The Word of God

A Reflection Of God


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 31, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” In 1811, a remarkably beautiful hymn was written entitled with a question that we could address to ourselves today: “What Wondrous Love is This?” When you think about it, it truly is an amazing question to ask today and, in fact, every day we have life. What kind of magnificent love is it that inspired and propelled God to send His Son Jesus Christ to be born in a filthy manger, live a poor life, then be crucified for our sins to win and secure a place in Heaven for us? The third verse of the hymn then explodes with the enthusiastic joy of the awareness that is brought to the one who understands this gift and cannot help but be changed forever: “To God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM, while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, while millions join the theme, I will sing!” We can only imagine the scene in Heaven with these beautiful lyrics as background music.

And now that we have finally reached the end of this grace-filled month, we can see that this wondrous, wonderful love that rains down from Heaven itself reveals the height and depth of such a love that carries us beyond our life here on earth to an eternal reward and life in Heaven. In the Gospel, an honest, soul-searching man brought his journey to the feet of Jesus and was not disappointed: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” What an amazing statement to be told by Jesus Himself! If and when our response to His wondrous love is returned with even the simplest of faith, miracles abound. Let us move forward in this life with new resolve and new hope. Darkness cannot and will not extinguish what we have been given. We will sing: “And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, And through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and through eternity I’ll sing on!” This is because nothing is impossible for God. “Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my father will love him and we will come to him.”

“What [others] most need is to see in you a reflection of what God is like and of the transforming power of the Gospel. Your life can create hunger and thirst for God in others’ lives and can be a powerful instrument in the hand of the Holy Spirit to draw their hearts to Christ.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Leave a comment

October 31, 2021


Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 152

Reading I – DT 6:2-6

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“Fear the LORD, your God,
and keep, throughout the days of your lives,
all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you,
and thus have long life.
Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them,
that you may grow and prosper the more,
in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers,
to give you a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! 
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength. 
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

R. (2)    I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
    O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,
    my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
    and I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD lives!  And blessed be my rock!
    Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
    and showed kindness to your anointed.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

Reading II – HEB 7:23-28

Brothers and sisters:
The levitical priests were many
because they were prevented by death from remaining in office,
but Jesus, because he remains forever,
has a priesthood that does not pass away.
Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, 
since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:
holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,
higher than the heavens.
He has no need, as did the high priests,
to offer sacrifice day after day,
first for his own sins and then for those of the people;
he did that once for all when he offered himself. 
For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests,
but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law,
appoints a son,
who has been made perfect forever.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 12:28B-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?” 
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, 
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.” 
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
‘He is One and there is no other than he.’
And ‘to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself’
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the kingdom of God.” 
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Very Unmusical Chairs


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 30, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

Again we have one of the three installments from Luke’s 14th Chapter of that same evening when Jesus went to eat at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. The first involved the healing of the man with dropsy (yesterday). This is the second incident when Jesus notices that people are scrambling for places of honor. The third moment will conclude with His parable about the great feast thrown by a wealthy guest whose invitees all had excuses and declined the invitation. That must have been some dinner!

There have been hundreds of opinions and commentaries written that attempt to unlock the mystery and meaning of these beautiful passages. Some try to make comments about social eating practices and pseudo-religious self-righteousness of the people of that time; others will comment on the aspects of humility and generosity. In contrast, still, others directly apply to feeding the poor and hungry and doing things for people who could never repay you. Trust me, each of these angles certainly has great merit. A humble person does not have to wear a mask or put on a facade to look good to others who do not know who he is. A giving person is happier than a stingy one. Hypocrisy is a real disease. Excellent.

However, there is evidence of deeper meaning present, which is suggested by the context of the passages, namely, the banquet. There are many mentions of meals and celebrations in the Scriptures that point to the Heavenly Banquet after we finish this life. Thus, spiritual disease down here translates to quarantine for the Eternal Celebration; neglecting the poor and starving now means we become spiritually impoverished and famished for Heaven later, and collecting rewards and accolades from the audiences of this world powerfully suggests there’ll be no applause, added benefit or honor in the next world that never ends.

This particular approach to Chapter 14 also sheds light on the Gospel of today, hidden, perhaps, in the two different directions that a person is directed after entering the banquet hall. Before the meal is served: “My friend, move up to a higher position…..you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place.” Higher or lower. Up or Down. Heaven or Hell. Therefore, when Jesus comments on all the folks who are scrambling to get to the really good seats, it is very likely that the inescapable lesson not to be missed is about presumption. Just because in our mind, based on all the limited information and knowledge at our earthly disposal, we assume that we are going to Heaven or that awful neighbor of ours is certainly not, that might not be the case.

To explore the relationship of Haloween, All Saints Day, and the Day of the Dead, please go here: https://www.cityofagape.org/death-a-meal-best-served-live/

Leave a comment

October 30, 2021


Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 484

Reading I – ROM 11:1-2A, 11-12, 25-29

Brothers and sisters:
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? 
Of course not!
For I too am a child of Israel, a descendant of Abraham,
of the tribe of Benjamin.
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew.
Do you not know what the Scripture says about Elijah,
how he pleads with God against Israel?

Hence I ask, did they stumble so as to fall? 
Of course not!
But through their transgression
salvation has come to the Gentiles,
so as to make them jealous.
Now if their transgression is enrichment for the world,
and if their diminished number is enrichment for the Gentiles,
how much more their full number.

I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers and sisters,
so that you will not become wise in your own estimation:
a hardening has come upon Israel in part,
until the full number of the Gentiles comes in,
and thus all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

The deliverer will come out of Zion,
he will turn away godlessness from Jacob;
and this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.

In respect to the Gospel, they are enemies on your account;
but in respect to election,
they are beloved because of the patriarch. 
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.

Responsorial Psalm – 94:12-13A, 14-15, 17-18

R. (14A) The Lord will not abandon his people.
Blessed the man whom you instruct, O LORD,
whom by your law you teach,
Giving him rest from evil days.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.
For the LORD will not cast off his people,
nor abandon his inheritance;
But judgment shall again be with justice,
and all the upright of heart shall follow it.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.
Were not the LORD my help,
my soul would soon dwell in the silent grave.
When I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your mercy, O LORD, sustains me.
R. The Lord will not abandon his people.

Alleluia – MT 11:29AB

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

Gospel – LK 14:1, 7-11

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited, 
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Reviewing A Case Of The Dropsy


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 29, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

Let’s begin today with St. Luke’s description of a casual but remarkably significant dinner gathering on the Sabbath somewhere in Jerusalem. On that invitation list are Jesus, a leader of the Pharisees, presumably more members of that group, lots of onlookers and curiosity-seekers, and a man suffering and then healed from dropsy. It is the only recorded instance of the healing of this particular disease by the Lord in the New Testament. Dropsy (ύδρωψ), derived from “hudor,” the Greek word for water, is essentially an abnormal swelling of fluids in different parts of the body, mostly the abdomen and known today as edema. As we look around the room, there is certainly a clear parallel being drawn between the Pharisees inflicted with a spiritual disease and the man suffering from dropsy, a physical disease.
Here is another interesting detail that supports the parallel in the text: “In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.” Why doesn’t it say “in front of them?” The room was crowded, so this detail is critical to unlocking the deeper meaning here. It says only “him” because Jesus was alone in seeing right before him what the others in the same room could or would not see in themselves. Jesus could see the dropsy, the swelling of water and fluids in the body, the physical sickness of the suffering man, and, he was keenly aware of the spiritual dropsy of the Pharisees: “a drunkard’s thirst, a glutton’s hunger, water (like the swelling bodily fluid) that was on fire,” referring to their self-righteous hypocrisy that increases rather than quenches the spiritual thirst of the soul.* You see, the Pharisees added burdens for the people to follow because they used religion as a cover to do whatever they wanted. Rules, regulations, commandments are all good guides and clear posts to follow the Lord. Still, if one’s heart is full of pride and sin without love, grace, mercy, and freedom, it is full of disease, empty of virtue, overflowing with evil, and completely devoid of wisdom.
And here is the underlining application for our spiritual lives: we know the Pharisees are the real diseased folks in that room because they did not recognize Jesus, even as He was standing there right in front of them, ready to recline among all of them to eat. Imagine further the moment when the man with all the swelling was suddenly healed: it must have been an astounding sight. And all they had to say was that he shouldn’t have been healed on the Sabbath? I’m sure the man with dropsy was sure glad he was!
One thing is certain in this Christian life we are trying to follow: we will face rejection, endure conflict, and either be harshly judged or even be the one who is judging. And through it all, we pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that wants to recognize the face of Jesus as often as possible.

“The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.” John Mark Green

Leave a comment

October 29, 2021


Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 483

Reading I – ROM 9:1-5

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

Responsorial Psalm – 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

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 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.
In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”
But they kept silent; so he took the man and,
after he had healed him, dismissed him.
Then he said to them 
“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern,
would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” 
But they were unable to answer his question.

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

To Live As Friends


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 28, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.” This Feast of the Apostles, Sts. Simon and Jude is indeed a great day to reflect upon the intrinsic and deep relationship between what it means to have good, close, and encouraging friends, the freedom it takes to maintain those friendships, and the faith in Jesus that makes us friends with Him. Review once again what Jesus accomplished throughout the New Testament: The depth of love in his heart for friendship gushed over into the way he dealt with his enemies: with total and complete mercy. In many ways, you can tell how great a friend will be to the extent that he or she can forgive and show compassion. This is certainly true with everyone the Lord ever met, especially Judas, Peter, and Thomas.

This element is underscored in the Gospel of today: Jesus knew that one of the friends/apostles He would choose would eventually betray Him, and still, in perfect freedom, he asked Him to follow Him, that is, be His friend any way: “When the day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them, he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles…and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” The application for us today is simply stunning. In order for love to grow within any relationship there must be faith in the One who is love and the only One who will sustain that love until eternity, and especially for the grace both to forgive and show mercy. What is also remarkable is that love, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion never leave us empty-handed or return with nothing. It is a classic “win-win” situation:

“And friends are friends forever/If the Lord’s the Lord of them/And friends are friends forever/If the Lord’s the Lord of them/And a friend will not say never/’Cause the welcome will not end/Though it’s hard to let you go/In the Father’s hands we know/That a lifetime’s not too long/To live as friends.” Michael W. Smith

Leave a comment

October 28, 2021


Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles

Lectionary: 666

Reading I – EPH 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God, 
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm – 19:2-3, 4-5

R.    (5A) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
    and night to night imparts knowledge.
R.    Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
    whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
    and to the ends of the world, their message.
R.    Their message goes out through all the earth.

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 – LK 6:12-16

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.

When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 27, 2021


Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 481

Reading I – ROM 8:26-30

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones 
according to God’s will.

We know that all things work for good for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose.
For those he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
so that he might be the firstborn
among many brothers.  
And those he predestined he also called;
and those he called he also justified;
and those he justified he also glorified.

Responsorial Psalm – 13:4-5, 6

R.    (6a) My hope, O Lord, is in your mercy.
Look, answer me, O LORD, my God!
Give light to my eyes that I may not sleep in death
    lest my enemy say, “I have overcome him”;
    lest my foes rejoice at my downfall.
R.    My hope, O Lord, is in your mercy.
Though I trusted in your mercy,
Let my heart rejoice in your salvation;
    let me sing of the LORD, “He has been good to me.”
R.    My hope, O Lord, is in your mercy.

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 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them, 
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.’
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Things Always Work Out


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 27, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” Today we are served with one of those excellent morsels that deserve to be placed in the mind’s library, suited for memorization if at all possible. It is one of those deep and lasting promises that are comforting just at the right moments of our lives when things get away from us and leave us sighing in the dust. St. Paul assures us that no matter what happens all around us, everything will find a solution and turn out in ways we could never have imagined. There is, however, a slight stipulation to all this: what we are about must be accompanied by our love for God and with the most sincere desire to follow Him and listen carefully to His will for our lives.

“For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” The one great constant in the universe is changing. There can truly be an ongoing debate over this. Just recall the events of life in the last 24 hours. Get ready for change because here it comes! And part of the nature of that change is that it is seldom what we expected. I guess that is what makes life interesting, intriguing at best. However, believers view these shifts in the folds of reality as ways that God’s plan for us is revealed, not always easy, but always leading us to Heaven, where our final destination lies. This is why so many are not comfortable with death because they are uncomfortable with change and vice-versa. But somehow, someway, even without our understanding, things always work out because that is the kind of God we have.

“I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?” Henry Ford

Leave a comment

A Kingdom Of Food


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 26, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” We experience the Kingdom of God throughout our bodies. It is how we understand much of the lessons and insights that Jesus is showing us how to walk through life to Heaven. Have you ever noticed how many references to the food we have in the Holy Scriptures? They frequently mention eating and intaking nourishment in various contexts, all the while encouraging us to nourish our bodies and souls with the nutritional and spiritual fare. Today is no exception.

“It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.” And today, once again, our favorite condiment (at least in the top 5) makes yet another splendid appearance. Apart from being uniquely tasty and earthy, the very fact that the mustard seed is so small yet produces so much is yet another insightful metaphor and comparison about the Kingdom of God in which we long so desperately to live. Great things come in small and unassuming packages.

“It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” Anyone who has ever baked bread or loaves knows all too well what happens to the mixture once yeast is added. We can safely assume that very little goes a very long way!

“It is not what we do that matters, but what a sovereign God chooses to do through us. God doesn’t want our success; He wants us. He doesn’t demand our achievements; He demands our obedience. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of paradox, where through the ugly defeat of a cross, a holy God is utterly glorified. Victory comes through defeat; healing through brokenness; finding self through losing self.” Charles Colson

Leave a comment

October 26, 2021


Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 480

Reading I – ROM 8:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees for itself is not hope.  
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

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

R.    (3A) The Lord has done marvels for us.
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.    The Lord has done marvels for us.
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.    The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
    shall reap rejoicing.
R.    The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
    carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
    carrying their sheaves.
R.    The Lord has done marvels for us.

Alleluia – See MT 11:25

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

Gospel – LK 13:18-21

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

It’s All About The Relationship


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 25, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

Have you ever noticed how differently we address other people in our lives and how that sometimes differs dramatically from the way others call to them? Let me give you an example. Let’s say your little daughter calls you Mommy. That’s all she knows. But then, an old friend of yours comes to the house to see you and calls you, “Linda,” well, because that is your name. Now you wouldn’t expect your daughter to call you “Linda,” and you certainly wouldn’t want your friend to call you “Mommy,” either.

It all depends on the relationship.

That is why in the Letter to the Romans, that very similar distinction is also made. If you are a slave, you call your God “Master.” But if you are adopted, you call your God “Abba.” That is a beautiful name because it just doesn’t mean “Father,” but it is more intimate and endearing. It’s really like calling our God “Daddy,” or “Pops,” or something close to that.

It all depends on the relationship.

In the Gospel today, a woman who had been seriously crippled for a very long time, hence the 18-year time frame, comes before Jesus. She desperately wanted healing, which would explain why she was in the synagogue, and everyone knew her poor, almost pathetic condition. Jesus sees her, calls out to her, and addresses her as “Woman.” Perhaps in some circles of society and among some cultural differences, this may seem odd. But remember this address is how God called out to Eve in the Old Testament and Mary in the New Testament, obviously linking the two in Salvation History (Eve, Mother of all living, and Mary, Mother of the Church.) So this was a loving relationship that the Lord wanted to exhibit and, in turn, straightened her life out, literally. Can you imagine the reaction from the people when they saw her stand up and praise God? It must have beautiful and awe-inspiring. Right?

Well, not for everyone.

Enter the leader of the synagogue, the “official” religious person. He seems pretty upset at the whole scene, even though this woman can actually walk upright and not hurt anymore. No, that was not the most important item to notice today. This remarkable healing had been taken place on the Sabbath when no work was to be done. Really? Do you call this work? It’s more like a miracle, a sign of God’s great love and mercy, especially for this bent-over woman, and by spiritual application, for each one of us.

So how do we respond to our “official.” Well, it wasn’t pretty. “Hypocrites!…when he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated.” That’s what happens when you won’t see how incredibly God is working in your life or the life of others. It is the expected consequence when we hide behind the Law and miss the Law-giver in our midst. The people who got it rejoiced; the one who didn’t was humiliated.

It all depends on the relationship.

Leave a comment

October 25, 2021


Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 479

Reading I – ROM 8:12-17

Brothers and sisters,
we are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die,
but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Responsorial Psalm – 68:2 and 4, 6-7AB, 20-21

R.    (21A) Our God is the God of salvation.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
    and those who hate him flee before him.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
    they are glad and rejoice.
R.    Our God is the God of salvation.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
    is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
    he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R.    Our God is the God of salvation.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
    who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
    the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
R.    Our God is the God of salvation.

Alleluia – JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 24, 2021


Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 149

Reading I – JER 31:7-9

        Thus says the LORD:
    Shout with joy for Jacob,
        exult at the head of the nations;
        proclaim your praise and say:
    The LORD has delivered his people,
        the remnant of Israel.
    Behold, I will bring them back
        from the land of the north;
    I will gather them from the ends of the world,
        with the blind and the lame in their midst,
    the mothers and those with child;
        they shall return as an immense throng.
    They departed in tears,
        but I will console them and guide them;
    I will lead them to brooks of water,
        on a level road, so that none shall stumble.
    For I am a father to Israel,
        Ephraim is my first-born.

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

R. (3)    The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
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. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
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. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
    like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
    shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
    carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
    carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading II – HEB 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
    You are my son:
        this day I have begotten you;

just as he says in another place:
    You are a priest forever
        according to the order of Melchizedek.

Alleluia – CF. 2 TM 1:10

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

Gospel – MK 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 
But he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” 
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” 
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

The Only Thing I Can See


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 24, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“I will gather them from the ends of the world, with the blind and the lame in their midst, the mothers and those with child.” Since the dawn of all the ages, there has been this remarkable and dramatic contest of strength between light and darkness, clarity and delusion, sight and blindness. These are all eternally wrapped up in our human existence, which by definition means they all have deep, spiritual roots over which our sweet Jesus holds sway. “You are my son: this day I have begotten you…You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” If all this is true, and we all know that it is, then each time we approach the Bible and the treasure lode of wisdom found there, we must address the issue of blindness in our lives and the continuing resolutions to this plight. The Psalm begins to prepare us for the only solution insight: “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”

For any of us struggling with the day-to-day pull of responsibilities, deadlines, or even seemingly endless worries, the Gospel is relief and miracle, all bound up into one passage of pure magnificence. Let’s take a closer look at this:

“Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.” The blindness of all sorts creates this mindless inertia and apathy within us, which creates an empty life full of taking and no giving. “On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.'” Jesus is always speaking to us, and just the slightest whisper from Heaven can make all the difference in the world to which our only response is to cry out to Him with everything we have in store of our being to which the Lord promises response. “And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more.” There will be negative and unbelieving voices in our lives trying to move us away from the battle victory we desire in prayer, but we must not stop or give up. “So they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” And there will be sane and rational people who believe with all their hearts and minds who continue to encourage and nourish us with their prayers. “He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.” Bartimaeus, remember, was blind and throwing off his clothing and springing anywhere could have meant a dangerous physical move, but he trusted with everything he had left to face Jesus to which “Jesus said to him in reply, ‘What do you want me to do for you?‘” This is exactly the point in prayer where we must be solidly aware of our true needs, trust 100% in the Lord and then ask boldly with faith: “The blind man replied to him, ‘Master, I want to see.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.'” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.”

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain

Leave a comment

October 23, 2021


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 478

Reading I – ROM 8:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has freed you from the law of sin and death. 
For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do,
this God has done:
by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh
are concerned with the things of the flesh,
but those who live according to the spirit
with the things of the spirit. 
The concern of the flesh is death,
but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.
For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God;
it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it;
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Responsorial Psalm – 24:1B-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 – EZ 33:11

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion that he may live.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
He said to them in reply, 
“Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way 
they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed 
when the tower at Siloam fell on them—
do you think they were more guilty 
than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: 
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, 
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree     
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also, 
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; 
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Faith And Fig Trees


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 23, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit.” You can always tell a whole lot about a person or, for that matter, a group of people by listening to the conversation. In some cases, the high price of gossip seems to take center stage at any given time, and if we are not careful, there we are, too, enveloped in a miasma or haze of treacherous talk that does no good for any of us. We are then painfully reminded that the people who gossip with you will indeed gossip about you at a much later and convenient time. The Scriptures of the day remind us that we encounter two diversely different kinds of people every day. Those who live in the flesh and those who live in the spirit. What are we to do?

The solution is simple but not simplistic: it is simple in its formation but high on the charts in terms of operation and achievement. We must die to ourselves daily throughout the day, really finding every opportunity to dig deeper and find the ways to true holiness and sacrifice so that we might Jesus in every situation, especially the difficult ones. In this way, we may find the joy of living the Christan faith in good times and bad, in and out of season. “Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.”

Whether it is the parking space that someone “stole” from you or the lack of recognition for a job well done, at least to your humble standard but unseen or appreciated by those in authority over you, we have simply found that time and space to grow our faith and bear fruit. It is truly amazing! Open the possibilities for yourself this weekend and the new week not-so-far-away. You will be very happy you did.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” C. S. Lewis

Leave a comment

October 23 – Optional Memorial of Saint John of Capistrano, priest


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 664

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724.

Reading 1 – 2 COR 5:14-20

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.

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

R.    (see 5A)  You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Alleluia – 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.”

Leave a comment

The Greatest Tension on Earth


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 22, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” Throughout the long breadth of human experience, there has been this deep-seated tension in each of one us pulling at us between wanting to do the right thing and falling into temptation. It is as if two groups of people are pulling on a rope with us in the middle, trying to move in one direction or another. On “good” days, we would say, our better intentions and better selves win. But then, on those days when we were weak or angry or hurt, our petty emotions got in the way, then things went south. And this is how it goes, well, until the end of eternity.

“I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” But this is not pessimistic in the least. This inner spiritual struggle is what makes us who we are. We get up every single morning to face what it is out here with the ability that God has given us and to provide it with our very best shot. We already know what we have to do. Start the day by forgiving, loving, practicing patience. And in all those situations that need extra faith, care, and patience, we remember the greatest tension on earth and remember that the reward is worth it all.

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” David Allen

Leave a comment

October 22, 2021


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 477

Reading I – ROM 7:18-25A

Brothers and sisters:
I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh.
The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not.
For I do not do the good I want,
but I do the evil I do not want.
Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells in me.
So, then, I discover the principle
that when I want to do right, evil is at hand.
For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self,
but I see in my members another principle
at war with the law of my mind,
taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Miserable one that I am!
Who will deliver me from this mortal body?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – 119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94

R.    (68B) Lord, teach me your statutes.
Teach me wisdom and knowledge,
    for in your commands I trust.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
You are good and bountiful;
    teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let your kindness comfort me
    according to your promise to your servants.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
    for your law is my delight.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Never will I forget your precepts,
    for through them you give me life.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
I am yours; save me,
    for I have sought your precepts.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Alleluia – See MT 11:25

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

Gospel – LK 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds,
“When you see a cloud rising in the west
you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does;
and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south
you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is.
You hypocrites!
You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?
If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate,
make an effort to settle the matter on the way;
otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge,
and the judge hand you over to the constable,
and the constable throw you into prison.
I say to you, you will not be released
until you have paid the last penny.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 22 – Optional Memorial of Saint John Paul II, pope


For the Readings for the Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 663A

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For a Pope (#719-724).

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 10:14

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

Gospel – JN 21:15-17

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

Leave a comment

Fire!


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 21, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” What is behind the use of setting the world aflame by Jesus in the Gospel today? Keep in mind that the Bible is seen as a complete unity, the Old preparing for the New, the New ratifying the Old. When the Lord uses the image of fire, it is advantageous for us to go deeper into the meaning, purpose, and background of certain words and phrases to truly grasp all the spiritual wealth waiting for us, ripe for the picking. Here are but a few:

Exodus 3, the Burning Bush: God is truly present, “you are standing on Holy Ground.”
Ezekiel 1, a cloud of fire: God’s glory is magnificent.
2 Kings 1, fire from Heaven wiped out 50 soldiers: Power over life & death.
Matthew 25, Eternal fire is a destination for devil and demons: Hell is real & horrible.
Acts 2, tongues of fire descend on the 12: The Holy Spirit “enflames” the Church.
Revelation 21, a lake of fire and sulfur awaits the faithless: a second death.

From this small sampling of fire images from the Scriptures, we can safely determine that Jesus wants to purify and cleanse all of humanity, instill a reverent and holy fear in us (awesome approach to God) and establish His Kingdom where there will be both judgment and serious consequences to our responses, both here and now and much later.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because of His Reign over us and remembering the dire consequences of the refusal to love, there will be division starting in one’s own family, household, and beyond. When the word ‘family’ is used in the Bible, it usually means either the clan or the extended family group. It could very easily include as many as two hundred people or as few as fifteen. Thus, Jesus is describing the essence of a true disciple as one who loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for Him. He insists that His disciples give him the loyalty only due to God, a higher loyalty than spouse or relatives or circle of friends.

“Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis

Leave a comment

October 21, 2021


Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 476

Reading I – ROM 6:19-23

Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature.
For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity
and to lawlessness for lawlessness,
so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.
But what profit did you get then
from the things of which you are now ashamed? 
For the end of those things is death.
But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God,
the benefit that you have leads to sanctification,
and its end is eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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

R.    (PS 40:5) Blessed are they who hope in 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.
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.
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.

Alleluia – PHIL 3:8-9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father, 
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 20, 2021


Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 475

Reading I – ROM 6:12-18

Brothers and sisters:
Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies
so that you obey their desires.
And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin
as weapons for wickedness,
but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life
and the parts of your bodies to God
as weapons for righteousness. 
For sin is not to have any power over you,
since you are not under the law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law
but under grace?  
Of course not!
Do you not know that if you present yourselves
to someone as obedient slaves,
you are slaves of the one you obey,
either of sin, which leads to death,
or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin,
you have become obedient from the heart
to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted.
Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm – 124:1B-3, 4-6, 7-8

R.    (8A) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us, 
    let Israel say, 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 help is in the name of the Lord.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
    over us then would have swept the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us 
    a prey to their teeth.
R.    Our help is in the name of the Lord.
We were rescued like a bird
    from the fowlers’ 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 help is in the name of the Lord.

Alleluia – MT 24:42A, 44

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

Gospel – LK 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly. 
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

What Is Expected


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 20, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires.” There comes the point in every believer’s life where all the prayers and worship and thoughts about who God is and what is truly expected of us come into remarkable, and at times, troubling disguise. It is an earth-shattering crisis for many, while for others, it is the death of someone close and beloved. No matter the circumstance, these “moments of truth” become focal points when our faith is tested, made stronger, and clarity becomes ours.

“‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful.” These specific references can help us realize several things about living the Christian Life, being a disciple and a follower of Jesus Christ: We have been marked in this life and claimed for someone or something. Our choice now is to determine for whom by how we live. As Christians today, we can expect to be punished as our Savior, in the court of popularity, greed, hatred, and the godless. Remaining faithful to the end, which comes secretly or unexpectedly and without being seen, “like a thief in the night,” we are promised to take our place with the Lamb who has been slain and led to the “springs of life-giving water.” (Rev 7:17) Because the Victory is so great and the reward eternal, to those whom much is given, much is expected.

“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

Leave a comment

October 19, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Lectionary: 474

Reading I – ROM 5:12, 15B, 17-19, 20B-21

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

If by that one person’s transgression the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
For if, by the transgression of the one,
death came to reign through that one,
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and the gift of justification
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression
condemnation came upon all,
so, through one righteous act
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one
the many will be made righteous.
Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more,
so that, as sin reigned in death,
grace also might reign through justification
for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 17

R.    (8A and 9A) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
    but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sinofferings you sought not;
    then said I, “Behold I come.”
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
    and your law is within my heart!”
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
    I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
May all who seek you
    exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
    say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

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 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Trusting Attitudes And Vigilance


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 19, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” Over thirty years ago, a ship off the coast of Massachusetts was reported lost at sea. There were a reported 45 men on board, most of whom were residents from a small fishing town near Plymouth. For the first week, wives, children, and family members set up make-shift camps along the seashore to wait and watch for any signs of recovery. After ten days, some of those grew tired and even discouraged and began to make their way back to their homes, still leaving a smaller remnant of those who would stay vigilant. Finally, on the 15th day of their disappearance, the vessel sailed back into the harbor, all aboard hungry and tired but certainly safe and alive. It was said that one of the men looked sad as he disembarked. He just shrugged and walked his way to his little cottage of a home to the surprise of his wife and children. But he still looked upset. “What’s wrong, dear?,” asked his wife. “Why weren’t you out there with the other families on the shore when we arrived?,” he responded. “We were waiting for you, honey,” came his wife’s explanation.

“But you weren’t watching….”

“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” Do you think that’s splitting hairs? Maybe. However, the slight difference in the words can be of dramatic importance when we apply them to waiting for the Lord. Waiting seems to be passive as if I can have many other priorities or concerns because, after all, “when He comes He comes, right?” Watching implies vigilance, continued hope, and deep resolve. Watching is active, ongoing, and, yes, life-changing. Let’s be sure. Whether you and I are waiting or watching, it will be the same Lord. But, how will we be different? God is worth waiting for; His time is always best. Watching for Him makes our hearts ready and open and joyful to meet Him at any given moment, and that makes a difference in how we live.

“I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.” Joyce Meyer

Leave a comment

October 19 – Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs, and their companions, martyrs


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs, please go here.

Lectionary: 662

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718, or the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724.

Reading 1 – 2 COR 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

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

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

Alleluia – MT 28:19A, 20B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 28:16-20

The Eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Leave a comment

St. Luke, Doctor Of Soul And Body


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 18, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” Everyone has a mission in life. Everyone spends their life searching for that mission, and when one finds it, they hang on for dear life. Others never discover it and live out their days in less than quiet desperation. This is what we can gather from the readings today. The Lord has fashioned us and sends us forward into this world for a definite purpose, and that purpose has everything to do with bearing fruit that will last. That means eternal fruit.

“But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.” This directive is never easy. There will always be those around us who will fight and attempt to destroy the harvest. The First Reading assures each of us that He will be there to strengthen and guide, and yet, even to protect us from the plotting of those who would pull up the wheat instead of the weeds. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.”

We are all called to respond to this great invitation. Every day presents itself with a new opportunity to spread the Gospel and the message of love and forgiveness that is contained right there all the time. This is just part of the great gift we can open today on the Feast of St. Luke, who spent his years on earth doubling as both a physician and theologian.

Quote

Leave a comment

October 18, 2021


Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist

Lectionary: 661

Reading I – 2 TM 4:10-17B

Beloved:
Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.

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

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

Alleluia – 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 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

The Ultimate Surrender


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 17, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.” Our First Reading underscores both quite simple and beautiful: The ultimate depth of any of our prayers must slowly and surely reach the ultimate surrender of everything to the One who made us out of pure love. This sentiment is captured throughout today’s Psalm and is echoed brilliantly and with great comfort throughout the Gospels. The rain must fall, but rejoicing with the dawn because of the very One who died for us.

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And how do we know all this is true? Jesus lived it and won for us the crown of victory, which is customed-shaped to each one of us depending on our situations and life settings. Suffering will always be with us, which means that we must always seek to understand the deep misery of despair, unite those sufferings to Jesus and thus reach to the other side of glory. Consider this from St. Teresa of Calcutta on the occasion of her first visit to the United States:

“I suppose that some of you are feeling that you would have to buy a plane ticket and travel to India if you were to give effective help to the poor. There is no need. The poor are right here in your own country… In developed nations like yours, there is an abundance of food. But there is often a famine of the heart due to a lack of love. The victims of this famine of love are the new poor. And who are these poor people? They are the people sitting next to you.”

Look around you today. There are others who are hurting. Together we are going to win this. Jesus promised.

Leave a comment

October 17, 2021


Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 146

Reading I – IS 53:10-11

The LORD was pleased
    to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
    he shall see his descendants in a long life,
    and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
    he shall see the light in fullness
        of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
    and their guilt he shall bear.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22

R. (22)    Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
    and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
    of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
    upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
    and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
    who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
    who have put our hope in you.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Reading II – HEB 4:14-16

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, 
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin. 
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

Alleluia – MK 10:45

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 10:35-45 OR 10:42-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him,
“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” 
They answered him, “Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” 
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. 
Can you drink the cup that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 
They said to him, “We can.” 
Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. 
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

OR:

Jesus summoned the twelve and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt. 
But it shall not be so among you. 
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. 
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 16, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 472

Reading I – ROM 4:13, 16-18

Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith, 
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.

Responsorial Psalm – 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43

R.    (8A) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
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.    The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
    which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
    and by his oath to Isaac.
R.    The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
For he remembered his holy word
    to his servant Abraham.
And he led forth his people with joy;
    with shouts of joy, his chosen ones.
R.    The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Alleluia – JN 15:26B, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say. 
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 16 – Optional Memorial of Saint Hedwig, religious


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 658

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – SIR 26:1-4, 13-16

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

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

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

R.    (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R.    Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
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.

Alleluia – JN 8:31B-32

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

Gospel – MK 3:31-35

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

Leave a comment

October 16 – Optional Memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 659

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins, #731-736, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

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 – See MT 11:25

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

Gospel -MT 11:25-30

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

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

Leave a comment

Two Most Important Days


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 16, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.” There is an interesting connection among three key elements that Jesus presents to us today: 1) Denial of God, 2) Denial of the Holy Spirit 3) Defense of our Faith. Let’s take them in that order:

First, we are told that if we live as if Jesus never came or never met Him, we should expect the same treatment; He will do the same. Second, if we speak with words of hatred and defiance against the Holy Spirit and surely against God in any way, shape, or form, we are to expect serious consequences. And lastly, if we neither deny nor defy God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, but rather live in Him and through Him, then we can and should expect that our very speech, our lives, our thoughts, and all that makes us who we are will be defined by the depth and breadth of our love of God in everyday life. In other words, we will certainly shine.

And here is the major connection: All three warnings and predictions have to do with the next life. Jesus promises if we recognize Him now on earth, He will recognize us later in Heaven. Suppose anyone repeatedly closes their eyes to God and shuts their ears to His voice now. In that case, they will most certainly come to a point where they can no longer recognize God and thus see evil as good and good as evil even to that tragic point of that person’s last breath in which they could very well miss any chance of living forever with God in eternity, that is, later. Finally, if our deep trust is with the Lord, His Holy Spirit is promised to us as it was to Abraham and all his descendants as we read in the First reading so that we will never have to worry what to say before this world’s authority, now, or to the Authority of Heaven, later.

Question for the Day: What are the two most important moments of our life?
Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Leave a comment

October 15, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 471

Reading I – ROM 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters:
What can we say that Abraham found,
our ancestor according to the flesh?
Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works,
he has reason to boast;
but this was not so in the sight of God.
For what does the Scripture say?
Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due.
But when one does not work,
yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is credited as righteousness. 
So also David declares the blessedness of the person
to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven
and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.

Responsorial Psalm – 32:1B-2, 5, 11

R. (see 7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

Alleluia – PS 33:22

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 12:1-7

At that time:
So many people were crowding together 
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
“Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

We Will Get Through This Day


Reflection on Mass Reading for Ovtober 15, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), probably the female saint and mystic with the greatest influence on the world on so many levels. Below is one of her most famous poems, which we will intersperse with passages from the Scriptures today.

Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee: All things pass. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered.”
God never changes. “May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us; who have put our hope in you.”
Patience attains all that it strives for. “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”
He who has God finds he lacks nothing. “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.”
God alone suffices. “Do not be afraid.”

We are free because of the desire of God to send us His only Begotten Son that enwraps his mercy and love all around us every single day. Do not let anything rob you of any joy or peace today. You will get through this day because you started with Jesus, and you will end with Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Leave a comment

October 15 – Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, please go here.

Lectionary: 657

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins, #731-736, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – ROM 8:22-27

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees for itself is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 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 – 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 everyone 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.”

Leave a comment

October 14, 2021


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 470

Reading I – ROM 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting?  It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial Psalm – 130:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB

R.    (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
    LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication.
R.    With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
    Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
    that you may be revered.
R.    With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
    my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
    more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
R.    With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Alleluia – JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets 
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

The Illusive Key Of Knowledge


Reflection on Mass Reading for Ovtober 14, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” There is a strange occurrence in this journey we call life that happens, not to all, but some, and for those individuals, it is an experience that is hardly forgettable. It involves the selfish, tireless attempt on the spiritually immature, especially those with a little authority, to keep from others what they cannot or will not have. This is what explains, in part, those who seem to make it their life’s work to make other people miserable, especially if they have any perceived power over them. Quite insanely and ineffectively, the reason is that if they can not be happy, then no one will be happy. Pathetic. This explains in part why the Pharisees were the virtual enemies of the Lord and, by a matter of extension, to the whole of Christianity, and that is because when one finds the ultimate happiness in one’s relationship with Jesus, the only other response is to share and include as many people with that friendship as possible. The Pharisees and scribes were sort-of gnostics who thought they alone had all the precious knowledge necessary for happiness. Wrong again.

“With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.” Unfortunately for us on this great road, the Pharisees still sashay among us with equally morally squalid and foul attitudes of arrogance and condescending acts. But even more fortunately for us, Jesus remains in the world for us to find our way to Heaven with a fullness of mercy and compassion, which in turn, is ours to share. Find Jesus and share Jesus. This is the core of evangelization and a very happy way of life.

“No matter what has happened to you in the past or what is going on in your life right now, it has no power to keep you from having an amazingly good future if you will walk by faith in God. God loves you! He wants you to live with victory over sin so you can possess His promises for your life today!” Joyce Meyer

Leave a comment

October 14 – Optional Memorial of Saint Callistus I, pope and martyr


For the Readings for the Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 656

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718 or the Common of Pastors: For a Pope, #719-724.

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 40:2 and 4AB, 7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 11

R.    (8A and 9A)  Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R.    Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Alleluia – JN 15:15B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 22:24-30

An argument broke out among the Apostles
about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
Jesus said to them,
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them
and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’;
but among you it shall not be so.
Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest,
and the leader as the servant.
For who is greater:
the one seated at table or the one who serves?
Is it not the one seated at table?
I am among you as the one who serves.
It is you who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer a kingdom on you,
just as my Father has conferred one on me,
that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom;
and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Leave a comment

Blind Harshness Pharisee-Style


Reflection on Mass Reading for Ovtober 13, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.” So how does Jesus respond to our “old friends” today? Well, it wasn’t pretty. Why the harshness of reaction? That’s what happens when we won’t see how incredibly God is working in our life or the lives of others. It is the expected consequence when we hide behind the Law and miss the Law-giver in our midst. The people who understand this always rejoice, but those who judge and criticize and try to “fix” everyone else except themselves are almost always humiliated. It all depends on the quality of the relationship we have with the Lord Jesus. This is what is meant by this powerful image of walking over someone’s grave unknowingly. You think you are in the right, but someone else is being disrespected.

“Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope.” Today, let us first give thanks that Our Lord loves us so much that we are constantly exposed to the truth in our lives, ugly at times but always liberating. Second, let us ask again for the courage to see Jesus in others as we look for Him in our souls. This is the recipe for true happiness.

“Sometimes, you will go through awful trials in your life and then a miracle happens–God heals you. Don’t be disheartened when the people you love don’t see things like you do. There will be Pharisees in your life that will laugh it off, deny that it happened, or will mock your experience based on righteousness they think you don’t possess. God won’t deny you a spiritual experience because you are not a spiritual leader. He loves everyone equally. The only people that really matter in life are the people that can “see” your heart and rejoice with you.” Shannon L. Alder

Leave a comment

October 13, 2021


Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 469

Reading I – ROM 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial Psalm – 62:2-3, 6-7, 9

R.    (13B) Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God is my soul at rest;
    from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R.    Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
    for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed. 
R.    Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
    Pour out your hearts before him;
    God is our refuge!
R.    Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

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 11:42-46

The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.  
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

“I Can See Clearly Now”


Reflection on Mass Reading for Ovtober 12, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” (First Reading)

“Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?” (Gospel)

There is a very interesting connection in Paul’s Letter to the Romans today that involves shame and degradation. He boldly states that he is NOT ashamed of the Gospel because it has the power of the truth that pierces all pretense and lies. However, he sadly admits that there are those who would prefer to suppress the truth that brings the very shame that Jesus came to eradicate. This, in turn, incurs anger both from Heaven and from nature because living a lie can only bring humiliation, lack of self-respect, and shame. We could summarize a great deal of Paul’s writing (Theology) with this phrase: “You are either being formed by the Gospel or deformed by the world.”

The Gospel is simply amazing. Does anyone find it largely curious that the Pharisee would actually invite Jesus into his home — only to criticize Him! Seriously? So here we have a textbook, working definition of hypocrisy: judge only by appearance, point out what’s wrong no matter how petty, and throw all the attention of yourself as if your moral heights defy gravity. It is no wonder Jesus quickly described this behavior as “You fools!”

Let us all live in the light! Forgive as often as needed. Be real.

Knowledge makes people humble. Arrogance makes them ignorant.

Leave a comment

October 12, 2021


Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 468

Reading I – ROM 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen. 

Responsorial Psalm – 19:2-3, 4-5

R.    (2A) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
    and night to night imparts knowledge.
R.    The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
    whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
    and to the ends of the world, their message.
R.    The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Alleluia – HEB 4:12

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

Gospel – LK 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 11, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 467

Reading I – ROM 1:1-7

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus,
called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, 
but established as Son of God in power 
according to the Spirit of holiness 
through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, 
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – 98:1BCDE, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R.    (2A) The Lord has made known his salvation.
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 made known his salvation.
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 made known his salvation.
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 made known his salvation.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

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

Gospel – LK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment 
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation 
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Curious Listening


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 11, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” What a powerful image we have been given today as we begin a brand new week in walking with the Lord Jesus! To be so attuned to the voice of Christ and to be so drawn and driven in listening to it no matter what the cost is the goal of all who want to find their way to Heaven with the great and powerfully loving assistance of the Good Shepherd. However, this search must not become one of superstition and doubt: “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” No website, Twitter account, or Facebook page accomplishes the value and depth of speaking and listening directly with the Lord in prayer strengthened by our daily dose of the Scriptures and Eucharistic nourishment. Let us decide this week to take the time and listen intensely to our Master’s voice. He is always ready to start a conversation.

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” Roy T. Bennett

Leave a comment

October 11 – Optional Memorial of Saint John XXIII, pope


For the Readings for the Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 655A

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For a Pope (#719-724).

Reading 1 – EZ 34:11-16

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 will lead them out from among the peoples
and gather them from the foreign lands;
I will bring them back to their own country
and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel
in the land’s ravines and all its inhabited places.
In good pastures will I pasture them,
and on the mountain heights of Israel
shall be their grazing ground.
There they shall lie down on good grazing ground,
and in rich pastures shall they be pastured
on the mountains of Israel.
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.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 23:1-3A, 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 10:14

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

Gospel – JN 21:15-17

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

Leave a comment

I Think You Over-packed


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 10, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” We have arrived once again, intrepid readers, to one of the most famous of phrases quoted by Christians and philosophers alike concerning the improbability of a large beast of burden being able to squeeze through the tiniest of all crevices. The stunning truth behind this wonderful selection has been treated before in these pages and shall be repeated in a condensed form. Jesus was not talking about a sewing needle but rather about a narrow entrance into the city of Jerusalem, a gate known locally as “the eye of the needle.” This gate was so small that a camel could only be brought through with great difficulty, squeezed through on its knees only after all the load of goods to be sold and traded were removed and unpacked from its tired back. It remains crystal clear that only when we are both unburdened and prayerful can we see the light at the end of any tunnel presented to us along our spiritual journeys.

So how does one practice a life that is both clutter-free and deeply close to the Lord? “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.” When we ask for wisdom, the Lord is ready to dole it out. Wisdom is an amazing gift that appears when we least suspect it but something that we must continually acknowledge and depend on: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.” It is this same wisdom that allows us to draw near to the Scriptures and allow ourselves to be bathed in the light of love and forgiveness and mercy all the while we live and move and have our being: “Indeed the word of God is living and effective, effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.”

The message for this beautiful Sabbath is simple: start each day by packing and unpacking, making sure you’ve got the right things right where they need to be.

Leave a comment

October 10, 2021


Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 143

Reading I – WIS 7:7-11

    I prayed, and prudence was given me;
        I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
    I preferred her to scepter and throne,
    and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
        nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
    because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
        and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
    Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
    and I chose to have her rather than the light,
        because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
    Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
        and countless riches at her hands.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R. (14)    Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Teach us to number our days aright,
    that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
    Have pity on your servants!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
    that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us,
    for the years when we saw evil.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Let your work be seen by your servants
    and your glory by their children;
and may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
    prosper the work of our hands for us!
    Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Reading II – HEB 4:12-13

Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.

Alleluia – MT 5:3

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

Gospel – MK 10:17-30 OR 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? 
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother
.” 
He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!” 
The disciples were amazed at his words.
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. 
All things are possible for God.” 
Peter began to say to him,
“We have given up everything and followed you.” 
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

OR:

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up,
knelt down before him, and asked him,
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? 
No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
you shall not defraud;
honor your father and your mother.

He replied and said to him,
“Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing. 
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples,
“How hard it is for those who have wealth
to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. 
So Jesus again said to them in reply,
“Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves,
“Then who can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. 
All things are possible for God.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 9, 2021


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 466

Reading I – JL 4:12-21

Thus says the LORD:
Let the nations bestir themselves and come up
    to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there will I sit in judgment
    upon all the neighboring nations.

Apply the sickle,
    for the harvest is ripe;
Come and tread,
    for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow,
    for great is their malice.
Crowd upon crowd
    in the valley of decision;
For near is the day of the LORD
    in the valley of decision.
Sun and moon are darkened,
    and the stars withhold their brightness.
The LORD roars from Zion,
    and from Jerusalem raises his voice;
The heavens and the earth quake,
    but the LORD is a refuge to his people,
    a stronghold to the children of Israel.

Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God,
    dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain;
Jerusalem shall be holy,
    and strangers shall pass through her no more.
And then, on that day,
    the mountains shall drip new wine,
    and the hills shall flow with milk;
And the channels of Judah
    shall flow with water:
A fountain shall issue from the house of the LORD,
    to water the Valley of Shittim.
Egypt shall be a waste,
    and Edom a desert waste,
Because of violence done to the people of Judah,
    because they shed innocent blood in their land.
But Judah shall abide forever,
    and Jerusalem for all generations.
I will avenge their blood,
    and not leave it unpunished.
    The LORD dwells in Zion.

Responsorial Psalm – 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12

R.    (12A) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
    let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
    justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R.    Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
    before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
    and all peoples see his glory.
R.    Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
    and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
R.    Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Alleluia – LK 11:28

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

Gospel – LK 11:27-28

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

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 9 – Optional Memorial of Saint John Leonardi, priest


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 655

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Those Who Work for the Underprivileged, #737-742.

Reading 1 – 2 COR 4:1-2, 5-7

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things;
not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God,
but by the open declaration of the truth
we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness,
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.

But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 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 – MK 1:17

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

Gospel – LK 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that they were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Leave a comment

Words Whisper, Actions Scream


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 9, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Although our Gospel passage today is quite small, it packs a punch! It should not amaze any of our readers how often people use words and have no intention of following through with promises or even doing anything more than offering empty compliments that go nowhere. This is not of God or the ideal or natural approach to the great gift of speech and communication that we have been given. The situation in our Gospel of today reminds us that actions speak louder than words, among other things. Think of the people in your life that you can truly count on whenever necessary.

“The heavens and the earth quake, but the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the children of Israel.” The selection we have from the prophet Joel gives us an even more powerful incentive to practice integrity of speech and action. When we give our word when we make promises, and we extend our trust in the commitments we make, we have the opportunity to confirm who we are in this world: we belong to Christ!

“People of integrity and honesty not only practice what they preach, they are what they preach.” David A. Bednar

Leave a comment

October 9 – Optional Memorial of Saint Denis, bishop and martyr, and his companions, martyrs


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 654

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718.

Reading 1 – 2 COR 6:4-10

Brothers and sisters:
In everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God,
through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech,
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.

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

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

Alleluia – 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 – MT 5:13-16

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

Leave a comment

What We Despise In Others


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 8, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul,’ and ‘By the prince of demons he drives out demons.'” This encounter presented to us today in the Gospel truly relays to us the sense of viciousness and ferocity of the climate into which Jesus the Christ (and our King) began His ministry. What we have here is an excellent example of character assassination in the Bible. Jesus addressed the issue in a very beautiful and Messianic way. He confronted evil by the sheer power of his truth and love. He invited those present and us this very day to enter a deeper reflection on the mystery of His Kingdom and the invitation to live there for all eternity.

“Alas, the day for near is the day of the LORD, and it comes as ruin from the Almighty.” You see, when individuals are not aware of the evil within their very heart and personality, they project it onto others whom they believe to be the very existence of evil in their own twisted and malformed perspectives. Because the scribes were blind, they were trapped and look completely foolish and pathetic. We often despise in others what we despise in our own lives. Make sure Jesus lives and moves and breathes in yours.

“Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen.” St. Thomas Aquinas

Leave a comment

October 8, 2021


Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 465

Reading I – JL 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
    wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
    O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
    of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
    call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
    all who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the LORD, your God,
    and cry to the LORD!

Alas, the day!
    for near is the day of the LORD,
    and it comes as ruin from the Almighty.

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
    sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all who dwell in the land tremble,
    for the day of the LORD is coming;
Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom,
    a day of clouds and somberness!
Like dawn spreading over the mountains,
    a people numerous and mighty!
Their like has not been from of old,
    nor will it be after them,
    even to the years of distant generations.

Responsorial Psalm – 9:2-3, 6 and 16, 8-9

R.    (9) The Lord will judge the world with justice.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
    I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, Most High.
R.    The Lord will judge the world with justice.
You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    their name you blotted out forever and ever.
The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;
    in the snare they set, their foot is caught.
R.    The Lord will judge the world with justice.
But the LORD sits enthroned forever;
    he has set up his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with justice;
    he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    The Lord will judge the world with justice.

Alleluia – JN 12:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The prince of this world will now be cast out,
and when I am lifted up from the earth
I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:15-26

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
“By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

Read Today’s Redlection

Leave a comment

October 7, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Lectionary: 464

Reading I – MAL 3:13-20B

You have defied me in word, says the LORD,
    yet you ask, “What have we spoken against you?”
You have said, “It is vain to serve God,
    and what do we profit by keeping his command,
And going about in penitential dress
    in awe of the LORD of hosts?
Rather must we call the proud blessed;
    for indeed evildoers prosper,
    and even tempt God with impunity.”
Then they who fear the LORD spoke with one another,
    and the LORD listened attentively;
And a record book was written before him
    of those who fear the LORD and trust in his name.
And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts,
    my own special possession, on the day I take action.
And I will have compassion on them,
    as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
Then you will again see the distinction
    between the just and the wicked;
Between the one who serves God,
    and the one who does not serve him.
For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
    when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
    leaving them neither root nor branch,
    says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
    the sun of justice with its healing rays.

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

R.    (PS 40:5A) Blessed are they who hope in 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.
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.
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.

Alleluia – See Acts 16:14B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open your hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father  among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

The Mystery Of The Rosary


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 7, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

There is something so wonderfully comforting and uplifting when we fervently pray the Holy Rosary and beg God for the graces we need to walk this beautiful life with the Lord Jesus. By remembering those specific moments and Theological teachings, we prepare for the bright promise of tomorrow and the wisdom we so desperately need. Now it is time for us to go even deeper.

Last year, during a prayer procession, Pope Francis referred to the rosary, noting that “Praying the rosary does not remove us from the problems of life. On the contrary, it demands that we immerse ourselves in the history of each day, so as to grasp the signs of Christ’s presence in our midst.” What a beautiful and insightful thought! Not only do we hold the rosary close and assured in our hands, but we also hold the Mysteries close to our heart and ask God for the strength to imitate them. This takes us to the topic of the “scriptural rosary,” which may or may not be as familiar to people as the traditional rosary. The rosary, of course, is always based on Scripture, with each of its mysteries coming from the Gospels and events in the lives of Mary and her Son, Jesus; The Nativity, the Agony in the Garden, and the Resurrection are just three of the mysteries. While praying each decade (ten beads of Hail Mary prayers, along with an Our Father and “Glory Be,” one reflects on these instances in the Bible. (Two mysteries: the Assumption and Coronation of the Blessed Virgin do not have direct scriptural texts but have been church doctrines since ancient times.)
However, as anyone who regularly prays the rosary knows, it can be difficult to maintain focus during each decade. As someone once wrote, “Yet often we find our minds wandering off when praying this special prayer. … Most people find themselves thinking of more mundane matters (like work, sports, relationships and such) rather than heavenly mysteries.”

This is why various “scriptural rosaries” were developed: to help us focus. In “scriptural rosaries,” each Hail Mary prayer (one rosary bead) in each mystery is accompanied by a scripture verse. For example, one suggested verse for the first bead of the Annunciation Mystery is Isaiah 9:2): “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; ….”
This type of rosary will certainly help one focus and may work very well with group prayer of the rosary. However, at other times, the traditional style of the rosary may work better. The rosary, which developed out of the daily praying of the 150 psalms in ancient monasteries, has also become a form of contemplative prayer. Its repetition of Hail Marys, Our Fathers and Glory Be, serve to place us in a state of quiet and meditation that relaxes us, puts us in God’s presence, and helps us to pray as Mary did: “pondering all these things in her heart” (Lk 2:19).

For a complete guide to the Scriptural Rosary and a free download booklet provided by the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus, please refer to this address: www.kofc.org/en/resources/cis/cis319.pdf

Leave a comment

October 7 – Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary


For the Readings for the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, please go here.

Lectionary: 653

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, #707-712.

Reading 1 – ACTS 1:12-14

After Jesus had been taken up into heaven,
the Apostles returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day’s journey away.

When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

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 – See LK 1:28

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

Gospel – LK 1:26-38

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

Leave a comment

October 6, 2021


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 463

Reading I – JON 4:1-11

Jonah was greatly displeased
and became angry that God did not carry out the evil
he threatened against Nineveh.
He prayed, “I beseech you, LORD,
is not this what I said while I was still in my own country?
This is why I fled at first to Tarshish.
I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God,
slow to anger, rich in clemency, loath to punish.
And now, LORD, please take my life from me;
for it is better for me to die than to live.”
But the LORD asked, “Have you reason to be angry?”

Jonah then left the city for a place to the east of it,
where he built himself a hut and waited under it in the shade,
to see what would happen to the city.
And when the LORD God provided a gourd plant
that grew up over Jonah’s head,
giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort,
Jonah was very happy over the plant.
But the next morning at dawn
God sent a worm that attacked the plant,
so that it withered.
And when the sun arose, God sent a burning east wind;
and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head till he became faint.
Then Jonah asked for death, saying,
“I would be better off dead than alive.”

But God said to Jonah,
“Have you reason to be angry over the plant?”
“I have reason to be angry,” Jonah answered, “angry enough to die.”
Then the LORD said,
“You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor
and which you did not raise;
it came up in one night and in one night it perished.
And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city,
in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons
who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left,
not to mention the many cattle?”

Responsorial Psalm – 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10

R.    (15) Lord, you are merciful and gracious.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
    for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
    for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R.    Lord, you are merciful and gracious.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
    and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R.    Lord, you are merciful and gracious.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship you, O Lord,
    and glorify your name.
For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;
    you alone are God.
R.    Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

Alleluia – ROM 8:15BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:

    Father, hallowed be your name,
        your Kingdom come.
        Give us each day our daily bread
        and forgive us our sins
        for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
        and do not subject us to the final test.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Our Spiritual Anthem


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 6, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

As the first full week of October continues to unfold and we prepare for yet another wonderful installment of grace and direction, we are served with the timeless and excellent anthem for our spiritual journey in the words of the Lord’s Prayer, known to most of the world as the “Our Father” prayer. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it brilliantly as it teaches that The Lord’s Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel. Since the Lord . . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive.’ Since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord’s Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires. (2761)

“Our Father who art in heaven” We acknowledge we are His children.
“hallowed be thy name” We acknowledge the power in His name.
“thy Kingdom come” We acknowledge and desire His Kingdom.
“thy will be done” We desire to follow God.
“on earth as it is in heaven.” We realize there is this life and the next.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” We ask for all of our needs.
“and forgive us our trespasses,” We beg forgiveness.
“as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We pledge forgiveness.
“and lead us not into temptation,” We ask for courage and strength.
“but deliver us from evil.” We ask for protection from the devil.

Sometime today, even late this evening, when all is said and done, reflect slowly on the words of this incredible gift of prayer and allow the Lord Jesus to hold you safe within his most Sacred Heart.

Leave a comment

October 6 – Optional Memorial of Saint Bruno, priest


For the Readings for the Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 652

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724 or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – PHIL 3:8-14

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

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

Responsorial Psalm – PS 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 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.”

Leave a comment

October 5, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 462

Reading I – JON 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, 
put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth 
and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, 
and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm – 130:1B-2, 3-4AB, 7-8

R.    (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD
    LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
    LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
    that you may be revered.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Let Israel wait for the LORD,
For with the LORD is kindness
    and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
    from all their iniquities.
R.    If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Alleluia – LK 11:28

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

Gospel – LK 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village 
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? 
Tell her to help me.” 
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 
There is need of only one thing. 
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Learning How To Fly


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 5, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” One thing is very clear and demanded from the one who hears the call of discipleship to follow Jesus and wishes to answer it: it will always involve a leap of faith, an extra helping of courage, and a sometimes small, sometimes monumental act of faith. Such was the case of Jonah of which we heard in our First Reading after he was first charged to warn and issue an apocalyptic message to the Ninevites: “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed.” This was no easy task, and neither was the awesome, even unexpected outcome: They changed their ways, trusted God through the words of Jonah, and were saved.

In front of this all-encompassing mercy of God that marvels as well as redeems, we can understand and agree with the Psalmist who is so insistent with the only recourse we have when we have made that tumultuous leap of complete trust: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD, LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.”

The benefits of this leap of faith are then made crystal clear and even more desirable in the Gospel today. The scene there is similar to the many experiences we have had when something happens to us that we believe simply is not fair. This is certainly true today in the Gospel with the two famous sisters, Martha and Mary. Martha begins with Jesus suggesting that somehow all of the present tasks and responsibilities have fallen in her lap while Mary gets a pass. However, in what might be seen as a surprise response, Jesus invites her to be ready to make that leap of faith and trust with all her heart and mind as to the outcome. “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”

Perhaps we could agree with a statement that was posted in a church lobby some years ago: “When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty, trust Him fully because two things will happen. Either He will catch you when you fall or He will teach you how to fly.”

Leave a comment

October 5 – Optional Memorial of Saint Faustina Kowalska, virgin


For the Readings for the Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time, please go here.

Lectionary: 651B

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins #731-735 or the Common of Holy Men and Women #738-742.

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 – PSALM 103:1BC-2, 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18A

R.    (1)  O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills,
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward his children’s children
among those who keep his covenant.
R.    O bless the Lord, my soul!

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. Allleuia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – MT 11:25-30

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

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

Leave a comment

October 4, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lectionary: 461

Reading I – JON 1:1–2:1-2, 11

This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, son of Amittai:

“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it;
their wickedness has come up before me.”
But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD.
He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish,
paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish,
away from the LORD.

The LORD, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea,
and in the furious tempest that arose
the ship was on the point of breaking up.
Then the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god.
To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea.
Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship,
and lay there fast asleep.
The captain came to him and said, “What are you doing asleep?
Rise up, call upon your God!
Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish.”

Then they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots
to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune.”
So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah.
“Tell us,” they said, “what is your business?
Where do you come from?
What is your country, and to what people do you belong?”
Jonah answered them, “I am a Hebrew,
I worship the LORD, the God of heaven,
who made the sea and the dry land.”

Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him,
“How could you do such a thing!– 
They knew that he was fleeing from the LORD,
because he had told them.–
They asked, “What shall we do with you,
that the sea may quiet down for us?”
For the sea was growing more and more turbulent.
Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,
that it may quiet down for you;
since I know it is because of me
that this violent storm has come upon you.”

Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not,
for the sea grew ever more turbulent.
Then they cried to the LORD: “We beseech you, O LORD,
let us not perish for taking this man’s life;
do not charge us with shedding innocent blood,
for you, LORD, have done as you saw fit.”
Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea,
and the sea’s raging abated.
Struck with great fear of the LORD,
the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him.

But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah;
and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish
three days and three nights.
From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed 
to the LORD, his God.
Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.

Responsorial Psalm – JONAH 2:3, 4, 5, 8

R.    You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
Out of my distress I called to the LORD,
    and he answered me;
From the midst of the nether world I cried for help,
    and you heard my voice.
R.    You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea,
    and the flood enveloped me;
All your breakers and your billows 
    passed over me.
R.    You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
Then I said, “I am banished from your sight!
    yet would I again look upon your holy temple.”
R.    You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
When my soul fainted within me,
    I remembered the LORD;
My prayer reached you
     in your holy temple.
R.    You will rescue my life from the pit, O 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 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, 
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied, 
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 4 – Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, religious


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi, please go here.

Lectionary: 651

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – GAL 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule and to the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters.  Amen.

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

R.    (see 5A)  You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Alleluia – SEE MT 11:25

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

Gospel – MT 11:25-30

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

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

Leave a comment

The Quintessential Instrument Of Peace


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 4, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.” Today is the great and glorious Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who was gifted with the stigmata, the actual markings of the passion of Christ. His very name and the city of Assisi are remarkably full of peace. But it was not always like that. Francis had a previous life that was not so saintly, but because of a rich conversion, much like St. Paul and Jonah (of whale fame), which we read in our First Reading, God is truly praised by the deep renewal within the human soul and spirit. Assisi, previously at war with Perugia, also encountered a deep change. “Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice.”

St. Francis taught and lived the great mystery which is within every one of us. We are truly, all of us, walking miracles because of the One who created us and brought us into being. When you truly think about it, change and conversion toward God are more natural and normal than staying the same, especially in a life of sin and selfishness. “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” Yes, this is true. If we just for a single moment each day realize that we are one day closer to Heaven or Hell, then everything we do and say today will have great and deep repercussions in eternity. This is a gift of peace, not of anxiety. Change is the one constant in the universe, so asking for the grace of ongoing conversion is completely in line with our destiny and essence. Take some time today and quietly, gently pray the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Watch what happens:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.





Leave a comment

The Heart Has Reason


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 3, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one flesh.” These familiar passages from the Book of Genesis clearly reveal that humanity is lost without the covenant extended to us and ratified in the Gospel. And yet, Christians cannot hide behind precepts and regulations and mount some kind of superior plane or landing from which to judge people and forget that we, that is, all of humanity, are in the same boat. I heard someone say quite directly to another: “Don’t judge other people just because they don’t sin like you do.” The Scriptures explain that the final judgment will be a review of performance, not of privilege. From this perspective, all the promises that we make in this life must be honored and none more profound than the commitment of love and life that marriage so eloquently capsulizes and expresses. God does not go back on His promises, and neither are we to doubt the beauty of promise and commitment.

“Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?’” St. Matthew continues and completes this thought for us by ensuring that the Pharisees know that mere possession of laws is no evidence of virtue. Mark Twain once responded to a man who was going to the Holy Land to see where the Ten Commandments were given with, “Why don’t you just stay home and live them? “Good point, Mr. Clemens. “The worst prison,” St. John Paul wrote, “would be a closed heart,” and this is precisely why you and must know that the Word of God has everything to do with keeping promises and the commitments of love: “Receive the word of God, not as the word of men, but, as it truly is, the word of God.”

“Never close your lips to those with whom you have already opened your heart.” Charles Dickens

Leave a comment

October 3, 2021


Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 140

Reading I – GN 2:18-24

The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a suitable partner for him.”
So the LORD God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;
whatever the man called each of them would be its name. 
The man gave names to all the cattle,
all the birds of the air, and all wild animals;
but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,
and while he was asleep,
he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib
that he had taken from the man.
When he brought her to the man, the man said:
    “This one, at last, is bone of my bones
        and flesh of my flesh;
    this one shall be called ‘woman, ‘
        for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

R. (CF. 5)  May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
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. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
    in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
    around your table.
R. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
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. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
May you see your children’s children.
    Peace be upon Israel!
R. May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.

Reading II – HEB 2:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
He “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels, “
that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

For it was fitting that he,
for whom and through whom all things exist,
in bringing many children to glory,
should make the leader to their salvation perfect through suffering.
He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated
all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers.”

Alleluia – 1 JN 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If we love one another, God remains in us
and his love is brought to perfection in us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 10:2-16 OR 10:2-12

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” 
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” 
They replied,
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment. 
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

So they are no longer two but one flesh. 
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.” 
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. 
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me;
do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these. 
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.

OR:

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” 
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” 
They replied,
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.” 
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment. 
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. 
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

So they are no longer two but one flesh. 
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.” 
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. 
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

October 2, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

Lectionary: 460/650

Reading I – BAR 4:5-12, 27-29

Fear not, my people!
    Remember, Israel,
You were sold to the nations
    not for your destruction;
It was because you angered God
    that you were handed over to your foes.
For you provoked your Maker
    with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods;
You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you,
    and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you.
She indeed saw coming upon you
    the anger of God; and she said:

“Hear, you neighbors of Zion!
    God has brought great mourning upon me,
For I have seen the captivity
    that the Eternal God has brought
    upon my sons and daughters.
With joy I fostered them;
    but with mourning and lament I let them go.
Let no one gloat over me, a widow,
    bereft of many:
For the sins of my children I am left desolate,
    because they turned from the law of God.
Fear not, my children; call out to God!
    He who brought this upon you will remember you.
As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
    turn now ten times the more to seek him;
For he who has brought disaster upon you 
    will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”

Responsorial Psalm – 69:33-35, 36-37

R.    (34) The Lord listens to the poor.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
    you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
    and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
    the seas and whatever moves in them!”
R.    The Lord listens to the poor.
For God will save Zion
    and rebuild the cities of Judah.
They shall dwell in the land and own it,
    and the descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
    and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R.    The Lord listens to the poor.

Alleluia – PS 103:21

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Bless the LORD, all you angels,
you ministers, who do his will.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 18:1-5, 10

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

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

“Guardians Of The Galaxy”


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 2, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” Do you want to be the greatest at anything? I can only imagine that people are either trying to get ahead or just exist and coast in this highly competitive yet entitlement-minded society. Both are extreme ways of living. Some would call this “all-or-nothing” thinking which has traditionally led many down a dark and lonely path. You see, Jesus changes all that: “Do you want to be great?,” He asks. And before answering, Our Lord places right in front of all the readers of the Gospel throughout the centuries, a child. An innocent, loving, trusting child cries when they are angry or has acted selfishly.

Trust the Lord; He loves you! And if you need a little more help, guess what? It will be there: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” Did you catch that? Every child has their angel constantly in touch with the Father. You and I were all once children, so we still have them. This is precisely what the Scripture says and what the Church teaches today on the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Name your, angel. Take a deep breath and move forward. Trust Jesus. Now, that’s great!

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here.
Ever this night/day be at my side
to light and guard, to rule and guide.

Amen.

Leave a comment

October 2 – Memorial of the Guardian Angels


For the Readings for the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, please go here.

Lectionary: 650

The Gospel for this memorial is proper. The first reading be taken either from the weekday or the readings below.

Reading 1 – EX 23:20-23

Thus says the LORD:
“See, I am sending an angel before you,
to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.
Be attentive to him and heed his voice.
Do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin.
My authority resides in him.
If you heed his voice and carry out all I tell you,
I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes.

“My angel will go before you and bring you to the
Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites,
Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites;
and I will wipe them out.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 91:1-2, 3-4AB, 4C-6, 10-11

R.    (11) The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
R.    The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge.
R.    The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.
His faithfulness is a buckler and a shield.
You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day;
Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness,
nor the devastating plague at noon.
R.    The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.
No evil shall befall you,
nor shall affliction come near your tent,
For to his angels he has given command about you,
that they guard you in all your ways.
R.    The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.

Alleluia – PS 103:21

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Bless the LORD, all you angels,
you ministers, who do his will.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 18:1-5, 10

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

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

Leave a comment

October 1, 2021


For the Readings suggested for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 459

Reading I – BAR 1:15-22

During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed:
“Justice is with the Lord, our God;
and we today are flushed with shame,
we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem,
that we, with our kings and rulers
and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors,
have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed him.
We have neither heeded the voice of the Lord, our God,
nor followed the precepts which the Lord set before us.
From the time the Lord led our ancestors out of the land of Egypt
until the present day,
we have been disobedient to the Lord, our God,
and only too ready to disregard his voice.
And the evils and the curse that the Lord enjoined upon Moses, his servant,
at the time he led our ancestors forth from the land of Egypt
to give us the land flowing with milk and honey,
cling to us even today.
For we did not heed the voice of the Lord, our God,
in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us,
but each one of us went off
after the devices of his own wicked heart,
served other gods,
and did evil in the sight of the Lord, our God.”

Responsorial Psalm – 79:1B-2, 3-5, 8, 9

R.    (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
    they have defiled your holy temple,
    they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
    as food to the birds of heaven,
    the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth.
R.    For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
They have poured out their blood like water
    round about Jerusalem,
    and there is no one to bury them.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
    the scorn and derision of those around us.
O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever?
    Will your jealousy burn like fire?
R.    For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
    may your compassion quickly come to us,
    for we are brought very low.
R.    For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
    because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
    for your name’s sake.
R.    For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

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

Gospel – LK 10:13-16

Jesus said to them,
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.’
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me. 
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Leave a comment

Life Starts Over


Reflection on Mass Reading for October 1, 2021

Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Welcome again, fellow Scripture followers, to a brand new month that begins with the first day of October! Since our first day is also the Feast Day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, and the Gospel from the first Sunday of the brand new month has to do with a childlike attitude to keep following Christ, we will devote our attention to this month’s Reflections to the theme that will begin each daily offering: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.”

“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” One of the wonderful characteristics of a child is the complete trust they have for the ones who love them. It is precisely this attitude for us who call ourselves Christian that is necessary to listen to God and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. At times, we let jaded, hardened, and even selfish attitudes that have crept into our adulthood block the real joy of following, trusting, and believing the words of Jesus as we journey through our lives.

“For we did not heed the voice of the Lord, our God, in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us, but each one of us went off after the devices of his own wicked heart, served other gods, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, our God.” As we begin the brand new month of opportunities and challenges, we do so with the greatest hope that these days will provide great spiritual growth and maturity. God bless us all!

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitgerald

Leave a comment

October 1 – Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, please go here.

Lectionary: 649

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins, #731-736, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – IS 66:10-14C

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
Exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
That you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like
an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
As a mother comforts her son,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
The LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.

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

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

Alleluia – SEE MT 11:25

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

Gospel – MT 18:1-4

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

Leave a comment