Week 18, Year 1 – Week 19, Year 1

WEEKDAY LITURGY REFLECTIONS: Notes on readings for Mass Week beginning 8/08/2022

This week’s readings focus for the most part on 1st readings from the prophet Ezekiel, while gospels continue to be for the most part from Matthew, where the structure of the gospel continues to mirror the structure of the first 5 books of the Old Testament – the books of the law. Matthew uses his five sections (which do not include the infancy or passion and death narratives which are dealt with in Matthew’s own way) to present the story of Jesus’ ministry as the fulfilment of Moses.  

MONDAY, 8 August, Memorial, St. Dominic

1st Reading: Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28 This prophet’s extraordinary vivid (and not infrequently bizarre) expressions and visions seem to be an attempt to catch the attention of the reader. Ezekiel many have been a junior priest in the temple before its destruction. Now he is no one and has to make great effort to have his message heard. He may also be showing signs of trauma at the destruction of the temple which was so important to him.

Gospel: Matthew 17:22-27. As Jesus’ ministry continues, he is – not surprisingly – more and more preoccupied by how it will end. Of course, we know it ends with his death. His disciples don’t, hence Jesus’ constant return to the topic.

TUESDAY, 9 August, Feast; St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).  This tender passage reflects well the contemplative life sought by Edith, leading her from her life as a brilliant academic to the life of a Carmelite with the name St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. The Cross reminds us of her martyrdom by the Nazis.

Readings are at choice from the Common of martyrs

WEDNESDAY, 10 August, St Laurence, Feast, Deacon and martyr. One of seven deacons of the Church of Rome, and who was martyred on 10th August,258 four days after Sixtus II and his companions. For a while, Laurence seems to have been venerated more highly than others, including Pope Sixtus. No one knows why!

Like yesterday readings are to be selected from the common of saints who were martyred

THURSDAY 11 August. St. Clare was born at Assisi 11 August, St. Clare and came under the influence of St. Francis, adopting the dedication to total poverty practised by the community founded by Francis, and establishing a practise where members of the community could own absolutely nothing Readings are taken from the common of women saints

FRIDAY 12 August. For the first time since Wednesday there is no saint’s day being observed today. As a result, we have a first reading from the prophet Ezekiel as he starts out from his home to the land where he will be exiled. The word of God comes to Ezekiel to for weekdays, i.e. no special feast is celebrated. Jesus tells a parable about forgiveness, based on the theme that being forgiven by God implies that we forgive those who have offended us. Using wild exaggeration in a parable about someone cleared of an impossibly large debt which he could never clear on his own, when he is released from his burden from his master, he almost immediately refuses to release a friend who owes him a small amount of money. The punchline of the story is easy to catch. God has forgiven us everything. If we believed this, how could we ever refuse to forgive another?

SATURDAY 13 August. Peter is given the greatest responsibility, but also the greatest honour that any disciple will receive, during Jesus’ time on earth or after. In an episode which is only found in Matthew, and which defines for us the role of Peter and his successors, Jesus says “You are Peter and on this rock i will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never holdout against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

Week day reading reflections for the Sacred Liturgy

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