Tag Archives: catholic mass

Thursday of the First Week of Advent – Reflections

Read today’s readings.

By Marcia Shadle Cusic

The readings for today, Thursday, of the First Week of Advent call us to be faithful to the Scripture messages. We are also reminded to be confident in our trust in God. “A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.” We are also reminded to keep our feet firmly planted in our trust and appreciation of how our faith and trust in God can guide us, living our lives appreciating the guidance that the Scripture messages give us.

I am reminded of the notion of “rightful pride” in reading, “He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down.” A reminder to all of us, that just when you think “you’ve got it all figured out ” and “are in charge” our lives may seem, all of a sudden, to be falling apart. We need to be reminded and live our lives remembering that God is our partner in success and in disappointment, in opportunity and in loss. And remain humbled in all that we experience in our lives. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Yes, we need to make decisions, and respond to situations but maybe we need to take a step back and consider how the Scripture messages call us to respond.

From Creighton University

Reflections for the Mass Readings for Tuesday

Read today’s readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Everything that’s built by human beings can be destroyed. That’s why something like the Great Pyramids of Egypt are so awesome: not simply because they are so colossal, but because they have—to an amazing extent—survived the ravages of time. You can think of one of the large cities on the West Coast of our own country (Los Angeles, for example): from the air, as you fly into the area, you can be filled with awe. And yet an earthquake could destroy everything in the area in a matter of minutes.

Through the prophet Daniel, God wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to know that his kingdom, so dear to him, could and would undergo destruction. Other kingdoms would take its place, but they, too, would last only a time. The prophecy of Daniel foreshadowed the words of Jesus, when he spoke of the Temple of Jerusalem: it, like everything built by human beings, will be destroyed. These are not the sorts of things to place our hope in.

Daniel also prophesied that God would set up a kingdom that would not be destroyed. There was no way that Daniel could understand this prophecy, but through Daniel, God was speaking about the Church: not church buildings (even Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome will someday fall), but the Church herself, made up of “living stones”. Those who place their faith in Christ the King will have eternal life.

The Catholic Diocese of Wichita

Scripture commentary for Oct. 23

Click here for today’s readings

St. Luke the Evangelist presents many “stewardship parables”. Today’s Gospel passage offers two, one much longer than the other. The upshot of both is an explicit moral that lets no Christian off easily: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” How do these words apply to an ordinary Christian?

No Christian is ordinary. At the moment of a person’s baptism, God infuses grace into that adopted child’s soul. The graces given include the divine virtues of faith, hope and charity. God entrusts this grace to his adopted child. Consider this fact in light of Jesus’ words at the end of today’s Gospel passage. God entrusts His own divine life to His adopted children. And of course, the graces received at Baptism are but the “first installment” of our inheritance. As we continue to grow as His children, God continues to bestow grace upon us through the sacraments and prayer.

“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much”. What will be required of us, then, as sharers in the divine life? Are you a “faithful and prudent steward”? Both of these virtues—fidelity and prudence—are required to be stewards of the graces that God gives us. Both help keep our attention on our Master: the beginning and end of all the graces of our lives.

Diocese of Wichita

Feast of St. Luke, Evangelist

Today’s readings

On this feast day of Saint Luke the Evangelist, we can imagine that the First Reading was chosen for its brief mention of the saint. The Gospel passage is taken from Luke’s account of the Gospel, but he is not mentioned there as he never met Jesus during His earthly life. Nonetheless, today’s Gospel passage is about being appointed and sent by Jesus. As such, each of us can directly relate it to his life as a disciple.

“To be sent” is the literal meaning of an “apostle”. Today’s Gospel passage, however, is not about the sending of the Twelve, but about the sending of the 72 whom Jesus sent ahead of Him as “advance men”. The 72 are to prepare people to receive Jesus. This is how we can relate this Gospel passage to our own lives as disciples. Very few members of the Church serve as successors of the apostles in the role of bishop, but every Christian is sent by Jesus to prepare others to receive Him. This fact is often overlooked today. There is a confusion still, fifty years after the start of the Second Vatican Council, between the roles of the clergy and laity.

The role of the laity in the Church is largely “outside” the Church, in that the laity carries the fruits of the Church into the wider, secular world. The word “apostolate” is all but obsolete today in referring to the work of the laity, but it needs to be reclaimed to describe the right and responsibility of the laity to engage the “world” with the Good News of Christ.

