The Word of God

September 30, 2022


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

Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 459

Reading 1 – Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

The LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:

Have you ever in your lifetime commanded the morning
and shown the dawn its place
For taking hold of the ends of the earth,
till the wicked are shaken from its surface?
The earth is changed as is clay by the seal,
and dyed as though it were a garment;
But from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm of pride is shattered.

Have you entered into the sources of the sea,
or walked about in the depths of the abyss?
Have the gates of death been shown to you,
or have you seen the gates of darkness?
Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all:
Which is the way to the dwelling place of light,
and where is the abode of darkness,
That you may take them to their boundaries
and set them on their homeward paths?
You know, because you were born before them,
and the number of your years is great!

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again;
though twice, I will do so no more.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 139:1-3, 7-8, 9-10, 13-14AB

R. (24B) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

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.”

September 30 – Memorial of Saint Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church, please go here.

Lectionary: 648

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730, or the Common of Pastors, #719-724.

Reading 1 – 2 Tm 3:14-17

Beloved:
Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

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

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

Alleluia – See Acts 16:14B

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

Gospel – Mt 13:47-52

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.  
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
Jesus asked them:
“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 459


“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!” So how does Jesus respond to those living in these New Testament lake towns which should have known better and acted differently? Well, to say the least, 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 in 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 the ones who judge and criticize and try to “fix” everyone else except themselves are almost always humiliated. It all depends on the quality of our relationship with the Lord Jesus.

“Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth. Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more.” Today, as we end this month of September, let us first give thanks that Our Lord loves us so much that we are constantly being exposed to the truth of 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 definitely 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 as 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

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Reflection – Lectionary: 647


“War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.” (First Reading)

“In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.” (Responsorial Psalm)

“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of
God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (Gospel)

In the great scheme of things in which God has created everything that is and ever will be, we have Angels. Their name comes from the word that means “messenger.” Since that is true, we can safely assume three very important elements about the Angels and Archangels:

  1. There is a Sender of the message
  2. There is a recipient of the message
  3. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is a message

Today, as we commemorate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, there may be many things around you that you simply do not or cannot understand. Perhaps you may feel that God has been quiet for an unbearable amount of time. Today’s Feast calls us not only to celebrate the great mystery which is ours and comprises a very personal and wondrous gift but also to call out to the realm of Angels clearly led by the great Saint Michael. Be open to receiving grace and help. If it’s at all possible, see if you can find some quiet time. Then Listen. You and I have got more than just mail: we have a powerful message!

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

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September 29, 2022


Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels

Lectionary: 647

Reading I – Dn 7:9-10, 13-14

As I watched:

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

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

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

OR: 

Rv 12:7-12AB

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them.”

Responsorial Psalm – 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 4-5

R.    (1)  In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
    for you have heard the words of my mouth;
    in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name.
R.    In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
    for you have made great above all things
    your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
    you built up strength within me.
R.    In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
All the kings of the earth shall give thanks to you, O LORD
    when they hear the words of your mouth;
And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD
    “Great is the glory of the LORD
R.    In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.

Alleluia – Ps 103:21

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

Gospel – Jn 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 28, 2022


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

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

Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 457

Reading 1 – Jb 9:1-12, 14-16

Job answered his friends and said:

I know well that it is so;
but how can a man be justified before God?
Should one wish to contend with him,
he could not answer him once in a thousand times.
God is wise in heart and mighty in strength;
who has withstood him and remained unscathed?

He removes the mountains before they know it;
he overturns them in his anger.
He shakes the earth out of its place,
and the pillars beneath it tremble.
He commands the sun, and it rises not;
he seals up the stars.

He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads upon the crests of the sea.
He made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south;
He does great things past finding out,
marvelous things beyond reckoning.

Should he come near me, I see him not;
should he pass by, I am not aware of him;
Should he seize me forcibly, who can say him nay?
Who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

How much less shall I give him any answer,
or choose out arguments against him!
Even though I were right, I could not answer him,
but should rather beg for what was due me.
If I appealed to him and he answered my call,
I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 88:10BC-11, 12-13, 14-15

R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
Daily I call upon you, O LORD;
to you I stretch out my hands.
Will you work wonders for the dead?
Will the shades arise to give you thanks?
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
Do they declare your mercy in the grave,
your faithfulness among those who have perished?
Are your wonders made known in the darkness,
or your justice in the land of oblivion?
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
But I, O LORD, cry out to you;
with my morning prayer I wait upon you.
Why, O LORD, do you reject me;
why hide from me your face?
R. Let my prayer come before you, 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 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.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 28 – Optional Memorial of Saint Wenceslaus, martyr


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

Lectionary: 646

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 – 1 Pt 3:14-17

Beloved:
Even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you.
Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them,
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

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 5:10

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

Gospel – Mt 10:34-39

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set

a man ‘against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

September 28 – Optional Memorial of Saint Lawrence Ruiz and companions, martyrs


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

Lectionary: 645A

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 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
“What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

At the point of death, the second brother said:
“You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.
It is for his laws that we are dying.”

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
“It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again.”
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.
When he was near death, he said,
“It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

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

R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Alleluia – Mt 5:10

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

Gospel – Jn 15:18-21

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 457


“How much less shall I give him any answer, or choose out arguments against him! Even though I were right, I could not answer him, but should rather beg for what was due me.” It is truly amazing how some Old Testament figures seem to have a human-like relationship with the Lord. The multi-faceted, many-layered answer God gives to Job toward the end of the Book of Job has been the material of many an author. The fruit of their conversation has painted a wonderfully comforting picture that can and should help us and encourage us on our spiritual journey. What should be more than crystal clear is that God never gives up on us even if we may have surrendered hope ourselves. There can never be a valid excuse for denying this awesome truth. God truly loves spending time with us!

Knowing how much God loves us, especially in sending us His Only Begotten Son, it must be clear that Jesus has that same desire: spiritual intimacy. “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Maybe there are some of our readers who want to cry out, “Lord, I am here for you. Rest with me!” Perhaps the message here is that we avoid being distracted by anything else while we are on the course of loving, knowing, and serving God.

