ST THOMAS OF CANTERBURY
MAYFIELD, EAST SUSSEX
Reading the weekday Gospels
A guide from Patrick Fitzgerald-Lombard O.Carm
12th Week in Ordinary Time
This week sees the celebration of the birthday of St John the Baptist on Wednesday, 24th June. This feast coming just after the longest day complements Christmas which comes just after the shortest day. It is the birth of John which opens the new age. He will be the herald of the coming of Jesus the Messiah and prepare the way for him. This leaves John in the unique position of his birth into this world being his most important feast. (Even for Jesus: his principle feast is the celebration of his death and rising to life at Easter.)
The readings this week from the second book of Kings are a rapid survey of the history of Israel from the fall of Samaria (Monday) to the fall of Jerusalem (Friday), concluding with a reading from the book of Lamentations (Saturday). The only good news withing the downward spiral is the discovery of the scroll in the Temple and the resulting renewal of the covenant (Wednesday). It is thought that the scroll is the basis of the book of Deuteronomy.
The Gospel this week concludes the Sermon on the Mount, reading chapter 7 until Thursay. For some reason, verses 7-11 are omitted on Tuesday. Possibly the image of giving a snake to a child instead of a fish (verse 10) was regarded as too strong. It that is the reason, that is not helpful.
Friday and Saturday then recount the first three healings of chapter 8, presenting Jesus as Messiah by deed.