Tuesday, February 26, 2013

3rd Sunday of Lent 2013

Thursday marks the final day in office for our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, after which the papacy will be a sede vacante... a vacant seat.  This term is used universally in the church for when a bishop's seat (his cathedra) is vacant.  Normally when a bishop's seat is becomes vacant (through death, retirement, resignation, or reassignment), the Pope through the Holy See seeks to fill that vacancy.  But when the "seat of Peter" is vacant, the College of Cardinals gather in Conclave to elect a new pope.  This is most certainly a busy and interesting time in our Church.

It is also a very busy time for those going through the RCIA process.  This coming Sunday we enter the period of the Scurtinies.  For the next three weeks, our Elect and Candidates will listen to specially selected readings during Mass and go through special Rites as they discern or "scrutinize" their calling to full initiation.  For those attending the 1st Scrutiny this Sunday, our readings will be:

The Word for the 1st Scrutiny (3rd Sunday of Lent Cycle A):
        Exodus 17:3-7
        Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
        Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
        John 4:5-42

For those attending one of the other Masses this Sunday, you will hear the normal Cycle C readings:

The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Lent:
        Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
        Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 9
        1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
        Luke 13:1-9

During our session this week we will visit both sets of readings and discuss their message as we discern the relevance of that message to us during the season of Lent.  You can also read more about the Scrutinies in this Catholic Update: Lenten Customs

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2nd Sunday of Lent 2013

The Word for the 2nd Sunday of Lent:
        Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
        Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14
        Philippians 3:17-4:1
        Luke 9:28b-36

We open with a reading from Genesis, where we witness God's first covenant with Abram.  It was Abram's faith in God that built the trust for this covenant, and echoed in our Psalm.  For as it was Abram's actions that built trust with the Lord, Paul tells the Philippians that in order to be right with God, they only need follow his example, and focus on the greater, higher good.  This takes us to our Gospel, where we hear Luke's story of the Transfiguration.  This is a moment of enlightenment for the Apostles (Peter, John, and James) who were witness, and were stunned by what they saw and heard.  One could argue that this is the moment a new covenant is established... linking the old (Moses and Elijah) with the new (Jesus) with the affirmation of the Father.

Catholic Update:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1st Sunday of Lent 2013

What exciting times we live in!  Not only is it the beginning of Lent, but the resignation of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, makes this one Lenten season one for the history books.  No doubt we'll be keeping up with all this news and the coming Conclave to elect a new pope.

This week our topic is "Divine Election".  What is Divine Election?  It recognizes that it is God who chooses us to be his people.  While we must individually come to accept that invitation, it is in fact, God, working through the Holy Spirit, that calls us to him, and inspires us to take this journey through Initiation.  Through these past few weeks we have been listening to the "call" of various prophets.  Now as we enter the season of Lent, we discern our own call to God.

The Word for the 1st Sunday of Lent:
        Deuteronomy 26:4-10
        Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
        Romans 10:8-13
        Luke 4:1-13

As we ponder our election to the Christian life, it is also a good time for us to reflect on the challenges we face in trying to follow the path Jesus has laid out for us.  Not only does the Christian message of "loving one another" seem contrary to our "every man for himself" society, but there is particular vitriol from some circles for the Catholic Church itself.  Is this justified?  What do we do?  Do we just turn the other cheek?  How do we stand up for ourselves?  Join us for what should be an interesting discussion.

Catholic Update:

1st Sunday of Lent 2013

What exciting times we live in!  Not only is it the beginning of Lent, but the resignation of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, makes this one Lenten season one for the history books.  No doubt we'll be keeping up with all this news and the coming Conclave to elect a new pope.

This week our topic is "Divine Election".  What is Divine Election?  It recognizes that it is God who chooses us to be his people.  While we must individually come to accept that invitation, it is in fact, God, working through the Holy Spirit, that calls us to him, and inspires us to take this journey through Initiation.  Through these past few weeks we have been listening to the "call" of various prophets.  Now as we enter the season of Lent, we discern our own call to God.

The Word for the 1st Sunday of Lent:
        Deuteronomy 26:4-10
        Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15
        Romans 10:8-13
        Luke 4:1-13

As we ponder our election to the Christian life, it is also a good time for us to reflect on the challenges we face in trying to follow the path Jesus has laid out for us.  Not only does the Christian message of "loving one another" seem contrary to our "every man for himself" society, but there is particular vitriol from some circles for the Catholic Church itself.  Is this justified?  What do we do?  Do we just turn the other cheek?  How do we stand up for ourselves?

Catholic Update: