The Word of God

November 30, 2020


Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle
Lectionary: 684

Reading 1 – ROM 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm – 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R.    (10)  The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    (John 6:63)  Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R.    The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Alleluia – MT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

Leave a comment

November 29, 2020


First Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 2

Reading 1 – IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7

You, LORD, are our father,
our redeemer you are named forever.
Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
Return for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
with the mountains quaking before you,
while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,
such as they had not heard of from of old.
No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.
Would that you might meet us doing right,
that we were mindful of you in our ways!
Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;
all of us have become like unclean people,
all our good deeds are like polluted rags;
we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.
There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.
Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Reading 2 – 1 COR 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
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.

Alleluia – PS 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Leave a comment

November 28, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 508

Reading 1 – RV 22:1-7

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true,
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

Responsorial Psalm – 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

R.    (1 Cor 16: 22B, see Rev. 22: 20C) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R.    Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
R.    Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R.    Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Alleluia – LK 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 – LK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Leave a comment

November 27, 2020


Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 507

Reading 1 – RV 20:1-4, 11—21:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,
holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,
which is the Devil or Satan,
and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,
which he locked over it and sealed,
so that it could no longer lead the nations astray
until the thousand years are completed.
After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
and who had not worshiped the beast or its image
nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.
They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I 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.

Responsorial Psalm – 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A

R.    (Rev. 21:3B) Here God lives among his people.
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R.    Here God lives among his people.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R.    Here God lives among his people.
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R.    Here God lives among his people.

Alleluia – LUKE 21:28

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”

Leave a comment

November 26, 2020


For the readings on Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Thanksgiving Day
Lectionary: 943-947

Reading 1 – SIR 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
to deliver us in our days.

Responsorial Psalm – 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (see 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.
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.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
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.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord

Reading 2 – 1 COR 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
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.

Alleluia – 1 THES 5:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Leave a comment

November 26, 2020 – Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time


For the readings on Thanksgiving Day, please go here.

Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 506

Reading 1 – RV 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast.”

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion.”

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia!  Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

Then the angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm – 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R.    (Rev. 19: 9A) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R.    Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R.    Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R.    Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.    Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

Alleluia – LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.”

Leave a comment

November 25, 2020


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

Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 505

Reading 1 – RV 15:1-4

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring:
seven angels with the seven last plagues,
for through them God’s fury is accomplished.

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.
On the sea of glass were standing those
who had won the victory over the beast
and its image and the number that signified its name.
They were holding God’s harps,
and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Responsorial Psalm – 98:1, 2-3AB, 7-8, 9

R.    (Rev. 15: 3B) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R.    Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R.    Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia – RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Leave a comment

November 25, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr


For the readings on Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, virgin and martyr
Lectionary: 683C

Reading 1 – RV 21:5-7

The One who was seated on the throne said:
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Then he said, “Write these words down,
for they are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me, “They are accomplished.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
To the thirsty I will give a gift
from the spring of life-giving water.
The victor will inherit these gifts,
and I shall be his God,
and he will be my son.”

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

R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us–
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 praises you.  
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.”

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr
c. Late third–early fourth centuries

An obscure Egyptian wins the double crown of virgin-martyr

The armies of Alexander the Great swept south and east from Greece three hundred and thirty years before the infant Jesus ever gently swayed in His Mother’s arms. After Alexander conquered Egypt, he founded a new coastal city and crowned it after himself. Alexandria, Constantinople, Caesarea, Antioch, and numerous other foundations gratified the colossal egos of the mighty men who laid deep foundations and raised high walls to commemorate themselves and their patrons. How different from the Christian era and its venerable custom of naming places in honor of the Lord, Mary, and the Saints—San Francisco, Christchurch, El Salvador, Sao Paolo, Asunción, and on and on. Today’s saint—Catherine of Alexandria—appropriates Alexander’s name for Christianity, something beyond the imagining of that Greek pagan of old. 

Saint Catherine of Alexandria was a virgin-martyr from the waning years of the persecuted Church in the early fourth century. Reliable documentation about her life may still lie undiscovered in a dusty codex whose heft is sagging a shelf in a neglected monastic library. Until such authentic corroboration of her life is brought to light, however, the total absence of verifiable facts make Catherine an enigmatic figure. Precisely due to this dearth of biographical information, Catherine’s feast day was removed from the Church’s universal calendar by Pope Saint Paul VI in 1969. 

In 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land to properly commence the third millennium. Among the holy sites he visited was Mount Sinai, Egypt, on whose summit Moses received the tablets of the Ten Commandments. The Orthodox Monastery on Mount Sinai is named in honor of Saint Catherine, after a legend which holds that her relics were borne there by angels upon her martyrdom. The Orthodox Abbot of the monastery refused to pray with the Pope during his visit to Saint Catherine’s, regrettably. Among the unstated reasons for this rebuff may have been Catholicism’s suppression of Saint Catherine’s feast in 1969. So in 2002, Pope Saint John Paul II restored Catherine’s feast day, perhaps as an ecumenical gesture to the Orthodox. 

Devotion to Saint Catherine began in the late first millennium among the Orthodox. Her cult migrated to the West with the crusading knights when they returned from the Holy Land in the twelfth century. Devotion to Saint Catherine exploded in popularity throughout the High Middle Ages until she was one of the most commonly invoked saints in all of Europe. Even a college at England’s Cambridge University was established in Catherine’s honor in 1473. It is said that Catherine was a beautiful young woman from a noble Alexandrian family who had a miraculous conversion to Christianity, compelling her to make a vow of virginity. Her erudition and persuasive gifts convinced fifty of the Emperor’s most able philosophers of the truth of Christianity. Catherine then had further successful forays in converting the Emperor’s own household and soldiers. When she rejected the Emperor’s romantic entreaties, he sentenced her to be shred to pieces on a spiked wheel. But Catherine’s bindings were miraculously loosened and she survived the ordeal, only to then suffer beheading, thus earning the double crown of both virgin and martyr. 

In the summer of 1425, a young French girl named Joan, standing in her parent’s garden, gazed into the mist closely enveloping her and saw something. It was Saint Michael the Archangel and two women wearing rich crowns. One of these women was Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Catherine spoke sweetly and softly to young Joan, saying that she would be Joan’s counsel, guide, and protector. She even promised to one day lead Joan to paradise. Years later, when Joan acquitted herself well under questioning by theologians, just as Catherine had done when questioned by philosophers, the townspeople said that Joan of Arc was none other than Saint Catherine of Alexandria come down to earth again. 

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, your intelligence and devotion led you to be outspoken for Christ. Intercede on behalf of all Christians, making them fearless in their advocacy for, and defense of, the truths of our faith, even to the point of death.

Leave a comment

November 24, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 504

Reading 1 – RV 14:14-19

I, John, looked and there was a white cloud,
and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man,
with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Another angel came out of the temple,
crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud,
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest,
for the time to reap has come,
because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.”
So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven
who also had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire,
and cried out in a loud voice
to the one who had the sharp sickle,
“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines,
for its grapes are ripe.”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage.
He threw it into the great winepress of God’s fury.

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 – RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

Leave a comment

November 24, 2020 – Memorial Of Saint Andrew Dũng-lạc, Priest, And Companions, Martyrs


For the readings on Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 683B

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 126:1-2AB, 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 – 1 PT 4:14

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.  

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 10:17-22

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
    and scourge you in their synagogues,
    and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
    as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
    do not worry about how you are to speak
    or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
    but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
    and the father his child;
    children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
    but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

Saint Andrew Dũng-Lac and Companions, Martyrs
1795–1839; Seventeenth–Nineteenth Centuries

Thousands of priests and converts are hunted down, tortured, and cruelly murdered

The tide of persecution repeatedly swelled, receded, and swelled once more against today’s martyrs in various eras of Vietnamese history from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Matters were only slightly less brutal for Catholics living in communist North Vietnam in the twentieth century, but those victims are not included in today’s commemoration. Today’s one hundred and seventeen martyrs were beatified in four different groups, from 1900 through 1951, yet they were all canonised at the same Mass by Pope Saint John Paul II in Rome in 1988. These one hundred and seventeen include a rich mix of lay people, priests, and bishops who were mostly native Vietnamese but also include several heroic French and Spanish missionaries. Today’s martyrs each have a name and a historically verifiable narrative detailing their sad fate. Many tens of thousands more Catholics were martyred in Vietnam in this same period, yet their names are known to God alone. They will form part of that cloud of witnesses whom all the saved will one day see in heaven, wearing white robes and with a martyr’s palm in their hands.

Father Andrew Dũng-Lạc alone is named on this feast, not because his sufferings were more depraved than those of his co-martyrs, but because they were so similar. Andrew’s name is a touchstone for the entire group. Father Andrew was born to pagan parents but fell under the holy influence of a lay catechist, was baptized, became a catechist himself, entered seminary, and was ordained a diocesan priest. He was a model parish priest in every respect, and thus an ideal target once a new wave of persecution broke out. When he was first imprisoned, his parishioners raised enough money to ransom him. But about fours years later, he was arrested again, tortured, and beheaded, along with another priest, Peter Thi. The story of another of today’s martyrs, Father Théophane Vénard, made such a deep impression on the young Thérèse of Lisieux that she requested, unsuccessfully, to transfer to a Carmel convent in Vietnam.

