Monday, February 17, 2020

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Holiness: Readings for 6th Sunday of OT

The “Hippie” Jesus is one of the common misunderstandings of Christ that are circulating in popular culture.  People think of Jesus as a laid back guru who traveled around Israel in this Volkswagen Vanagon, accompanied by twelve dudes in tie-died T-shirts.  Jesus taught that all we need is Love, and not to be so uptight, like all those rule-bound priests and scribes.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Sermon on the Mount, Part 3 (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video for The Mass Readings Explained is now available.  Check out this clip below, and subscribe today for the full-length version with a free 14 day free trial.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 07, 2020

Light, Salt, Temple: Readings for the 5th Sunday in OT

Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel
The Readings for this Sunday remind me of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which I’ve had the privilege of visiting a couple of times.  This beautiful church is built on a hillside and is easily visible from much of the modern city of Nazareth.  The architect designed the dome of the basilica to look like a lighthouse, symbolizing the light of Christ going out to all Nazareth and the rest of the Galilee region, in keeping with the theme of last week’s Gospel, “Those walking in darkness have seen a great light.”

The theme of light continues in this Sunday’s Readings, in which Jesus calls the people of God, the Church, to be a kind of lighthouse or beacon calling the whole world to the safe harbor with God.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Feast of the Presentation

We have a truly unusual situation this Sunday.  Under normal circumstances, it would be the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, but it just so happens that this year, the Feast of the Presentation (pegged to Feb. 2) falls on the Sunday and “outranks” the regular Lord’s Day obligation.  The result is that many persons who do not regularly attend daily mass will have the rare experience of celebrating the full liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

The Presentation of the Lord (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video is now out for the Gospel Reading and the 2nd reading at mass.  Check out the intros below.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

The First "Biblemas" Ever! Readings for the Feast of the Word of God

For the first time in the history of the Church, we are celebrating the Feast of the Word of God this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time.  By his beautiful motu proprio “Aperuit Illis”, Pope Francis established a new feast day to be observed every year on the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, celebrating the Word of God.  It is the Mass of the Bible, or “Biblemas.”  Get your Biblemas cards now!  They are going fast!  Put up your Biblemas tree!

The Third Sunday of OT is a wise choice for the observance of this feast day, because it is on the Third Sunday that we begin the ad seriatim or sequential reading of the Gospel of the year that will continue until the end of November. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Jesus' Public Ministry Begins (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video is now out.  Check out the intro below, and you can sign up for the full length videos and full features of this series at Catholic Productions.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Afterglow of the Baptism: 2nd Sunday of OT

The Second Sunday of OT is one of those “unofficial” feast days in the Church’s calendar, which aren’t given a name, but due to the Readings that always occur on them, have a unique and particular character to them.  The Second Sunday of OT might be called “Afterglow Sunday,” and every third year it is the “Feast of the Wedding at Cana.”   

Why is this? The Readings for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time this year are like a “holy hangover” from the Feasts of Epiphany and Baptism that we celebrated last week.  Traditionally, three events of our Lord’s life have been celebrated clumped together around January 6, between the Christmas season and the transition to ordinary time.  These are the arrival of the magi (Epiphany), the Baptism, and the Wedding at Cana.  These are the three events in the various Gospels that “manifest” or show forth Jesus’ glory at the beginning of his life or career: the Magi in Matthew, the Baptism in Mark and Luke, and the Wedding at Cana in John.   

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

FREE Bible Conference in Santa Maria, CA on February 14-16, 2020

Please consider joining John Kincaid and me for a special Bible Conference at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in scenic Santa Maria, California, this coming February 15. The event is FREE. We will be speaking out the theme of my new book, Salvation.

Indeed, salvation is at the very heart of the Gospel message. But, we might ask, what is salvation? It is more than simply getting out of hell. It is more than just going to heaven. It is more than just a moment.

I am very excited about this event! If you'd like to learn more, here is the flyer.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Lamb of God (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video for The Mass Readings Explained is now available.

Check it out below and subscribe today for full access to the Gospel video as well as the video for the 2nd reading on St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Feast of the Baptism

Happy Feast of the Baptism!  The celebration of the Lord's baptism brings to a close the Christmas season.  (In the extraordinary form calendar, the Christmas season continues till Feb. 2, the Feast of the Presentation.  Thus, the custom of some of leaving their Christmas tree up until "Ground Hog Day.")  We are sad to leave behind the beautiful mysteries surrounding the birth of Our Lord on which we have been meditating for the past several weeks, but the tenderness of the childhood of the Lord must give way to the maturity of his manhood and the beginning of his public ministry.  John the Baptist, that greatest of prophets and remarkable saint, has been accompanying us almost from the start of Advent, and makes a critical appearance once again in the Gospel for this feast.  John plays the role of both priest and prophet as he mediates the washing and anointing of the King, the Son of David, in the waters of the Jordan.  Traditionally, each new Son of David was washed and anointed before beginning his reign, so the Baptism in a sense marks the beginning of Jesus' reign over his kingdom.  Shortly afterwards, he will inaugurate his earthly ministry with the royal proclamation: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (i.e. is here!).

Monday, January 06, 2020

The Baptism of the Lord (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video for The Mass Readings Explained is now out.  Check it out below.

If you'd like to subscribe to watch the full version, you can do so at the link above.  Enjoy.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

The Readings for Epiphany!

The word “Epiphany” comes from two Greek words: epi, “on, upon”; and phaino, “to appear, to shine.” Therefore, the “Epiphany” refers to the divinity of Jesus “shining upon” the earth, in other words, the manifestation of his divine nature.

The Feast of the Epiphany has an interesting history, and arose from the commemoration of various events in the childhood or early ministry of Our Lord in which his divinity was revealed. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

January 1 is the Solemnity (Holy Day) of Mary, Mother of God.  To call Mary the “Mother of God” must not be understood as a claim for Mary’s motherhood of divinity itself, but in the sense that Mary was mother of Jesus, who is truly God.  The Council of Ephesus in 431—long before the schisms with the Eastern churches and the Protestants—proclaimed “Mother of God” a theologically correct title for Mary. 

So far from being a cause of division, the common confession of Mary as “Mother of God” should unite all Christians, and distinguish Christian orthodoxy from various confusions of it, such as Arianism (the denial that Jesus was God) or Nestorianism (in which Mary mothers only the human nature of Jesus but not his whole person).

Two themes are present in the Readings for this Solemnity: (1) the person of Mary, and (2) the name of Jesus.   Why the name of Jesus? Prior to the second Vatican Council, the octave day of Christmas was the Feast of the Holy Name, not Mary Mother of God.  The legacy of that tradition can be seen in the choice of Readings for this Solemnity.  (The Feast of the Holy Name was removed from the calendar after Vatican II; St. John Paul II restored it as an optional memorial on January 3, which this year falls on this coming Friday. While the Holy Name is an optional memorial, The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God on January 1 is a holy day of obligation, meaning that it is a mortal sin knowingly and consciously to skip mass on that day.)

1.  The First Reading is Numbers 6:22-27

The Epiphany (The Mass Readings Explained)

The Mystery of the Magi and the Epiphany: This week's video for The Mass Readings Explained...  Enjoy!

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Readings for Holy Family Sunday

The Sunday that falls in the Octave of the Solemnity of Christmas is dedicated to celebrating the Holy Family.  The Readings for this Sunday focus on the rights and responsibilities of family members toward each other, and the Gospel focuses on the role of the “most forgotten” member of the Holy Family, St. Joseph, who cared for and protected the Blessed Mother and infant Jesus through the dangerous early years of Jesus’ childhood.

1.  The First Reading is Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14: