This world, as we know, is a fragile and fallible place, in which we encounter hunger, disease, sickness and death. Jesus proclaims, by his actions of healing, that there is another world, the
Each Sunday the Responsorial Psalm is always linked in meaning to the First Reading. Never is this more true than today. To read from Job and then omit or change the Psalm would be disastrous for the meaning of the readings today. Job presents us with the complaints, with the moans and grumbling of the man oppressed by everyday life. The Psalm responds by pointing to God, whose love is so complete he heals all our ills. It’s amazing how, even though the book of Job was written so many centuries ago, there is a very ‘contemporary feel to his list of complaints: this should make it easier for the reader and for the congregation to understand. This is a slow reflective reading - it’s the questions asked in the darkness of the night. Be careful with the language in places: “months of delusion I have assigned to me” is a fine poetic phrase, but a little difficult to read - but in this reading colour and tone are (in a sense) more important than “understanding” the words.
Paul offers a very personal reflection on his mission, and how he has set about it. For Paul, the most important thing in the world is the Gospel. He can no more ignore the Gospel than he can stop breathing! In reading, there must be a sense of the excitement and enthusiasm Paul brings to his mission - and also the sense that he is utterly driven by it. Be careful with the emphasis in the first sentence: it’s not “I do not boast of preaching the Gospel...” but rather “I do not boast of preaching...”Paul has nothing to boast about, because the Gospel is his life and his duty. There is a rhetorical question half way through (“Do you know what my reward is ?”) As always with such questions, leave a momentary pause, so that the congregation can think about what the answer might be. Emphasise the phrase “...at any cost.” This tells us so much about
Click on the link to get this week's Gospel based Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.