The persecutions of the Church in Vietnam displayed characteristics similar to anti-Catholic attacks carried out in other Asian countries. In its first wave of missionaries, Catholicism’s arrival in Asia was seen as intriguing, beautiful, and new. Its priests were educated, heroic in their zeal, and culturally sensitive. Yet as its hold on the native population grew, Asian leaders became jealous and suspicious. They saw the Church either as foreign to their ancient culture’s long established habits of life and thinking, or as an actual arm of a colonial power seeking to slowly subjugate an entire people for commercial benefit. At this historical flex point, brutal persecutions of Catholics broke out in Japan, Vietnam, and China. Yet as the Church matured over time and large native populations of Catholics survived, different persecutions, not related to colonialism, began. In the nineteenth century, Asian leaders often claimed that priests and bishops were in conspiratorial alliances with disaffected Catholic elites who sought to overthrow the reigning authorities for reasons of religion or state.

The persecution of the Church in Vietnam was outstanding for its ferocity and brutality. Asian cultures seem to excel at devising ever more brutal forms of inflicting physical and psychological pain on persecuted classes. Victims had their skin ripped off, were carefully sliced in pieces, were confined in cages hung in public squares like big cats, were compelled to trample on crucifixes, were separated from spouses and family, and often had the words “false religion” marked on their faces.

Vietnam’s communist government sent not a single representative to the canonisation Mass for today’s martyrs in 1988, but thousands of Vietnamese faithful attended nonetheless, mostly from Vietnamese diaspora communities. Today Vietnam has over two thousand parishes and almost three thousand priests. Its population is about eight percent Catholic. The faith survived, even thrived, due to the exemplary witness of so many staunch disciples who did not bend to the powerful gusts that blew against them. Today’s victims bowed their heads to receive only two things—the waters of Baptism and the sword.

Martyrs of Vietnam, by your constancy and courage, help all Christians who struggle and doubt in any way to persevere in their vocations, to win the small battles over self every day, so that they can enjoy life with God and His saints one day in heaven.

Leave a comment

November 23, 2020


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

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

Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 503

Reading 1 – RV 14:1-3, 4B-5

I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,
and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand
who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
I heard a sound from heaven
like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder.
The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,
before the four living creatures and the elders.
No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand
who had been ransomed from the earth.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
They have been ransomed as the first fruits
of the human race for God and the Lamb.
On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.

Responsorial Psalm – 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R.    (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

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 – LK 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

Leave a comment

November 23, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Clement I, pope and martyr


For the readings on Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Clement I, pope and martyr
Lectionary: 682

Reading 1 – 1 PT 5:1-4

Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing it not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

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

R.    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 – MK 1:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
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.”

Saint Clement I, Pope and Martyr
First Century

Primacy more than infallibility, service more than authority

Our loving maternal Church expresses herself through a paternal structure which makes decisions, resolves conflicts, intercedes in disputes, and governs the people who voluntarily gather in her strong embrace. The Marian Church of discipleship is without sin, like the Virgin herself, but the Petrine Church of authority is founded on a heroic, but flawed, man. Because it is rooted in the life of Saint Peter, Church governance is, by its nature, as imperfect as it is necessary. So while the pure Church of Mary awaits discovery in heaven, her pristine beauty is disfigured in this world by her commingling with the oh-so-human Church of Peter. The highest expression of the Church’s authority is the sole office built over the words of Christ Himself—the papacy. Today’s Memorial commemorates the third successor of Saint Peter, who served as the Bishop of Rome in the last years of the first century. Pope Clement I and his two predecessors are named in Eucharistic Prayer I just after the list of the Twelve Apostles: “Linus, Cletus, Clement…”

Though few details of Clement’s life are known, what is known is surpassingly important. Clement is the very first Apostolic Father and may have been ordained by Saint Peter himself. In about the year 96 A.D., Clement wrote from Rome to the Church in Corinth to resolve some undefined disputes over authority tearing at that congregation. Clement’s letter is one of the most ancient Christian documents after the New Testament itself. It was so significant that in the second century it was read at Mass in Corinth and, in other regions, was considered part of the New Testament Canon! The tone of Clement’s long letter is fraternal rather than domineering, more like an encyclical than a decree. Pope Clement encourages the faithful to be obedient to their priests and bishops, to be inspired by the example of the martyrs, and to lead lives of high moral virtue. The Church of Corinth could have looked to Saint John the Evangelist for guidance. In the late first century, he was an old man living in Ephesus, a city much closer to Corinth than Rome. But it was the long-dead Peter whose shadow towered over Corinth, not the living John.

Clement’s letter reveals an even-tempered soul, a shepherd eager to preserve the tenuous unity of his flock. The letter is invaluable as a proof of the centrality of the Bishop of Rome from the first chapter of the Christian story. The service of apostolic authority, of an interior organizing principle, is intrinsic to the Gospel itself, not a later addition. The primitive papal primacy exercised by Clement is not the imposition of a foreign power structure on an otherwise dreamy and innocent Church. The proto-Christians of Corinth needed clear, fatherly, instruction as they struggled to implement the Christian revolution in their homes, villages, shops, and town squares. Saint Paul had to write to them twice using strong language. It was evidently not enough, hence Clement’s letter a few decades later.

As the first generations of Christians realized that Christ was not going to return before they died, their understanding of the Church matured. Personal prophecies, individual teachings, and private spiritual gifts had to be incorporated into the broader life of the quickly expanding church. These personal gifts thus became subject to Church approval and to conformity with Scripture and previous teachings. In Clement’s time, the Church, rather than individuals, slowly became the repository of the accumulated wisdom of Christianity. And this early Church was not merely a society of learned men, an association of the perfect, or a cultural enrichment club. It was, and still is, a real Church, and so did what a real church does. The Corinthians, with Clement’s help, knew this essential fact—that to be a Christian and to be a member of the Church was one and the same thing.

Saint Clement, you spoke with fatherly authority to faithful men and women struggling to preserve Christian unity. May your balanced example inspire all in Holy Orders to gather, not scatter, to encourage, not scold, as they teach, preach, and govern in the name of Christ.

Leave a comment

November 23, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Columban, abbot


For the readings on Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Columban, abbot
Lectionary: 683

Reading 1 – IS 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings glad tidings,
Announcing peace, bearing good news,
announcing salvation, and saying to Zion,
“Your God is King!”

Hark!  Your sentinels raise a cry,
together they shout for joy,
For they see directly, before their eyes,
the LORD restoring Zion.
Break out together in song,
O ruins of Jerusalem!
For the LORD comforts his people,
he redeems Jerusalem.
The LORD has bared his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations;
All the ends of the earth will behold
the salvation of our God.

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 God’s 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.”

Saint Columban, Abbot
c. 543–615

He led the first wave of Irish monks who stormed Europe’s shores

Throughout the sixth and seventh centuries, the great gales of Ireland filled the sails of countless boats packed with hardy Irish monks steering toward France. Once on Europe’s northern shores, these men scaled her sandy slopes and headed inland in a kind of recurring theological D-Day. A seemingly endless pilgrimage of Irish scholar-monks went into voluntary exile, left their rainy homeland, navigated the waters, and sunk their roots deep into the soil of post-Roman Europe. Up and down today’s France, Switzerland, the Low Countries and Germany, Irish monks founded monasteries that plowed furrows, sang chant, grew vines, copied books, hewed wood, forged chalices, raised cattle, taught children, dug wells, consecrated altars, rendered tallow into candles, and preached the sweet love of Christ. The rough local populations were drawn to these monasteries like moths to a flame, creating some of the oldest towns in Europe. Saint Columban, the leader of the first wave of these great builders of Europe, is the avatar of the missionary Irish monk. His ceaseless labors and iron will bent the arc of European history toward Christ.

A monk named Jonas, living one generation after our saint, authored Columban’s Life based on the recollections of Columban’s own brother monks. Columban (or Columbanus) was born in Ireland about the same year that Saint Benedict died in Italy. He was a clever boy who received an excellent education in secular and theological letters. When he left home as a youth to enter a monastery, it was not to a soaring gothic structure of a later, more glorious age. The Irish monks of late antiquity had more in common with the Egyptian ascetics who vanished into the desert than with medieval Benedictines. Irish monasteries were small Christian farms, communes of low-slung buildings formed in a circle around a humble stone chapel. After Columban distinguished himself for his learning and his severe penances, he received his abbot’s permission to sail to the continent at about the age of forty. A legend of the era told of holy monks who set off from the Emerald Isle in a boat without oars, willing to land and serve wherever God so willed. The boat Columban and his twelve companion monks climbed into had oars and landed on the Brittany coast of France around 585. 

For the next thirty years, Columban founded monasteries, attracted countless vocations, introduced private confession to Europe, and impressed all with his self-punishing Irish asceticism. Yet Columban had conflicts with powerful French bishops over his communities’ Celtic dating of Easter, which deviated from the Roman dating, and conflicts over the strange Irish tonsure, so different from the round cutting of the scalp practiced in the rest of the Church. Further tensions with French nobility caused Columban’s arrest and forced exile to Ireland. But the boat transporting him back home met rough seas and returned to its French port. So Columban stayed in Europe and found his way to Northern Italy. His last years were active in refuting the Arianism still thriving among the Italian Goths and in founding the great monastery of Bobbio, where Columban died on November 23, 615. Columban’s disciples founded over one hundred monasteries throughout Central Europe! Columban’s strict monastic Rule was also widely used until it was eclipsed by the more balanced Rule of Saint Benedict.

In around 600, Saint Columban wrote a letter to Pope Saint Gregory the Great professing his docile obedience:  “We Irish, though dwelling at the far ends of the earth, are all disciples of Saint Peter and Saint Paul…we are bound to the Chair of Peter.” Columban, who may have been the first man to use the word “Europe” in its modern sense, was the prototype for a thousand unnamed missionaries whose austere resilience and fine minds built Europe one soul, and one monastery, at a time.

Saint Columban, you were an ascetic, a theologian, and a father of Europe. Help all who seek your intercession to be as dynamic as you in rooting the faith in the deepest and richest soil.

Leave a comment

November 22, 2020


The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Lectionary: 160

Reading 1 – EZ 34:11-12, 15-17

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
As a shepherd tends his flock
when he finds himself among his scattered sheep,
so will I tend my sheep.
I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered
when it was cloudy and dark.
I myself will pasture my sheep;
I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD.
The lost I will seek out,
the strayed I will bring back,
the injured I will bind up,
the sick I will heal,
but the sleek and the strong I will destroy,
shepherding them rightly.

As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD,
I will judge between one sheep and another,
between rams and goats.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 23:1-2, 2-3, 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.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
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 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.

Reading 2 – 1 COR 15:20-26, 28

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.
When everything is subjected to him,
then the Son himself will also be subjected
to the one who subjected everything to him,
so that God may be all in all.

Alleluia – MK 11:9, 10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”

Leave a comment

November 21, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

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

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 502

Reading 1 – RV 11:4-12

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me:
Here are my two witnesses:
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands
that stand before the Lord of the earth.
If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths
and devours their enemies.
In this way, anyone wanting to harm them is sure to be slain.
They have the power to close up the sky
so that no rain can fall during the time of their prophesying.
They also have power to turn water into blood
and to afflict the earth with any plague as often as they wish.

When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up from the abyss
will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them.
Their corpses will lie in the main street of the great city,
which has the symbolic names “Sodom” and “Egypt,”
where indeed their Lord was crucified.
Those from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation
will gaze on their corpses for three and a half days,
and they will not allow their corpses to be buried.
The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them
and be glad and exchange gifts
because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth.
But after the three and a half days,
a breath of life from God entered them.
When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.
Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, “Come up here.”
So they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies looked on.

Responsorial Psalm – 144:1, 2, 9-10

R.    (1B) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
My mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust,
who subdues my people under me.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
O God, I will sing a new song to you;
with a ten stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
You who give victory to kings,
and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
R.    Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

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 – LK 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called  ‘Lord’
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply,
“Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

Leave a comment

November 21, 2020 – Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary


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

Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 680

Reading 1 – ZEC 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people,
and he will dwell among you,
and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
The LORD will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land,
and he will again choose Jerusalem.
Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the LORD!
He stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

Responsorial Psalm – LK 1:46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

R.    (49)  The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“For he has looked upon 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.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“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.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.
“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.”
R.    The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
or:
R.    O Blessed Virgin Mary, you carried the Son of the eternal Father.

Alleluia – LK 11:28

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

Gospel – MT 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother?  
Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary, in keeping with Jewish custom, was likely consecrated to God as a child

Stillbirths, infant mortality, and mothers’ dying during labor have been among the most predictable human tragedies since time immemorial. Medical progress has only in recent generations dramatically reduced such deaths, albeit unevenly throughout the world. In light of the real dangers of pregnancy and childbirth, the successful birth of a healthy baby has naturally given rise to ceremonies in many cultures thanking God for the precarious gift of new life. Jewish law required the ritual dedication of first-born sons to God in the Temple. It is probable that a similar custom, if not a law, called for Jewish girls to also be so dedicated. It is the likely presentation of the child Mary in such a ceremony that we celebrate today.

The Church does not claim that today’s feast is rooted in Sacred Scripture. There is no direct biblical support for Mary’s Presentation except in the apocryphal “Gospel” of Saint James, a problematic text replete with follies. The lack of textual support is, nevertheless, no reason to doubt the ancient tradition, especially preserved in Eastern Orthodoxy, that Joachim and Anne consecrated their daughter, Mary, to God at the age of three in the Jerusalem Temple. The prophet Samuel was similarly presented by his mother, Hannah. Both Hannah and her namesake, Anne, were long barren and were thus all the more grateful to see the fruit of their unexpected pregnancies.

It is a good and holy thing for Christian parents to proactively dedicate their children to God, or even to invite them to consider a life consecrated to God as priests or religious. While some may consider it an imposition for parents to so explicitly encourage their children to take steps down that holy path, all parents, in fact, are energetic in promoting some level of conformity with their own religious or quasi-religious beliefs. These “beliefs” may be related to the environment, politics, leisure, art, sports, or a thousand other causes or hobbies. Parents always indoctrinate their children. It is intrinsic to their role. The only question is what the content of that indoctrination will be. Ideally, Christian parents hand on to their children their most deeply held beliefs—including their faith in Jesus Christ.

The essence of any sacrifice is to burn, kill, or destroy something of value in order to close the yawning gap between God and man. A sacrifice can be in thanksgiving, to repent of a sin, or in petition for a favor. Primitive priests in cultures across the globe since time immemorial have stood at their rough stone altars on behalf of their people to offer God fatted calves, heifers, sheep, the finest grain, red wine, and even their fellow man. Abraham was willing to offer his very own son to God. Blood sacrifice gradually receded in Judaism, however, to bloodless sacrifice, and eventually to non-sacrificial pathways to God. The age of priests in the Jerusalem Temple sacrificing animals gradually mutated, from the late first century onward, into rabbis in synagogues teaching from books.

To present a child to God, either in a formal ritual or in a private dedication, is to lay that child on a symbolic altar and to say to God: “You create. We procreate. My child is Your child. Do with this child as You will.” Such humble and antecedent submission to the will of God is not an abdication of the duty to form a child in human and religious virtue. It is just to be realistic. Children are gifts, not metaphorically but actually. A child is not a piece of property or an object a parent has a right to possess. No one understands this like the infertile couple. When parents consecrate a child to God, whether at baptism or otherwise, even informally, they are manifesting a willingness to return a gift to its remote source, to please the Maker by giving Him what He already possesses, life itself and all who share in it.

Saints Anne and Joachim, in gratitude for the gift of life, you presented Mary in the Temple. Help all young parents to see in you a model of dependence on God’s providence and may similar consecrations in today’s world prepare saints for the Church of tomorrow.

Leave a comment

November 20, 2020


Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 501

Reading 1 – RV 10:8-11

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me.
Then the voice spoke to me and said:
“Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel
who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll.
He said to me, “Take and swallow it.
It will turn your stomach sour,
but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”
I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it.
In my mouth it was like sweet honey,
but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again
about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”

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 – JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”

And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words.

Leave a comment

November 19, 2020


Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 500

Reading 1 – RV 5:1-10

I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.
It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals.
Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll or to examine it.
I shed many tears because no one was found worthy
to open the scroll or to examine it.
One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep.
The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed,
enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.”

Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne
and the four living creatures and the elders
a Lamb that seemed to have been slain.
He had seven horns and seven eyes;
these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world.
He came and received the scroll from the right hand
of the one who sat on the throne.
When he took it,
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders
fell down before the Lamb.
Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense,
which are the prayers of the holy ones.
They sang a new hymn:

“Worthy are you to receive the scroll
and break open its seals,
for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God
those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.
You made them a kingdom and priests for our God,
and they will reign on earth.”

Responsorial Psalm – 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R.    (Rev. 5:10) The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R.    The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R.    The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R.    The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

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

Gospel – LK 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Leave a comment

November 18, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, please go here.

Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 499

Reading 1 – RV 4:1-11

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven,
and I heard the trumpetlike voice
that had spoken to me before, saying,
“Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards.”
At once I was caught up in spirit.
A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian.
Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald.
Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones
on which twenty-four elders sat,
dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings, and peals of thunder.
Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne,
which are the seven spirits of God.
In front of the throne was something that resembled
a sea of glass like crystal.

In the center and around the throne,
there were four living creatures
covered with eyes in front and in back.
The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf,
the third had a face like that of a man,
and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight.
The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,
were covered with eyes inside and out.
Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down
before the one who sits on the throne
and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:

“Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created.”

Responsorial Psalm – 150:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    (1B) Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise the LORD in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,
praise him for his sovereign majesty.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipe.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD! Alleluia.
R.    Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia – SEE JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

Leave a comment

November 18, 2020 – Memorial of Dedication of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles


For the readings on Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Dedication of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Lectionary: 679

Reading 1 – ACTS 28:11-16, 30-31

After three months
we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island [of Malta].
It was an Alexandrian ship with the Dioscuri
as its figurehead.
We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days,
and from there we sailed round the coast and arrived at Rhegium.
After a day, a south wind came up and in two days we reached Puteoli.
There we found some brothers
and were urged to stay with them for seven days.
And thus we came to Rome.
The brothers from there heard about us
and came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us.
On seeing them, Paul gave thanks to God and took courage.
When he entered Rome,
Paul was allowed to live by himself,
with the soldier who was guarding him.

