At this time religious life in Spain, and across Europe, was in need of reform and Teresa began this work with the monastery in which she was living. She also founded other monasteries under her strict reform and enlisted St John of the Cross to reform the male branch of the Order of Carmelites. After her death the reform she began eventually separated from the Carmelite Order to become the Order of Discalced Carmelites. She wrote a number of books which brought her to the attention of the Inquisition but which she persevered in writing and which show a profound insight into prayer. For Teresa, prayer was a conversation with a close friend and this can be seen in her many references to Christ. Her letters also show a tremendous humanity while gently bringing people back into line. Her best known works are ‘The Way of Perfection’ and ‘The Interior Castle.’ She died at Alba in 1582 and was canonized in 1622. Her writings have earned her the title of Doctor of the Church.
Wisdom 7:7-14 or Romans 8:14-17, 26-27; Psalm 83; John 7:14-18, 37-39a or John 4:5-15a
There are two possible first readings for today and both speak about prayer. The reading from the Book of Wisdom speaks about praying for and receiving understanding, and about the importance of wisdom and the goodness which wisdom brings. St Teresa of Jesus had a very close relationship with the Lord which she developed through an incredible life of prayer with him. Through that she gained an insight into the life of prayer for each of us and taught us that prayer is simply a conversation with a close friend – a phrase which makes prayer easier for so many people.
The alternative text from the letter to the Romans speaks about the Holy Spirit being there to help us in our weakness, a Spirit which has been given to each of us by God. At times prayer is difficult for us but with the Spirit moving in us we are able to pray and to speak personally with God.
In the gospel text, Jesus tells us that the words which he speaks and uses to teach are not his own words as a human but come from God in heaven and can therefore be trusted. The Jews had expressed astonishment that Jesus could say such things given his apparent lack of education. Many said the same of St Teresa in her day, and yet she is a Doctor of the Church and the teaching she has left us was inspired by God. The key teaching for us is to listen to God in the silence of our hearts and the words of scripture, and to live out the life of faith at every moment.
In the alternative gospel text, we see the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well. She listens to Jesus despite the obstacles which society had placed between a Jewish man and a Samaritan woman, and through that listening she came to believe in Jesus.
October 16 – October 22, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Twenty-Ninth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Exodus 17:8-13; Psalm 120; 2Timothy 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8
In our Old Testament reading we see the Israelites engaging the Amalekites with Joshua at their lead. Throughout the battle, Moses remains on the hilltop and while his arms were raised the Israelites prospered, but, when his arms dropped, the Israelites suffered. The Psalm is a hymn which reminds us that the Lord is at our side as our help and our strength as he was to the Israelites during the battle against the Amalekites. In the gospel Jesus tells a parable about a widow who comes before a certain judge. In order to get justice she continually pesters the judge because she did not have the money to bribe him. The moral of the parable is that as long as we believe in God and call on his name then we will prevail in the same way that the Israelites prevailed as long as Moses was able to keep the staff of God held up in his arms.
In the second reading we are told by St Paul to spread the Good News of the Kingdom and to insist on it whether it is welcome or not. We are also to correct any errors in the faith or the preaching and we are to call people to obedience to the Good News. In all this we are to “do all with patience and with the intention of teaching.”
Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 2:1-10; Psalm 99; Luke 12:13-21
In the letter to the Christian community at Ephesus on the western shore of modern-day Turkey, St Paul reminds his readers that humans were sinners who were ruled by their physical desires. Despite still being sinners God loved them greatly and sent his own Son to restore them to life. In the Gospel, Christ reminds us of the folly of storing up material goods here on earth. They only serve to distract us from the true treasure which we should be seeking – that is a place in the kingdom. Considering the great love of God and the sacrifice he made for us we should always keep the kingdom as the sole goal of our lives.
Memorial of St Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop & Martyr
Not very much is known about Ignatius except that in old age he was sent to Rome to be martyred with other Christians. On the long journey to Rome he wrote several letters to various Churches as did St Paul, and these letters are among the most important documents of the ancient Church. He died in 107 when he was thrown to the lions.
Feast of St Luke the Evangelist
2Timothy 4:10-17; Psalm 144; Luke 10:1-9
In our first reading from his second letter to St Timothy, St Paul tells Timothy that he has nobody with him now except Luke. The evangelist was a companion of Paul in the latter’s second and third missionary journeys. Paul also tells of an occasion when he had to defend himself and only God was there to support him. In the gospel, the Lord sends out seventy-two disciples to preach and cure in his name. We are all reminded that we each have a role to play in the spread of the Gospel. Tradition at one time thought Luke was a member of this seventy-two.
Luke was from Antioch and was a physician when he met St Paul and joined him on his travels. He wrote the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel which bears his name but beyond that nothing is known of his life.
Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 3:2-12; Psalm – Isaiah 12; Luke 12:39-48
We read in our first reading from the letter to the Ephesians how the grace of God is meant for all peoples – be they Jew, Gentile or pagan. With this grace we can confidently draw closer to God. We are reminded again in today’s Gospel that we do not know the hour when we will be called to give an account of our stewardship and of our lives. When the Lord does return he will want to know if we have done all that he has told us to do which includes being full participants in the spread of the Good News.
Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 3:14-21; Psalm 32; Luke 12:49-53
Today’s first reading contains the prayer which St Paul prayed for the Ephesians – that their faith would grow strong through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel we read an unusual passage in which Christ says that he came to bring division rather than peace. However, when we consider that he was talking about believer and unbeliever we can understand what he is saying. We are challenged to look into our hearts to see which category we fall into knowing that faith calls for action in our lives rather than simply reciting words.
Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 4:1-6; Psalm 23; Luke 12:54-59
St Paul reminds us in the letter to the Ephesians that we all form part of the Body of Christ and that we should do all we can to build up the unity of that body. He also tells us how that should be done – through charity, selflessness, gentleness and patience and by believing in God as the head of all. Jesus admonishes the people in the Gospel for being able to read the weather but not being able to read the signs of the times and realise that he is the Messiah. We are challenged in our own day to read the signs of the times and to realise that we need Christ now more than ever before.
Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 4:7-16; Psalm 121; Luke 13:1-9
In our first reading for today, St Paul again uses the analogy of the body to say that we each have our own role to play in the Body of Christ. Each person’s role is different but ultimately each is for the spreading of the Gospel and the building up of the kingdom and we must do all we can to fulfil that role. In the Gospel passage from St Luke, Jesus calls us to repentance in order to be saved. We should not put off our repentance until tomorrow but we should begin today for we do not know if we shall live to see tomorrow.
October 23 – October 29, 2022
Ordinary Time – The Thirtieth Week | Readings: Sunday Cycle C; Weekday Cycle 2.
The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ecclesiasticus 35:12-14, 16-19; Psalm 32; 2Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14
Our first reading from the Book of Ecclesiasticus tells us that the Lord takes no account of our standing in the eyes of the world but that he listens to rich and poor alike. It also tells us that the prayer of the humble “pierces the clouds” and does not go unanswered. Our Psalm is a hymn of praise for all that the Lord has done for the poor who call to him. In the gospel we have the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee who went to the synagogue. The Pharisee exalted himself in the eyes of God while the tax collector acknowledged himself as a sinner and asked the Lord for forgiveness. We can exalt ourselves in the eyes of our fellow men and women but the eyes of God penetrate the heart and the mind and know our true feelings and dispositions. Only the humble please God.
In our second reading we see St Paul telling St Timothy that he had been abandoned by everyone when he had been arrested but that God alone stood by him and gave him strength. Because Paul has the Lord faithfully on his side he will inherit the crown of righteousness, a crown which will also be granted to us if we serve the Lord in humility of heart.
Alternative Gospel for Mission Sunday – Thirtieth Sunday, Year C:
In the Gospel we see Jesus pointing out to the disciples that scripture foretells that the Christ should suffer and rise from the dead. He also tells them that repentance would be preached to the whole world beginning in Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is where Christ was to suffer, die and rise again and it was from here that the disciples began the great work of spreading the Gospel message. We are the successors to the disciples and so on this Mission Sunday we are reminded that we too must preach the Gospel message to all people.
Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 4:32-5:8; Psalm 1; Luke 13:10-17
Our first reading this week is again taken from St Paul’s letter to the Christian community at Ephesus and in today’s passage Paul encourages us to love others in imitation of the Father and the Son who both love much. Only in this way can we build up the kingdom of God and live righteously. The Psalm speaks of how a good person lives. In the Gospel, Christ heals a woman on the Sabbath which infuriates a synagogue official who tells the people to come to be healed on any day of the week except the Sabbath. The Lord answers and says that none of those present would hesitate to untie his donkey on the Sabbath in order to water the beast and therefore it is right to untie a fellow human from their bonds on the Sabbath. His words leave the officials confused while the people are happy to hear him.
Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Feast of Sts Simon and Jude the Apostles
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.
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.
Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Philippians 1:18-26; Psalm 41; Luke 14:1, 7-11
In our first reading from his letter to the Philippians, St Paul says that he wants to die for the simple reason that he wants to go to heaven. However, he realises that he has an important mission to take care of before he dies and that is the spread of the Gospel. Paul also says that both life and death come under the influence of Christ and therefore he is happy to live but does not fear death. This mission is also our mission. Christ warns us in the gospel, in the story of the wedding feast, about being a humble people and about not seeking the highest honours. Humility will serve the kingdom, and ourselves, far better than pride and honours.