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.
September 17th, 2015
First Reading Wisdom 2:12,17-20
The just one is put to the test.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 54:3-4,5,6 & 8
A prayer for God's protection.
Second Reading James 3:16—4:3
James teaches about the wisdom from above.
is something about being human that drives us to succeed, to want to achieve
things. For some people they target greatness, look at our Olympic and
Paralympic athletes, for others maybe the ambition is smaller, getting the kids
to eat breakfast and get to school on time is challenge enough. Ambition,
drive, success and winning are the themes of today. And our teaching from
Christ today seems contradictory, "If anyone wants to be first, they must
ke themselves last of all." The message doesn't fit with the way we see
the world ork. Our
society tells us that being right, being first, being the best is all
important. But society is wrong. There is nothing good or important about being
first, however there is only one thing bad about being right, or first or best,
and that one thing is doing something just to be right or just to be the best
or just to be the first. Following our lord is
not easy. He never promised it would be. Selflessness is not in our nature,
pride and greed are. If you are to be a follower of Christ you needs put your
human nature last to enable you to put your spiritual nature first. Work hard,
but always for others, strive to do your best, but resist the urge just to be
the best, if you are the best thank God that you are able to serve so well.
September 9th, 2015
First Reading Isaiah 50:5-9a
The suffering servant of Yahweh is assured of God's help.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 116:1-2,3-4,5-6,8-9
A prayer of praise to God for his salvation
Second Reading James 2:14-18
James teaches that faith must be demonstrated in one's works.
The Christian under
sanding of Christ has to include the idea of suffering, death and resurrection.
To attempt to hold Jesus back from his divinely ordained path is to play
Satan's game to frustrate God's gift of life to the world through the costly "service"
he must render. In the same way we are called to 'get behind him' in the sense
of following him along "his way" rather than standing "in his
way". We know that suffering and sorrow are a part of life. There's no way
we can escape them. The important thing isn't the sorrow that befall us but how
we respond to them. The important thing is what we do about them. We can turn
them into something constructive, not destructive. We can turn them into
something that is life-giving and not death-dealing. we can turn them into
something that makes us better, not bitter. Let the Lord have His way and let
us follow that path in trust.
September 2nd, 2015
First Reading Isaiah 35:4-7a
Isaiah prophesies about God's vindication.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 146:7,8-9,9-10
A song of praise to God
Second Reading James 2:1-5
James teaches that there is to be no partiality within the Christian community.
The healing which is recorded
in the Gospel, which follows the pattern of healings in Mark, is intended to be
read as one more indication of the arrival and nature of the messianic times.
Each healing and each miracle is like a pointer to one more aspect of Jesus as
‘the Christ’. At the end of the healing, the crowd’s reaction and amazement is
a direct allusion to the reaction described in Isa 35:5-6; and for Mark, the
healing taken with the reaction is an indication that the glorious future,
which was long awaited, is already a reality in Jesus. St John gives us
the key to interpret Jesus’ miracles. Whereas the other evangelists refer to
the miracles as “wonders” or “powers”, John calls them “signs”; for him the
miracles point beyond themselves to the “kingdom of God”. The gift of new hearing
allows us to hear the word of God in our gatherings, in the situations and ups
and downs of life, and in our consciences. We can come to know that God loves
us, cares for us, and calls us to be his ministers and his witnesses. The gift
of new speech allows us to praise him in prayer, to proclaim the
truth to sisters and brothers, and to announce the good news of Jesus. God’s
gift to us is the gift of receiving and the gift of transmitting. We are
enabled to hear the word of God, and we are empowered to communicate the word
of God. In opening our ears and lips, Jesus gathers us up into his own divine
August 26th, 2015
First Reading Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8
Moses tells the Israelites to observe the commandments that God gave them.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 15:2-3,3-4,4-5
Those who do justice will find favor with God.
Second Reading James 1:17-18,21b-22,27
James teaches that Christians should be doers of the Word.
For the Jews Religious was slowly degenerating
into an activity of performing external rituals. Which is to say that external
rituals (like washing hands before meals) was becoming identified with being
religious and serving God. Therefore Jesus in today’s Gospel warns against
identifying religion with performing external acts. The point is this: we can
do all religious acts but for the wrong reason. That is we can perform all
religious rituals but without love and mercy. What counts is not what we do. What
counts is the love in our heart that motivates us to do what we do. If our
heart is filled with bitterness or pride or jealousy, then all the external
practices in the world won’t make us holy before God. In short, what
counts in religion is not what we do, but why we do it. What counts is the love
in our hearts: love of God and love of neighbor.
August 20th, 2015
First Reading Joshua
Joshua and the people declare that they will serve the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
The Lord hears the cries of the just.
Second Reading Ephesians 5:21-32
(or shorter form Ephesians 5:2a,25-32)
Husbands and wives should love one another as Christ loves the Church.
There are times in life
when we are pushed to the wall, when we are ready to quit. There are times in
life when we need something to hold on to. We see this in today's Gospel. The
disciples of Jesus are pushed to the wall. Their faith in Jesus is challenged
severely by what Jesus said earlier about giving them his body to eat. The
disciples respond to the challenged in two ways: one group part company with
Jesus and no longer walk with him. The second group meet the challenge
successfully and remain faithful to Jesus. The group who left did so because
they had their attention fixed on the problem where as the group who stayed did
so because they had their attention fixed on Jesus. In which group do you want
to be? The choice is yours?
August 12th, 2015
First Reading Proverbs 9:1-6
Wisdom has set a feast before us.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
A prayer of praise to God for his goodness
Second Reading Ephesians 5:15-20
Filled with the Spirit, Christians strive to follow the will of the Lord.
Love demands union. The greater the love, the more intimate is the union
desired. The lover longs to be joined to the beloved – in thought, in letters,
in phone conversations, in physical presence, and ultimately – in spousal love
– through the love embrace between husband and wife. So much does Jesus love us
that he conceals himself under what looks like bread in order to ravish us in
the love embrace of Holy Communion! Such was the meaning of one of the early
Church Fathers, St. John Chrysostom, when he wrote: “How many of you say, I
would like to see his face, his garments, his sandals. You do see him, you
touch him, you eat him. He gives himself to you, not only that you may see him
– but also to be your food and your nourishment.”
The Eucharist is a prayer,
it is a sacrifice. It is a blessing and it is also a challenge. We have to
become what we behold, to become what we receive
August 6th, 2015
First Reading 1 Kings 19:4-8
The Lord feeds Elijah, strengthening him for his journey to Horeb.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 34:2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9
A prayer of praise to God for his goodness
Second Reading Ephesians 4:30—5:2
The Ephesians are encouraged to be imitators of Christ.
Jesus calls himself
“the living bread that came down from heaven.” We need food that not only gives
us strength of body, keeps us alive here on earth, but food that strengthens us
for eternal life, keeps us for life forever. The Lord makes an amazing, a tremendous
promise, one that we may and should accept as it stands: “whoever eats this
bread will live forever.” We heard in the first reading about the wonderful
power of the food the Lord provided for Elijah. This food strengthened him for
a journey of forty days in the desert. This power of the food God gives, to
strengthen him for forty days, is only a sign and indication of the much more
marvelous power of this bread of life, the Eucharist, which strengths not for
forty days, but for life forever, for eternal life. In the
Eucharist Christ gives us himself totally. He comes to us and becomes our
bread, our food for that life with God that never ends. Christ's love overcame
death. He who is united in faith and love with Christ, will live forever, soul
and body, according to the Lord's promise: "I will raise him on the last
July 30th, 2015
First Reading Exodus 16:2–4,
The Lord feeds the Israelites with manna
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 78:3–4,
23–24, 25, 54
A song of praise to God for his deeds to Israel.
Second Reading Ephesians 4:17,
Christians become a new creation in Christ.
Jesus tells the
crowd in this week’s Gospel that they are following him for the wrong reasons.
They seek him because he filled their bellies. The Israelites, too, were
content to follow God so long as there was plenty of food. Food is the most
obvious of signs—because it is the most basic of our human needs. We need
our daily bread to live. But we cannot live by this bread alone. We need the
bread of eternal life that preserves those who believe in him. The manna in the
wilderness, like the bread Jesus multiplied for the crowd, was a sign of God’s
Providence—that we should trust that he will provide. These signs pointed to
their fulfillment in the Eucharist, the abundant bread of angels we sing about
in this week’s Psalm. This is the food that God longs to give us. This is the
bread we should be seeking. But too often we don’t ask for this bread. Instead
we seek the perishable stuff of our everyday wants and anxieties. In our
weakness we think these things are what we really need.
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