Sunday 1 July
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 1.13-15, 2.23-24
Psalm 29
2 Corinthians 8.7, 9; 13-15
Mark 5.21-43

Today in the mission of the Church, as throughout the history of faith, one of the greatest challenges is reconciling the belief in a good God with the reality of evil and suffering. Many people present this as their main objection, and countless believers struggle in the face of the suffering and loss of those dear to them. The reading from the book of Wisdom confronts that head on: ‘Death was not God’s doing.’ The Christian faith does not offer a neat philosophical ‘answer’ to suffering and evil; instead it insists that whilst perplexing, the final word on the matter is always God’s word of life and fulfilment. When Paul talks of Jesus being rich, but making himself ‘poor for your sake’ – he is talking of Jesus’ emptying of himself – pouring out his life so that others might have life. It is the Christian faith that in confronting evil and death in the Passion, Christ overcomes it and brings life to all who would receive it. The Gospel passage from Mark illustrates that Jesus is Lord of life – he restores to life Jairus’ daughter whose life had been taken away.

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Breaking the Word - Sundays

In the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Fathers of Vatican II decreed that: ‘The treasures of the Bible are to be opened up more lavishly so that a richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word’. (SC.52) The lavish feast of Sacred Scripture at the celebration of the Eucharist is designed to nourish and inspire the faithful. The following reflections on the Sunday readings for the next two months are an attempt to help readers and listeners to both savour and  ponder the selected passages so as to be drawn ever closer to the source of that nourishment. The author is a parish priest in Dorset and Vicar General of the Diocese of Plymouth.