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Showing posts from January, 2014

The Presentation of the Lord, 2014

February 2nd is the date chosen by the Church to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.  Since this date falls on a Sunday this year, we take a break from our readings for Ordinary Time to celebrate with these special readings:

The Word for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Malachi 3:1-4
Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10
Hebrews 2:14-18
Luke 2:22-40 or Luke 2:22-32

While the Catholic Church today refers to this day as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, traditionally it has also been called the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord.  Prior to the Second Vatican Council, Candlemas was a time where beeswax candles were blessed for use throughout the year.  Today the celebration focuses more on the prophecy of Simeon, and Pope John Paul II chose it as a time for renewal of religious vows (not to be confused with priestly renewal of vows, which usually takes place on Holy Thursday at the Chrism Ma…

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

For the past two weeks our readings have focused on the Baptism of the Lord… that moment where John baptizes Jesus in the Jordon river.  This was a significant moment because it marks the start of Jesus’ public ministry… the passing of the prophetic torch from John to Jesus.  From here we follow Jesus, literally and figuratively, into Ordinary Time…
The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Isaiah 8:23-9:3-1 Psalm 27-1, 4, 13-14 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 Matthew 4:12-23
Our first reading comes from early Isaiah.  The Northern Kingdom (Israel) has fallen to the Assyrians, and the people of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) fear they are next.  But over some time a new regime has taken has hold of the former Israel, and Isaiah sees this not only as benevolent, but a useful example of God’s mercy.  Lands that were in anguish and darkness now “have seen a great light.”  This light shines from a land that now has a large non-Israelite (Gentile) population, and Isaiah hopes this will convince…

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2014

With the Christmas Season and all its celebrations now behind us, we venture forward into Ordinary Time where we begin our journey of the story of Jesus.  Last week we celebrated Jesus’ baptism which marks the beginning of his ministry.  This week our readings focus on who, exactly, this Jesus person is, and what happens after his baptism…The Word for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
John 1:29-34Our first reading comes again from Isaiah.  For some time now our readings from Isaiah have been introducing us to the “servant of the Lord”… the chosen one who is to come.  Today’s reading continues with another of his “servant songs.”  This week from chapter 49, he tells us that this servant was formed in the womb… created and destined to be the chosen one. Indeed, this is what we believe of Jesus, but it is important to note that this idea of being “formed in the womb” is not new.  In fact, this is how many of the prophets saw …

The Baptism of the Lord, 2014

With this Sunday’s celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Church brings the Christmas Season to a close and transitions to a period of Ordinary Time.  Baptism marks a new beginning…  a rebirth.  For Jesus, this marks the beginning of his ministry, and serves as an excellent transition from the infancy narratives to the story of his life and ministry.  So this week we begin a new journey…

The Word for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
Acts 10:34-38
Matthew 3:13-17

Our first reading, from the Isaiah, tells us about “the servant of the Lord”… in this case, the prophet chosen by God to save Israel.  This prophecy comes from the section of Isaiah that predicts the coming glory for Israel.  That not only will he raise it up in gleaming splendor, but through is servant, make it a beacon, a shining example to all the other nations.  No small task given that Israel, at this time, is still living in exile in Babylon.  What we have in …

The Epiphany of the Lord 2014

Traditionally the celebration of the Epiphany would mark the end of our Christmas Season (the Twelve Days of Christmas), whereupon we continue the celebration with the Octave of Epiphany.  With the revised Liturgical Calendar for the US, however, we celebrate the Epiphany on the first Sunday after New Years Day, and extend the Christmas season through to the second Sunday after New Years with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord.

The Word for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6
Matthew 2:1-12

Our first reading comes from the later chapters of Isaiah.  Here the prophet sees a glorious vision for Jerusalem… the city shall be radiant and become a beacon for all the nations.  These later chapters of Isaiah reflect the hope for the end of the Babylonian Exile, and the reconciliation of God to the people of Israel.  As seen through our Christian eyes, this passage also speaks to our hope for the messiah, a savior who’…