Why do you think we stumble and fall at times? What nervous and erroneous mental distractions come between us and true happiness? What excuses do we offer? It will inevitably come down to whether or not we are people who pray. Some have assembled the main reasons why we do not pray: We think we do not have the time, or that it is important, or that we think it makes no difference. All these excuses are beyond silly; they are not even true. Today, let us be fed with the wisdom of the Scriptures and make and find the time to pray. The rewards are literally out of this world.

“Intimacy with God is the way to true fulfillment. How do you keep the Enemy from sitting at your table? You keep your eyes on Christ.” Louie Giglio

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September 27, 2022


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

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest

Lectionary: 456

Reading 1 – Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23

Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.
Job spoke out and said:

Perish the day on which I was born,
the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”

Why did I not perish at birth,
come forth from the womb and expire?
Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth,
like babes that have never seen the light?
Wherefore did the knees receive me?
or why did I suck at the breasts?

For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
had I slept, I should then have been at rest
With kings and counselors of the earth
who built where now there are ruins
Or with princes who had gold
and filled their houses with silver.

There the wicked cease from troubling,
there the weary are at rest.

Why is light given to the toilers,
and life to the bitter in spirit?
They wait for death and it comes not;
they search for it rather than for hidden treasures,
Rejoice in it exultingly,
and are glad when they reach the grave:
Those whose path is hidden from them,
and whom God has hemmed in!

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8

R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
O LORD, my God, by day I cry out;
at night I clamor in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my call for help.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
For my soul is surfeited with troubles
and my life draws near to the nether world.
I am numbered with those who go down into the pit;
I am a man without strength.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
My couch is among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no longer
and who are cut off from your care.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit,
into the dark abyss.
Upon me your wrath lies heavy,
and with all your billows you overwhelm me.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.

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 – Lk 9:51-56

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.

Read Today’s Reflection

September 27 – Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, priest


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest, please go here.

Lectionary: 645

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, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Those Who Work for the Underprivileged, #737-742.

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 1:26-31

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

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 112:1BC-2, 3-4, 5-7, 7-8, 9

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

Alleluia – Jn 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 – Mt 9:35-38

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 456 


“Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light?” Our friend Job is clearly not having a good day. It sounds like a couple of mornings for you and me, doesn’t it? And that is precisely the point: everyone, every single living soul, will have dry spells, seasons of woe, and days of agony. That never means we have lost the eternal battle to enter Heaven. It just means that our suffering must increase our strength and resolve to keep going. “Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my call for help.”

The ultimate depth 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 the Scriptures and is echoed brilliantly and with great comfort throughout the Gospels. The rain must fall but with the dawn comes rejoicing because of the very One who died for us.

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. We also have the example of St. Vincent de Paul, who lifted up the poor and hungry and sought to educate the clergy. Suffering will always be with us. This definitely means that we must always seek to understand the deep misery of despair, unite those sufferings to Jesus and thus reach 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. Others are hurting. Together we are going to win this. Jesus promised.

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September 26, 2022


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

Lectionary: 455

Reading 1 – JB 1:6-22

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?”
Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
“From roaming the earth and patrolling it.” 
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?”
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
“Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face.”
And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person.”
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
“The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
“The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair.
He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and said,

“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,
and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!”

In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 17:1BCD, 2-3, 6-7

R. (6) Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; 
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

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 – LK 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest. 
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest.”Then John said in reply, 
“Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name 
and we tried to prevent him
 because he does not follow in our company.”
Jesus said to him, 
“Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 26 – Optional Memorial of Saints Cosmas and Damian, martyrs


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

Lectionary: 644

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 – Wis 3:1-9

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

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

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

Alleluia – Jas 1:12

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

Gospel – Mt 10:28-33

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 455


“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” Our Scriptures open up with one of the most memorable quotes ever uttered by Job’s long-suffering and monumentally patient character, who continues to infuse our thinking and day-to-day living with remarkable and helpful insights that we desperately need in this frenetic world. We are speaking here about a healthy, totally God-centered confident detachment from all the forces of darkness and disappointment that cause us or at least temp us to worry and lose hope as we make our way in our Spiritual lives toward Heaven. This is not always easily accomplished because, as adults, we often feel we must work for, attain and operate with “full control” of any given situation.

“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” And once again, Jesus the Lord crowns these wonderful hopes and dreams for a much simpler, holier, and healthier way of life by asking us to recall and relive what it means to be a child at heart. This is quick to be distinguished from being childish but rather exhibiting an amazing disposition whereby trust in God is the way the day begins and ends. When we receive and accept this portion of our personality and truly learn to live in the moment and be here right now, we will understand why Jesus loved children so much and why He loves us in that very same and innocently trusting way.

“The child is in me still and sometimes not so still.” Fred Rogers

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Reflection – Lectionary: 138


“Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall!” The pages of all the Scriptures literally shout out with warnings and desperate pleas concerning neglect for the poor and hungry in our world. This also seems to be a theme that has never been applied to just one culture or time period but all of humanity in every age. The words of the Prophet Amos are as fierce as they are clear about the pride and selfishness that produces this kind of woeful abandonment of the most vulnerable around us: “Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.”

The Gospel today makes even a stronger case for realizing our responsibilities for the poor and neglected in this world and the serious consequences that await those who live very selfishly and even hatefully while they walk the earth with the many blessings abounding. “My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad.” The rich man in our passage literally had to walk over Lazarus who was literally covered with sores and longed to eat scraps that fell from the opulent table of the palace in front of which he was begging. This is a powerful lesson for every one of us. Let us all carefully look around our lives to ensure we are not “walking over” people who need us. Negligence is a terrible thing that brings much worse than sores and scraps for those who remain blind.

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” St. Augustine

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September 25, 2022


Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 138

Reading 1 – Am 6:1A, 4-7

Thus says the LORD the God of hosts:
 Woe to the complacent in Zion!
 Lying upon beds of ivory,
 stretched comfortably on their couches,
 they eat lambs taken from the flock,
 and calves from the stall!
 Improvising to the music of the harp,
 like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
 They drink wine from bowls
 and anoint themselves with the best oils;
 yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
 Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile,
 and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 146:7, 8-9, 9-10

R. (1B) Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
 secures justice for the oppressed,
 gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
 the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
 the LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
 but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
 your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 Tm 6:11-16

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called
when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I charge you before God, who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power.  Amen.

Alleluia – Cf. 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied,
‘My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father,
send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 454


“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come And the years approach of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them.” The older we get, the more life comes into focus, then, mysteriously, out of focus again. Strange thoughts, indeed, but inspired by the reference in the Gospel where it seems that knowledge and understanding are withheld along this journey we call life. You see, each level and step of our lives produces enough experience and memory to grasp certain realities that beforehand we could never understand. Take death, for instance. Some are horribly tragic, and others, although they may sting, are somehow soothed with the passing of time and other births. It is clear that meaning is withheld for something better later on.

“But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.” The real wisdom will arrive when we stop asking questions and be completely amazed and enthralled with the One who brought everything into the light. Knowledge of the world is one thing, but trust in the Lord Jesus dispels even the need to understand things and be ready to live in His presence all the days of our lives. We then can finally understand and appreciate the words of the Psalm of today: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”

“A genuine faith resolves the mystery of life by the mystery of God.” Reinhold Niebuhr

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September 24, 2022


Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 454

Reading 1 – ECCL 11:9—12:8

Rejoice, O young man, while you are young 
and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart,
the vision of your eyes;
Yet understand that as regards all this
God will bring you to judgment.
Ward off grief from your heart
and put away trouble from your presence,
though the dawn of youth is fleeting.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the evil days come
And the years approach of which you will say,
I have no pleasure in them;
Before the sun is darkened,
and the light, and the moon, and the stars,
while the clouds return after the rain;
When the guardians of the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent,
And the grinders are idle because they are few,
and they who look through the windows grow blind;
When the doors to the street are shut,
and the sound of the mill is low;
When one waits for the chirp of a bird,
but all the daughters of song are suppressed;
And one fears heights,
and perils in the street;
When the almond tree blooms,
and the locust grows sluggish
and the caper berry is without effect,
Because man goes to his lasting home,
and mourners go about the streets;
Before the silver cord is snapped
and the golden bowl is broken,
And the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the broken pulley falls into the well,
And the dust returns to the earth as it once was,
and the life breath returns to God who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
all things are vanity!

Responsorial Psalm – PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight 
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia – 2 TIMOTHY 1:10

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

Gospel – LK 9:43B-45

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” 
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Read Today’s Reflection

Aspire to Inspire


person in wheelchair on a hill with dog by side looking at sunrise over water

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

It’s funny, sometimes, to realize that the true faces of courage and brilliance are found in the simplest most unexpected of places. And yet, that’s where they are truly and mostly found and therefore begs our attention to find more of them. By realizing that the unexpected joys of this earth can be found in the most simple and mundane of places, we will certainly find many more of them.

Take for instance an experience I had years ago, acting as one of several chaperones for a wonderful group of sixth graders who traveled to one of those theme parks scattered all over the country. You could say that I was “voluntold” to accompany this group of youngsters who were about to enter Middle School, all of them so sure about what was going to happen, and none of them truly aware of how their lives were about to change dramatically.

It was about a three-hour travel time from school to our destination that was actually quite enjoyable. Since we left very early in the morning, I think that for the first two hours of this last elementary school spree, the bus driver and I were the only people awake during that time. I loved the scenery that slowly glowed with the first little moments of dawn. In many ways it was like a little retreat that helped me place so many situations in the right perspective. I have tried to repeat these little enlightening moments ever since.

Every year, each “graduating” class adopted some theme or saying. It was hoped that this poignant thought would help weave the entire year together and hopefully make memories for years to come. I am happy to report, for our purposes here, that even after twenty years in some circumstances, we  definitely achieved our goal. This class chose an interesting phrase that had surfaced among so many choices: “Always aspire to inspire before you expire!”

To this day, I find myself repeating that phrase and those who know me and know that I am set to say it again, beat me to the punch. It is, as the British say, the “bees’ knees.” (Means really cool.)

This particular school trip was going to be memorable. This group was both a joy and a drain to be around. While their laughter was infectious, the energy it took to keep up would have emptied the energy out of the Energizer rabbit. After about three hours, since I was the oldest of all the chaperones, they gave me reprieve and let me wander on my own, promising to meet up with the group at the end of the time allotted, and to board the bus to return home. However, before leaving I was to meet Jared,  whose face and uniform and behavior, I pray I will never forget. I knew his name was Jared because of his big-name tag.

This particular theme park had the practice of hiring disabled individuals to do everything from greeting park goers, to taking tickets, and watering plants and shrubs. Jared must have been around sixteen years old and was confined to a highly modernized and motorized wheelchair where all the navigation was combined and centralized into one little “joystick” or flight stick that allowed him to maneuver backward, forward, side-to-side. He sure did master this feat of complete marvel to my eyes.

Jared was stationed in the food court and all his job consisted of was to pick up left behind food trays, dip them in a bucket attached to his wheelchair, dry them off with the one hand that he use of, and place them neatly in another side of his vehicle where, I imagined, someone would collect and get ready for re-use. With every approach to each table, my admiration for him and the tears in my eyes grew. He was so focused and untiring, as he attempted to manage a smile from his contorted expression, which would melt a glacier.

But as life presents at times, this remarkable scene was rudely interrupted by some brat-infested pre-teen with less manners than a hungry snake and less charm to boot. He thought it would be funny to make fun of Jared while accompanying him from table to table and making his only noble chore as difficult as he could. At one point, as Jared was reaching for a tray to clean, this inhuman prankster kept pushing it out of his reach until it fell to the ground. Jared never returned any hatred or equally mean behavior or look, but simply tried to lean down from his chair to pick up the item for cleaning. And just when you thought it could not get any worse, this spoiled child stepped on it — making it impossible for Jared to retrieve. It was then that I could not help myself and leapt up and as directly and sternly as I could, dug down to enlist my Darth Vader voice to somewhat shout, “Get off the tray!” The little bully ran off and I picked up the tray and helped Jared wash it and place it with the others.

“I’m sorry, Son. I hope that guy didn’t ruin your day.” As I started to make my way for the entrance of the park and meet my hopefully tired and exhausted group of sixth graders, I looked back and could hear him slowly mouth, with not a small amount of effort, “Thaaa…nk…you.” I started to weep. Not because of pity, but because of complete admiration and amazement for this soul that embodied greatness to me on a hot summer afternoon. As soon as I could compose myself, I looked at him with the hope that I would never forget him, and said, “You inspire me.” And with that, Jared went back to work and his life, and I returned to mine, all the better for this encounter.

I believe all of us have seeds of greatness within us. Our ability to think, reason, create, discover, and much, much more, proves that each one of us is special and unique. Rest assured that none of us are a mistake! We all face difficult challenges from time to time, but one thing is true; every life has great worth and incredible value. Though our time here on this planet is relatively brief, each of us should aspire to do what we can to inspire and help others in the limited amount of time we are given. Whether we realize it or not, our lives touch many other lives. For as long as we live, we should do everything in our power to inspire, help, and encourage others as we journey together.

Whoever you are and wherever you are reading this wonderful memory of mine from, I pray that you will collect many like it. There are miracles and opportunities of greatness everywhere. Expect to find them and they will be there. Think about all the people who never attempt great things because they are afraid that they might fail. We simply cannot be counted among them.  My friends, seek greatness. Aspire to inspire before you expire, to new heights that you have never attempted. When you do, you will inspire other people and yourself as well. It happened to me at a theme park more than twenty years ago, and my prayer is that Jared is still inspiring you.

“We all carry the seeds of greatness within us, but we need an image as a point of focus in order that they may sprout.”  ~Epicletus

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September 23, 2022


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

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

Lectionary: 453

Reading 1 – ECCL 3:1-11

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

What advantage has the worker from his toil?
I have considered the task that God has appointed
for the sons of men to be busied about.
He has made everything appropriate to its time,
and has put the timeless into their hearts,
without man’s ever discovering,
from beginning to end, the work which God has done.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 144:1B AND 2ABC, 3-4

R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
my mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
LORD, what is man, that you notice him;
the son of man, that you take thought of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days, like a passing shadow.
R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

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 – LK 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 23 – Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, priest


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest, please go here.

Lectionary: 643A

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 – Gal 2:19-20

Brothers and sisters:
Through the law I died to the law,
that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ;
yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God
who has loved me and given himself up for me.

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. (1) 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. (1) 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. (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

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 – Mt 16:24-27

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 453


“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every thing under the heavens.” This passage from the Book of Ecclesiasticus reinforces the claim that there is an overall, far-reaching providential care that always accompanies our walk in this life and that by trusting this assertion, we can be assured of great peace and the seeds of a happy and fulfilled life. No longer can we ask with an air of disappointment and despair, “why do all these things happen to me?” By trusting in the heavenly care God has for us and the ultimate sacrifice paid by His Son, Jesus, we do not ask, “why me?” but rather, “what now?!”

“But who do you say that I am?” This larger-than-life question that yields magnificent results is found in only one and basically rudimentary position. Who we think Jesus is, surpasses any philosophy or self-help mantra in existence. Once we realize who He is, we will come to find the most wonderful peace and happiness ever imagined because we will have discovered why He came. He came for me!

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Leo Tolstoy

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Reflection – Lectionary: 452


“And he kept trying to see him.” The ravaged conscience of Herod the Madman was apparently no match for the bright celestial light emanating from Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You see, the insane and inane king thought he had calmed his evil heart by beheading John the Baptist, but that was not going to happen. “John, I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” This is why it is of tantamount importance to remain in a state of grace and always in deep spiritual and prayerful communication with the Lord. We must be persistent in this way because eventually, our own heart will not rest until it rests with Jesus. 

“What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?” The First Reading substantiates this thought and direction by reminding us that all things will pass, and the vain and proud things we attempted to accomplish will amount to nothing in the greater scheme of things. What we need today and every day we are allowed to breathe is wisdom. Persistence and trust in God during the course of our spiritual lives will yield eternal benefits and help form us into true, loving people. We must never give up or surrender. The price is too great and awesome. 

“The art of love is largely the art of persistence.”  Albert Ellis

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September 22, 2022


Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 452

Reading 1 – ECCL 1:2-11

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity!
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?
One generation passes and another comes,
but the world forever stays.
The sun rises and the sun goes down;
then it presses on to the place where it rises.
Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north,
the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds.
All rivers go to the sea,
yet never does the sea become full.
To the place where they go,
the rivers keep on going.
All speech is labored;
there is nothing one can say.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing
nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.

What has been, that will be;
what has been done, that will be done.
Nothing is new under the sun.
Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!”
has already existed in the ages that preceded us.
There is no remembrance of the men of old;
nor of those to come will there be any remembrance
among those who come after them.
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17BC

R. (1)  In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

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 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 643


“I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received.” How can we say that someone who is a prisoner is actually in a good place? This would have to be determined by a number of factors, such as the prison itself, the prisoner, and of course, the jailer. On this beautiful Tuesday, we have encountered such a mission of understanding and belief that will hopefully expand our notions of faith and to the awesome extent that Jesus loves us. “…with all humility and gentleness, with patience.” The word “prison” has been defined in some circles as a state of confinement while awaiting trial. In many ways, we could stretch that meaning just a bit and see how life itself can be a sort of prison because we are confined in space and time, awaiting the final judgment of all that we have said and done while here on this earth. Thus, while we are “confined,” we have been given instructions while we are here. We are to be humble and gentle, and as much can be grasped, patient with as many as possible. “…bearing with one another through love.” If we see everyone in our lives as fellow prisoners, then we could find the strength and the power to love because we are all awaiting the same trial. That in and of itself will bring us to unity and peace: “…striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

“Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” On this great Feast of St. Matthew, this particular phrase from the Gospel describes and determines the attitude of the “jailer” in our little analogy of this Reflection. God has placed us here on earth “in confinement,” and Jesus will come one day to lead us out of this existence to another, which is complete and eternal freedom. In the meantime, then, we are to concentrate on living, acting with, and living in mercy. Showing mercy to each other is indeed a pledge and promise that mercy will be shown to us. 

