November 29, 2015 - First Sunday of Advent, Cycle C

November 25th, 2015

advent_001-640x280.jpg

First Reading  Jeremiah 33:14-16
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.

Second Reading  1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2
Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be holy and to please God.

Gospel Reading
Luke 21:25-28,34-36
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 22 - Feast of Christ the King: His kingdom come!

November 21st, 2015

crucified-king590x550.jpg

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.

Gospel Reading
John 18:33b-37

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 15 - Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Life is short

November 11th, 2015

 Apocalypse-cropped640x361.jpg

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.

Gospel Reading
Mark 13:24-32

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 8 - Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: to give thankfully

November 5th, 2015

 32ndOTb512x368.jpg

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.

Responsorial 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.

Gospel Reading
Mark 12:38-44 (shorter form, Mark 12:41-44)

In 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.

-