In the summer of 1970 (July 26th to be exact, the 17th Sunday of the Year B according to the new calendar) my pastor breathed a sigh of relief when he came across Saint John’s version of the feeding of the 5000. The western church had been reading the Gospel of Mark for the first time in centuries and the first seven months were hard on my pastor. Now, however, feeling himself on more familiar ground, he launched into his eucharistic sermon and was well satisfied.
The following Sunday consoled the good monsignor with more from Saint John on the Eucharist. By the next Sunday however he began to pale. He confided to me: “I said everything I have to say about the Eucharist in July; what am I going to say for the next Sundays!”
Various versions of this scenario are well known to those who preach or teach preaching. Perhaps someone reading this might point us in the direction of well-planned breakings-open of Sundays Seventeen through Twenty-one.
My chief purpose in this posting is to alert you to the “other” cycle happening this summer and to ask some questions about preaching on the second reading.
Beginning on July 14/15, 2012, the 15th Sunday of Year B, the church proclaims the major portions of the Letter to the Ephesians. This immersion in Ephesians ends on August 25/26, the 21st Sunday.
If you have any say, insist that the long form of the second reading be read on the 15th Sunday. Very few people, even those who recite the Liturgy of the Hours, appear to know of the existence of verses 11–14, the ending of the Ephesians Canticle, which includes the canticle’s only mention of the Holy Spirit.
- Who preaches/hears preaching on the second reading?
- How often are the long forms of the readings used in your worship setting?