He remained for two full years in his lodgings.
He received all who came to him,
and with complete assurance and without hindrance
he proclaimed the Kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R.    (see 2B)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

Alleluia See Te Deum

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 14:22-33

After the crowd had eaten their fill,
Jesus made the disciples get into the 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 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.”

Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

The barque of Peter is tethered to two stout anchors

A cathedral is theology in stone, the medievals said, a truism which extends to all churches, not just cathedrals, and to their sacred web of translucent glass, glowing marble, gold-encrusted wood, bronze canopies, and every other noble surface on which the eye falls. A Church mutely confesses its belief through form and materials. Today’s feast commemorates the dedication of two of the most sumptuous churches in the entire world: the Basilica of St. Peter, the oversized jewel in the small crown of Vatican City, and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, a few miles distant, beyond Rome’s ancient walls. The foundations of these two Basilicas are each sunk deep into the blood-drenched ground of first-century Christianity, though today’s impressive structures stand proxy for their long-razed originals. If strong churches reflect a strong God, these Basilicas are all muscle.

The present Basilica of St. Peter was dedicated, or consecrated, in 1626. It was under construction for more than one hundred years, was built directly over the tomb of the Apostle Peter, and considerably enlarged the footprint of the original Constantinian Basilica. That prior fourth-century Basilica was so decrepit by the early 1500s that priests refused to say Mass at certain altars for fear that the creaky building’s sagging roofs and leaning walls would collapse at any moment. The ancient Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls was consumed by a mammoth fire in 1823. The rebuilt Basilica was dedicated on December 10, 1854, just two days after Pope Pius IX had formally promulgated the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The Basilica’s vast classical elegance is breathtaking—its marbled central nave stretches out longer than an American football field.

The two Basilicas were, for centuries, linked by a miles-long, roofed colonnade that snaked through the streets of Rome, sheltering from the sun and rain the river of pilgrims flowing from one Basilica to the next as they procured their indulgences. Rome’s two great proto-martyrs were like twins tethered by a theological umbilical cord in the womb of Mother Church. The pope’s universal ministry was explicitly predicated upon these two martyrs. Rome’s apostolic swagger meant the Bishop of Rome’s headship was not merely symbolic but actively intervened in practical matters of church governance throughout Christendom. The pope, the indispensable Christian, was often depicted in early Christian art as a second Moses, a law-giver, who received from Christ the tablets of the New Testament for the new people of God. 

At intervals of five years, every diocesan bishop in the Catholic Church is obligated to make a visit “ad limina apostolorum”—“to the threshold (of the tombs) of the apostles.” This means they pray at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome and personally report to Saint Peter’s successor. These visits are a prime example of the primacy of the pope, which is exercised daily in a thousand different ways, a core duty far more significant than the pope’s infallibility, which is exercised rarely. There is no office of Saint Paul in the Church. When Paul died, his office died. Everyone who evangelizes and preaches acts as another Saint Paul. But the barque of Peter is still afloat in rough seas, pinned to the stout tombs which, like anchors, hold her fast from their submerged posts under today’s Basilicas. A church is not just a building, any more than a home is just a house. A church, like a home, is a repository of memories, a sacred venue, and a corner of rest. On today’s feast, we recall that certain churches can also be graveyards. Today’s Basilicas are sacred burial grounds, indoor cities of the dead, whose citizens will rise from beneath their smooth marble floors at the end of time, like a thousand suns dawning as one over the morning horizon.

Holy martyrs Peter and Paul, your tombs are the sacred destinations of many pilgrimages to the eternal city. May all visits to the Basilicas dedicated to your honor deepen one’s love and commitment to Mother Church.

Leave a comment

November 17, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
Lectionary: 498

Reading 1 – RV 3:1-6, 14-22

I, John, heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:

“‘The one who has the seven spirits of God
and the seven stars says this: “I know your works,
that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful and strengthen what is left, which is going to die,
for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
Remember then how you accepted and heard; keep it, and repent.
If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief,
and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.
However, you have a few people in Sardis
who have not soiled their garments;
they will walk with me dressed in white,
because they are worthy.

“‘The victor will thus be dressed in white,
and I will never erase his name from the book of life
but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father
and of his angels.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

“To the angel of the Church in Laodicea, write this:

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God’s creation, says this:
“I know your works;
I know that you are neither cold nor hot.
I wish you were either cold or hot.
So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’
and yet do not realize that you are wretched,
pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich,
and white garments to put on
so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed,
and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.
Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise.
Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

“‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him,
and he with me.
I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

“‘Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Responsorial Psalm – 15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5

R.    (Rev. 3: 21) I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R.    I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R.    I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R.    I will seat the victor beside me on my throne.

Alleluia – 1 JN 4:10B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God loved us, and send his Son
as expiation for our sins.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Leave a comment

November 17, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious


For the readings on Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious
Lectionary: 678

Reading 1 – 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 anyone who is a murderer
does not have 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 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 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 13:34

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

Gospel – LK 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say,
love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
1207–1231

A faithful wife and mother loses her husband and becomes a model lay Franciscan

The marriage of today’s saint was not any less happy for being arranged. Elizabeth of Hungary’s parents betrothed her at the age of four to a young German nobleman named Ludwig and sent her away as a child to live in his family’s court. Elizabeth wed Ludwig when she was fourteen and he twenty-one.  Only in a post-industrial age have the teenage years been understood, in some countries but not all, as a time of self-discovery, boundary pushing, rejection of tradition, and excuse for total confusion. Puberty, not the entire span of teen years, was historically understood as the passage to adulthood, responsibility, and a professional life. It was typical of her era, and many other eras, that Elizabeth would marry at fourteen. She was ready and became a contented, serious, and successful wife and mother, bearing three children, while still a teen.

Before Ludwig left on Crusade in 1227, he and Elizabeth vowed never to remarry if one were to die before the other. Then Ludwig died on his way to the Holy Land. Elizabeth was distraught but fulfilled her promise. So at the age of twenty, her already pious and prayerful soul waded into deeper Christian waters. Her mortifications became more rigorous, her financial generosity more total, and her prayer time more all consuming. Most of all, Elizabeth’s life now began to revolve almost uniquely around the poor, the aged, and the sick. She opened a hospice near a relative’s castle and there welcomed anyone in need.

Elizabeth also fell under the spell of a charismatic and over-bearing spiritual director who insisted that she make the most severe emotional and physical sacrifices in her quest for perfection. As a sign of her commitment to the poor, and to aid her in conquering herself, Elizabeth took the habit of a Third Order Franciscan in 1227. Franciscanism was spreading like wildfire throughout Europe, and Elizabeth was not the only noblewoman far from Assisi to be drawn to the message of Saint Francis so soon after his death. A native Hungarian, who came in search of Elizabeth in Germany at this time, was shocked to find her dressed in drab grey clothes, poor, and sitting at a spinning wheel in her hospice. He begged Elizabeth to return to her father’s royal court in Hungary. She refused. She would stay near the tomb of her husband, stay near her children, now in the care of nuns and relatives, and stay close to the poor whom she loved so much.

Most likely worn out by her austerities and near constant contact with the sick, Elizabeth died at the age of twenty-four on November 17, 1231. Miracles were attributed to her intercession soon after her burial, and testimonies to her holiness were collected so rapidly that she was canonized by the pope just four years after her death. In 1236 a shrine was dedicated to her memory in Marburg, Germany, and her remains were transferred there amidst great ceremony. Pilgrims continued trekking to her shrine throughout the middle ages, until a Lutheran prince, full of dissenting Protestant spit and vinegar, removed Elizabeth’s relics from her shrine in 1539. They have never been recovered.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, we seek your heavenly intercession on this date of your early death. Help all young mothers to persevere in their vocations and all young widows to not despair but to be confident as they walk forward in life, knowing that Christ is at their side. 

Leave a comment

November 16, 2020


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

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

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 497

Reading 1 – RV 1:1-4; 2:1-5

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him,
to show his servants what must happen soon.
He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
who gives witness to the word of God
and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud
and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message
and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.

John, to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace
from him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven spirits before his throne.

I heard the Lord saying to me:
“To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this:

“‘The one who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks in the midst of the seven gold lampstands says this:
“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance,
and that you cannot tolerate the wicked;
you have tested those who call themselves Apostles but are not,
and discovered that they are impostors.
Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name,
and you have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you:
you have lost the love you had at first.
Realize how far you have fallen.
Repent, and do the works you did at first.
Otherwise, I will come to you
and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”’”

Responsorial Psalm – 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R.    (Rev. 2:17) Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R.    Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R.    Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R.    Those who are victorious I will feed from the tree of life.

