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Showing posts from November, 2014

1st Sunday of Advent, 2014

With the 1st Sunday of Advent we welcome a new Liturgical Year, but unlike our secular celebration of the new year, we don’t do it with champagne and noisemakers. Instead the Church begins her new year with a season of solemn reflection. One secular new year’s tradition that does carry over well with our season of Advent is that of making new year’s resolutions, an opportunity to look how well we are following through with following Christ, and ask ourselves if we are ready for his return.

The Word for the 1st Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:33-37

The beginning of the new Liturgical Year also brings with it a new Lectionary cycle. Last year, Cycle A, we spent with the Gospel of Matthew, but now we transition to Cycle B with a focus on the Gospel of Mark.

Our first reading comes from the Prophet Isaiah… in this case, from third Isaiah. Here we have a vision that has us begging for God to take us back, to make us his o…

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe 2014

The phrase, "to judge the living and the dead" comes from our Creed, but has its origins in scriptures like this Sunday's Gospel.  It reminds us that God alone determines our fate after death, but that fate is also determined by our own choices in life... our free will to follow a path of righteousness or selfishness.  In one of Jesus' final sermons to his Apostles (a continuation from last week's Gospel), Jesus gives us concrete examples to follow.

The Word for Christ the King
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm 23:1-2, 2-3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
Matthew 25:31-46

Our first reading comes Ezekiel, the exiled priest who found his prophetic voice in Babylon.  At a time where the exiled Jewish community is feeling abandoned by God, Ezekiel is called to bring a message of hope.  He speaks of God as a shepherd who seeks to bring back his lost sheep.  It’s a powerful image that we Christians easily recognize from Jesus’ teachings.  This message of the caring shepherd …

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2014

God the Father has endowed us with many gifts.  Not only does scripture recommend that we give thanks for these (as in our readings from Proverbs and Psalms), but it recommends that these gifts must be put to use for the greater good and the love of God.

The Word for the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Matthew 25:14-30

We open with a reading from the book of Proverbs.  This book falls within the category of “wisdom literature” in the Bible.  Like it’s other wisdom book counterparts, it is a collection of wise sayings used as a type of “catechism” to teach right living.  Proverbs is thought to originate during the period of the Monarchy, but doesn’t reach its final form until the post-exilic period.  Our passage for this coming Sunday gives us the example of the value of a “worthy wife,” and how we should honor that value.  “Wisdom” in this period is considered more practical than theological, but to us modern Christian…

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, 2014

November 9th marks the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica.  Why are we celebrating the dedication of a church?  Well, because this is perhaps the most important church in all of Western Christianity.  The official title of this church is:  The Cathedral Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist at the Lateran.  “The Lateran” in this case refers to the Lateran Palace which belonged to the Laterni family, an ancient noble Roman family.  The palace was acquired by Constantine and donated to the Pope in order to be the cathedral of the city of Rome.  This is where the cathedra, the Bishop’s Chair, sits.  Contrary to popular belief, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is not the Pope’s Cathedral.  The Pope is foremost the Bishop of Rome, so therefore his Cathedral Church is in the City of Rome (not Vatican City, which at the time of Constantine was little more than a hill outside of Rome).  This is the oldest church in the W…