Monday, November 28, 2016

The Second Sunday in Advent: The Mass Readings Explained

My latest video for the 2nd Sunday in Advent is now available at Catholic Productions.  I hope it helps and please be sure to Like and Share!  Thanks!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

First Sunday of Advent, 2017!

Happy New Year, everyone!  The Church Year begins this Sunday with the First Sunday of Advent, and we are back to reading cycle A in Church Year 2017. 

There is a very ancient tradition in the Church of reading the Book of Isaiah during Advent.  In antiquity, both Jews and Christians considered the Book of Isaiah to be one extended prophesy of the “age to come,” the “latter days” when the Anointed One (Heb. “Meshiach,” =”Messiah”) would arrive.  The First Readings for Sunday Mass and for weekday masses, as well as the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours, are dominated by Isaiah during this liturgical season.

The Gospel sequence, the First Sunday of Advent focuses on Jesus’ Second Coming, forming a good transition from the month of November with its focus on the Last Things.  The Second and Third Sundays of Advent focus on John the Baptist, the fore-runner of Jesus.  The Fourth Sunday finally casts its gaze on the events leading directly to Jesus birth. 

That’s the journey we are about to begin, so without further ado, let’s plunge in!

1.  The First Reading is Isaiah 2:1-5:

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jesus Christ King of the Universe: The Sunday Mass Readings Explained (Last Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Well, it is here... The Last Sunday of Ordinary Time.  I hope these videos have been of some assistance to you in preparing for Mass!  If you would like to continue watching the videos for next year's Mass readings, be sure to check out the link below at Catholic Productions' website and subscribe.

Thank you.

To subscribe to next year's videos, go here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Vote for Monarchy: The Solemnity of Christ the King


Here in Steubenville one of my co-workers has a clever bumper sticker that reads: “I’m a Monarchist.  And I Vote.”  This tongue-in-cheek slogan comes to mind in the wake of the most surprising American election almost anyone can remember. 

The day after, President Obama took the high road by reminding us, “We’re not Democrats first, we're not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We're patriots first.”  In the political sphere, that’s true.  But there is a first that comes before that first.  We are Christians first, ‘monarchists’ who are loyal to Jesus Christ the King.  And better Americans for being so.

The Church year comes to an end this Sunday with the Solemnity of Christ the King, one of my favorite feast days.  The Readings focus heavily on the theme of the kingdom of Christ, which was typified or foreshadowed by the Kingdom of David in the Old Testament.

1.  The First Reading is 2 Samuel 5:1-3:

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

The End is Near!: The 33rd Sunday in OT

Some years ago I was driving through the back hills of Ohio with my son, and we passed a billboard in a farmer’s field that read: “God has a Judgment Day coming!” 

My son asked me if the farmer who had placed the billboard in his field was Catholic or Protestant.  I suggested he probably was a Protestant.  My son asked why Catholics didn’t put up billboards like that.  I theorized that perhaps fewer Catholics owned farms close to the highway, or maybe they were less convinced that announcing the coming judgment was really an effective means of evangelism. 

Billboards announcing judgment day are not a part of American Catholic culture.  Nonetheless, the Readings for this coming Sunday affirm the truth of that well-meaning farmer’s sign.  God does have a day of judgment coming.  Is that good news or bad news?  It would depend, I suppose, on whether we have suffered injustice or committed it.

1.  Our First Reading Malachi 3:19-20a:

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Will there be Marriage in the Resurrection?: The Sunday Mass Readings Explained (The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)

My latest video explaining this Sunday's Mass readings along with the new study guide is now out.  I hope it helps.

Kindly Like and Share!  Thank you!

Resurrection from the Dead: The 32nd Sunday of OT

We are advancing in the “unofficial liturgical season” of November, and the Mass Readings turn toward meditation on the Last Things.  This Sunday we are directed especially to the consideration of the resurrection of the dead.