November 25th, 2015
The Lord will fulfill his promises to Israel and Judah.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 25:4-5,8-9,10,14
The Lord will teach us his paths.
1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2
Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be holy and to please God.
Jesus teaches his disciples to be vigilant so that they will be ready when the
Son of Man comes in glory.
In this new liturgical year that
begins this week, the Gospel of Luke will be the primary Gospel proclaimed
(Lectionary Cycle C). This week we hear Jesus speak to his disciples about the
need for vigilance and prayer as they wait for the coming of the Son of Man in
glory. This passage marks the conclusion of a lengthy dialogue in which Jesus
predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, warns about the
persecution and tribulations to follow, and identifies the signs that will
signal the coming of the Son of Man in glory
November 21st, 2015
First Reading Daniel 7:13-14
Daniel prophesies about the coming of the Son of Man.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 93:1,1-2,5
A prayer of praise to God our king
Second Reading Revelation 1:5-8
Jesus is the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of all.
This Sunday, at the end of Church’s liturgical year, the readings
describe the enthronement of the victorious Christ as King in Heaven in all his
glory. Instituting this Feast of Christ the King, Pope Pius XI proclaimed: “Pax
Christi in regno Christi” (the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ).
This means that we live in the peace of Christ when we surrender our lives to
him every day, accept him as our God, Savior and King and allow him to rule our
lives. In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of kings and kingship, yet he is not
referring to power but to truth. Pilate fails to understand: can there be a
power not obtained by human means? A power which does not respond to the logic
of domination and force? Jesus came to reveal and bring a new kingship, that of
God; he came to bear witness to the truth of a God who is love (cf. 1 Jn
4:8,16), who wants to establish a kingdom of justice, love and peace (cf.
Preface). Whoever is open to love hears this testimony and accepts it with
faith, to enter the kingdom of God.
November 11th, 2015
First Reading Daniel 12:1-3
Daniel prophesies about the judgment of the last days.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 16:5,8,9-10,11
God protects us and shows us the path of life.
Second Reading Hebrews 10:11-14,18
Jesus' offering for sin has made all to be consecrated perfect forever.
In this, the second-to-the-last week of the
Church year, Jesus has finally made it to Jerusalem. Near to His passion and
death, He gives us a teaching of hope—telling us how it will be when He returns
again in glory. The Gospel text is an eschatological (i.e., an End of Time)
image. Jesus is being typically provocative, trying to cajole his audience into
thinking large and imagining what is really important among all the
complexities and clutter of normal human life. Today’s Gospel narrative is from
the 13th Chapter of Mark’s Gospel account, sometimes labeled
“The Little Apocalypse.” It uses what 20th Century people
called technicolor and surround-sound by way of dramatizing the imaginary end
of the created universe. Jesus was very serious about getting people to think
somewhat more critically than they were culturally accustomed to doing. He
tried to move them away from the idea of merely earning God’s approval, and
toward the idea of engaging life ever-more fully, thoughtfully, justly, and
wisely. The just and the wise would recognize “the Son of Man coming in the
clouds” as a sign of God’s presence and justice.
November 5th, 2015
First Reading 1 Kings 17:10-16
Through Elijah, a widow and her son are blest with enough flour and oil to
supply them for a year.
Psalm Psalm 146:7,8-9 9-10
A prayer of praise to God who raises up the lowly
Second Reading Hebrews 9:24-28
Christ died once to take away sin; he will return again to bring salvation.
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)
today's well-known Gospel story (Mark 12:38-44), Jesus praises the poor widow's
offering, and makes it clear that the standard measurement for assessing gifts
is not how much we give to the works of God or how much we put in the
collection basket, but how much we have left for ourselves. Those who give
out of their abundance still have abundance left. It is said that there are
three kind of givers: grudge givers (“I hate to give”), duty givers (“I ought
to give”) and thanks givers (“I want to give”). Do we give grudgingly or
dutifully or thankfully? The best way to give is to give thankfully, i.e. with
a generous and full heart. In their self-sacrifice, these widows embody the
love that Jesus last week revealed as the heart of the Law and the Gospel. They
mirror the Father’s love in giving His only Son, and Christ’s love in
sacrificing himself on the cross. And again we are called to imitate His
sacrifice of love in our own lives. We will be judged, not by how much we
give—for the scribes and wealthy contribute far more than the widow. Rather, we
will be judged by whether our gifts reflect our livelihood, our whole beings,
all our heart and soul, mind and strength.
October 31st, 2015
First Reading Revelation 7:2-4,9-14
John describes his vision: those who have endured the trials worship the Lamb.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 24:1-2,3-4,5-6
Those who seek the face of the Lord shall be rewarded.
Second Reading 1 John 3:1-3
We are God's children now.
the Judaism of Jesus' time there were two opposite tendencies. On the one hand
there was a tendency to endlessly multiply the commandments and precepts of the
law, creating norms and obligations for every minimal detail of life. On the
other hand there was the desire to look underneath this suffocating congeries
of norms to find those things that really count for God, the spirit of all the
commandments. The scribe's question and Jesus' response are situated in this
approach to the essentials of the law, in this desire not to get lost in the
thousand other secondary precepts. It is precisely this lesson about method
that above all we must learn from today's gospel. There are things in life that
are important but not urgent (in the sense that nothing will happen if we let
them slide); and vice versa, there are things that are urgent but not
important. The danger is that we will systematically sacrifice the important
things to pursue those that are urgent but often secondary. What are the
priorities, in your life? To health, family, friends and character -- we need
to add two others, which are the biggest of all, the two greatest commandments:
love God and your neighbour.
October 22nd, 2015
First Reading Jeremiah 31:7-9
The Lord declares himself to be the Father of Israel.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 126:1-2,2-3,4-5,6
A song of praise to God who does great things
Second Reading Hebrews 5:1-6
Christ was made high priest by God.
today’s Gospel we see how everyone discouraged Bartimaeus when he wanted to
meet Jesus. But he refused to be silenced, and the heart of Christ didn’t
let him down. St Mark makes a point of explaining that Bartimaeus “threw
aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.” The Fathers of the Church
have seen in this cloak a symbol of self- sufficiency, a symbol of our
deep-seated tendency to think that we are capable of solving all of our
problems on our own. The cloak symbolizes all those things that we wrongly
depend on for happiness, that we tend to idolize: good looks, intelligence,
athletic ability, money, good education, success, popularity etc Then, when he
hears the Lord’s call, he doesn’t hesitate to cast off his cloak
and spring forward, teaching us all that our only sufficiency should be
October 15th, 2015
First Reading Isaiah 53:10-11
Through his suffering, the servant of Yahweh will justify many.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
A prayer of praise for God's mercy
Second Reading Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus is the high priest who sympathizes with our weakness.
Mark 10:35-45 (shorter form Mark 10:42-45)
According to the Gospel
James and John saw authority when they asked Jesus for seats at his right and
left. Like typical careerists and opportunists they were looking for a
comfortable position for themselves. Most people see authority as a chance to
promote their own honour and glory. But Christ saw it differently. He saw it as
an opportunity to serve others – to promote the good of others rather than to
promote one’s own honour and glory. He said “look at the pagan rulers. See
how they lord over their subjects. It must not be like that among you must be
the one in authority must be the one who serves”. Surely this is the most
revolutionary thing ever said about authority. It makes for true greatness. All
of us exercise authority in some way or the other. We have to examine
ourselves. Do we exercise authority according to the spirit of Christ? Let us
not presume that we are necessarily superior to or better than, those we
command. A uniform, a promotion, a position of authority, these of themselves
do not make us better persons.
October 8th, 2015
First Reading Wisdom 7:7-11
Wisdom is preferred above gold and silver.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 90:12-13,14-15,16-17
The Lord fills us with love and joy.
Second Reading Hebrews 4:12-13
The Word of God exposes the heart.
Mark 10:17-30 (shorter form Mark 10:17-27)
The rich man was capable
of doing more than just keeping the commandments, but he lacked the commitment
to do so. Today's Gospel story makes it painfully clear that there is more to
Christianity than just keeping the commandments. Jesus made it clear to the
rich man that Christianity is more than just a set of negative commands like
not staling or not cheating. Christianity is far more positive. It is about
doing what you can in generosity and love: "Have you ever used your wealth
to feed the hungry, clothe the naked or shelter the homeless?" We are like
the rich man in today's gospel. we have kept the commandments too, but we
haven't been able to reach out as generously as we could to the needy, the
naked, and the hungry. Let us reflect.
October 1st, 2015
First Reading Genesis 2:18-24
God creates woman from Adam's rib.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
A prayer for God's blessing
Second Reading Hebrews 2:9-11
Christ was made perfect through suffering so that we might all be consecrated.
Mark 10:2-16 (shorter form Mark 10:2-12)
question Jesus about the lawfulness of divorce. In reply, Jesus quotes from the
Book of Genesis and counters that God's original intention was that men and
women would become one flesh in marriage. Jesus describes the teaching of Moses
as a concession made to God's original intention because of human stubbornness.
Jesus' teaching was more restrictive than the teaching of the Pharisees, which
permitted remarriage. Divorce tears apart the bonding and the union that love
impels us to attain. Divorce, Jesus says, has to do with laws. Marriage has to
do with love. Marriage is far more than merely a license to live together.
Marriage takes us back to our beginnings, to Adam and Eve. When read together,
however, these passages present a strong picture of Jesus' emphasis on the
importance of family. God intended for women and men to be joined together in
marriage. Among the purposes of marriage is the raising of children. By
welcoming children and fostering their relationship with God, parents and
families bear witness to the Kingdom of God. It is our responsibility to speak in
support of marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman in
an enduring bond of love. This union is ordered to both the mutual good of the
spouses and to the procreation and raising of children.
September 23rd, 2015
First Reading Numbers 11:25-29
The Lord bestows his spirit on the seventy elders.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
The Law of the Lord brings joy.
Second Reading James 5:1-6
James chastises the rich.
This Sunday’s Gospel
presents one of those episodes in Christ’s life which, even if they are noted,
so to speak en passant, contain a profound meaning (cf. Mk
9:38-41). The event involved someone who was not a follower of Jesus but who
had expelled demons in his name. The Apostle John, a young man and ardently
zealous as he was, wanted to prevent him but Jesus did not permit this; on on
the contrary, he drew inspiration from this circumstance to teach his disciples
that God could work good and even miraculous things even outside their circle,
and that it is possible to cooperate with the cause of the Kingdom of God in
different ways, even by simply offering a missionary a glass of water (v.
41).St Augustine wrote in this regard: “as, therefore, there is in the Catholic
— meaning the Church — something which is not Catholic, so there may be
something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church” (cf. On
Baptism, Against the Donatists, PL 43, VII, 39, 77). Therefore if a
stranger to the community does good works in Christ’s name, so long as he does
so with upright intentions and with respect, members of the Church must not
feel jealous but must rejoice. Even within the Church, people can find it
difficult, in the spirit of deep communion, to value and appreciate good things
achieved by the different ecclesial entities. Instead, we must all and always
be able to appreciate one another, praising God for the infinite “creativity”
with which he acts in the Church and in the world.
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