Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Call of Discipleship: 13th Sunday in OT

The Readings for this upcoming Sunday continue the strong call to discipleship issued in last Sunday's Readings.  Jesus stresses that following him must be an immediate and complete commitment of one's entire person.  As someone once said, "Jesus did not come to suffer, die and rise from the dead in order to create 'cultural Catholics.'"

1.  Our First Reading is from 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead: The Mass Readings Explained (The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

My latest video explaining this week's Sunday Mass readings is now up. I hope it helps, and please Like and Share! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Messianic Secret: The Mass Readings Explained (The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Check out John's post on this Sunday's Mass readings below and then my supplemental video.  I hope it helps your participation in Mass!  And, please Like and Share.  Thanks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Turning to Face the Cross: 12th Sunday of OT

As the Church reads through the Gospel of Luke this year, we reach a transition point in this Sunday's text (Luke 9:18-24) where the focus of the Gospel begins to shift toward Christ's coming passion and death.  Sorrowful though his suffering will be, ironically it shall serve as the source of the life-giving “water” about which the other readings speak. 
1.  Our First Reading is from Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Faith, Love, and Forgiveness: The 11th Sunday of OT

The Readings for this Sunday revolve around a constellation of fundamental issues in our relationship with God: sin, repentance, forgiveness, faith, and love.  Two of the passages used in this liturgy have been battlegrounds in the theological polemic between Protestants and Catholics, but ought not to be so.

1.  Our First Reading is 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13:

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Life from the Dead: 10th Week of Ordinary Time

This Sunday we return to Ordinary Time, picking up with the tenth week in Year C.  “Tenth week?  What happened to weeks 6,7,8, and 9?” you might ask.  Well, weeks 7,8, & 9 were pre-empted by Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, respectively.  And week 6 was skipped, because otherwise we would not get to Week 34 (Christ the King) before Advent 2017 started.  The practical result of all that is we omit Luke 6 from the cycle of readings this year, and skip ahead to Luke 7.

The Readings this Sunday are focussed on the theme of resurrection from the dead.  The First Reading recounts Elijah raising a boy from the dead.  The Psalm praises God for delivering David from Sheol (the grave). In the Epistle, Paul recounts seeing the risen Christ.  In the Gospel, Jesus raises the son of the widow of Nain.

1.  We begin with 1 Kgs 17:17-24

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Jesus Raises the Widow of Nain's Son: The Mass Readings Explained (The Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Improve your participation at Mass this Sunday with my latest video explaining the Mass readings.  I hope it helps.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

After reading John's commentary on the Mass readings for this Sunday, check out my video.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Satisfying Hunger for God: The Feast of Corpus Christi

I love the early summer liturgical “trifecta” of Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, forming a kind of “encore” to the joyful Easter Season focusing in succession on three fundamental realities of the Christian life: the Holy Spirit in the Church, the Triune Godhead, and the Eucharist.  This “trifecta” comes to an end this week with the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ.

The Readings for this Solemnity obviously focus on types and descriptions of the Eucharist, but there is a notably priestly theme that also runs through them.  In this way, we observe the connection between priesthood and Eucharist.  This connection first dawned on me personally in the fall of 1999, when I was first exposed to the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.  Coming across St. Ignatius of Antioch's famous passage concerning the Eucharist in his Letter to the Smyrneans (ch. 7), I suddenly realized that the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was—and is—the constant belief of the Church from apostolic times to the present day:

My Latest Release with Catholic Productions Just Became Available

My latest set where I go through my book - chapter by chapter - is now available through Catholic Productions.  Check it out...

...And please Like and Share!  Thank you!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Case for Jesus: Jesus and the Kingdom of God (Part 5 of 5)

My fifth and final intro video on the 12 hour set Catholic Productions is releasing tomorrow is now available.  
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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

(Scroll down for Dr. Pitre's vlog on the readings)
Pentecost is not supposed to mark a spiritual highpoint, from which we then regress and go back to being our slovenly selves. 
Rather, Pentecost should be a dramatic infusion of spiritual energy climaxing a period of formation that has been ongoing since the first week of Advent.  Pentecost propels us, like a shot out of a cannon, into the “world” of Ordinary Time, in order to do effective combat with sin, death, and the Devil.

