Monday, December 17, 2018

The Visitation to Elizabeth (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video for the 4th Sunday of Advent is now out.  You can check it out below.

Catholic Productions' notable quote from this week's video:

"...[S]ometimes our non-Catholic brothers and sisters, non-Catholic Christians, will say, you know, why do you Catholics give so much honor to Mary? Don't you think it's just too much? Is just too much emphasis. You're taking away from Jesus by honoring her. Not according to the Bible.

I mean notice here, who is it that inspires Elizabeth to utter these words of honor over Mary? It’s the Holy Spirit. So apparently the Holy Spirit didn't have a problem with Elizabeth blessing Mary. Same thing, it's the Holy Spirit who inspires the author of Luke's gospel, Luke, to tell us that Elizabeth was humbled in the presence of Mary. None of this takes away from Christ, it's Christ himself who makes Mary mother of the Messiah, that makes Mary mother of God. And so Elizabeth doesn't honor either Christ or Mary, she honors Mary because of Christ. It's a both and, not an either or."

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Rejoicing in the Midst of Suffering: Gaudete Sunday!


This Sunday is “Gaudete” Sunday, from the Latin gaudete, “Rejoice!” which traditionally begins the introit for this Mass, taken from Phil. 4:4.  Many parishes will mark this Sunday with rose-colored vestments (not “pink”—“pink” is not a liturgical color!), and the theme of joy runs through the readings and the liturgy. 

Gaudete Sunday marks the liturgical half-way point of Advent, and the Church rejoices because Jesus’ coming is near.  This year, since Christmas falls early in the fourth week of Advent, Gaudete Sunday falls only a little more than a week (!) (nine days, to be exact) before that holy day!

1.  Our First Reading is Zephaniah 3:14-18a:

Monday, December 10, 2018

What Should We Do To Prepare? (The Mass Readings Explained)

The 3rd Sunday of Advent, often called Gaudete Sunday, is this weekend.  Check out the video on this Sunday's Mass Readings.  If you haven't subscribed yet, now's a perfect time to do so.

Catholic Productions' notable quote from this week's video:

"In this case the special passage from Luke is about the ministry of John the Baptist, and it's a window that we are given into John's ethical teaching, or his moral teaching. So we know about, so to speak, his sacramental activity of, you know, calling people to repent so that they might be baptized with the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. But, it's easy to miss, because the other gospels don’t tell us about it -- that John also had a moral dimension to his preaching.  He called people to change their lives in very specific ways and so today the Church gives us one of those exchanges."



Thursday, December 06, 2018

A Straight Path in the Wilderness of Our Soul: 2nd Sunday of Advent





As we start the second week of Advent, the Church turns her attention from the second coming of Christ to his first coming, and in particular to the figure of John the Baptist, the forerunner or herald of Jesus Christ.

Usually the Church reads heavily from the prophet Isaiah during the Advent season, and indeed, Isaiah 40 would have made a good First Reading for this Sunday because it is quoted in the Gospel.  However, in Year C, the Church takes a little break from exclusive attention to Isaiah and reads some other Old Testament texts that are also important for understanding the significance of Christ’s coming. 

Monday, December 03, 2018

John the Baptist and the New Exodus (The Mass Readings Explained)

The video for the 2nd Sunday of Advent is now out.  Check it out below.

Catholic Productions' notable quote from this week's video:

"First, notice the fact that Luke is clearly not writing mythology. He’s also clearly not writing a fairytale, right. No fairytale begins, "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar," you know, "during the governorship of Pontius Pilate." 


​That’s not how fairytales begin. Fairytales begin with once upon a time, right. So Luke is clearly talking about history. So what we’re preparing for during Advent and what we’re going to celebrate during Christmas is not some myth. It's an actual historical event that took place in real space and real time, and the gospels describe it as such."