Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Saturday, 24th July, 2021
Next Sunday's Readings
Saturday of 16th week of Ordinary Time, Year 1
A reading from the Book of Exodus 24:3-8
Theme: This is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you.
Moses went and told the people all the commands of the Lord and all the ordinances. In answer, all the people said with one voice, ‘We will observe all the commands that the Lord has decreed’. Moses put all the commands of the Lord into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.Then he directed certain young Israelites to offer holocausts and to immolate bullocks to the Lord as communion sacrifices. Half of the blood Moses took up and put into basins, the other half he cast on the altar. And taking the Book of the Covenant he read it to the listening people, and they said, ‘We will observe all that the Lord has decreed; we will obey.’ Then Moses took the blood and cast it towards the people. ‘This’ he said ‘is the blood of the Covenant that the Lord has made with you, containing all these rules.’
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 49
Response Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
1. The God of gods, the Lord,
has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion’s perfect beauty he shines. Response
2. ‘Summon before me my people
who made covenant with me by sacrifice.’
The heavens proclaim his justice,
for he, God, is the judge. Response
3. Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God
and render him your votive offerings.
‘Call on me in the day of distress.
I will free you and you shall honour me Response
Gospel Acclamation Heb 4: 12
The word of God is something alive and active:
it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts.
Or Jms 1: 21
Accept and submit to the word,
which has been planted in you and can save your souls.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 13:24-30
Glory to you, O Lord.
Theme: Let them both grow till the harvest.
Jesus put another parable before the crowds,
‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this” he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?” But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.”
Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Saturday, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 13:24–30
We are all familiar with weeds in our gardens. We have a tendency to root them out immediately. However, sometimes the weeds are so close to the shrub or flower that to take out the weed risks disturbing the plant. We sometimes have to let the weeds be for the sake of the shrub or flower. We are also aware in recent times that the blossoms which weeds generate can be great pollinators for our bees. We are now being told not to be rooting out our dandelions so quickly and ruthlessly. Weeds are making a comeback!
In the parable Jesus speaks in today’s gospel reading, the servants of the landowner wanted to pull up the weeds that had appeared among the wheat. However, the landowner himself was a more patient man. He was aware that pulling up the weeds could pull up some wheat as well and he advised letting both weed and wheat grow until harvest time, and then they could be separated. There is always a deeper meaning to Jesus’ parables. He wasn’t primarily talking about gardens or fields of wheat. After all, he began the parable with the words, ‘the kingdom of God may be compared to…’. Jesus was really talking about God and how God relates to us. He is suggesting that God can be patient with our weaknesses because God recognises that they are often closely aligned with our strengths. An angry person may have a passion for justice; a lazy person may be a great listener; an overly anxious person may be very dutiful and conscientious. God recognizes that we are all a mixture of wheat and weed, of good and evil, of strength and weakness and he is patient with our mixture. We need to be patient too, with ourselves and with others. In striving after a perfect garden, a gardener risks doing harm as well as good. In striving too hard to make ourselves perfect or, more worryingly still, to make others perfect, we risk doing as much harm as good. We need to learn to live with the mixture we and others are, while celebrating and working to enhance all that is good there.
The scripture readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Gospel reflection is available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2020-2021: You have the Words of Eternal life by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/