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 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Leave a comment

November 16, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Gertrude, virgin


For the readings on Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Gertrude, virgin
Lectionary: 677

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 23:1B-3A, 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.
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 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 – 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 – JN 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Saint Gertrude the Great, Virgin
1256-1302

Incandescent visions of Christ drew her into the deep

Today’s saint, known as Saint Gertrude the Great, is one of the most provocative spiritual writers in the long and rich history of the Church. When just a child, she was placed in the care of Benedictine nuns, perhaps because of her parents’ early deaths. The high walls surrounding the cloister broadened the young girl’s mind, instead of confining it. For Gertrude, as for so many women of her era restricted by custom to narrow cultural lanes, a monastery-sponsored education amidst a self-governing community of women was superior to the forms of life otherwise available to them. Gertrude flourished in religious life and became well versed in the humanities, theology, and Latin, a language which she showed mastery of in her spiritual writings. At the age of twenty-five, Sister Gertrude had a jarring spiritual experience which would divide her life dramatically into two halves, “before” and “after.” “Before,” Gertrude was a faithful nun but overly interested in secular writers and knowledge for knowledge’s sake. “After,” she buried her head in Scripture, read widely in the Fathers of the Church, and melted under the high-amperage gaze beaming at her from the eyes of Christ. 

Gertrude struggled to convey in words the richness of her spiritual experiences. A distillation of her visions covers five volumes known in English as the Revelations of Saint Gertrude. Metaphors, adjectives, and other superlatives flow from our saint’s pen on page after page as she tries to capture the incandescent mystery of what she sees, hears, and feels. In a heavy, syrupy style common to her era, Saint Gertrude oozes about the intense love of Christ for mankind as symbolized by His Sacred Heart. More than three centuries before the visions of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in France, Saint Gertrude had visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus! In one vision, Saint John the Evangelist placed Gertrude close to Christ’s wounded side, where she could feel His pulsating heart. Gertrude asks John why he did not reveal the mystery of Christ’s loving heart to mankind. Saint John responds that his duty was to reveal the very person of Christ, but it was for later ages, colder and more arid in their love of God, to discover His Sacred Heart. 

Gertrude lived a “nuptial mysticism”in which she was Christ’s bride and the Mass was the wedding banquet at which a chaste self-giving consummated the sacred bond of lover and beloved. Gertrude’s vowed virginity was the proof and basis of her enduring commitment to Christ, a promise made in the company of His mother, Mary, and all the angels and saints. Gertrude composed her spiritual diaries at the express command of her spouse, Christ. Their hymns, prayers, and reflections also show a profound concern for the holy souls in purgatory. Gertrude continually begged Christ’s mercy on them, and Christ responded that merely petitioning for the release of such souls was sufficient for Him to grant the favor.

In Gertrude’s visions, Jesus speaks to her almost exclusively at Mass and during the Liturgy of the Hours. This is consoling. Most Catholics meet Christ more through the Sacraments than through books, so Christ appearing in priestly vestments, holding a chalice, or standing at an altar is absolutely congruent with our experience of Sunday Mass. Apart from her writings, few details of Gertrude’s life are known. She left virtually no footprint besides her life of quiet fidelity as a contemplative nun.  Like John the Baptist, she decreased so the Lord could increase. Gertrude’s alluring private revelations became common spiritual reading among the saints of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and continue to fire the imagination of all who read them today.

Saint Gertrude, as we turn the pages of your mystical revelations, we meet the true Christ, so powerful yet so close to us in His Sacred Heart. May we respond as you did to Jesus’ invitation and dedicate our lives totally to Him.

Leave a comment

November 16, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Margaret of Scotland


For the readings on Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret of Scotland
Lectionary: 676

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 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 – JN 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
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.
This I command you: love one another.”

Saint Margaret of Scotland
c. 1045-1093

A foreign-born royal becomes queen and inspires by her refinement and devotion

In the early eleventh century, a Danish Viking named Canute reigned as King of England. Canute exiled his potential rivals from an Anglo-Saxon royal family. One of these exiles, Edward, made his way to Hungary, married, and had a daughter named Margaret who grew up in a well-educated, royal, Catholic home. Margaret’s father eventually returned to England at the request of the king, his uncle Saint Edward the Confessor, and he brought his family with him, including Margaret. But Edward died shortly after coming home, leaving Margaret fatherless, and then Edward the Confessor died without an heir. War broke out. In 1066 at the Battle of Hastings, the Anglo-Saxon English lost to the Norman French. Margaret and her siblings were displaced to Scotland, far away from French efforts to eradicate Anglo-Saxon royals who had claims to the English throne. Thus was the circuitous route by which a woman of English blood who grew up in Hungary is commemorated today as Saint Margaret of Scotland.

Saint Margaret was known to her contemporaries as an educated, refined, and pious woman. She married a Scottish King named Malcolm who was far more rustic than herself. He could not even read. The earliest Life of Margaret, written by a monk who personally knew her, states that Malcolm depended on his wife’s sage advice and admired her prayerfulness. According to Margaret’s biographer, Malcolm saw “that Christ truly dwelt in her heart…What she rejected, he rejected…what she loved, he, for love of her, loved too.” Malcolm embellished Margaret’s devotional books with gold and silver. One of these books, a selection of Gospel passages with illuminated miniatures of the four Evangelists, still exists and is preserved in an English museum. King Malcolm and Queen Margaret, along with their six sons and two daughters, truly created a domestic church centered on Christ. One son, David, became a national hero as King of Scotland and is popularly referred to as a saint.

Margaret’s presence infused the unsophisticated, rural, Scottish court with culture. She brought her more Roman experiences of Church life with her to Scotland, and so pulled the Scottish Church into conformity with Roman and continental practice regarding the dating and observance of Lent and Easter. She encouraged the faithful to more fully observe Sunday by not working and, like so many medieval royals, she was also a prolific foundress of monasteries, including one she intended to be the burial place for Scottish kings and queens. Margaret was known for her concern for the poor, for dedicating hours a day to prayer and spiritual reading, and for her skill in embroidering vestments and church linens.

Saint Margaret died, not yet fifty years old, just a few days after she was informed that her husband and son were killed in battle. Margaret and Malcolm were buried together under the high altar of a monastery. Devotion to the holy queen began soon after her death, and she was canonized in 1250.

Saint Margaret of Scotland, you were the model of a virtuous queen who cared for both the spiritual and material welfare of your people. Inspire all leaders to give personal witness to holiness so that, through their leadership role, they inspire their people to be more virtuous.

Leave a comment

November 15, 2020


Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 157

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 works with loving 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 for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (CF. 1A) 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.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
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.

Reading 2 – 1 THES 5:1-6

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come
like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security, “
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.

Alleluia – JN 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord.
Whoever remains in me bears much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Or
Mt 25:14-15, 19-21

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.'”

Leave a comment

November 14, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 496

Reading 1 – 3 JN 5-8

Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers and sisters,
especially for strangers;
they have testified to your love before the Church.
Please help them in a way worthy of God to continue their journey.
For they have set out for the sake of the Name
and are accepting nothing from the pagans.
Therefore, we ought to support such persons,
so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

Responsorial Psalm – 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    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.

Alleluia – SEE 2 THES 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel,
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Leave a comment

November 13, 2020


Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin
Lectionary: 495

Reading 1 – 2 JN 4-9

[Chosen Lady:]
I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth
just as we were commanded by the Father.
But now, Lady, I ask you,
not as though I were writing a new commandment
but the one we have had from the beginning:
let us love one another.
For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments;
this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning,
in which you should walk.

Many deceivers have gone out into the world,
those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh;
such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for
but may receive a full recompense.
Anyone who is so “progressive”
as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God;
whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.

Responsorial Psalm – 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18

R.    (1B) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
 With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R.    Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Alleluia – LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”

Leave a comment

November 12, 2020


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

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 494

Reading 1 – PHMN 7-20

Beloved:
I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love,
because the hearts of the holy ones
have been refreshed by you, brother.
Therefore, although I have the full right in Christ
to order you to do what is proper,
I rather urge you out of love,
being as I am, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment,
who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me.
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the Gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
And if he has done you any injustice
or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Paul, write this in my own hand: I will pay.
May I not tell you that you owe me your very self.
Yes, brother, may I profit from you in the Lord.
Refresh my heart in Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – 146:7, 8-9A, 9BC-10

R.    (5A) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R.    Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Leave a comment

November 12, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr


For the readings on the Memorial of Saint Josaphat, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr
Lectionary: 674

Reading 1 – EPH 4:1-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R.    (40:5A) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    (2A) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    (92:13-14)  The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.

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.”

Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
1580 – 1623

A holy monk and bishop is murdered for his desire to unify East and West

Saint Josaphat died for something few in his era died for—ecumenism. In fact, the word ecumenism did not even exist when Josaphat was martyred. Josaphat was born in Ukraine but grew to manhood working a trade in Vilnius, Lithuania. In his late teens, he felt called to be a monk, so he rejected an offer of marriage and joined a monastery in Vilnius in 1604. Josaphat’s austerities, intelligence, and prayerfulness made him a natural leader, and he was duly ordained a deacon and priest and earned a reputation as an effective preacher.