Diocese of Wichita

Scripture Commentary

From Catholic News Service, their “Word to Life” series about this Sunday.

Sunday’s Scriptures

Here are the Scriptures for this Sunday, the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pope Francis: “Words can kill”

2013-09-02 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Where there is God there is no hatred, envy or jealousy, and there is no gossip that can kill.

This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily this morning as he celebrated Mass in the Casa Santa Marta after the summer break.

The Pope first reflected on today’s liturgical reading which tells of the meeting between Jesus and the people of Nazareth as recounted by the Gospel according to Luke.

The Pope noted that the people of Nazareth with whom he had grown up, admired Jesus, but at the same time expected great things from him: “they wanted a miracle” to be able to believe in Him. And when Jesus told them they were without faith, they were filled with fury, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill to hurl him down headlong”.

And Pope Francis reflected on the reading pointing out that a situation which had started off with admiration was to end with a crime: they wanted to kill Jesus. Because of jealousy and envy. This – he said – is not just something that happened two thousand years ago: “this kind of thing happens every day in our hearts, in our communities”. And he made the example of when somebody new enters a community, on the first day – he said – people speak well of him; on the second not so well; and from the third on gossip and badmouthing starts to spread and end up skinning him”.

The Pope elaborated on the concept quoting from the first letter of St. John 3, 15 in which he says: “He who hates his brother is a murderer”. We are used to gossip – he continued – “but how many times our communities, even our families have become a hell in which we criminally kill our brother with words”.

A community, a family – the Pope continued – can be destroyed by envy that sows evil in the heart and causes one to speak badly of the other”. In these days, Pope Francis said, days in which we are speaking so often of peace, we see the victims of arms, but we must also reflect on our daily arms: “badmouthing and gossip”. Every community – the Pope concluded – must live with the Lord and be “like heaven”.

“So that there is peace in a community, in a family, in a country, in the world, we must be with the Lord. And where the Lord is, there is no envy, there is no criminality, there is no hatred, and there are no jealousies. There is brotherhood. Let this be our prayer to the Lord: never kill your neighbor with words”.

Commentary for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

The Sunday Readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Here is a lectio divina (commentary) from the Carmelite Order.

Monday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel Mt 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.

Some thoughts on the Gospel

The young man in today’s Gospel Reading knows that something more is needed. He’s very confident that he has observed the commandments, but knows that he still lacks something for the gaining of eternal life. Jesus’ response aims for Heaven: “to be perfect”, the young man must sell what he has in order to give to the poor, and then he must follow Jesus.

It would not be accurate to take today’s passage as a proof that every Christian must abandon all his or her possessions. Jesus was speaking on this occasion to an individual. Individual members of the Body of Christ have different vocations, and are called in different ways.

What every Christian vocation does have in common with every other is to seek “to be perfect”. In fact, Jesus commands us elsewhere to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. That might seem an impossibly lofty goal, were we not to understand the meaning of the word “perfect”. From the Latin, it could be colloquially translated as “to become what one is”, or in other words, “to become what one is meant to be”. God “designed” each human person, and calls each human person, to spend himself in love for others, and above all, for Himself as the ineffable Other. However God may ask you to accomplish this, give thanks for His call.

Scriptures – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 120

Reading 1 Jer 38:4-6, 8-10

In those days, the princes said to the king:
“Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them;
he is not interested in the welfare of our people,
but in their ruin.”
King Zedekiah answered: “He is in your power”;
for the king could do nothing with them.
And so they took Jeremiah
and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah,
which was in the quarters of the guard,
letting him down with ropes.
There was no water in the cistern, only mud,
and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Ebed-melech, a court official,
went there from the palace and said to him:
“My lord king,
these men have been at fault
in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah,
casting him into the cistern.
He will die of famine on the spot,
for there is no more food in the city.”
Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite
to take three men along with him,
and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before
he should die.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 3, 4, 18

R. (14b) Lord, come to my aid!
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe
and trust in the LORD.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
Though I am afflicted and poor,
yet the LORD thinks of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, hold not back!
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Reading 2 Heb 12:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
he endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

Gospel Lk 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”