The Word of God

August 31, 2020


Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 431

Reading 1 – 1 COR 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Responsorial Psalm – 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102

R.    (97) Lord, I love your commands.
How I love your law, O LORD!
It is my meditation all the day.
R.    Lord, I love your commands.
Your command has made me wiser than my enemies,
 for it is ever with me.
R.    Lord, I love your commands.
I have more understanding than all my teachers
when your decrees are my meditation.
R.    Lord, I love your commands.
I have more discernment than the elders,
because I observe your precepts.
R.    Lord, I love your commands.
From every evil way I withhold my feet,
that I may keep your words.
R.    Lord, I love your commands.
From your ordinances I turn not away,
     for you have instructed me.
R.    Lord, I love your commands.

Alleluia – SEE LK 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

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August 30, 2020


Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 124

Reading 1 – JER 20:7-9

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

R. (2B) My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts
like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary
to see your power and your glory,
For your kindness is a greater good than life;
my lips shall glorify you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
Thus will I bless you while I live;
lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.
As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,
and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Reading 2 – ROM 12:1-2

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Alleluia – MT 11:29AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord,
and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:21-27

Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”

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August 29, 2020 – Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist


For the readings of the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist, please go here.

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lectionary: 634

Reading 1 – JER 1:17-19

The word of the LORD came to me thus:
Gird your loins;
stand up and tell them
all that I command you.
Be not crushed on their account,
as though I would leave you crushed before them;
For it is I this day
who have made you a fortified city,
A pillar of iron, a wall of brass,
against the whole land:
Against Judah’s kings and princes,
against its priests and people.
They will fight against you, but not prevail over you,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 71:1-2, 3-4A, 5-6AB, 15AB AND 17

R.    (see 15AB)  I will sing your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R.    I will sing your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R.    I will sing your salvation.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R.    I will sing your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R.    I will sing your salvation.

Alleluia – MT 5:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

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August 29, 2020


Sunday Vigil Maass

For the readings of the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist, please go here.

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lectionary: 427/634

Reading 1 – 1 COR 1:26-31

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21

R.    (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R.    Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of  famine.
R.    Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R.    Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Alleluia – MT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

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August 28, 2020


For the readings of the memorial of Saint Augustine, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 429

Reading 1 – 1 COR 1:17-25

Brothers and sisters:
Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one?
Where is the scribe?
Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God
the world did not come to know God through wisdom,
it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation
to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Responsorial Psalm – 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11

R.    (5) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R.    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R.    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R.    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – LUKE 21:36

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray,
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

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August 28, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the readings of the memorial of Saint Augustine, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 633

Reading 1 – 1 JN 4:7-16

Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only-begotten Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12) Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia – MT 23:9B, 10B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
You have but one Father, in heaven;
you have but one master, the Christ.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:8-12

Jesus spoke to his disciples:
“Do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

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August 27, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Monica, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Monica
Lectionary: 428

Reading 1 – 1 COR 1:1-9

Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the Church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.    (1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Alleluia – MT 24:42A, 44

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!  
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

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August 27, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Monica


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Monica, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Monica
Lectionary: 632

Reading 1 – SIR 26:1-4, 13-16

Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the LORD;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.

A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the LORD is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the LORD’s heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 131:1BCDE, 2, 3

R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia – JN 8:12

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.

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August 26, 2020


Wednesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 427

Reading 1 – 2 THES 3:6-10, 16-18

We instruct you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to shun any brother
who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us.
For you know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked,
so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that
if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.

May the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.

This greeting is in my own hand, Paul’s.
This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Responsorial Psalm – 128:1-2, 4-5

R.    (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R.    Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R.    Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Alleluia – 1 JOHN 2:5

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:27-32

Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside,
but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous,
but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You build the tombs of the prophets
and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors,
we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves
that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

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August 25, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Louis, please go here.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph Calasanz, please go here.

Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 426

Reading 1 – 2 THES 2:1-3A, 14-17

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly,
or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.
Let no one deceive you in any way.

To this end he has also called you through our Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm
and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught,
either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them
in every good deed and word.

Responsorial Psalm – 96:10, 11-12, 13

R.    (13B) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R.    The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R.    The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Alleluia – Hebrews 4:12

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:23-26

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”

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August 25, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Joseph Calasanz, priest.


For the readings on Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph Calasanz, priest
Lectionary: 631

Reading 1 – 1 COR 12:31C13:13

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

OR 1 Cor 13:4-13

Brothers and sisters:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Responsorial Psalm Ps – 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (2)  I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    (9)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.

R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.

R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.

R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – JN 15:9B, 5B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 18:1-5

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”

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August 25, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Louis of France


For the readings on Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Louis of France
Lectionary: 630

Reading 1 – IS 58:6-11

Thus says the LORD:
This is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R.    (1) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 13:34

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another, as I have loved you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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August 24, 2020


Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
Lectionary: 629

Reading 1 – RV 21:9B-14

The angel spoke to me, saying,
“Come here.
I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

Responsorial Psalm – 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18

R.    (12)  Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R.    Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R.    Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R.    Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Alleluia – JN 1:49B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 1:45-51

Philip found Nathanael and told him,
“We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
But Nathanael said to him,
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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August 23, 2020


Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 121

Reading 1 – IS 22:19-23

Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace:
“I will thrust you from your office
and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant
Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe,
and gird him with your sash,
and give over to him your authority.
He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and to the house of Judah.
I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder;
when he opens, no one shall shut
when he shuts, no one shall open.
I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot,
to be a place of honor for his family.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8

R. (8BC) Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple.
R. Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.
I will give thanks to your name,
because of your kindness and your truth:
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.
The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.

Reading 2 – ROM 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid?

For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.

Alleluia – MT 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:13-20

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Then he strictly ordered his disciples
to tell no one that he was the Christ.

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August 22, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

For the readings of the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, please go here.

Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 424

Reading 1 – EZ 43:1-7AB

The angel led me to the gate which faces the east,
and there I saw the glory of the God of Israel
coming from the east.
I heard a sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory.
The vision was like that which I had seen
when he came to destroy the city,
and like that which I had seen by the river Chebar.
I fell prone as the glory of the LORD entered the temple
by way of the gate which faces the east,
but spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court.
And I saw that the temple was filled with the glory of the LORD.
Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple,
while the man stood beside me.
The voice said to me:
Son of man, this is where my throne shall be,
this is where I will set the soles of my feet;
here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.

Responsorial Psalm – 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R.    (see 10B)  The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R.    The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R.    The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R.    The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.

Alleluia – Matthew 23:9B, 10B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
You have but one Father in heaven;
you have but one master, the Christ.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

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August 22, 2020 – Memorial of The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary


For the readings of the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, please go here.

Memorial of The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 627

Reading 1 – IS 9:1-6

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
As they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as men make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
And the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for flames.

For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
From David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
By judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Responsorial Psalm – PS 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

R.    (2)  Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R.    Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R.    Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R.    Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R.    Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – SEE LK 1:28

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

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August 21, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Pius X, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope
Lectionary: 423

Reading 1 – EZ 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and led me out in the Spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit:  Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm – 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R.    (1)  Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say,
those whom he has redeemed from the hand of the foe
And gathered from the lands,
from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
R.    Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
They went astray in the desert wilderness;
the way to an inhabited city they did not find.
Hungry and thirsty,
their life was wasting away within them.
R.    Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them.
And he led them by a direct way
to reach an inhabited city.
R.    Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men,
Because he satisfied the longing soul
and filled the hungry soul with good things.
R.    Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.

Alleluia – Psalm 25:4B, 5A

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Teach me your paths, my God,
guide me in your truth.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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August 21, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Pius X, pope


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Pius X, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Pius X, pope
Lectionary: 626

Reading 1 – 1 THES 2:2B-8

Brothers and sisters:
We drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed–God is witness–nor did we seek praise
from men, either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you,
we were determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God,
but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 21-22, 25 AND 27

R.    (2) Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.    Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.    Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.'”
R.    Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – JN 10:14

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 21:15-17

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and
eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
[Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep.”

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August 20, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Bernard, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 422

Reading 1 – EZ 36:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
I will prove the holiness of my great name,
profaned among the nations,
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands,
and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your ancestors;
you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm – 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

R.    (Ezekiel 36:25)  I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R.    I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R.    I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    I will pour clean water on you and wash away all your sins.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 22:1-14

Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying,
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

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August 20, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Bernard, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 625

Reading 1 – SIR 15:1-6

He who fears the LORD will do this;
he who is practiced in the law will come to wisdom.
Motherlike she will meet him,
like a young bride she will embrace him,
Nourish him with the bread of understanding,
and give him the water of learning to drink.
He will lean upon her and not fall,
he will trust in her and not be put to shame.
She will exalt him above his fellows;
and in the midst of the assembly she will open his mouth
and fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
and clothe him with the robe of glory.
Joy and gladness he will find,
an everlasting name he will inherit.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12) Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia – JN 15:9B, 5B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever lives in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
“Holy Father,
I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

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August 19, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint John Eudes, please go here.

Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 421

Reading 1 – EZ 34:1-11

The word of the Lord came to me:
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
who have been pasturing themselves!
Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
and slaughtered the fatlings,
but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.
You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.

Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
As I live, says the Lord GOD,
because my sheep have been given over to pillage,
and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast,
for lack of a shepherd;
because my shepherds did not look after my sheep,
but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep;
because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I swear I am coming against these shepherds.
I will claim my sheep from them
and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep
so that they may no longer pasture themselves.
I will save my sheep,
that they may no longer be food for their mouths.

For thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.

Responsorial Psalm – 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia – HEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern the reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 20:1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

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August 19, 2020 – Memorial of Saint John Eudes, priest


For the readings on Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint John Eudes, priest
Lectionary: 624

Reading 1 – EPH 3:14-19

Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you, in accord with the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 131:1BCDE, 2, 3

R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R.    In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia – SEE MT 11:25

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 11:25-30

At that time Jesus answered:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

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August 18, 2020


Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 420

Reading 1 – EZ 28:1-10

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
say to the prince of Tyre:
Thus says the Lord GOD:

Because you are haughty of heart,
you say, “A god am I!
I occupy a godly throne
in the heart of the sea!”—
And yet you are a man, and not a god,
however you may think yourself like a god.
Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel,
there is no secret that is beyond you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence
you have made riches for yourself;
You have put gold and silver
into your treasuries.
By your great wisdom applied to your trading
you have heaped up your riches;
your heart has grown haughty from your riches–
therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you have thought yourself
to have the mind of a god,
Therefore I will bring against you
foreigners, the most barbarous of nations.
They shall draw their swords
against your beauteous wisdom,
they shall run them through your splendid apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die
a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea.
Will you then say, “I am a god!”
when you face your murderers?
No, you are man, not a god,
handed over to those who will slay you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners,
for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.

Responsorial Psalm – Deuteronomy 32:26-27AB, 27CD-28, 30, 35CD-36AB

R.    (39C)  It is I who deal death and give life.
“I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them
and blot out their name from men’s memories,’
Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies,
feared that these foes would mistakenly boast.”
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.
“‘Our own hand won the victory;
the LORD had nothing to do with it.’”
For they are a people devoid of reason,
having no understanding.
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.
“How could one man rout a thousand,
or two men put ten thousand to flight,
Unless it was because their Rock sold them
and the LORD delivered them up?”
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.

Alleluia – 2 COR 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich
So that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

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August 17, 2020


Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 419

Reading 1 – EZ 24:15-23

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, by a sudden blow
I am taking away from you the delight of your eyes,
but do not mourn or weep or shed any tears.
Groan in silence, make no lament for the dead,
bind on your turban, put your sandals on your feet,
do not cover your beard, and do not eat the customary bread.
That evening my wife died,
and the next morning I did as I had been commanded.
Then the people asked me, “Will you not tell us what all these things
that you are doing mean for us?”
I therefore spoke to the people that morning, saying to them:
Thus the word of the LORD came to me:
Say to the house of Israel:  
Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will now desecrate my sanctuary, the stronghold of your pride,
the delight of your eyes, the desire of your soul.
The sons and daughters you left behind shall fall by the sword.
Ezekiel shall be a sign for you:
all that he did you shall do when it happens.
Thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
You shall do as I have done,
not covering your beards nor eating the customary bread.
Your turbans shall remain on your heads, your sandals on your feet.
You shall not mourn or weep,
but you shall rot away because of your sins and groan one to another.

Responsorial Psalm – Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21

R.    (see 18B)  You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you.
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R.    You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R.    You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R.    You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Alleluia – MT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.

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August 16, 2020


Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 118

Reading 1 – IS 56:1, 6-7

Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for my salvation is about to come,
my justice, about to be revealed.

The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
ministering to him,
loving the name of the LORD,
and becoming his servants—
all who keep the sabbath free from profanation
and hold to my covenant,
them I will bring to my holy mountain
and make joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!

Reading 2 – ROM 11:13-15, 29-32

Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking to you Gentiles.
Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,
I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous
and thus save some of them.
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God
but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,
so they have now disobeyed in order that,
by virtue of the mercy shown to you,
they too may now receive mercy.
For God delivered all to disobedience,
that he might have mercy upon all.

Alleluia – CF. MT 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 15:21-28

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

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August 15, 2020 – Mass during the Day


Sunday Vigil Mass

For the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Vigil, please go here.

Reading 1 – RV 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB

God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.”

Responsorial Psalm – 45:10, 11, 12, 16

R.    (10BC)  The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
R.    The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
R.    The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord.
R.    The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
R.    The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.

Reading 2 – 1 COR 15:20-27

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mary is taken up to heaven;
a chorus of angels exults.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 1:39-56

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

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August 15, 2020 – Vigil


For Mass during the day, please go here.

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Vigil
Lectionary: 621

Reading 1 – 1 CHR 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2

David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring the ark of the LORD
to the place which he had prepared for it.
David also called together the sons of Aaron and the Levites.

The Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders with poles,
as Moses had ordained according to the word of the LORD.

David commanded the chiefs of the Levites
to appoint their kinsmen as chanters,
to play on musical instruments, harps, lyres, and cymbals,
to make a loud sound of rejoicing.

They brought in the ark of God and set it within the tent
which David had pitched for it.
Then they offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings to God.
When David had finished offering up the burnt offerings and peace offerings,
he blessed the people in the name of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm – 132:6-7, 9-10, 13-14

R.    (8)  Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the fields of Jaar.
Let us enter his dwelling,
let us worship at his footstool.
R.    Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
May your priests be clothed with justice;
let your faithful ones shout merrily for joy.
For the sake of David your servant,
reject not the plea of your anointed.
R.    Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he prefers her for his dwelling.
“Zion is my resting place forever;
in her will I dwell, for I prefer her.”
R.    Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your holiness.

Reading 2 – 1 COR 15:54B-57

Brothers and sisters:
When that which is mortal clothes itself with immortality,
then the word that is written shall come about:

Death is swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?

The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Alleluia – LK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied,
“Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”

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August 14, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr
Lectionary: 417

Reading 1 – EZ 16:1-15, 60, 63

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations.
Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem:
By origin and birth you are of the land of Canaan;
your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut;
you were neither washed with water nor anointed,
nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes.
No one looked on you with pity or compassion
to do any of these things for you.
Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome,
the day you were born.

Then I passed by and saw you weltering in your blood.
I said to you:  Live in your blood and grow like a plant in the field.
You grew and developed, you came to the age of puberty;
your breasts were formed, your hair had grown,
but you were still stark naked.
Again I passed by you and saw that you were now old enough for love.
So I spread the corner of my cloak over you to cover your nakedness;
I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you;
you became mine, says the Lord GOD.
Then I bathed you with water, washed away your blood,
and anointed you with oil.
I clothed you with an embroidered gown,
put sandals of fine leather on your feet;
I gave you a fine linen sash and silk robes to wear.
I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms,
a necklace about your neck, a ring in your nose,
pendants in your ears, and a glorious diadem upon your head.
Thus you were adorned with gold and silver;
your garments were of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.
Fine flour, honey, and oil were your food.
You were exceedingly beautiful, with the dignity of a queen.
You were renowned among the nations for your beauty, perfect as it was,
because of my splendor which I had bestowed on you,
says the Lord GOD.

But you were captivated by your own beauty,
you used your renown to make yourself a harlot,
and you lavished your harlotry on every passer-by,
whose own you became.

Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl,
and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you,
that you may remember and be covered with confusion,
and that you may be utterly silenced for shame
when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.

Or: Ez 16:59-63

Thus says the LORD:
I will deal with you according to what you have done,
you who despised your oath, breaking a covenant.
Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl,
and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you.
Then you shall remember your conduct and be ashamed
when I take your sisters, those older and younger than you,
and give them to you as daughters,
even though I am not bound by my covenant with you.
For I will re-establish my covenant with you,
that you may know that I am the LORD,
that you may remember and be covered with confusion,
and that you may be utterly silenced for shame
when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord GOD.

Responsorial Psalm – ISAIAH 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R.    (1C)  You have turned from your anger.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R.    You have turned from your anger.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R.    You have turned from your anger.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R.    You have turned from your anger.

Alleluia – SEE 1 THES 2:13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but, as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

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August 14, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr
Lectionary: 620A

Reading 1 – WIS 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Or – 1 JN  3:14-18

Beloved:
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 116:10-11, 12-13, 16AC-17

R.    (15)  Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
I believed, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm,
“No man is dependable.”
R.    Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R.    Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.
O LORD, I am your servant;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R.    Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.

Alleluia – JN 12:25

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
If you hate your life in this world,
you will preserve it to life eternal.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:12-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Priest and Martyr
1894 – 1941

August 14—Memorial
Liturgical Color: Red
Patron Saint of prisoners, drug addicts, journalists, and the pro-life movement

Prisoner 16670 was tough, immersed in God, and ready when the moment came

Saints are made, not born. Even more so martyrs. Maximilian Kolbe was so impressive a man that he may have been canonized even if that oh-so-brief, oh-so-intense, my-life-for-his exchange in the grim prison yard of Auschwitz had not led to his martyrdom. Baptized as Raimund, from a young age Kolbe felt the call to self-sacrificing holiness. When he was a boy of twelve, the Virgin Mary came to him in a vision and held out two crowns for him to choose from: one white for a life of purity, and one red for martyrdom. The pre-teen Maximilian responded to his Lady: “I choose both.”

Maximilian, along with his older brother, entered a local Franciscan seminary as a teen. When he was just eighteen, his superiors sent him to study in Rome, where he earned doctorates in philosophy and theology summa cum laude. He was ordained a priest in 1918 and the next year returned to the new, post-World War I country of Poland. For the next twenty plus years, Father Maximilian powered his way through life. He taught in a Franciscan seminary. He started an immense publishing house which printed devotional materials promoting the Army of the Immaculate. He founded a new Franciscan monastery, which rapidly grew into one of the largest in Poland. And in 1930 he became a missionary to the Far East. He went to China, had little success, and so went on to Japan, where he founded a monastery near Nagasaki. He also started a publishing house in India. In 1936 he returned to Poland due to ill health. But he didn’t stop. He continued to manage various Marian publications, which were widely circulated, and even procured a radio license and began broadcasting from his own monastery radio station. As he immersed himself in the thousands of details of these varied apostolates, Father Kolbe maintained a disciplined life of prayer, mortification, and daily Mass.  

After the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Kolbe’s apostolates were curtailed. He organized a hospital at the monastery and, along with the reduced community of brothers, gave shelter to refugees, including about 2,000 Jews. He was arrested by the Germans in 1939 and held for almost three months. He was pressured, but refused, to sign a document recognizing his German ancestry (Kolbe’s father was an ethnic German) in exchange for more food rations and better treatment. In February 1941, German SS men came and shuttered his monastery. Kolbe and four other friars were arrested, though twenty other brothers offered themselves in their stead. In May 1941, Kolbe was transferred to the heavy labor division of Auschwitz for the last act of his life. 

He carried out his priestly ministry as best he could in the hell of Auschwitz and endured severe beatings for it. In July, just two months after he arrived, a prisoner escaped from the camp. As both deterrent and reprisal, the head of the camp ordered ten men to be starved to death in the escapee’s place. The victims were chosen at random from a prisoner roll call. One of the unfortunate chosen, a married man named Francis, begged for mercy: “My wife! My children!” What followed this desperate pleading was profound, left an indelible impression on all who witnessed it, and is packed with an almost liturgical character. 

Perhaps remembering his childhood vision of the Virgin, and perhaps inspired that the chosen man shared the name Francis with the founder of his religious order, Kolbe removes his cap and slowly emerges from the bedraggled group of prisoners. A filthy, striped rag of a uniform is draped over his skeletal frame. He is barefoot. But he has dignity. There are no frivolous men in Auschwitz. He speaks directly to the commanding officer in German: “I want to take his place.” Kolbe’s bearing must command respect, because, according to an eye-witness, the officer responds to him using the formal “You.” “Warum wollen Sie für ihn sterben?”—“Why do you Sir want to die for him?” “Because he has a wife and children.” “What is your profession?” “I am a Catholic priest.” A few moments of silence and then “Gut.” “Good” or “Right.” 

After two weeks of no food or water in a bunker, a guard injected carbolic acid into the arm of the indestructible Kolbe on August 14.  His body was cremated the next day. His ashes floated from the smokestack over the gray wasteland of Auschwitz on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption. He, a priest, became what he offered. Like Saint Polycarp of old, burned like bread at the stake, Kolbe’s life ended in a liturgical doxology where his own body became the bread of sacrifice.  

First-class relics of Saint Maximilian exist only because his Franciscan barbers thought he was a saint. They saved hairs from his head and beard without his knowledge. The man whose life he saved, Francis Gajowniczek, lived for another fifty-three years, to the age of 93, dying in 1995. He was present in Rome when Pope Saint John Paul II, who lived just an hour from Auschwitz in 1941, canonized his fellow Pole Saint Maximilian Kolbe in 1982.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe, you were prepared to be generous in your last moments by a long life of sacrifice, humility, and devotion. May we so prepare ourselves day in and day out, so that when a moment of heroic generosity presents itself, we will respond like you.

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August 13, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Pontian and Saint Hippolytus, please go here.

Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 416

Reading 1 – EZ 12:1-12

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house;
they have eyes to see but do not see,
and ears to hear but do not hear,
for they are a rebellious house.
Now, son of man, during the day while they are looking on,
prepare your baggage as though for exile,
and again while they are looking on,
migrate from where you live to another place;
perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house.
You shall bring out your baggage like an exile in the daytime
while they are looking on;
in the evening, again while they are looking on,
you shall go out like one of those driven into exile;
while they look on, dig a hole in the wall and pass through it;
while they look on, shoulder the burden and set out in the darkness;
cover your face that you may not see the land,
for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.

I did as I was told.
During the day I brought out my baggage
as though it were that of an exile,
and at evening I dug a hole through the wall with my hand
and, while they looked on, set out in the darkness,
shouldering my burden.

Then, in the morning, the word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, did not the house of Israel, that rebellious house,
ask you what you were doing?
Tell them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
This oracle concerns Jerusalem
and the whole house of Israel within it.
I am a sign for you:
as I have done, so shall it be done to them;
as captives they shall go into exile.
The prince who is among them shall shoulder his burden
and set out in darkness,
going through a hole he has dug out in the wall,
and covering his face lest he be seen by anyone.

Responsorial Psalm – 78:56-57, 58-59, 61-62

R.    (see 7B)  Do not forget the works of the Lord!
They tempted and rebelled against God the Most High,
and kept not his decrees.
They turned back and were faithless like their fathers;
they recoiled like a treacherous bow.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!
They angered him with their high places
and with their idols roused his jealousy.
God heard and was enraged
and utterly rejected Israel.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!
And he surrendered his strength into captivity,
his glory in the hands of the foe.
He abandoned his people to the sword
and was enraged against his inheritance.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Alleluia – PS 119:135

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant
and teach me your statutes.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 18:21–19:1

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.

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August 13, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Pontian, pope and martyr, and Saint Hippolytus, priest and martyr


For the readings on Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Pontian, pope and martyr, and Saint Hippolytus, priest and martyr
Lectionary: 620

Reading 1 – 1 PT 4:12-19

Beloved, do not be surprised that a trial by fire is occurring among you,     
as if something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
But let no one among you be made to suffer
as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed
but glorify God because of the name.
For it is time for the judgment to begin with the household of God;
if it begins with us, how will it end
for those who fail to obey the Gospel of God?

And if the righteous one is barely saved,
where will the godless and the sinner appear?

As a result, those who suffer in accord with God’s will
hand their souls over to a faithful creator as they do good.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7-8

R.    (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with usB
when men rose up against us,
Then would they have swallowed us alive
when their fury was inflamed against us.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

Alleluia – See Te Deum

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

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August 12, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, please go here.

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 415

Reading 1 – EZ 9:1-7; 10:18-22

The LORD cried loud for me to hear:  Come, you scourges of the city!
With that I saw six men coming from the direction
of the upper gate which faces the north,
each with a destroying weapon in his hand.
In their midst was a man dressed in linen,
with a writer’s case at his waist.
They entered and stood beside the bronze altar.
Then he called to the man dressed in linen
with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him:
Pass through the city, through Jerusalem,
and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan
over all the abominations that are practiced within it.
To the others I heard the LORD say:
Pass through the city after him and strike!
Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy!
Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out!
But do not touch any marked with the “Thau”; begin at my sanctuary.
So they began with the men, the elders, who were in front of the temple.
Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain;
then go out and strike in the city.

Then the glory of the LORD left the threshold of the temple
and rested upon the cherubim.
These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth,
the wheels rising along with them.
They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the LORD’s house,
and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them.
Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them,
while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm – 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    (4B)  The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R.    The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R.    The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high,
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R.    The glory of the Lord is higher than the skies.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – 2 CORINTHIANS 5:19

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 18:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that  every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church.
If he refuses to listen even to the Church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”

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If You Agree


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 12, 2020

“Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and mark a ‘Thau’ (Tau) on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it.” Tau is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet (which looks like a “t”) and was used symbolically in the Old Testament. It is the sign placed upon the foreheads of the poor of Israel, which would save them from extermination. It was later adopted by the very first Christians, for two reasons: As the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it prophesied the Last Day and had the same function as the Greek letter Omega as it appears in the Book of Revelation: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life … I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Rev. 21:6;22:13). And because it formed the symbol of a cross, which reminded Christians of the Cross on which Christ was sacrificed for the salvation of the world.

“Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.” For those of today who are looking for meaning and understanding as we move through fifty percent of the week already, what is our mark? What could we say is our “Tau?” We can rest assured that the Old Testament Readings prepared us for the teaching of Jesus in the New. Because it is in God’s word that we must find in our accepted point of reference in life. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, that he will return on the last day, and that we will have to make an account of everything we have done and said in this life, that it will certainly “mark” us and prepare us all for the Last Day when Jesus our King will come back. It seems almost too obvious that peaceful, generous, and forgiving people will live this way and that they will be very easy to spot and recognize on judgment Day. Let’s agree to live like this every day.

“Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.” Leo Buscaglia

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August 12, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, religious


For the readings on Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, religious
Lectionary: 623A

Reading 1 – PRV 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and makes cloth with skillful hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward of her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 131:1bcde, 2, 3

R.  In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
R.  In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
R.  In you, Lord, I have found my peace.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.
R.  In you, Lord, I have found my peace.

Alleluia – JN 8:31B-32

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived.
Standing outside they sent word to him and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

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August 11, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Clare, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin
Lectionary: 414

Reading 1 – EZ 2:8—3:4

The Lord GOD said to me:
As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you:
be not rebellious like this house of rebellion,
but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.

It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me,
in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me.
It was covered with writing front and back,
and written on it was:
Lamentation and wailing and woe!

He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you;
eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat.
Son of man, he then said to me,
feed your belly and fill your stomach
with this scroll I am giving you.
I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.
He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel,
and speak my words to them.

Responsorial Psalm – 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131

R.    (103A)  How sweet to my taste is your promise!
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors.
R.    How sweet to my taste is your promise!
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R.    How sweet to my taste is your promise!
How sweet to my palate are your promises,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
R.    How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Your decrees are my inheritance forever;
the joy of my heart they are.
R.    How sweet to my taste is your promise!
I gasp with open mouth,
in my yearning for your commands.
R.    How sweet to my taste is your promise!

Alleluia – MT 11:29AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”

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Living By Example


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 11, 2020

There is a powerful story about a child’s reaction to the way his parents treated his grandfather. His grandfather was living with the family but apparently had some undesirable and understandable trouble getting around through life. Things like spilling food on the floor, knocking over the glass of milk or iced tea, and making grunting sounds while eating that seemed to anger the little boy’s parents which caused them to speak harshly to the old man on a daily basis.

One day, the old man made a huge mess at the table which caused his own son (the boy’s father) to ban him from eating at the table with the rest of the family. The boy’s father brought out a smaller table, which was very hard and uncomfortable, and gave his father a wooden bowl and spoon to keep him from spilling his food on the floor or to at least make any further “messes.” The young boy saw all of this in sadness as his grandfather was demoted to a corner of the dining room with an occasional tear in his eye. Later in the week, the father of that boy heard something in the garage. He went out to see what was happening and was surprised to find his son working on some project, very focused. He called out, “Hey Son, what are you working on there?” His son replied, “Hi Dad! I’m working on the table and bowls that you and mom will eat on when you both get very old.” His father was completely astounded and stupefied by hearing these words that he later discarded the crude little table and bowl and brought his father back to eat with the rest of the family. From then on, they didn’t seem to mind all the spills and noises and that little boy was happy to have grandfather back eating with them for as long he lived.

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” The power of example is as much a part of the teaching process than the very content of the lesson. This is critical to understand how our faith is passed down from one generation to another and how we will maintain our fidelity to the God who loves us so much. Jesus Himself in the Gospel continues to expound on this very necessary requirement in our journey through life itself: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

A man once wrote to his teenage son: “God is the reason why even in pain, I smile, in confusion I understand, in betrayal I trust and in fear I continue to fight.” These are not just words if they are put into practice and lived as best as possible. You and I must remember even long after this life is over, that our children, students, and friends will not follow our advice that they will indeed follow and remember our example.

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August 11, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Claire, Virgin


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Clare, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Clare, virgin
Lectionary: 619

Reading 1 – PHIL 3:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
I consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things
and I consider them so much rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
not having any righteousness of my own based on the law
but that which comes through faith in Christ,
the righteousness from God,
depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection
and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death,
if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

It is not that I have already taken hold of it
or have already attained perfect maturity,
but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it,
since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, I for my part
do not consider myself to have taken possession.
Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 16:1B-2A, 5, 7-8, 11

R.    (see 5A)  You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.

R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.

I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Alleluia – MT 5:3

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 19:27-29

Peter said to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.”

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Generous Genes


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 10, 2020

“Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Have you ever noticed that generosity makes people happier, even if they are only a little bit generous? Many people would agree. “Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.” Generous people tend to be happy, more relaxed, willing to work hard, kind, free, and have better quality relationships and exude confidence: “The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”

“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” Here is the wonderful irony of this comforting Saturday to help us move into the weekend and the week ahead: The more you give, the more you have. Dying to selfishness brings forth an immense flow of love and real life that knows no rival. And all of this is because of Jesus. He died to set us free and give us true freedom which is beyond measure or value, especially in a very selfish world.

