Sunday Gospels 2020: Readings & Reflections

Sr Veronica's weekly one page reflections on the Sunday Gospel Readings have a global circulation. Each month the next four reflections are published here on our mercyworld.org website in reverse chronological order so that the most current reflection is always at the top of the list. 

Veronica Lawson is an Australian Sister of Mercy. She studied Scripture at the École Biblique in Jerusalem and at Trinity College, Dublin. For many years, she lectured in Biblical Studies at the Australian Catholic University and its predecessor institutions before spending seven years as leader of her congregation. She regularly presents biblical workshops and lectures within Australia and throughout the world. Sr Veronica writes from an eco-feminist perspective.

You are welcome to circulate these reflections. Please acknowledge the author, Veronica Lawson rsm.

Fr Eamonn O'Connor presents the Sunday Gospel on the Irish radio show Side by Side, a Religious and Social Affairs programme with a difference. Broadcast every Sunday morning on Shannonside FM from 10.00 – 11.00, ‘Side by Side’ communicates the Christian message in the context of contemporary Irish society. It does so in a manner that is ecumenical and informative.

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Matthew 4:12-23

'Most of the gospel readings this year will be from the gospel of Matthew. As with any story, it is probably best to read Matthew’s story of Jesus from beginning to end over a few days, entering into the drama and attending to all the elements in the story. Sr. Elaine Wainwright’s eco-rhetorical commentary on Matthew’s gospel invites us to read with attention to habitat as well as to the human and the holy...'

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

John 1:29-34

'To provide a reference for someone is a serious responsibility as well as a privilege because, more often than not, a good deal depends on the testimony provided in the reference. John the Baptist took it upon himself to provide a reference for Jesus. His testimony reverberates across the centuries, offering an introduction to Jesus for those who seek to understand this Jewish prophet and teacher who is more than a prophet or teacher. ..'

Baptism of Jesus Year A

Matthew 3:13-17

'According to the Church calendar, today’s celebration of the Baptism of Jesus marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. In many cultures, this feast coincides with the end of the Christmas break, the return to work and to the regular patterns of life...'

Feast of the Epiphany Year C

Matthew 2:1-12

'The ancient feast of the Epiphany reminds us that the whole universe is in God and that God is in us. It celebrates the presence of God who is revealed to us in wondrous ways: in creation; in our dreams; in our day to day experience; in our sacred stories...'

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Matthew 5:38-48

'Today’s gospel is a continuation of the Matthean Jesus’ teaching on the sort of righteousness, the right relationship and justice, to which his followers are called in their living of the Law...'

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Matthew 5:17-37

'We sometimes forget that Jesus was a faithful Jew who observed the Law handed down within Israel from generation to generation. Today’s gospel is from Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus, the faithful Jewish teacher, addresses his Jewish disciples and the Jewish crowds who gather to hear his words...'

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Matthew 5:13-16

'In today’s gospel, Jesus addresses two short parables to his disciples in the presence of the crowds. The crowds as well as the disciples hear what he has to say. Parables were intended to tease their hearers, inviting them to see things differently or from a new perspective, to see themselves in a new light ...'

Presentation in the Temple Year A

Luke 2:22-40

'This year the Feast of the Presentation falls on a Sunday and takes precedence over the celebration of the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We might ask why this feast is of such importance in the liturgical calendar. ...'

5th Sunday of Lent Year A

John 11: 1-45

'Today’s readings touch into the most profound of mysteries, the mysteries of life and death. To hold a new born child or to see the sick restored to health is to experience the wonder of life. On the other hand, an unexpected death can bring unimagined grief and pain...'

4th Sunday of Lent Year A

John 9:1-41

'Last week, we journeyed with the woman of Samaria from bewilderment to deep insight into Jesus’ identity and mission and to a strong personal faith commitment. This week, we are invited on a faith journey with a man born blind and with the varying groups of participants in the drama. All have the opportunity of coming to faith...'

3rd Sunday of Lent Year A

John 4:5-42

'Those privileged to act as catechists in the RCIA program over the Lenten period will be introducing candidates to some of our most treasured gospel stories. In 1963, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy called for the restoration of certain early Church practices. The two main features of Lent, baptism and penance, were to be given greater emphasis in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis...'

2nd Sunday of Lent Year A

Matthew 17:1-9

'Last week’s gospel invited us into a confronting habitat, namely the wilderness. This week, we follow Jesus and three of his companions to a high mountain, eventually a cloud-covered mountain. Both wilderness and mountain link Matthew’s story of Jesus with the story of the Israelites of old. Wilderness and mountain also remind us that God’s creation is the locus of wonder and mystery...'

1st Sunday of Lent Year A

Matthew 4:1-11

'Lent is a time of preparation for Easter. It is also a time to enter into the “wilderness” and grapple with the mysteries of life in Christ. It presents us with a challenge to take stock of our lives, to see more clearly what is in our hearts and to discover what might be calling us out of our comfort zones...'

Reflection on the Gospel-Easter Sunday Year A

Matthew 28:1-10

'Easter invites us to celebrate life in its fullest sense. It is anything but easy to celebrate life, however, when tens of thousands in the Earth community are facing death, when hundreds of thousands are ill and countless others are struggling to put food on their tables. Resurrection faith calls us to be fearless in our support of those most deeply affected...'

Passion Sunday Year A

Matthew 26:14-27:66

'This year, we are invited to hear Matthew’s passion narrative through the lens of a global community threatened by a virus. The prospect of untimely death for many is an ever present reality. Even more abhorrent to most of us is the ongoing practice of capital punishment, particularly when a just person is put to death for specious reasons or to political ends. That’s what confronts us in today’s gospel...'