A Note on the Sunday Readings at Mass

Sunday 15 July 2018 “We are all called to be bearers of God’s love to all humanity”. 

First Reading  (Amos 7:12-15)The First Reading this Sunday is from the prophet Amos. Amos has been called by God from his ordinary job as a shepherd to go and speak the God’s truth to the people of Israel.  Although a time of prosperity, in the prophet’s view all was not at all well: the landed élite had created large estates by taking the property of the poor. Against the leisure and luxury of the powerful, Amos preached justice. Although the people of Israel comply with the rules of religion, worshipping and sacrificing to God with the priest Amaziah at Bethel, they are not truly living as God’s people should, with justice and equality for all, rich and poor alike. Sound familiar?  Amos knows who he is and who it is who called him.  Do I know who I am and what I am being called to do?

Second Reading  (St. Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-14) The Second Reading generally has no connection with the previous readings. In this liturgical year, excerpts from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians are read for the next seven Sundays. The passages are often of a high literary quality, even poetic (such as today’s blessing). They form a deep meditation on the reality of Christ and on the nature of our discipleship. This passage is a prayer. (www.tarsus.ie)  What does it mean for me to be “in Christ”? Can I praise the name of Christ?

Gospel (Mark 6:7-13) The task of the disciples was to call people to repent, (metanoia = conversion, change the way we look at God and at other people). The core of the mission of Jesus was to change the attitude of people towards God from fear to trust. He also wanted people to see that life was a gift from God who loved them and wanted them to live it in all its fullness and abundance, despite its difficulties. The handing on of the faith—evangelisation —is the task of everyone in the church today: family members, parishioners, catechists, pastoral workers, the ordained. It is our great challenge and the one thing necessary. And yet, who dares today to take up such a role? Our Gospel portrays key dimensions: the sense of being sent or called, the choice of life-style based on that of Jesus, the confidence to face not being made welcome and yet to continue for the sake of the joy of the Gospel.

Prayer: God of the Good News, you spoke your word and disclosed your heart in Jesus of Nazareth. Help us who are called, to take to heart the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation. May we know the action of the Spirit, and so inspired, may we inspire others as well.  Amen. (www.tarsus.ie)