Friday, June 30, 2017

Receiving a Prophet: Readings for the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

God is generous, and he rewards those who help his servants as generously as he rewards his servants themselves. That is the message of the Readings for this 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time.  We begin with an account from 2 Kings concerning the reward of a wife of the town of Shunem, who was consistently gracious to the prophet Elisha.  In the Gospel Reading, Jesus proclaims a blessing on all those who give succor, refuge, and assistance to those he sends out to proclaim the Good News.  This Sunday’s Readings complement last Sunday’s, which emphasized the violent reaction that the proclamation of the Gospel often receives. This Sunday, on the other hand, we are reminded that not everyone opposes the Good News, and those who assist in its spread will be rewarded along with the messengers themselves.

1. Our First Reading is 2 Kgs 4:8-11, 14-16a:

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Cost of Discipleship (The Mass Readings Explained)

My latest video is now out; I hope it is helpful.

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Thank you.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fear No One: Twelfth Sunday of OT Year A

Two Sparrows Sold for a Penny

After the celebrations of Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, this Sunday finds us transitioning back to Ordinary Time, and the transition is a bit painful.  The Readings for this Sunday shift right back into the reality of persecution in the Christian life, as we read about Jesus advising the apostles to be prepared for the opposition they will encounter as they do the work of evangelization.
You would think that following the Prince of Peace would lead to a peaceful life, but sadly that’s not how it usually works out.  Those who follow Jesus often find themselves hated, because they speak the truth and thus pose a threat to those who want to promote false ideologies.  The practice of virtue also makes the non-virtuous look bad by contrast, so virtuous people are often resented.  And finally, there is a spiritual warfare dimension: Satan and his demons will oppose everyone who chooses to follow Christ. 
In the Readings for this Sunday, we find the common theme of persecution, beginning with the prophet Jeremiah, then the ancient psalm writer, and finally Our Lord’s words to the apostles about mission.

1. Our First Reading is Jer 20:10-13:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Do Not Fear Those Who Can Kill You (The Mass Readings Explained)

Latest video his now up for The Mass Readings Explained video series.  Check it out and please Like and Share if you are already subscribed and would like to help us spread the word.


Friday, June 16, 2017

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

This weekend is another great liturgical feast, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, otherwise known as Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi is one of a handful of feasts that celebrates the very gift of the Eucharist itself.  It is one of my favorite feasts, because the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist was instrumental in my becoming Catholic.

Back in the Fall of 1999 I was reading through the Apostolic Fathers and came to this passage in Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Smyrneans (c. AD 106):

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Body and Blood of Christ (The Mass Readings Explained)

My latest video for this week is out on The Body and Blood of Christ.  Please Like and Share if you'd like to share awareness of this series to friends and family.  Thanks!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Circle of Love: Readings for Trinity Sunday!

The Easter Season usually ends with a sort of “trifecta” of major feasts: Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, as the Church celebrates the central mysteries of the faith before entering into Ordinary Time once more.

In any event, this weekend is Trinity Sunday, a meditation and celebration of the central mystery of the Christian faith, the dogma that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions.  Christians alone believe in one God, who nonetheless exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Strangely, our Readings for this Sunday tend not to be classic “proof texts” for the idea that there is more than one person in the Godhead.  Instead, the readings tend to focus on the character or essence of God.  This is appropriate, because as we will see, the character of God is very different, and the meaning of salvation history as well, when one knows God to be a Trinity of persons. 

Reading 1: Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9:

Monday, June 05, 2017

The Mystery of the Trinity (The Mass Readings Explained)

This Sunday's video is now out: The Mystery of the Trinity.

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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Is the Holy Spirit Divine in Scripture? The Mass Readings Explained (An Excerpt)

Catholic Productions released an excerpt from my video for this Sunday's Mass Readings (for Pentecost Sunday). Check it out and please be sure to Like and Share.  Thanks!