This Sunday marks approximately the half-way point in the liturgical year, and at this temporal center, we pause to reflect on the central mystery of our Faith, the Most Holy Trinity.  This seems appropriate on the heels of Pentecost, because it is through the Holy Spirit that the whole Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—dwells within our soul.

The Word of God and the Family

"The word of God is the source of life and spirituality for the family. All pastoral work on behalf of the family must allow people to be interiorly fashioned and formed as members of the domestic church through the Church’s prayerful reading of sacred Scripture. The word of God is not only good news in a person’s private life but also a criterion of judgement and a light in discerning the various challenges that married couples and families encounter."— Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia §227, quoting the final relatio, §34.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Mystery of the Trinity: The Mass Readings Explained (The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

Improve your active participation in Mass this sunday by better understanding the Mass readings.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Gift of the Spirit: Readings for Pentecost

This post picks up from themes discussed in the post below on the Readings for the Vigil of Pentecost.  For that post, scroll down; and below that is Dr. Pitre's excellent video explaining the Pentecost Readings.

For Pentecost Sunday, Mass during the Day, the First Reading is, finally, the account of Pentecost itself, from Acts 2:1-11:

Gathering the Human Family: The Readings for the Vigil of Pentecost


(Next post down is Dr. Pitre's excellent video on the Pentecost Readings)

Welcome to Pentecost!  This is such an important Feast Day in the life of the Church, we should celebrate it with just as much joy and enthusiasm as Christmas and Easter.  This the day of the Spirit, and if we have understood Jesus' teachings clearly, we understand that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is not an epilogue or denouement to the story of salvation, but its climactic finale that ushers in a new age!  This is the high point of our liturgical journey that began in Advent with anticipation of the coming of the Messiah!  

The Church recognizes the importance of Pentecost in her liturgy, and graces this Solemnity with its own vigil, complete with four different options for the First Reading.  All of them are important for understanding the meaning of this feast:

Pentecost and the Holy Spirit: The Lectionary Readings Explained (Pentecost Sunday)

Check out my latest video on this Sunday's Mass Readings. Please Like and Share!  Thank you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Case for Jesus: Jesus and the Rich Young Man (Part 4 of 5)

Here is introduction 4/5 of a series Catholic Productions is releasing on my latest book, The Case For Jesus
Please Like and Share!  Thank you.

Friday, May 06, 2016

The 7th Sunday of Easter, for those who have one!

Here is a commentary on the Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, and let me begin by saying, if you have a Seventh Sunday of Easter, you are indeed blessed!  This is an important Sunday: it is climactic, the last Sunday before Pentecost in the Easter Season.  The architects of the Vatican II Lectionary saved very important readings for this date, notably the High Priestly Prayer of John 17.  This magnificent prayer is the longest of Jesus’ prayers recorded in Scripture, and it is the climax of the Last Supper Discourse (John 13-17), the longest discourse of Jesus recorded in Scripture.  In this prayer, Our Lord reveals his deepest desires for himself, his Apostles, and the whole Church.  It is hard to overestimate its significance to Christian theology.  In the Liturgy, we have been, as it were, sitting with the Apostles in the Upper Room with Jesus before the Passion, listening to him teach about the Holy Spirit for the past several Sundays of Easter.  Now, on the Seventh Sunday, we come to the climax of Jesus’ teaching, in which he sums up everything with a prayer for the Church to imitate externally and internally the intimate unity of the Trinity itself.  

The Ascension of Jesus and His Sacrifice “Once for All”: The Lectionary Readings Explained (The Seventh Sunday of Easter)

After reading John's commentary below, check out my latest video on this Sunday's Mass Readings. Please Like and Share!  Thank you.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Case for Jesus: The Transfiguration of Jesus on the Mountain (Part 3 of 5)

Here is introduction 3/5 of a series Catholic Productions is releasing on my latest book, The Case For Jesus

Please Like and Share!  Thank you.