Weekdays in October, November & December 2021

Friday 1 October
Week 26 in Ordinary Time
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Baruch 1.15–22
Psalm 78
Luke 10.13–16
The text of Baruch, which has survived only in Greek, was included in the Septuagint and is thus part of the Deutero-Canonical material of the Catholic Scriptures. The first section (1.1–3.8) is based on an original Hebrew text and displays connections with Jeremiah for whom Baruch was the scribe. It is set in the exile in Babylon and laments the sins which have caused the disaster. The root evil is disobedience to the commands of the Lord. While the leaders are clearly blamed, there is the acknowledgement that this does not absolve each individual (First Reading: Bar. 1.15–22). Luke puts the lament for the lakeside towns in a more appropriate context than Matthew, immediately after the mission of the Seventy/Seventy-two. It is an indication of the extent of non-acceptance by the closest of people (Gospel: Lk 10.13–16).

Saturday 2 October
The Holy Guardian Angels
Baruch 4.5–12,27–29
Psalm 68
Matthew 18.1–5,10
It is pointedly significant that Matthew 18, commonly known as the Discourse on the Church, begins with a lesson on humility. This, above all, symbolised graphically not just by the innocence but also by the dependency of a child upon its parent(s), has to be the primary virtue among the followers of Christ. The mention of ‘their angels’, which is why this text is used today, is a witness to the Jewish belief in the protective role of each of these unseen beings at the time of Jesus (Gospel: Mt 18.1–5,10). The third section of Baruch consists of a series of complaints and hopes for Jerusalem, called a widow because of the Exile. The challenge is to turn back to God and try ‘ten times as hard’, ten being a number of perfection (First Reading: Bar. 4.5–12,27–29).

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