29 Sunday – SS. PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES – Solemnity
READINGS: Acts 12:1-11. Ps 33:2-9, R/ v 5, alt R/ v 8. 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18. Mt 16:13-19. Lect I:981 or II:1082
On this day, traditionally considered in pagan Rome to be its foundation day by Romulus, we celebrate the twin founders of the Church in Rome. St. Peter, originally called Simon, a fisherman who become leader of the apostles and the rock on which the Church is built, died by crucifixion in Rome around the year 64. St. Paul, Saul the Pharisee who became the ‘Apostle of the Gentiles’, was martyred by beheading around 67. Both proclaim with their lives that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
30 Monday – 13th Week in Ordinary Time
READINGS: Am 2:6-10, 13-16. Ps 49:16-23, R/ v 22. Mt 8:18-22. Lect II:616
Amos recalls the people’s guilt of social injustice and God’s power to punish evil. But the call of discipleship is one to leave everything and follow Jesus.
The First Martyrs of Rome, in addition to Ss. Peter and Paul, died under Nero in the year 64.
1 Tuesday – 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Memorial – St. Oliver Plunkett, bishop and martyr
READINGS: Am 3:1-8, 4:11-12. Ps 5:5-8, R/ v 9. Mt 8:23-27. Lect II:618
‘Prepare to meet your God,’ warns the prophet, while in the storm Jesus asks, ‘why are you so frightened?’
St. Oliver Plunkett, from Irish nobility whose family supported King Charles I. Ordained in Rome in 1654 he became a Professor of Theology from 1654 through 1669. He was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in 1669. He was forced to conduct a covert ministry during the suppression of priests. He was arrested and tried at Dundalk in 1679 for conspiring against the state. It was seen that Oliver would never be convicted in Ireland, and he was moved to Newgate prison, London. St. Oliver Plunkett was found guilty of high treason ‘for promoting the Catholic faith’, and was condemned to a gruesome death. He was martyred 1st July, 1681 at Tyburn, by hanging, disembowelling, quartering and beheading. He was the last Catholic to die for his faith at Tyburn, and the first of the Irish martyrs to be beatified. His body was initially buried in two tin boxes next to five Jesuits who had died before; his head is in St. Peter’s Church at Drogheda, Ireland; most of his body is at Downside Abbey, England; and some relics are in Ireland.
2 Wednesday – 13th Week in Ordinary Time
READINGS: Am 5:14-15, 21-24. Ps 49:7-13, 16-17, R/ v 23. Mt 8:28-34. Lect II:620
Amos condemns the external worship that has no soul, since the worshippers do not first ensure that justice prevails in the community.
3 Thursday – St. Thomas the Apostle – Solemnity
READINGS: Eph 2:19-22. Ps 116, R/ Mk 16:15. Jn 20:24-29 Lect II:1087
St. Thomas is said to have preached the Gospel in India where he was martyred. The faith that led him to know Christ in his wounds also sent him to the farthest places to preach Christ.
4 Friday – 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Optional memorial of St Elizabeth of Portugal
READINGS: Am 8:4-6, 9-12. Ps 118:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131, R/ Mt 4:4. Mt 9:9-13. Lect II:624
The punishment on those who have neglected the worship of God in order to make more profit will be starvation. Not famine from lack of bread but they will be starved of the word of God.
St. Elizabeth of Portugal, 1271-1336, of the House of Aragon, had an unhappy marriage with the King of Portugal. She persevered in prayer and good works, and as a widow lived in poverty as a Franciscan tertiary.
5 Saturday – 13th Week in Ordinary Time
READINGS: Am 9:11-15. Ps 84:11-14, R/ v 9. Mt 9:14-17. Lect II:627
The idyllic vision of the prophet looks beyond the Old Covenant. It is Christ who comes to make all things new, in him all become one.
St. Anthony Zaccaria, 1502-39, was a medical doctor before becoming a priest in Milan. He founded the Barnabites.
Readings for Next Sunday: Zec 9:9-10. Ps 144:1-2, 8-11, 13-14, R/ v 1. Rm 8:9, 11-13. Mt 11:25-30. Lect I:673