However, there is a catch and a warning, severe in every way. We must be super-careful that we do not become generous people just in order to receive something in return even if that be recognition. We must learn to give as Jesus did. Parents are uniquely exposed to this challenge more than most but all of us can and should have a share in this deep call to experience generosity from both sides of the equation. “…but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

What do we receive in this life in exchange for generosity? We witness happiness, reach a deeper understanding of life, feel the love of Jesus, and receive what money could never buy, a world made more beautiful. Isn’t that the point of living here?

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” John Wesley

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August 10, 2020


Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
Lectionary: 618

Reading 1 – 2 COR 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm – 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R.    (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R.    Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R.    Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R.    Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R.    Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Alleluia – JN 8:12BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

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August 9, 2020


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 115

Reading 1 – 1 KGS 19:9A, 11-13A

At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD — for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.
R. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Reading 2 – ROM 9:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie;
my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness
that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ
for the sake of my own people,
my kindred according to the flesh.
They are Israelites;
theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants,
the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs, and from them,
according to the flesh, is the Christ,
who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Alleluia – CF. PS 130:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I wait for the Lord;
my soul waits for his word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 14:22-33

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

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Storms, Earthquakes, And Fires


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 9, 2020

“Then the LORD said to him, ‘Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.’” It can be easily argued that today’s Scripture readings are not about natural disasters, but they are, in fact, about personal, spiritual, and emotional turmoil. At one point or another in most peoples’ lives, there are crises and problems that be compared to the kinds of disasters on the planet. Our world is shaken to its core, unexpected problems beseech us, and all that we dreamed and hoped goes up in smoke. Things like these are bound to happen, and can almost be expected because of that fact. What is not naturally anticipated is to automatically blame God, tell people that you “have a problem with the Almighty,” or because things haven’t evolved according to your own personal playbook, that God must be mean, distant, or even worse, does not exist at all. The Disciples in the Gospel had a certain experience with this and an understandable predicament which would later become a teachable moment for all of this today: “When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.”

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” It never fails to amaze how often a struggling individual will try to understand the mystery of evil while rejecting the Ultimate Good. Quite simply put, you cannot understand darkness without light, cold without heat, and, especially for our spiritual purposes here, goodness without evil, or, personally, disasters. The groundwork of our lives must be set early or at least properly. We must have faith. Faith in the person of Jesus determines everything and thus the lack or weakness thereof spells a disaster that no one should ever want to face alone. Pray today that God will increase your faith even as the storms, earthquakes, and fires rage on. It is the only way.

“He who has faith has… an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well – even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.” B. C. Forbes

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August 8, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Dominic, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Lectionary: 412

Reading 1 – HAB 1:12—2:4

Are you not from eternity, O LORD,
my holy God, immortal?
O LORD, you have marked him for judgment,
O Rock, you have readied him punishment!
Too pure are your eyes to look upon evil,
and the sight of misery you cannot endure.
Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence
while the wicked man devours
one more just than himself?
You have made man like the fish of the sea,
like creeping things without a ruler.
He brings them all up with his hook,
he hauls them away with his net,
He gathers them in his seine;
and so he rejoices and exults.
Therefore he sacrifices to his net,
and burns incense to his seine;
for thanks to them his portion is generous,
and his repast sumptuous.
Shall he, then, keep on brandishing his sword
to slay peoples without mercy?

I will stand at my guard post,
and station myself upon the rampart,
And keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what answer he will give to my complaint.

Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision
Clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash man has no integrity;
but the just man, because of his faith, shall live.

Responsorial Psalm – 9:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R.    (11B) You forsake not those who seek you, O Lord.
The LORD sits enthroned forever;
he has set up his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with justice;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    You forsake not those who seek you, O Lord.
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of distress.
They trust in you who cherish your name,
for you forsake not those who seek you, O LORD.
R.    You forsake not those who seek you, O Lord.
Sing praise to the LORD enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations his deeds;
For the avenger of blood has remembered;
he has not forgotten the cry of the poor.
R.    You forsake not those who seek you, O Lord.

Alleluia – SEE 2 TM 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 17:14-20

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
“Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
Jesus said in reply,
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?  
Bring the boy here to me.”
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
“Why could we not drive it out?”
He said to them, “Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”

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Nothing Is Impossible


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 8, 2020

“Are you not from eternity, O LORD, my holy God, immortal?” In 1811, an unknown author wrote a beautiful hymn entitled “What Wondrous Love is This?”And when you think about it, it’s message truly raises an amazing question that can still be addressed today: What kind of magnificent love would it take to inspire and motivate God to send His Son Jesus Christ to be born in a filthy manger, to live a poor life, and then be crucified for our sins? Perhaps a line from the Responsorial Psalm helps us answer this profound question: “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of distress.” The third verse of the hymn then explodes with the enthusiastic joy of the awareness that is brought to the one who understands this gift and cannot help but be changed forever: “To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM, while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, while millions join the theme, I will sing!” This, too, is underscored by the Alleluia Verse: “Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.”

This wondrous, wonderful love reveals the height and depth of such a love that carries us beyond our life here on earth to an eternal reward and life in Heaven. In the Gospel, a desperate man brought his own son for a miracle and he was not disappointed: “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely.” If and when our response to His wondrous love is returned with even the simplest of faith, miracles abound. Let us move forward in this life with new resolve and new hope. Darkness cannot and will not extinguish what we have been given. We will sing: “And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and through eternity I’ll sing on!” This is because nothing is impossible for God.

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August 8, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Dominic, priest


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Dominic, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Dominic, priest
Lectionary: 617

Reading 1 – 1 COR 2:1-10A

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature,
but not a wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.
Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden,
which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,
and which none of the rulers of this age knew;
for, if they had known it,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written:

What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,

this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 7-8A, 10

R.    (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.    Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia – JN 8:12

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey
someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
He said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

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August 7, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Sixtus II and companions, please go here.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Cajetan, please go here.

Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 411

Reading 1 – NA 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7

See, upon the mountains there advances
the bearer of good news,
announcing peace!
Celebrate your feasts, O Judah,
fulfill your vows!
For nevermore shall you be invaded
by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed.
The LORD will restore the vine of Jacob,
the pride of Israel,
Though ravagers have ravaged them
and ruined the tendrils.

Woe to the bloody city, all lies,
full of plunder, whose looting never stops!
The crack of the whip, the rumbling sounds of wheels;
horses a-gallop, chariots bounding,
Cavalry charging, the flame of the sword, the flash of the spear,
the many slain, the heaping corpses,
the endless bodies to stumble upon!
I will cast filth upon you,
disgrace you and put you to shame;
Till everyone who sees you runs from you, saying,
“Nineveh is destroyed; who can pity her?
Where can one find any to console her?”

Responsorial Psalm – Deuteronomy 32:35CD-36AB, 39ABCD, 41

R.    (39C)  It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.
“Learn then that I, I alone, am God,
and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life,
I who inflict wounds and heal them.”
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.
I will sharpen my flashing sword,
and my hand shall lay hold of my quiver,
“With vengeance I will repay my foes
and requite those who hate me.”
R.    It is I who deal death and give life.

Alleluia – MT 5:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

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Carry Not Drag


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 7, 2020

“Celebrate your feasts, O Judah, fulfill your vows! For nevermore shall you be invaded by the scoundrel; he is completely destroyed.” As simple as it sounds, the real way to face all of the troubles of life lies squarely and assuredly in the total awareness that God is complete control of our lives and that He has provided for each and every eventuality that will befall us. One of the most memorable homilies I have ever heard was the same one our pastor preached every New Year’s Eve and Day. He reminded us that in the upcoming year we will have our worst day and our best day and the good news for all of us was that God is already there for both.

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” All this is great news for us who wish to follow Christ all the way to Heaven. It also addresses the quality of carrying the cross that we have been assessed and given. Some of us like to complain or make things worse when we suffer which is not usually a good witness to the Gospel. When we face powerlessness in this life perhaps reviewing a few possible approaches to our walk with the Lord in hopes of making our Christian journey the best it can be to:

Calm Down: Yes, the appearance of powerlessness can almost always create a ripe breeding ground for anger. And when we can’t do anything about a certain situation, we turn to the only things we do have control over – which are our emotions. Anger is a volatile and perhaps the most destructive of all the vices. Unbridled, it can destroy us.