But it was a historic decision by Orthodox religious leaders, about ten years before Josaphat became a monk, that would bend the arc of his life and eventually lead to his death. In 1595 the Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev and five other Orthodox bishops representing millions of Ruthenian (Ukrainian and Belarusian) faithful met in the city of Brest and signed a declaration of their intention to enter into union with the Bishop of Rome. The Pope accepted their conversion from Orthodox to Catholic, while allowing them to keep their Byzantine liturgical rites and traditions. The Union of Brest was a one-of-a-kind event. Yet it triggered Orthodox violence and bitterness toward the Catholic Church which has endured into modern times.

Josaphat joyfully embraced the entrance of his native Orthodox faith into the Catholic fold. But he also insisted that the Eastern traditions of his pan-Slavic people should perdure, and be respected, while his people ecclesiastically migrated into the paddock of the Roman Pontiff. Unity, yes. Uniformity, no. The Church, historically, had long been composed of various liturgical traditions reflecting its numerous cultures. The Latin Rite, though, eventually predominated as Western nations grew stronger and colonized huge chunks of the world. The Union of Brest’s careful balance of accepting theological and jurisdictional unity with Rome while insisting on liturgical distinctiveness was confusing to many of the faithful Slavic peasants of Northeastern Europe. Nonetheless, when Josaphat was named a Bishop in present day Belarusia, he continued to champion the union with Rome with all his considerable powers and was largely successful in curtailing Orthodox clergy from exercising ministry in his diocese.

Because he represented something new, an Eastern Rite Catholic, Josaphat was misunderstood by his co-religionists who should have supported him the most, particularly Polish and Lithuanian bishops and princes. The tensions of the time came to a head when an Orthodox bishop established a competing diocesan and parish structure alongside that of Josaphat’s diocese and parishes. The faithful experienced two church structures that were virtually identical in their liturgy but divergent in their leaders and lines of authority. In response to Orthodoxy’s aggressive incursion into his ecclesial territory, Josaphat put his usual vigor into preaching and teaching the importance of union with Rome. But in 1623, while seeking to stop an Orthodox priest from secretly ministering in his jurisdiction, Josaphat was ambushed by Orthodox faithful who conspired with their leaders to rid themselves of this thief of souls. Saint Josaphat was brutally attacked by a mob, his head was cleaved by an axe, and his body dumped into a river. Josaphat was beatified in 1643 and canonized in 1867. In the twentieth century, Josaphat’s remains were brought to Rome and buried under the altar of Saint Basil in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Saint Josaphat, you gave your life attempting to bring East and West together. Give us your spirit of unity so that our prayers bring all Christians into common union under the leadership of a common head, the successor of Saint Peter.

Leave a comment

November 11, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Lectionary: 493

Reading 1 – TI 3:1-7

Beloved:
Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities,
to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise.
They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate,
exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded,
slaves to various desires and pleasures,
living in malice and envy,
hateful ourselves and hating one another.

But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Responsorial Psalm – 23:1B-3A, 3BC-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 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 – 1 THES 5:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Leave a comment

November 11, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, bishop


For the readings on Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, bishop
Lectionary: 673

Reading 1 – IS 61:1-3ABCD

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God,
to comfort all who mourn;
To place on those who mourn in Zion
a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning,
a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.

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

R.    (see 2A) For ever 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 13:34

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

Gospel – MT 25:31-40

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
c. 336 – 397

He gave half his cloak to a beggar, had a dream, and then gave all his life to Christ

Many great and holy men and women are unknown to history because they lacked the one crucial ingredient to become well known—a biographer. Today’s saint was one of the fortunate ones. A historian named Sulpicius Severus personally knew and interviewed Martin in the last years of Martin’s life and put it all on parchment. In an age of few books, Sulpicius’ Life of Saint Martin was a blockbuster. Over many decades and centuries, it slipped into the bloodstream of European culture until, by the medieval age, the Life was standard reading in all monasteries. Virtually every priest and monk in Europe was deeply familiar with the details of the life of Saint Martin of Tours.

The typical biography of a saint for the first few centuries of Christianity worked from the back to the front, from death to life. The real drama was how the saint died, not how he or she lived. Tales of bloody martyrdom, solitary exile, starvation and exposure were as moving and unfortunate as they were common. The Life of Saint Martin told of Martin’s adventures and heroism in living the faith, not just about his last few breaths. He was a saint for the new age of legalized Christianity. Martin of Tours died in his bed.

Martin was born to pagan parents in present-day Hungary but desired to become a Christian from a young age. His father resisted his son’s holy desires and obliged Martin to follow in his footsteps and serve as a soldier in Rome’s Imperial Guard. Martin was serving in France when the most iconic moment of his life took place. Martin was slowly approaching the city gates of Amiens on horseback one cold winter evening. A half-naked man shivered on the ground, begging for help. No one stopped. No one helped. So Martin, clad as a soldier, pulled the cloak from his back, drew his sharp sword from its scabbard, and sliced his cloak in two. The poor man’s skeletal frame was covered with just half of the cloak. That same night, when Martin fell asleep, he had a dream. Jesus appeared to him clad in the cloak and said “Martin, still a catechumen, covered me with this garment.” Upon awakening, Sulpicius tells his reader, “Martin flew to be baptized.”

Martin subsequently befriended one of the great men of Gaul of that era, Saint Hilary of Poitiers, who ordained him into minor orders. After various apostolic adventures, Martin was chosen the Bishop of Tours in 372. In his twenty-five years as bishop, Martin was zealous, and jealous, for the House of the Lord. He aggressively tore down pagan temples, which he understood to be dedicated to demons. He traveled incessantly and was untiring in evangelizing the people of the countryside of Gaul and in founding churches. Martin also developed a reputation as a miracle worker and prophet. He cured the eye problems of Saint Paulinus of Nola, Saint Augustine’s good friend.

By the time of his peaceful death, Bishop Martin of Tours had a well-deserved reputation for holiness. Devotion to Martin spread as Sulpicius’ biography was copied and shared. Numerous churches were named in Martin’s honor in every country of Europe. England had one hundred seventy-three churches dedicated to Martin of Tours in 1800. The Shrine over Martin’s tomb was one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in all of Europe until France was riven by Reformation violence in the 1560s.  In an interesting vestige of Martin’s enduring historic importance, Martin’s feast day in the Breviary is more fully elaborated with prayers and antiphons than almost any comparable saint on the Church’s calendar.

Saint Martin of Tours, your encounter with the beggar has fired the imagination of countless Christians. You were generous in every single way in living your faith. Through your intercession in heaven, assist us now to see Jesus in everyone, just as you did then.

Leave a comment

November 10, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 492

Reading 1 – TI 2:1-8, 11-14

Beloved:
You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm – 37:3-4, 18 AND 23, 27 AND 29

R.    (39A) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R.    The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R.    The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R.    The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia

Gospel – LK 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

Leave a comment

November 10, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church


For the readings on Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 672

Reading 1 – SIR 39:6-11

If it pleases the LORD Almighty,
he who studies the law of the Most High
will be filled with the spirit of understanding;
He will pour forth his words of wisdom
and in prayer give thanks to the LORD,
Who will direct his knowledge and his counsel,
as he meditates upon his mysteries.
He will show the wisdom of what he has learned
and glory in the law of the LORD’s covenant.
Many will praise his understanding;
his fame can never be effaced;
Unfading will be his memory,
through all generations his name will live;
Peoples will speak of his wisdom,
and in assembly sing his praises.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 37:3-4, 5-6, 30-31

R.    (30A)  The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Trust in the LORD and do good
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom
and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Alleluia – MK 1:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
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.”

St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor
Late Fourth Century – 461

A Pope vigorously exercises his universal ministry and defines Christ’s divinity

History has so far conferred on just two popes the title of “Great,” and today’s saint is one of them. Leo the Great’s origins are obscure, so nothing is known with certainty of his early life. He was, though, ordained into Holy Orders and rose to prominence as a papal advisor in the 420s. He corresponded with imminent theologians and acted as a papal emissary before he was elected Bishop of Rome in 440. Leo was a pope’s pope. He expanded the power and influence of the papacy at every opportunity. The Church’s earliest theological tradition rooted Rome’s primacy in the double martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul in the eternal city. No other city could claim to have been sanctified by the blood of two martyrs. Pope Leo, however, emphasized what was to become a more dominant argument for papal supremacy—that the pope’s authority is not rooted merely on the historical fact that Peter and Paul died on roman ground but on the theological fact that the Bishop of Rome occupies the Chair of Saint Peter.

By word and action, Leo repeatedly taught that the pope’s power was unequaled and without borders, that the pope was the head of all the world’s bishops, and that every bishop could have direct recourse to the pope, and not just to the local archbishop, in disputed matters. Pope Leo thus accelerated an existing tendency consolidating church governance and authority under a Roman umbrella. Regional or even local decision-making by individual dioceses or groups of dioceses did occur. But in important theological, moral, or legal matters that affected the entire church, every bishop rotated in a steady orbit within the powerful gravitational field of Rome. Pope Leo also enacted a more aggressive papal role directly overseeing and enforcing discipline over bishops,  intervening in and settling disputes. The Catholic Church is not an international federation of dioceses, after all. It needs a strong center of gravity to ensure that centrifugal forces do not unwind the universal church into a galaxy of independent national churches, united in name only.

