Scripture Notes – Sunday 18th October 2020

Subject: Scripture notes: Grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear friends, 

A very warm welcome to all to Hearers of the Word for Sunday, 18 October 2020.

Next Sunday is Mission Sunday in the Catholic tradition. Accordingly, two sets of notes are provided for the Sunday to accommodate communities not observing Mission Sunday. In fact, only the Gospel is different.

This email is slightly longer than usual because I want to draw your attention both to Mission Sunday and to John’s Barton’s online lecture (see no.5 below).


On a personal note, my contract with the Archdiocese comes to an end on the 31 December 2020. Working in the Office for Evangelisation and Ecumenism has been a really good experience and I thank all of you for the welcome I have received in the diocese. New ways of contributing and collaborating will emerge, please God.  If there is any way I can be of help in the remaining months, please do get in touch and I’ll do my best. For example, if you think an online course on next year’s Gospel or for Advent would be suitable, I’d be very happy to oblige. Mobile: 0863392047.

1. Mission Sunday (18 October 2020)
Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (portable)

World Mission Sunday is the Holy Father’s annual appeal so the life-giving work of missionaries can continue. This year celebrations will take place over the weekend of the 18th October. During this time, all parishes worldwide will offer Mass collections and donations to aid the work of missionaries and mission overseas. World Mission Sunday takes place in every parish where the Church is present. Including, not only across Ireland and Europe, but also in poorer parishes in the developing world. This is why it is such a special moment because it allows all members of the universal Church family, regardless of location or background, to play a part in supporting each other.

Then whole month of October is Mission Month. In the linked resources, for each weekday a suitable reflection is offered. Mission Month Resources 2020.

For Mission Sunday, World Missions Ireland offers inspiring resources. The opening video is excellent.

2. Sunday 29A20  (18 October 2020)
Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (portable)

3. YouTube video (Mission Sunday only)
The YouTube videos are intended to be a fresh exploration of the Gospel, with an eye to spiritual, pastoral and practical concerns. The talk for Mission Sunday is slightly longer than usual.

  • Gospel (John 17:11, 17-23) exploration (YouTube)
  • Gospel (John 17:11, 17-23) exploration (Zoom)
  • Full set of videos  (YouTube)

4. Preaching on Mission Sunday
In the new Directory for Catechesis (2020), there is a telling paragraph, which could guide our reflections and preaching on this Sunday:

56. Catechesis, a privileged stage in the process of evangelisation, is generally directed toward persons who have already received the first proclamation, within whom it promotes the processes of initiation, growth, and maturation in the faith. It is however true that, if it is still useful to make conceptual distinctions between pre-evangelisation, first proclamation, catechesis, ongoing formation, in the present context it is no longer possible to stress such differences. 

In fact, on the one hand those today who ask for or have already received the grace of the sacraments often do not have an explicit experience of the faith or do not intimately know its power and warmth; on the other, a formal proclamation limited to the bare enunciation of the concepts of the faith would not permit an understanding of the faith itself, which is instead a new horizon of life that is opening wide, starting with the encounter with the Lord Jesus.

5. John Barton Lecture
The National Bible Society of Ireland is offering an online lecture this week. The speaker is Rev. Prof. John Barton, the author of the recent  A History of the Bible. The Book and its Faiths.  The talk is a follow-up presentation, looking at recent Jewish Biblical theologies. Here are the details:

Host: National Bible Society of Ireland
Speaker: Rev. Prof. John Barton
Title: “Recent Jewish Approaches to Biblical Theology”
Time: Thursday, 15th October @ 7.30 pm.
There is no charge.

Wishing you all every blessing in the week to come,



Dr Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA
Biblical Studies Coordinator