Discover Your Own Real Motivations: Why do we want justice? Is it really revenge? Justice is a virtue, and revenge is a perversion of justice.

Consider the Source: Who lied about us? Who has besmirched our reputation? Whenever we hear praise or harsh criticism, we must first consider its source. What someone says about us is never more important than the one who said it.

Weigh Carefully the Consequences: This is where prudence rallies into our discussion. Will I bring more attention to myself and my own emotional spasm?

Wait: Remember Jesus waited three days after His brutal murder to set things straight. Waiting and watching are deep spiritual exercises that separate us from the beasts of this world. My Italian friends put it best when they say, “Let God handle the need for revenge. He is much better at it.”

“We all have a cross to carry. I have to carry my own cross. if we don’t carry our crosses, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it.” Jim Caviezel

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August 7, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Cajetan, priest


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Cajetan, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Cajetan, priest
Lectionary: 616

Reading 1 – SIR 2:7-11

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the Lord, love him
and your hearts will be enlightened.
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R.    (1) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
An evil report he shall not fear.
His heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R.    Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – MT 5:3

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 12:32-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out,
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

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August 7, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Sixtus II, pope and martyr, and his companions, martyrs


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Sixtus II and companions, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Sixtus II, pope and martyr, and his companions, martyrs
Lectionary: 615

Reading 1 – WIS 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 126:1BC-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R.    (5)  Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R.    Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Alleluia – JAS 1:12

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation,
for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 10:28-33

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

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Transfigure Me O Lord


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 6, 2020

Do you realize that you and I have been placed on this earth for a specific reason and purpose? Every day becomes an opportunity to strive and realize that reality, especially when things look dark and bleak. If I have a purpose in life, and I do, then is everything that is happening around me today a part of that reality? Should I remain focused on today’s messages and lessons, or is focusing on today’s messages and lessons keeping me away from fulfilling my true purpose and direction?  And if it is, what can I do to move on quickly and return to the correct path as quickly as possible? This is certainly a very interesting and important example that we can help us to understand transformation and transfiguration. In our First Reading, the vision was more than remarkable: “His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool; his throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire.”

“We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven while we were with him on the holy mountain.” Jesus becomes transfigured to prepare the disciples and all of us for His Resurrection which in turn prepares us for our Resurrection, our ultimate transfiguration. “And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.” This complete transformative moment when we see Jesus as He exists in total glory in Heaven is both an inspiration and goal while we walk and continue our spiritual journeys. We must find true happiness in this world to make a suitable place in our souls and hearts for the message of the Gospel of Jesus.

Some of the most unhappy people in the world have made it their life’s mission to make as many people around them as miserable as they are with every ounce of strength they can muster. Surely, this can’t be news to us. Remember, only wounded people wound people. Our best stories will come from our struggles. The seeds of our successes are in our failures. Keep standing. The seasons will change. There is no such thing as a storm that lasts forever. On this Feast of the Transfiguration, let us all ask God to help each and every one of us continue to uncover and discover our purpose in this great adventure we call life. He proclaimed as much today in the Gospel: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso

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August 6, 2020


Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Lectionary: 614

Reading 1 – DN 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:
Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
his throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.
The court was convened and the books were opened.

As the visions during the night continued, I saw:

One like a Son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship;
all peoples, nations, and languages serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm – 97:1-2, 5-6, 9

R. (1A and 9B) The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
Because you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.

Reading 2 – 2 PT 1:16-19

Beloved:
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Alleluia – MT 17:5C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John,
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them;
his face shone like the sun
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,
then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him.”
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes,
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
“Do not tell the vision to anyone
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

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August 5, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, please go here.

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 409

Reading 1 – JER 31:1-7

At that time, says the LORD,
I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel,
and they shall be my people.
Thus says the LORD:
The people that escaped the sword
have found favor in the desert.
As Israel comes forward to be given his rest,
the LORD appears to him from afar:
With age-old love I have loved you;
so I have kept my mercy toward you.
Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin Israel;
Carrying your festive tambourines,
you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits.
Yes, a day will come when the watchmen
will call out on Mount Ephraim:
“Rise up, let us go to Zion,
to the LORD, our God.”

For thus says the LORD:
Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm – JER 31:10, 11-12AB, 13

R.    (see 10D)  The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R.    The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings.
R.    The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R.    The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Alleluia – LK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 15: 21-28

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.

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August 5, 2020 – Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome


For the readings on Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome
Lectionary: 613

Reading 1 – RV 21:1-5A

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

Responsorial Psalm – JDT 13:18BCDE, 19

R.    (15:9)  You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R.    You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R.    You are the highest honor of our race.

Alleluia – LK 11:28

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”

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I Will Love You Forever


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 5, 2020

“With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you.” When we think about people’s response concerning God’s love for us, we might say that there are at least two main groups. There are those who almost casually assume that God loves them and then give it very little thought and those who actually doubt His love. Both of these camps base their assertions on their own lives and their particular circumstances. We can also safely ascertain that these two different approaches produce two very different kinds of people.

There are some people who were raised in homes where they were shown tremendous love and acceptance more times than not and have very little problem believing that God’s love and mercy were all around them for the majority of their lives. We might say that these people exude confidence, peace, and acceptance of others. They clearly believe the following: “The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.” Even in times of trouble, these people can find joy and blessings everywhere they look. There is always God’s loving presence and beauty in ordinary things even when they hit rock bottom, because, after all, it is rock.

“Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Can you possibly imagine the very different outcome if the woman to whom Jesus addressed His mysterious comments about scraps had been a person of the second group of people who are somehow predisposed to doubt God’s love? Disastrous. And yet, we probably know people who never see the silver lining in things and only expect the darkness. This teaches us to always be patient with those whose faith is weak and precarious. And to invite people to see the Lord in everything we do and never criticize or condemn them. Just look at what Jesus did for the one who never gave up and never gave in to her doubts: “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” Trust in the miracle that is within you. God loves you forever. He sent His most cherished and powerful messenger and took that message to the cross and beyond.

“Doubts and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer and the large mind transcend.” Helen Keller

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Never Really Alone


lit carousel at night

“But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.” Wisdom 3:1

The loneliness was so intense it was simultaneously choking her very ability to breathe while removing all the colors from the world she once loved to greet every time she stepped into her universe. Her young husband’s funeral was nice if such a word could be used to describe that kind of experience, and everyone seemed so helpful and supportive, but it was just overwhelming to face the awful truth that he was gone. In painful hindsight at the very raw and present moment, perhaps they should have adopted children, since they were unable to have their own, but just their ongoing discussions about that possibility seemed to bring them closer and closer together even up to that fateful afternoon in the doctor’s office when they heard that vicious and mind-drilling word together. Cancer. 

It was more than aggressive and the only optimistic vantage point they could muster was that he was not going to last very long with all the obvious and expected treatments out of the question. And they were right, the specialists that is, with their kind but seemingly detached manner. “It’ll be important to keep him comfortable,” she kept playing over and over in her mind like a distant, wistful echo that sounded like a lost dog never to be recovered by its owners.

People were very good to her, mostly at the beginning. She loved their visits and the soothing tones of consolation in their voices but everyone has lives to live and after a handful of weeks, they slowly got back to those routines leaving her to deal with this burden the best she knew how. Her doctors wanted to prescribe anti-depression medication and while she may or may not have been entirely averse to the idea, she was getting very tired of the looks of pity and endless droopy eyes that seemed to be softly saying, “poor girl.” She had lived a full and great life, by all acceptable standards all the way around and perhaps that was part of the problem, that it had been without major issues or crises. Everything always seemed to fall into place except this new season of lost meaning. 

Then, after the longest month she could remember, the anger began to set a hold on her heart and nothing was going to relieve this new darkness that previously escaped her personality and approach to life. Why wasn’t anyone else upset? Don’t they know how horrible this is? She just wanted to scream, and, on some occasions, she would, as long as she could into the dusty pillow that still retained faint aromas of his cologne.

“On this mountain, the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces.”  Isaiah 25:6

She never fancied herself as the kind of person who would go to the cemetery thinking that it was reserved for a much older, perhaps even wiser generation that must have known something that she did not. At first, she was going every morning, “such a long and empty trip,” she used to think and then they became less and less with even more anger and resentment building in her because according to her, no one cared that her entire life had been torn asunder and she was the only one who remembered. “What a miserable existence!,” she would think while catching herself agreeing with that nihilistic delusional teacher she once knew way back who believed that everyone loved life and hated death because, in his words, “life was a beautiful lie and death a painful truth.”

She would laugh to herself when she remembered her favorite comedian Robin Williams, who once said on The Johnny Carson Show that death was nature’s way of saying that “your table is ready.” Then there were twilight moments when after a nice cup of cinnamon tea, she would stare out into space with a blank look and a hint of a smile as she remembered their last vacation in London together. With tears still in her eyes, she would reflectively pause, thinking about an incident after dinner one night after they ran across a quote painted on a wall near Trafalgar Square which said something like “They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” 

She had just crossed that bridge when depression turns to anger, then to denial and then back to depression again, with intermittent stops at self-pity and harsh, biting comments along the way.  She was alone, she was always going to be alone, and no one, not even her closest friends who heard her cries for attention and meaning and comfort, seemingly did not even give it a second thought. Didn’t they love him? Don’t they care? How could they even laugh out loud, even at a good joke!?

Time began to slow at a death march pace and she was becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired. Her mind would drift in and out of happy memories coupled with the recollections of those last hours in hospice. “It must be true,” she thought. “We are born alone, we live alone, we die alone.” “At least, that’s how it feels,” she would mumble while wondering if she was going crazy talking to herself.

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly.”  Romans 5:1

Then completely without warning came that night, which may have been the last time she would ever lose a total sleep cycle under the moonlight wide awake as if she was in a theater with the anguish of emptiness sitting upon her chest like an elephant. She would push herself to shower, get dressed, and make the first few minutes of the dawn her stage for a dutiful sad cemetery visit. She would make his favorite french toast sandwich, wrapping it in a soft blue napkin that had been left over from a birthday party or something with the childlike hope that maybe a rabbit or squirrel would have it for lunch rather than be the meal and just leave it there. Her plan was brilliant and actually made her feel useful for a change as she turned down the flame from the stovetop and began to slowly wrap her breakfast creation. “Wow, this smells pretty good. I bet he’d like this,” she thought as she caught herself tearing up but then making haste to get to the car and drive those increasingly familiar miles to his grave. 

The new day could not have been more than thirty minutes old and by the time she arrived, there was a fine, moist dew that spread across the beautifully manicured areas. “How silent, how picturesque, and yet how so horribly sad,” she thought. She was sure she was alone although there was a feeling as if someone else was there but she quickly dismissed the idea lest she begin to think the worst about the silent occupants of the graveyard. She retrieved her breakfast delight whose aroma had already filled her small sedan and heroically prepared herself for this visit while she could sense a blanket of peace and real acceptance finally and gently folding over her soul. The soft subtle colors of pre-dawn made everything so kind to her as if to warmly welcome her to a new life. It was then that she noticed a distinct other set of footprints in the dew-covered grass actually leading to and from the area where her husband was buried. Before unleashing her imagination, she spotted his temporary marker of a tombstone with something dangling from it. It was a sign with a flower attached. She read it deliberately but very gently and smiled.

“I miss him, too.”

“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”  Abdul Kalam

True loneliness cannot exist as long as there is just one person left who can sift through the dark tears of emptiness and unveil the world for what it truly is, a place of hope and adventure, an ongoing novel with beginnings and endings in perpetual motion. It is like a colorful, vintage carousel that keeps revolving and turning, revealing with each rotational pass different creatures, colors, and music until, at the very end of a full and wonderful orbit of life, all the characters, and riders, and songs leave the trappings of time and make their way into the starlit sky of eternity like Elijah’s chariot of fire or the quintessential Christmas sleigh led by eight (or nine) lovely reindeer.

We don’t need to fear death because we don’t have to live forever. We just have to live.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way.”  John 14:1-4

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August 4, 2020


For the Memorial of Saint John Vianney, please go here.

Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Lectionary: 408

Reading 1 – JER 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22

The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
Write all the words I have spoken to you in a book.

For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound?
your pain is without relief.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.

Thus says the LORD:
See!  I will restore the tents of Jacob,
his dwellings I will pity;
City shall be rebuilt upon hill,
and palace restored as it was.
From them will resound songs of praise,
the laughter of happy men.
I will make them not few, but many;
they will not be tiny, for I will glorify them.
His sons shall be as of old,
his assembly before me shall stand firm;
I will punish all his oppressors.
His leader shall be one of his own,
and his rulers shall come from his kin.
When I summon him, he shall approach me;
how else should one take the deadly risk
of approaching me? says the LORD.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm – 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 AND 22-23

R.    (17)  The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R.    The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R.    The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared on Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R.    The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.

Alleluia – JN 1:49B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

Or: Mt 15:1-2, 10-14

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?
They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”
He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand.
It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man;
but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
Then his disciples approached and said to him,
“Do you know that the Pharisees took offense
when they heard what you said?”
He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted
will be uprooted.
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
If a  blind man leads a blind man,
both will fall into a pit.”

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Stormwalking


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 4, 2020

We have noted many times in our Reflections that more than a few Old Testament accounts of people and events tell of a foreshadowing of that which is yet to come. For example, Moses told the Jewish people of another Law-Giver, like him, who would come later and who would require the people’s total allegiance and obedience. The Psalms describe the experiences of David and yet they also speak of David’s Greater Son, the Messiah. Perhaps one of the best-known prophets is Jeremiah wrote extensively about a New Covenant that would follow the horrible exile of God’s people. Jeremiah used many images and references that later Jesus would echo and apply to the New New Testament of Salvation history. “Thus says the LORD: See! I will restore the tents of Jacob, his dwellings I will pity; City shall be rebuilt upon hill, and palace restored as it was.”

In both the Old and New Testaments, wisdom bursts forth from a person of the Kingdom like the first streams of light at dawn. People are not wise because they possess a particular accent or vocal training. Inflections in voice and dramatic readings do not ensure the presence of wisdom in any human being. No, that must come from the very recesses and depths of the heart and soul of a person as was demonstrated and taught by Jesus in our Gospel today: “All these evils come from within and they defile.” Our fellow humans sometimes say ridiculous things because they do not stop first to think about the consequences of their words. They whine and complain because that is seemingly all they know how to describe life. We who follow Jesus must listen to His wise counsel today and make the obvious conclusion that if what is within us makes us wise or defiled, then by all means let us invite Jesus to live there first. Then whatever we say should sound a lot like Him.

“When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” Haruki Murakami

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August 4, 2020 – Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney, priest


For the Memorial of Saint John Vianney, please go here.

Memorial of Saint John Mary Vianney, priest
Lectionary: 612

Reading 1 – EZ 3:17-21

The word of the LORD came to me:
Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman
for the house of Israel.
When you hear a word from my mouth,
you shall warn them for me.

If I say to the wicked man,
You shall surely die;
and you do not warn him or speak out
to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live:
the wicked man shall die for his sins,
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
If, on the other hand, you have warned the wicked man,
yet he has not turned away from his evil
nor from his wicked conduct,
then he shall die for his sin,
but you shall save your life.

If a virtuous man turns away from virtue and does wrong
when I place a stumbling block before him, he shall die.
He shall die for his sin,
and his virtuous deeds shall not be remembered;
but I will hold you responsible for his death
if you did not warn him.
When, on the other hand, you have warned a virtuous man not to sin,
and he has in fact not sinned,
he shall surely live because of the warning,
and you shall save your own life.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 117:1BC, 2

R.    (Mark 16:15)  Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R.    Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R.    Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Alleluia – LK 4:18

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 9:35-10:1

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds,
his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Then he summoned his twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits
to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

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August 3, 2020


Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 407/408

Reading 1 – JER 28:1-17

In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah,
in the fifth month of the fourth year,
the prophet Hananiah, son of Azzur, from Gibeon,
said to me in the house of the LORD
in the presence of the priests and all the people:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Within two years I will restore to this place
all the vessels of the temple of the LORD which Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylon, took away from this place to Babylon.
And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah,
son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah,
and all the exiles of Judah who went to Babylon,’ says the LORD,
‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”

The prophet Jeremiah answered the prophet Hananiah
in the presence of the priests and all the people assembled
in the house of the LORD, and said:
Amen! thus may the LORD do!
May he fulfill the things you have prophesied
by bringing the vessels of the house of the LORD
and all the exiles back from Babylon to this place!
But now, listen to what I am about to state in your hearing
and the hearing of all the people.
From of old, the prophets who were before you and me prophesied
war, woe, and pestilence against many lands and mighty kingdoms.
But the prophet who prophesies peace
is recognized as truly sent by the LORD
only when his prophetic prediction is fulfilled.

Thereupon the prophet Hananiah took the yoke
from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah and broke it,
and said in the presence of all the people:
“Thus says the LORD:  ‘Even so, within two years
I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
from off the neck of all the nations.’”
At that, the prophet Jeremiah went away.

Some time after the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke
from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah,
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:
Go tell Hananiah this:  
Thus says the LORD:
By breaking a wooden yoke, you forge an iron yoke!
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:
A yoke of iron I will place on the necks
of all these nations serving Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
and they shall serve him; even the beasts of the field I give him.

To the prophet Hananiah the prophet Jeremiah said:
Hear this, Hananiah!
The LORD has not sent you,
and you have raised false confidence in this people.
For this, says the LORD, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth;
this very year you shall die,
because you have preached rebellion against the LORD.
That same year, in the seventh month, Hananiah the prophet died.

Responsorial Psalm – 119:29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102

R.    (68B) Lord, teach me your statutes.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
     and favor me with your law.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Take not the word of truth from my mouth,
     for in your ordinances is my hope.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let those turn to me who fear you
     and acknowledge your decrees.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let my heart be perfect in your statutes,
     that I be not put to shame.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Sinners wait to destroy me,
but I pay heed to your decrees.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
From your ordinances I turn not away,
for you have instructed me.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia – JN 1:49B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God;
you are the King of Israel.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

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Place Of Mystery


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 3, 2020

“Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea.” In today’s Gospel, we have all been gifted with one of the more famous and breathtaking moments in all of the Scriptures, or at least in the top ten. Try to imagine the scene where hurricane-force winds are blowing mercilessly against a tiny boat while the crashing sounds of the thunder in the distance are only rivaled by the crashing of the waves. “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Here we can picture the drama unfolding in four distinct phases:

  1. There’s a horrible storm that scares everyone on board.
  2. They see Jesus walking over the storm, literally.
  3. Peter begs Jesus to empower him to walk toward the Lord
    and he starts with great trepidation and Peter sinks because he doubts.
  4. Jesus saves Peter and calms the storm.

This process is the quintessential outline and summary of our spiritual lives. We face our storms of doubt, we call upon Jesus, He makes His loving presence known and empowers us to believe, then we doubt again and the cycle starts all over again but each time it does, we are actually closer and closer to Jesus who never leaves our ship of life.

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” This raises the age-long question that has faced every Christian since Jesus first walked the earth. Why do we doubt and how do we deal with this very human and expected experience? First, doubt is a natural process of every intellectual and moral process. It is almost necessary because it is a way of strengthening our ideals and beliefs but it must never overtake the very treasure we are trying to discover. And secondly, we must realize that doubt is part of the natural growing pains of faith, and having said that, it is also a mystery. No one human being could ever totally grasp the fullness of who God is, and so understandably, there will be gaps in our understanding because of our limitations. But gaps should not be used as an excuse for abandoning Jesus or to question why we are here on this planet. Perhaps the greatest spiritual gift we need when confronted with doubt is humility. Humility reminds us that faith is a powerful gift that must be opened slowly and without pretense. This is precisely how we run to Jesus on the water and everywhere else.

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” Brene Brown

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Nothing Small About Kindness


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 2, 2020

“He said to them in reply, ‘Give them some food yourselves.’” This is perhaps some of the greatest Scriptural advice we can receive in this brave new month which we have been presented in the Readings today when we are invited to look around our lives and see those who are in need and who are literally calling out for help and sustenance. “Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all.” The Lord’s promise to each and every one of us today is complete with His desire that all be fed and all be comforted. His wonderful invitation also includes a personal guarantee: I will be there among you when you act in My Name.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Love is everything. Love is what drove the Son of Man from Heaven to earth to suffer, die, and rise on the third day for all of our sins. Love is what moves the wheels of history and our own lives to the great, bright promise of immortality. We are hence convinced and motivated by the truth that we all have a mission and the power from the Holy Spirit to accomplish it: “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.” Today and every day we will encounter a large field of life filled with opportunities to serve and be the Light of Christ to others. This is how we feed each other. Let us all be that “movable feast” for others to meet the Lord Jesus.

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” Harold S. Kushner

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August 2, 2020


Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 112

Reading 1 – IS 55:1-3

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18

R. (CF. 16) The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,    
    slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
    and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
    and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
    and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
    and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
    to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Reading 2 – ROM 8:35, 37-39

Brothers and sisters:
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Alleluia – MT 4:4B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 14:13-21

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.  
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already late;
dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages
and buy food for themselves.”
Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away;
give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.

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August 1, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 406

Reading 1 – JER 26:11-16, 24

The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
“This man deserves death;
he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.”
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
“It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city
all that you have heard.
Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
listen to the voice of the LORD your God,
so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
As for me, I am in your hands;
do with me what you think good and right.
But mark well: if you put me to death,
it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
on this city and its citizens.
For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you,
to speak all these things for you to hear.”

Thereupon the princes and all the people
said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve death;
it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.”

So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah,
so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death

Responsorial Psalm – 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34

R.    (14C)  Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me.
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R.     Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Alleluia – MT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 14:1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

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Love Changes Everything


Reflection on Mass Reading for August 1, 2020

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” What a truly amazing Gospel we have here today. It describes the death and martyrdom of John the Baptist who occupies a number of wonderful categories which include a cousin to Jesus, the Last Prophet, and the outstanding voice that calls us all to listen and be ready for the greatest news we could ever receive. Today’s Reading makes this an even more thought-provoking Saturday, the first day of the month, as we recall how great it is to love the Lord and follow Him with every fiber of our being. John would later express this very same desire when he stated that he himself should decrease while Jesus must increase. That once we come to realize and accept our purpose here on earth, our lives will become much simpler and have the potential of even greater holiness.

“Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.” Here we see the importance of John the Baptist’s role and that it could never be overplayed or misunderstood. His role helps to form one of the most significant members of the cloud of witnesses which helps us all to look intently at Jesus and to never let our focus stray. This Reading should remind us to give it our all, to make the extra effort to be the best that we can be to please the Lord and that we should be heartened by the fact that God always prepares a way for us to find Jesus and stay ever-so-close to Him in this life and the next. That our call should always be to let Jesus increase in our lives and for our selfishness to decrease. And with the help of the Holy Spirit and the wonderful Eucharist, success in this field can always be within our reach.

The death of John the Baptist reminds us that following the Lord also has a deep price and that sometimes people are unwilling to consider or offer. But in the final analysis, we want to be counted among those who are faithful and loving and true to our calling. And when nothing else will do: “Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink! may I be rescued from my foes, and from the watery depths.”

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” Erma Bombeck

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August 1, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 610

Reading 1 – ROM 8:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has freed you from the law of sin and death.
For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do,
this God has done:
by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12) Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?    
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia – MT 5:16

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 5:13-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

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