Nowhere was Leo’s authority exercised more clearly and successfully than at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The theological issue at stake concerned Christ’s divinity. Some theologians in the East were espousing the Monophysite heresy, which argued that Christ had only one divine  nature. The Council consisted of six hundred bishops from the Eastern Roman Empire, with a handful from Africa. Leo sent three legates from Italy who were treated with all honor and respect as representatives of Peter’s successor. They read out loud to the Council Fathers the “Tome of Leo” on the Incarnation. The pope’s words laid out, with force, clarity, and eloquence, that Jesus Christ had both a divine and a human nature “without confusion or admixture.” When the legates finished reading, the bishops’ common response to the pope’s words was “This is the faith of the fathers; this is the faith of the apostles…Let anyone who believes otherwise be anathema. Peter has spoken through the mouth of Leo.” The Tome of Leo from then on became the teaching of the Catholic Church. If Christ were not truly man, or not truly God, the babe in the manger would be just another child whose birth was no more worthy of celebration than that of Julius Cesar, Gandhi, or Marco Polo. Pope Leo the Great saved Christmas.

In 452 Pope Leo entered the history books when he rendezvoused with Attila the Hun in Northern Italy, convincing him not to sack Rome. A legend says that Attila turned back because he saw Saints Peter and Paul standing right behind Leo. Pope Leo governed the Church as the Western Roman Empire was slowly disintegrating. He was courageous in alleviating poverty, protecting Rome from invaders, and maintaining Rome’s Christian heritage. While outstanding as an effective and practical leader, Pope Leo is most known for the concision, depth, and clarity of his sermons and letters, for which he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1754. He was the first pope, after Saint Peter himself, buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica. His remains lie under a beautiful marble relief sculpture of his famous meeting with Attila.

Pope Saint Leo the Great, give to the Pope and all bishops pastoral hearts, sharp minds, and courageous wills, so that they may lead the Church by personal example, by correct teaching, and by their caring little for worldly criticism.

Leave a comment

November 9, 2020


Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Lectionary: 671

Reading 1 – EZ 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Responsorial Psalm – 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R.    (5) The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R.    The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R.    The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R.    The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

Reading 2 – 1 COR 3:9C-11, 16-17

Brothers and sisters:
You are God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Alleluia – 2 CHR 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord,
that my name may be there forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 2:13-22

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

Leave a comment

November 8, 2020


Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 154

Reading 1 – WIS 6:12-16

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom,
and she is readily perceived by those who love her,
and found by those who seek her.
She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire;
Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed,
for he shall find her sitting by his gate.
For taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence,
and whoever for her sake keeps vigil
shall quickly be free from care;
because she makes her own rounds, seeking those worthy of her,
and graciously appears to them in the ways,
and meets them with all solicitude.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

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.
I will remember you upon my couch,
and through the night-watches I will meditate on you:
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
R. My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.

Reading 2 – 1 THES 4:13-18 OR 4:13-14

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive,
who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

OR

We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

Alleluia – MT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake and be ready!
For you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
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.”

Leave a comment

November 7, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 490

Reading 1 – PHIL 4:10-19

Brothers and sisters:
I rejoice greatly in the Lord
that now at last you revived your concern for me.
You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity.
Not that I say this because of need,
for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself,
to be self-sufficient.
I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances;
I know also how to live with abundance.
In every circumstance and in all things
I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need.
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.
Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

You Philippians indeed know that at the beginning of the Gospel,
when I left Macedonia,
not a single church shared with me
in an account of giving and receiving, except you alone.
For even when I was at Thessalonica
you sent me something for my needs,
not only once but more than once.
It is not that I am eager for the gift;
rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account.
I have received full payment and I abound.
I am very well supplied because of what I received from you
through Epaphroditus,
“a fragrant aroma,” an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
My God will fully supply whatever you need,
in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – 112:1B-2, 5-6, 8A AND 9

R.    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.
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.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
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 – 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 – LK 16:9-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all these things and sneered at him.
And he said to them,
“You justify yourselves in the sight of others,
but God knows your hearts;
for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”

Leave a comment

November 6, 2020


Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 489

Reading 1 – PHIL 3:17—4:1

Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
and observe those who thus conduct themselves
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears,
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified Body
by the power that enables him also
to bring all things into subjection to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved. 

Responsorial Psalm – 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R.    (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R.    Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R.    Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R.    Let us go rejoicing to the house of 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 – LK 16:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’  
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than the children of light.”

Leave a comment

November 5, 2020


Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 488

Reading 1 – PHIL 3:3-8A

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.  
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.    (3B) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R.    Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R.    Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R.    Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – MT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Leave a comment

November 4, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
Lectionary: 487

Reading 1 – PHIL 2:12-18

My beloved, obedient as you have always been,
not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent,
work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning,
that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish
in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world,
as you hold on to the word of life,
so that my boast for the day of Christ may be
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
But, even if I am poured out as a libation
upon the sacrificial service of your faith,
I rejoice and share my joy with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.

Responsorial Psalm – 27:1, 4, 13-14

R.    (1A) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R.    The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Alleluia – 1 PT 4:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”

Leave a comment

November 4, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop


For the readings on Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop
Lectionary: 670

Reading 1 – ROM 12:3-13

Brothers and sisters:
By the grace given to me I tell everyone among you
not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think,
but to think soberly,
each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.
For as in one body we have many parts,
and all the parts do not have the same function,
so we, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them:
if prophecy, in proportion to the faith;
if ministry, in ministering;
if one is a teacher, in teaching;
if one exhorts, in exhortation;
if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence;
if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.

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

R.    (see 2A) 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 10:11-16

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
1538 – 1584

A young nobleman becomes a Cardinal, exemplifies holiness, and reforms the Church

Today’s saint was born in a castle to an aristocratic family. His father was a count, his mother a Medici, and his uncle a pope. This last fact was to determine the trajectory of Charles Borromeo’s entire life. Pope Pius IV (1559–1565) was the brother of Charles’ mother. At the tender age of twelve, Charles received the external sign of permanent religious commitment, the shaving of the scalp known as tonsure. He was industrious and extremely bright and received advanced degrees in theology and law in his native northern Italy. In 1560 his uncle ordered him to Rome and made him a Cardinal at the age of just twenty-one, even though Charles was not yet ordained a priest or bishop. This was brazen nepotism. But in this instance it was also genius. The Cardinal-nephew was a man of rare gifts and his high office afforded him a wide forum to give those gifts their fullest expression.

At the Holy See, Charles was loaded down with immense responsibilities. He oversaw large religious orders. He was the papal legate to important cities in the papal states. He was the Cardinal Protector of Portugal, the Low Countries, and Switzerland. And, on top of all this, he was named administrator of the enormous Archdiocese of Milan. Charles was so bound to his Roman obligations, however, that he was unable to escape to visit Milan’s faithful who were under his pastoral care. Non-resident heads of dioceses were common at the time. This pained Charles, who would only be able to minister in his diocese years later. Cardinal Borromeo was a tireless and methodical laborer in the Holy See who nevertheless always found ample time to care for his own soul.

When Pope Pius IV decided to reconvene the long suspended Council of Trent, the Holy Spirit placed Cardinal Borromeo in just the right place at just the right time. In 1562 the Council Fathers met once again, largely due to the energy and planning of Charles. In its last sessions the Council completed it most decisive work of doctrinal and pastoral reform. Charles was particularly influential in the Council’s decrees on the liturgy and in its catechism, both of which were to have an enduring and direct influence on universal Catholic life for over four centuries. Charles was the driving force and indispensable man at the Council, yet he was still just in his mid-twenties, being ordained a priest and bishop in 1563 in the heat of the Council’s activities.

In 1566, after his uncle had died and a new pope granted his request, Charles was at last able to reside in Milan as its Archbishop. There had not been a resident bishop there for over eighty years! There was much neglect of faith and morals to overcome. Charles had the unique opportunity to personally implement the Tridentine reforms he had played such a key role in writing. He founded seminaries, improved training for priests, stamped out ecclesiastical bribery, improved preaching and catechetical instruction, and combatted widespread religious superstition. He became widely loved by the faithful for his personal generosity and heroism in combating a devastating famine and plague. He stayed in Milan when most civil officials abandoned it. He went into personal debt to feed thousands. Charles attended two retreats every year, went to confession daily, mortified himself continually, and was a model Christian, if an austere one, in every way. This one-man army for God, this icon of a Counter Reformation priest and bishop, died in Milan at the age of forty-six after his brief but intense life of work and prayer. Devotion to Charles began immediately, and he was canonized in 1610.

Saint Charles Borromeo, your personal life embodied what you taught. You held yourself and others to the highest standards of Christian living. From your place in heaven, hear our prayers and grant us what we ask for our own good and that of the Church.

Leave a comment

November 3, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, please go here.

Tuesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 486

Reading 1 – PHIL 2:5-11

Brothers and sisters:
Have among yourselves the same attitude
that is also yours in Christ Jesus,

Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and, found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Responsorial Psalm – 22:26B-27, 28-30AB, 30E, 31-32

R.    (26a) I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him.
The lowly shall eat their fill;    
they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
“May your hearts be ever merry!”
R.    I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the LORD;
All the families of the nations
shall bow down before him.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
For dominion is the LORD’s,
 and he rules the nations.
To him alone shall bow down
all who sleep in the earth.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
To him my soul shall live;
my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
the justice he has shown.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.

Alleluia – MT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 14:15-24

One of those at table with Jesus said to him,
“Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.”
He replied to him,
“A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many.
When the time for the dinner came,
he dispatched his servant to say to those invited,
‘Come, everything is now ready.’
But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.
The first said to him,
‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen
and am on my way to evaluate them;
I ask you, consider me excused.’
And another said, ‘I have just married a woman,
and therefore I cannot come.’
The servant went and reported this to his master.
Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant,
‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out
and still there is room.’
The master then ordered the servant,
‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in that my home may be filled.
For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

Leave a comment

November 3, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, religious


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

Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, religious
Lectionary: 669

Reading 1 – PHIL 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again:  rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

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 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.”

St. Martin de Porres, Religious
1575 – 1639

A mixed-race Dominican brother does many jobs well and works miracles

Today’s saint was born in colonial Lima, Peru, to a well-connected Spanish father and a black Panamanian mother who had been a slave. While parentage is revealing, focusing uniquely on someone’s origins can also be a lazy shortcut which reduces a complex person to mere bloodlines, leaving aside a thousand more compelling factors that make a life interesting. It would be difficult, however, to overemphasize just how much Martin de Porres’ mulatto origins (Spanish and black) impacted his life. Even though his father was perfectly well known, Martin’s baptism registration reads “Son of an unknown father,” making Martin illegitimate, a severe disadvantage. To be half black in colonial Latin America was to start life’s race ten miles behind. Catching up to the Spanish-born (Peninsulares) or to the locally born pure blood Spanish (Criollos) would be impossible. On the many runged ladder of social acceptability in the Spanish colonies, Martin was just above an African slave.

Martin’s father did make sure, however, that his son received a good education and enrolled him as a barber-surgeon apprentice in Lima. Martin learned how to set fractures, dress wounds, and treat infections according to the best practices of his era. And from his mother he learned some unconventional herbal remedies that rounded out his more traditional medical education. These skills would hold Martin in good stead throughout his life. He treated the sick and injured regularly and, over time, earned a reputation as an extraordinary healer. He aided in founding a hospital and orphanage in Lima, distributed food to the poor, and cared for recently arrived African slaves. His extraordinary charity was his greatest attribute. You need candles? Of course. Blankets? One moment, please. Shoes and a comb? I’ll be back. Miracles and cures? Yes, God bless you. Martin de Porres became famous for doing many things—very many things—and doing them all well and with a smile.

In addition to his life of interrupted service, Martin was also a spiritual warrior. He became a Dominican lay brother but never a priest. He lived in community and proudly wore the Dominican habit. He had a self-deprecating sense of humor that jokingly acknowledged his lowly mulatto status. He abstained from meat, spent long hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and was witnessed displaying supernatural gifts. He levitated. He bilocated. His room filled with light. He possessed knowledge he could in no way have possessed naturally. His wide array of natural and supernatural gifts made him famous in Lima. When his life came to an end at the age of sixty, his body was publicly shown, and pieces of his habit were discreetly clipped off as relics.

Martin de Porres, canonized in 1962, was among the first generation of saints from the New World, along with his contemporaries Saints Rose of Lima and Turibius of Mogrovejo. Martin was also the first mulatto saint. He lived a traditionally pious spirituality in keeping with the medieval saints of Europe. But he was not from Europe, did not enjoy a European education and did not have pure European blood. Saint Martin proved the Catholic Faith could migrate across the Atlantic Ocean intact. The ancient faith found a home in a mulatto soul. Catholicism had successfully made the passage to a new land, and immediately drove its roots deep into that land’s native soil, converting a new mixed-race people to an old religion, making Jesus Christ the Lord of Latin America. Saint Martin de Porres was a harbinger of many good things to come.

Saint Martin de Porres, we present our humble petitions to you, so that your faith and humility may bring them to our Father in Heaven. You were close to both God and man on earth. Continue to be close to us as you live with the Lord in heaven and seek favors on our behalf.

Leave a comment

Day Of The Dead For Life


Reflection on Mass Reading for November 2, 2020

Today, as many of us already know, is also referred to as the Day of the Dead, and although that may seem remarkably somber and even morbid, it is the truth. Life is good, but it certainly has a beginning and an end with great filler in between, and today we are called to reflect on the weighty and sobering aspects of its conclusion. The Scripture Readings for today may, in fact, sound familiar to some because they are the same, in part, as many of the Funeral selections, and they are meant to give witness to the mystery of life and death so we may go forward in faith and love. Let’s take a look at a few gems:

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them.” We are made timely aware of the truth of things as we experience them, that is, that even death, we are with the Lord who loves and comforts us, especially in our moments of sorrow. “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” No matter where our lives take us, the one constant is change, which included the dark day of death, is the constant presence is Jesus who never abandons those He loves. “If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.” What a remarkable statement that is being made here! Death is actually something we share with Jesus. Because of that, we also share in His victory over death and all the contraptions that accompany our experience of it, especially grief and dark isolation. “And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'” Perhaps the most poignant and pertinent of all the passages comes to us from the Gospel today. We have been presented with the opportunity to reach out to Christ in each other every day we have been alive. It is as if we have been either depositing or withdrawing from a spiritual bank account filled with love, kindness, and generosity. When the bank closes for good, we spend eternity based on the final reckoning. Be hopeful and generous today, and pray for those who have died with those you love knowing full well that they one they will be praying for you.

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –
Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –
Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity”

Emily Dickinson

View COVID-19 NOVENA 

Leave a comment

November 2, 2020


The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
(All Souls)
Lectionary: 668

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 – 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R.    (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
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.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
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.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
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.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
Only goodness and kindness 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.
or:
R.    Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Reading 2 – ROM 5:5-11

Brothers and sisters:
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,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Alleluia – MT 25:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, you who are blessed by my Father;
inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Today Is Your Day


Reflection on Mass Reading for November 1, 2020

The set of Scriptures we have today are simply breathtaking and inspiring on the Feast of All Saints and critically necessary for us who are trying to “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) in the Lord Jesus without losing hope in the face of all the challenges we face.

Let’s start with the First Reading, taken from the last book of the Bible, Revelation. I can’t think of another sacred book more controversial than this one, also known as the “Apocalypse.” This fascinating and mysterious text, ever since it was written, has been the topic of countless theories, teachings, movements, books, commentaries, and more recently, films and multi-media television series, episodes, and documentaries. Unfortunately, most of them have strayed from the Theological and Scriptural meaning of the Apostle John’s intent and have clearly done much more harm than good. Because of these wild theories, it seems as if every ten years or so, people have been trying to predict the end of the world every time a certain number lines up in a particular order or because of the discovery of some ingenious mathematical equation that spells horrible and imminent destruction. Remember the Year 2000 scare? Or do you recall the December 21, 2012 prediction based on some data from an ancient calendar chiseled on some huge stone that would run out of days on that date? People just get a new rock!

G. K. Chesterton was so right when he wrote, “Though St. John saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as his own commentators.” St. John is clearly speaking to all Christians, all over the world, and all over time. “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” His great and marvelous vision for us, however, was also shaped by the immense suffering inflicted upon the early Church by the great persecutions by the Roman Empire. The Apostle himself was exiled to Pathos’s island from where he actually wrote the book of Revelation. That same political and military power was complicit in the death of Jesus, who many thought would be the kind of leader that would overthrow these invaders and give His people a power beyond all imagining. But the real force and strength bestowed on all who would follow the Lord in every age are that “Beloved, we are God’s children now.” And even though “what we shall be has not yet been revealed,” it most certainly will be revealed in the glorious Resurrection of those who die believing in Christ. “They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.”

This is all beautifully brought together with the proclamation of St. Matthew’s Gospel. As God’s children now and joyfully anticipating our own resurrection, we reasonably ask, “what do we do and how do we act?” Just as Moses in the Old Testament came down the mountain with the Law in the form of the Ten Commandments, Jesus walked up the mountain and fulfilled what the great Law-giver started and mapped out the way to survive “the time of great distress” for each and every one of us. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, the meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, the persecuted and insulted. The Beatitudes create the blueprint of living a beautiful, Christian life. These eight blessings are at the heart of Jesus’ preaching and respond to the natural desire that we all have for true and lasting happiness. This is how we become saints! “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ! Do not be afraid to become the saints of the new millennium! ~Saint John Paul the Great. The Beatitudes also proclaim the blessings and rewards that have already been secured for those who love Jesus. Just imagine, there’s a place in Heaven for you, and it has your name on it. So once again, Happy Feast Day, everyone.

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.” Saint Catherine of Siena

View COVID-19 NOVENA 

Leave a comment

November 1, 2020


Solemnity of All Saints
Lectionary: 667

Reading 1 – RV 7:2-4, 9-14

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm – 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R.    (see 6)  Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R.    Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Reading 2 – 1 JN 3:1-3

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

Alleluia – MT 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 5:1-12A

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment