Weekly Readings September/ October 2018

Saturday 1 September

1Corinthians 1.26-31
Psalm 32
Matthew 25.14-30

Jesus’ third parable about the end of time according to Matthew is that of the talents. This is paralleled in Luke by the parable of the pounds (Lk. 19.12-27). Matthew’s version is more dramatic and exaggerated. The ‘entrepreneurs’ with five and two talents – a huge amount – are obviously quite able to double the money – we are not told whether their methods were legitimate or not. One might have some sympathy with the man with one talent and his timidity. But the point of the parable is linked to the metaphorical use of the word ‘talent’. It is an encouragement to double the God-given gifts we have and expand them to the full (Gospel: Mt. 25.14-30). Paul encourages the Corinthian church to understand that God’s choice is not linked with human status or qualities (Second Reading: 1 Cor.1.26-31).

Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

Monday 3 September
St Gregory the Great, Pope, Doctor

1Thessalonians 2.2-8
Psalm 95
Matthew 16.13-19

St Gregory (540-604 CE), a Benedictine monk, is the Apostle of the English who sent St Augustine to Kent in 597. His title ‘the Great’ is a witness to his full life, leadership of the Church and profound commentaries and writings. As nearly always on the feast days of Pope-saints we read the scene of Caesarea Philippi according to Matthew. This is the fullest account in the Synoptic Gospels with its expressions of ‘flesh and blood’, ‘keys of the kingdom of heaven’ and ‘loosing and binding’, all of which are found in rabbinic literature. The current Pope, like Peter, is entrusted to continue the proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah and it is upon this that any privileges are based (Gospel: Mt. 16.13-19).

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Breaking the Word - Weekdays

The weekday readings can sometimes seem a little ‘bread and butter’ compared to the liturgical feast of Sunday. That said, the sustained nourishment, the ‘daily bread’ of the weekday mysteries connotes the Manna that sustained the Israelites on their journey through the desert. These readings are from the Ordo for the Archdiocese of Westminster. Tarcisius Mukuka is a lecturer in Biblical Studies & Exegesis, and Anthony Towey is the Director of the Aquinas Centre in the School of Education, Theology and Leadership at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.