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Showing posts from February, 2016

Extra: Reflections from the 2016 RE Congress

One of the gifts of being part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the annual Religious Education Congress. 

For those who don't know, the RE Congress began 60 years ago as a series of workshops for those involved in what we used to call "CCD" (Confraternity of Catholic Doctrine), what we more commonly refer to as "Religious Education," or perhaps more appropriately today as "Faith Formation."  What was born out of a desire for local CCD teachers to gather and share ideas on faith formation has grown into an international gathering of more than 40,000 catechists and ministers of all flavors to be re-ignited by the Holy Spirit to the service of their parish.  I've been blessed to have attended this event regularly since the early 1980's, and I have yet to be disappointed.  I believe that for anyone involved in Catholic education, catechesis, or church ministry, on any level... this is a must-attend event.

The Congress is, among other things, a…

3rd Sunday of Lent - Cycle C

Repent and prepare the way of the Lord!  While we may recall these words as the cry of  John the Baptist announcing the coming of the Christ, we should not forget that these words have followed us since the dawn of creation all the way down to this very day.  God’s mercy is there waiting for all, but have we answered the call?

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

Our readings during this Lent have reminded us of our Covenant relationship with God… answering God’s call to be his people.  Last week we heard the story of Abram, and this week we witness God’s call to the next great patriarch… Moses.  At this point in our narrative Moses has fled Egypt, and has been living in the land of Midian.  While tending the flock, Moses is drawn up the mountain of God by the burning bush.  There God makes himself known to Moses, and directs him to go to the Israelites held captive in Egypt.  This not onl…

2nd Sunday of Lent

Revelation and covenant.  These are two core elements of our faith.  Revelation in that God has “revealed” himself to us.  Covenant in that God seeks a continuing relationship with us.  Both these elements play an role in understanding our readings on this 2nd Sunday of Lent:

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

Our first reading is from the book of Genesis.  Here we witness the second covenant with Abram.  In the story of Abram (who is later named Abraham), there are three “covenant” moments.  The first, when God promises Abram that he will make from him a “great nation” with many decedents.  Our passage for Sunday reminds us of that moment in it’s opening lines.  From there we witness God’s second great promise to Abram… the gift of the land (what Moses would refer to as “the promised land).  To commemorate this moment, Abram prepares a sacrifice.  He spends the day protecting the sacrifice f…

1st Sunday of Lent

With Ash Wednesday we begin our 40-day journey through the Season of Lent.  While this is an important time for all Catholics, it is particularly important for those adults preparing to receive their Sacraments.  During this time we focus on our final preparations to receive those Sacraments.  Like Jesus in the desert, we use this time to deepen our faith through prayer, fasting, and alms-giving… a faith that reminds us that even with our flaws, we are chosen by 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

Our first reading is from the book of Deuteronomy.  Here we see Moses preparing the people of Israel to enter the promised land.  He tells them to prepare a sacrifice, and as they are presenting it, remind themselves of where they came from… the ancestors of Abraham (My father was a wandering Aramean), the rescued slaves of Egypt, brought out by the God who has given them everything.  Our Psalm reinf…

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

During these past few weeks of Ordinary Time our readings have given us various stories of a “call to mission.”  Our readings for this last Sunday before Lent continues that theme…

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

Our first reading is from the book of the prophet Isaiah.  Most of the stories of the prophets begin, quite logically, with the story of their calling.  The book on Isaiah, however, follows a slightly different construct.  It opens with his great oracle of indictment against the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.  This continues for the first 5 chapters.  Then when we get to Chapter 6, we go from oratory to narrative history.  This is where we begin our first reading, with the story of Isaiah’s calling.  That story is presented as a vision where Isaiah sees the Lord sitting on a great throne in the Temple.  Isaiah feels he is unworthy, but one of the seraphim (a class of angels) s…