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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Introduction to the readings on Weekdays in Advent

The readings on Weekdays during the four seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter are the same every year. Though there is sometimes a connection between the first reading and Gospel, at other times the connection is tenuous. This is why I have commented only on the Gospel and not on the first reading. It also seemed that commenting on the first reading would result in making the book cumbersome and heavy to read. However, since the readings chosen for these seasons though from different Gospels have a common theme, I will introduce each of the seasons and comment generally on the readings for that season to aid that focus. 

In the first week of Advent with the exception of Tuesday when Luke is read, the Gospel readings are all from the Gospel of Matthew. The readings begin by inviting us to look at Jesus who reaches out to a Gentile by healing his son and gives us a lesson on the meaning of perseverance in prayer. They then take us to Jesus who is the most perfect revelation of the Father and the unconditional love that the Father wants to lavish on the world. This love is shown not in words alone but also in deeds as is evident in the feeding of the four thousand and in Jesus inviting all listeners to show that their faith in him and his words is a practical and tangible faith. This faith is manifested by the two blind men who even though they cannot see, “know” who Jesus is and make their knowledge known. This gift of faith enables the disciples to be sent out like Jesus and to continue the work of preaching and healing that he began. The Mission which Jesus inaugurated is a mission that is shown in deeds and not words alone.

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