Friday, March 30, 2018

Easter Sunday Readings

The Mass of Easter Day is one of the most joyful in the Church calendar, as the Church basks in the afterglow of the most remarkable intervention of God into human history, the resurrection of his own son. 

1.  The First Reading is Acts 10:34a, 37-43:

Easter Vigil Readings

The Readings for the Easter Vigil recount the history of salvation by focussing on the various covenant stages throughout the Biblical storyline.  My book Bible Basics for Catholics follows this same pattern, using stick figure drawings to illustrate these various stages.

I'll proceed to point out how all these covenants appear in various forms in the seven Old Testament readings that form the backbone of the Liturgy of the Word for the Vigil.

1. The First Reading:

Readings for Good Friday

Every year on Good Friday, we read St. John’s account of the Passion from John 18-19, together with Isaiah 52-53  and Psalm 31.

One of the themes that runs through these reading is the Priesthood of Christ.

1. There is priestly language already in the First Reading, from Isaiah 52 & 53, the famous “Suffering Servant” Song:

The Readings for Holy Thursday

The Readings for the Holy Thursday Mass focus on the continuity between the ancient Jewish Passover and the institution of the Eucharist.  As the Passover was the meal that marked the transition from slavery to Egypt to the freedom of the Exodus, so the Eucharist is the meal that marks the transition from slavery to sin to the glorious freedom of the children of God.

1.  Our First Reading is from Ex 12:1-8, 11-14:

Monday, March 26, 2018

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Why Have You Forsaken Me? The Readings for Passion Sunday

How could the Messiah die?

Despite a few mysterious prophetic texts that seemed to intimate this possibility, the idea that the Messiah could arrive and subsequently be killed was radically counter-intuitive to most first-century Jews. 

Yet the conviction of the early Christians, based on Jesus of Nazareth’s own teachings about himself, was that the radically counter-intuitive impossibility was actually prophesied, if one had the eyes to see and the ears to hear it in Israel’s Scriptures.

The Readings for this Mass offer us two of the most poignant prophecies of the suffering of the Messiah.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The New Covenant: The Fifth Sunday of Lent

In this Lent of Year B, we are taking a survey through the Old Testament of the great covenant moments. We have seen the Noahic covenant, the Abrahamic covenant, the Mosaic covenant, the covenant failure of Israel resulting in exile, and now finally, on this fifth week, we witness the promise of the New Covenant through the voice of the prophet Jeremiah.  In the Gospel, Jesus speaks in ominous terms about the coming suffering that will be necessary for him to undergo in order to establish that New Covenant.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Grain of Wheat and Jesus' "Hour" (The Mass Readings Explained)

Check out the latest video in The Mass Readings Explained series for this Sunday's Mass Readings.  The 14 day free trial is still available.  God bless.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Parish Mission in Alexandria, LA

If you're in the Alexandria, LA, region, I'll be giving a parish mission at Our Lady of Prompt Succor parish on Tuesday-Wednesday nights this upcoming week:

Laetare Sunday Year B: The Readings

We've reached the midpoint of Lent!  Congratulations, and I hope your Lenten practices have helped you to grow closer to Jesus!

At this midway point, our Readings are filled with themes of judgement, exile, and mercy.  

Friday, March 02, 2018

Parish Mission in Geneseo NY

If you are in the Rochester NY vicinity, I'll be doing a parish mission at St. Mary's in Geneseo next week Sunday and Monday, March 11-12.  Info below:

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Jesus, the Law of God: Readings for 3rd Sunday of Lent

What is the best way to communicate law?  Written law has its limitations, because we are all familiar with the concept of the “loophole.”  There always seem to be methods of interpreting the written law in ways that run contrary to its intent.  The constitution of the United States, for example, says that the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” but somehow in American jurisprudence that has morphed into “a wall of separation between church and state,” such that there are lawsuits to remove memorial crosses from government land.