“Teach me to feel another’s woe, To hide the fault I see; That mercy I to others show, That mercy show to me.” Alexander Pope (from The Universal Prayer)

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September 21, 2022


Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

Lectionary: 643

Reading I – Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

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

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

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

Responsorial Psalm – 19:2-3, 4-5

R.    (5)  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 – Mt 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
    I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 20, 2022


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

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Lectionary: 450

Reading 1 – PRV 21:1-6, 10-13

Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44

R. (35) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Alleluia – LK 11:28

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

Gospel – LK 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers 
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 20 – Memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, and Saint Paul Chong Hasang, catechist and martyr, and their companions, martyrs


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs, please go here.

Lectionary: 642A

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 – Wis 3:1-9

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

Or

Rom 8:31B-39

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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 – 1 Pt 4:14

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

Gospel – Lk 9:23-26

Jesus said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory
and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 450


Are You My Mother? is a story about a hatchling bird. His mother, thinking her egg will stay in her nest where she left it, leaves her egg alone and flies off to find food. The baby bird then hatches and does not understand where his mother is, so he goes to look for her. As he lacks the ability to fly, he walks, and in his search, he asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a cow if they are his mother, but none of them are. This quaint and well-known children’s story helps us remember the nearly same kind of question hurled at Jesus in the Gospel today. People thought that since the Virgin Mary and other close family members were asking for Him, Jesus would respond immediately; however, His response was nearly puzzling on first impressions: He said to them in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.'” We could repeat with the cute story the same question in an entirely different and mesmerizing context, “God, are you my mother, my brothers, sisters, family?” The answer, however, is as mystifying as it is clarifying: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” You see, it is not the family tree replete with flesh and blood nuances and connections that brings us closer to God, but our fidelity to what He says and following what He does. 

“Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands. Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.” We all want family and seek security in one way or another. We need intimacy to discover our place in the world and make healthy connections with others, especially with God. What is the foundation of such levels of relationship? Fidelity and obedience. We feel and exist closer to the Lord the more we follow Him and live in the light of His love starting with our desire and success to forgive even the deepest of pains in this life, especially betrayal.

Interestingly enough, the way the little short story ends and the way our own lives will find their conclusion are very similar. In the children’s book, the little bird dramatically returns to its nest just as his mother returns. The two are reunited, much to their delight, and the baby bird recounts to his mother the adventures he had looking for her. Imagine your homecoming to Jesus in Heaven and all the stories you’ll share as you spend a lifetime looking for Him, too. 

Of course, God does not consider you hopeless. If he did, he would not be moving you to seek Him (and He obviously is). What is going on in you at present is simply the beginning of the treatment. Continue seeking with cheerful seriousness. Unless He wanted you, you would not want Him.” C. S. Lewis

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September 19, 2022


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

Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 449

Reading 1 – Prv 3:27-34

Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim
when it is in your power to do it for him.
Say not to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give,” when you can give at once.

Plot no evil against your neighbor,
against one who lives at peace with you.
Quarrel not with a man without cause,
with one who has done you no harm.

Envy not the lawless man
and choose none of his ways:
To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination,
but with the upright is his friendship.

The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
but the dwelling of the just he blesses;
When dealing with the arrogant, he is stern,
but to the humble he shows kindness.

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

R. (1) The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.

Alleluia – Mt 5:16

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

Gospel – Lk 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 19 – Optional Memorial of Saint Januarius, bishop and martyr


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

Lectionary: 642

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, #719-724.

Reading 1 – Heb 10:32-36

Brothers and sisters:
Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened,
you endured a great contest of suffering.
At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction;
at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated.
You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison
and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property,
knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence;
it will have great recompense.
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.

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

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

Alleluia – Jas 1:12

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

Gospel – Jn 12:24-26

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 449


“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” With age, I hope I can see the world much more clearly. There are a good number of people I love and cherish dearly. While there are a good many others that have seemingly dropped out of my life, there is a definite pattern that has emerged that deepens my respect and admiration for all the people who have populated my life. I have loved them because they have shown me, Jesus. Their ways of handling death, disappointment, fun, friends, and family have all slowly formed a clear picture of the character, unmistakably the mark of one who truly loves God. Imagine how the crowd in today’s Gospel must have felt when they heard that they must live their lives in the light of truth before the world! What goes through your mind?

“Plot no evil against your neighbor, against one who lives at peace with you.” Today, no matter what you have to face or confront or carry, keep these thoughts of the Scriptures alive in your heart. Perhaps you could ask yourself, “who do people see in me?” If we can honestly say that others have seen or heard the Lord in something we said or did, then we can sleep calmly and without fear.

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” St. Francis of Assisi

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Reflection – Lectionary: 135


“What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your Stewardship because you can no longer be my steward.” God gives us resources such as finances and time, talents such as culinary skills or musical ability, and spiritual gifts such as encouragement or teaching. We should ask God for wisdom on using those resources and commit ourselves to expand them according to His will so that He may be glorified. This is simply responsible stewardship. There is also a definite divine disdain for anyone who would use or defraud the poor and anyone over whom they have influence: “The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!”

“It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.” We have been given much, and God desires us to use what He has given to further His Kingdom and proclaim His glory. It’s what we were created to do. We are living sacrifices, giving the things God has given us in service to others, and we actually find life. Be thankful for what you have. How can we nurture and develop these talents?

Based on the clever and wiley steward in the Gospel, let’s take another, more noble route and consider the following:

1. Be Creative
2. Be Innovative.
3. Think differently and positively.
4. When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile.
5. Face your past without regret.
6. Handle your present with confidence.
7. Prepare for the future without fear.

“Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him.”

“In whatever way you can do so, according to the talents and gifts God has given you, you are to be salt, and light, and whatever part of the Body of Christ you were made to be. You need to tell us what’s going on with you so the rest of the Body (of which you are a part) can work together with you.” Chris Manion

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September 18, 2022


Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 135

Reading 1 – Am 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
 and destroy the poor of the land!
 “When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
 “that we may sell our grain,
 and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
 We will diminish the ephah,
 add to the shekel,
 and fix our scales for cheating!
 We will buy the lowly for silver,
 and the poor for a pair of sandals;
 even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
 Never will I forget a thing they have done!

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

R. (cf. 1A, 7B) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
 praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
 both now and forever.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
High above all nations is the LORD;
 above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
 and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
 from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
 with the princes of his own people.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 Tm 2:1-8

Beloved:
First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
     the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.
This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and apostle
— I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —,
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Alleluia – Cf. 2 Cor 8:9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples,
“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

Or

Lk 16:10-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 17, 2022


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

Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 448

Reading 1 – 1 COR 15:35-37, 42-49

Brothers and sisters:
Someone may say, “How are the dead raised? 
With what kind of body will they come back?”You fool!
What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.
And what you sow is not the body that is to be
but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind.

So also is the resurrection of the dead.
It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.
It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious.
It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.

So, too, it is written,
“The first man, Adam, became a living being,”
the last Adam a life-giving spirit.
But the spiritual was not first;
rather the natural and then the spiritual.
The first man was from the earth, earthly;
the second man, from heaven.
As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly,
and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly.
Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one,
we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 56:10C-12, 13-14

R. (14) I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.
Now I know that God is with me.
In God, in whose promise I glory,
in God I trust without fear;
what can flesh do against me?
R. I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.
I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
your thank offerings I will fulfill.
For you have rescued me from death,
my feet, too, from stumbling;
that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
R. I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.

Alleluia – LK 8:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 8:4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. 
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him
what the meaning of this parable might be.
He answered,
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you;
but to the rest, they are made known through parables
so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.

“This is the meaning of the parable. 
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, 
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 17 – Optional Memorial of Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Virgin and Doctor of the Church


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

Lectionary: 641A

Reading 1 – Song 8:6-7

Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
For stern as death is love,
relentless as the nether world is devotion;
its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor floods sweep it away.
Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love,
he would be roundly mocked.
 

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R.    (11) Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, and you must worship him.

R.    Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters;
her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king;
behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.

R.    Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
The place of your fathers your sons shall have;
 you shall make them princes through all the land.

R.    Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R.    The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

Alleluia – Mt 5:8

Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
 

Gospel – Mt 25:1-13

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 448


“I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.” What does it signify or suggest when we take a walk? First, we can safely assume that we need to get outside our routine and even ourselves to achieve a fresh perspective on our lives and cleanse the soul of any negative or destructive attitudes or thoughts. Secondly, we walked where it was safe and perhaps even invited someone we trusted and love to accompany the stroll with us. And finally, and by no means the end of possible answers, we knew that something good would come of this walk if only to find peace and comfort, even exercise. All this applies beautifully to the image of entering the gates of the Lord and making sure that our deeds are worthy of the light. This is what it means to live a healthy and holy life.

“When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. ‘A sower went out to sow his seed.'” In the Gospel today, many people were “out for a walk,” and this time, they met Jesus. He told them a great, meaningful story about yet another person who went on a walk, this time to sow seeds, depending on where the seed landed determined the outcome. Here again, is yet another wonderful image of life itself. We are all walking through many different situations and circumstances. What we do during these “life-walks” and what we plant will determine not only how the day will end but also how each life will finish and be judged: “But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”

“Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn, and you will.” Vernon Howard

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September 16, 2022


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

Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Lectionary: 447

Reading 1 – 1 COR 15:12-20

Brothers and sisters:
If Christ is preached as raised from the dead,
how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead?
If there is no resurrection of the dead,
then neither has Christ been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching;
empty, too, your faith.
Then we are also false witnesses to God,
because we testified against God that he raised Christ,
whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised,
and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.
Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all.But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 17:1BCD, 6-7, 8B AND 15

R. (15B) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. 
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; 
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee 
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings,
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Alleluia – 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 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others
who provided for them out of their resources.

Read Today’s Reflection

September 16 – Memorial of Saint Cornelius, pope and martyr, and Saint Cyprian, bishop and martyr


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs, please go here.

Lectionary: 640

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, #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 – 2 Cor 1:3B-4

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed be the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 17:11B-19

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.  
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 447


“Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.” This Gospel passage is interesting because it is another mention in the Gospel of Luke where we hear about demonic possession. The ancient world believed that the air was thickly populated with evil spirits which sought entry into everyone. Often they did enter through food or drink. All illness was caused by them. The Egyptians believed there were thirty-six different parts of the human body, and any of them could be entered and controlled by one of these evil spirits. There were spirits of deafness, of dumbness, of fever; spirits that took a man’s sanity and wits away; spirits of lying and of deceit and of uncleanness. It was such demons that Jesus exorcised here.

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” However dramatic or dark, this topic of confronting evil and evil spirits is good for every one of us because every day is a challenge and struggle to live this life and walk this walk. We live in a world where darkness and terror can overcome us. Unless we hold the Light of Christ within us, we will indeed be swallowed up in despair. Thus, the battle of light and darkness is not just outside of us; it is also within us. And we have Jesus, especially in the Eucharist, to help us move forward in faith. Evil is not sustainable because it has already been defeated. It is now up to us to join the winning, victorious team.

Be careful when fighting against evil that you don’t become evil yourself.”  Marty Rubin

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September 15 – Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows


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

Lectionary: 638

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

Reading 1 – Heb 5:7-9

In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 31:2 and 3B, 3CD-4, 5-6, 15-16, 20

R.    (17)  Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me,
make haste to deliver me!
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD,
I say, “You are my God.”
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
How great is your goodness, O LORD,
which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
you show in the sight of the children of men.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Sequence (Optional)

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
‘Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother!  font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.
Wounded with his every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In his very Blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In his awful judgment day.

Christ, when you shall call me hence,
Be your Mother my defense,
Be your cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.
Amen.  (Alleluia)

Alleluia

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary;
without dying you won the martyr’s crown
beneath the Cross of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Or

Lk 2:33-35

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 639/446


“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” Today, the Church remembers and honors the intense suffering and grief of the Mother of Jesus during His Passion and Death. There were actually seven individual sorrows that Mary endured as was foretold to her by Simeon, the priest of the Temple, on the occasion of the Lord’s Presentation.

Here is a partial text of a very popular hymn somberly expressing these heartfelt sentiments: At the cross, her station keeping, Stood the mournful Mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last. Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, All his bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword had passed. Our present hope for our Christian journey toward Heaven is easily seen in the Opening Prayer at Mass today: “Father, as your Son was raised on the cross, His Mother Mary stood by Him, sharing His sufferings. May your Church be united with Christ in His suffering and death and so come to share in His rising to New life. Looking to the example of Mary, may we too unite our sufferings to our Lord, facing them with courage, love and trust.”

“I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand.” Let us reflect on the mystery and fruits of suffering as presented by St. John Paul II in remarkable teaching borne out of his own incredible personal sufferings.

– First, he says that suffering empowers humility: To suffer means to become particularly susceptible, particularly open to the working of the salvific powers of God, offered to humanity in Christ. In him, God has confirmed his desire to act, especially through suffering, which is man’s weakness and emptying of self, and he wishes to make his power known precisely in this weakness and emptying of self.

– Secondly, he teaches that suffering is transformative: Down through the centuries and generations, it has been seen that in suffering, there is concealed a particular power that draws a person interiorly close to Christ, a special grace. To this grace, many saints, such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and others, owe their profound conversion. A result of such a conversion is not only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering, but above all that, he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as it were, of his entire life and vocation.

– Finally, he writes that suffering enlivens and grows charity and love for and of others: We could say that suffering . . . is present in order to unleash love in the human person, that unselfish gift of one’s “I” on behalf of other people, especially those who suffer. The world of human suffering unceasingly calls for, so to speak, another world: the world of human love, and in a certain sense, man owes to suffering that unselfish love that stirs in his heart and actions.

Thus, suffering in its purest sense is actually the road to holiness and a closer walk and friendship with the Lord Jesus. His mother shed human tears for the Divine Son she helped bring into this world, our world. We cry human tears but not always for what is right and just. Today we seek to move toward complete integrity on this walk of ours toward Heaven, knowing and embracing humility, deep-seated change, and charity which are all great gifts when we suffer with each other with Jesus always in our hearts and minds.

Let me mingle tears with you, Mourning him who mourned for me, All the days that I may live. Christ, when you shall call me hence, Be your Mother my defense, Be your cross my victory.”  Stabat Mater

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September 15, 2022


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

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Lectionary: 446/639

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 15:1-11

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.
For I am the least of the Apostles,
not fit to be called an Apostle,
because I persecuted the Church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 118:1B-2, 16AB-17, 28

R. (1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
“The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.”
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you;
O my God, I extol you.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Sequence (Optional) – Stabat Mater

At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
‘Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.

Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.

Wounded with his every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In his very Blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In his awful judgment day.

Christ, when you shall call me hence,
Be your Mother my defense,
Be your cross my victory.

While my body here decays,
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.
Amen. (Alleluia)

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary;
without dying you won the martyr’s crown
beneath the Cross of the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Gospel – Lk 2:33-35

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 638


What is the mystery of suffering? Maybe we should begin with the penalty for complaining. It did not go well for the people in the First Reading: “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.” The problem was simple: they forgot how good God had been to them and just focused on the things in the present moment without giving thanks to the One who always took care of them. Thus, the Psalmist made it clear to them and us what we must all do: “Do not forget the works of the Lord!”

None of us like to suffer. We avoid pain and discomfort. Our whole society and culture are seemingly built around the basic premise that we must avoid all pain. The problem, however, is simple and tragic. No one can avoid suffering. No one can escape death. The simple message of today is this: Life is not a question about whether or not you are going to suffer; it is a question of how. We who believe in Jesus know the answer to that question. We suffer with Him so we can rise with Him. “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Again, this awakens the thoughts we continue to raise in these Reflections. Which path will I take today? Whose promise will I place my entire trust?

When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.”  St. Sebastian Valfre

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September 14, 2022


Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Lectionary: 638

Reading I – Nm 21:4B-9

With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent 
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.    

Responsorial Psalm – 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38

R.    (see 7B)  Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
    I will utter mysteries from of old.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
    and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
    and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
    and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
    nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
    and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
    and let none of his wrath be roused.
R.    Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Reading II – Phil 2:6-11

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

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him. 

Read Today’s Reflection

September 13, 2022


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

Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 444

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31A

Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Now the body is not a single part, but many.

Now you are Christ’s Body, and individually parts of it.
Some people God has designated in the Church
to be, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers;
then, mighty deeds;
then gifts of healing, assistance, administration,
and varieties of tongues.
Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?
Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing?
Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.

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

R. (3) We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
For he is good, the LORD,
whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. We are his people: the sheep of his flock.

Alleluia – Lk 7:16

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

Gospel – Lk 7:11-17

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

Read Today’s Reflection

September 13 – Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, please go here.

Lectionary: 637

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 Doctors of the Church, #725-730.

Reading 1 – Eph 4:1-7, 11-13

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

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

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

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 40:2 and 4, 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

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 4:1-10, 13-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this!  A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
Jesus answered them,
“Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no root; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Or

Mk 4:1-9

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this!  A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 444


“Do not weep.” Today, the Scriptures give us what may appear two very different topics and issues to examine and apply to our spiritual lives. However, after some considerable time resting with each of them, one from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians and the Gospel from St. Luke, there is, in fact, a very deep and moving connection. Let’s begin:

“Now you are Christ’s Body, and individually parts of it.” The first selection is really all about the qualifications and characteristics of living as parts of the Body of Christ. To be effective and integral in this awesome life of ours, that is, the very hand of Christ to all, there must be two areas of life that are solid and sincere for each and every one of us: Our own family life and our particular world view, that is, the understanding of human nature and how Jesus seeks even today to redeem it. Let’s look at three pitfalls in this life: 

1. There is the desire for prestige. When anyone realizes how awesome this life is and wants to be here for others, prestige will be the last thing that should enter the equation. A true servant does not want the approval of everyone, just God. 

2. There is the desire for position: There are those in this life who really are not thinking of those around, but only themselves. This is selfish. 

3. There is the desire for importance: Anyone trying to make sense of this life and expects constant thanks and recognition has clearly lost the mark. If anyone gives only to gain something out of the giving for themselves has unfortunately undone anything good that was attempted, especially comforting the afflicted. 

This is fundamentally crucial because the world that desperately seeks the face of Jesus must address and manage the relationship between love and fear. Perhaps our point of departure could be the investigation of their opposites. Many believe that the opposite of love is hate, but the opposite of love is really apathy. Apathy has been described in several places as a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Simply put, “not caring about anything or anyone.” 

What about the opposite of fear? A person who is unafraid has the assurance that there is no real basis for fear. We could call that confidence or true acceptance of how things are. That does not mean that we do not experience the emotion of fear, but rather we confront it with assurance no matter how we feel. The great General Patton said: “All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty.”

Let’s hold on to those thoughts as we move to reflect on the meaning of the Gospel today: “Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.” Anyone who wishes to follow the Lord, serve His Church, and comfort the mourning and suffering, must have their heart in the right place. Otherwise, the world will just keep on suffering and, even worse, fall pathetic prey to the wolves of the world. 

We face storms every single day. Sometimes they take the form of horrible traffic jams, excruciating headaches, disappointments at work and in our relationships, even “life or death, “do or die” situations. It’s dark and terrifying. So are we afraid and why? If the opposite of fear has to do with having God “in us,” then perhaps the remedy for you and me not only has to do with seeing and experiencing Jesus walking on the stormy water towards us but also getting up, shaking off the emotional baggage and walking toward Him as well. This is why Jesus came and called and keeps calling gallant and selfless people to serve the Gospel and wipe the tears from our own faces and live.

Perhaps He is calling you.

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September 12, 2022


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

Monday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 443

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 11:17-26, 33

Brothers and sisters:
In giving this instruction, I do not praise the fact
that your meetings are doing more harm than good.
First of all, I hear that when you meet as a Church
there are divisions among you,
and to a degree I believe it;
there have to be factions among you
in order that also those who are approved among you
may become known.
When you meet in one place, then,
it is not to eat the Lord’s supper,
for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper,
and one goes hungry while another gets drunk.
Do you not have houses in which you can eat and drink?
Or do you show contempt for the Church of God
and make those who have nothing feel ashamed?
What can I say to you? Shall I praise you?
In this matter I do not praise you.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my Body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my Blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

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

R. (1 Cor 11:26B) Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
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. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
“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. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.
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. Proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes again.

Alleluia – Jn 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.

Read Today’s Reflection

September 12 – Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary


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

Lectionary: 636B

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 – Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

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. (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.
“For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.”
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.
“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. (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.
“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. (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.
“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 for ever.”
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.

Alleluia – See Lk 1:45

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 1:39-47

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

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 443


“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Here, halfway through the month, we are greeted and challenged by this very familiar phrase from the Scriptures, which are recalled during the Sacrifice of the Mass right before the Body and Blood of Christ are to be received. The term “under my roof” refers primarily to the authority that one is called to acknowledge and respect when living or even visiting someone else’s home or abode. At the core of all courtesies known to us is the deference and dignity we show to those whose homes we enter, that is, while we are “under their roof.” What is at issue for us today is that of authority or, in other words, the power to achieve something great. 

“And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.’ And at that very hour his servant was healed.” We have, in fact, witnessed something great happen as the Gospel continues: a miracle! Perhaps we could say that the centurion told Jesus that He did not have to come under his own roof, but rather, the centurion had to submit and believe and trust by living in the Kingdom, virtually, under God’s roof. When each of us lives our lives so completely in trust in the wonderful grace that God provides, with the ultimate assurance that all is well and all will be well, we, too, will have our own miracle right under our own roof. 

God will always give us more than we deserve.” St. Padre Pio

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September 11, 2022


Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 132

Reading 1 – Ex 32:7-11, 13-14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
“I see how stiff-necked this people is, ” continued the LORD to Moses.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19

R. (Lk 15:18)  I will rise and go to my father.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. I will rise and go to my father.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. I will rise and go to my father.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. I will rise and go to my father.

Reading 2 – 1 Tm 1:12-17

Beloved:
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Alleluia – 2 Cor 5:19

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

Gospel – Lk 15:1-32

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

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

Then he said,
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”

Or

Lk 15:1-10

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

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

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 132


“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.”  It would be more than just a simple sadness if we came to the end of our lives and were not in possession with just a little more desire and ease when confronted with the need and call to forgive. And yet, if we were to speak realistically, the lack of ability may equal the lack of desire to even approach any semblance of forgiving someone and letting everything go especially when there are deep and lasting wounds or infractions. Why do you think some people will not forgive, at least not yet? Here are just a couple: Some will not forgive another because they want more proof of repentance; others because they are still carrying another hurt from their not-to-distant past and we may have just opened a scab, the proverbial “old wound.” However, there is a more deep and more inherent reason why some refuse to forgive and it is simple. they have lost the true and essential truth of what Jesus has accomplished for them and for all of us. Redemption!

“So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.” This is also truly amazing for us on this awesome Sabbath. The Lord sees the desire in each one’s heart to change. The promised punishment for reckless and sinful behavior can be changed if only we give God a little chance to change even the smallest part of us!

In an obviously sincere and hopeful attempt to avoid any sadness for us on the Day of the Lord, when He comes to us face-to-face, the Scriptures provide us with an even better reason to continue to work toward a forgiving heart and a life dedicated to the mercy of our loving Father. And this is wonderfully found in such a delightful and poignant detail that is found wedged gently within the phrases of the parable that Christ presents to us in the Gospel: “So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.” Could you picture this? The prodigal son has left everything that was important to him and all the people who loved him. The pain caused to his father must have been horrible but even with this hurt, this holy parent still waited outside for his son to return home and then ran to accept him back into his arms. This is God who always is poised to forgive and love. This wondrous love is enough to bring us to forgive everyone who has ever caused us pain. The Psalm gives us the words for the prayer that will lead us to lasting joy: “I will rise and go to my father.”

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in others because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” C. S. Lewis

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Reflection – Lectionary: 442


“I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built.”

Everyone builds their very existence (house) on something. You could say that every person we meet already has a foundation underneath everything they do and say. The one true revelation as to that base of life is what happens to a person when a storm or severe crisis hits. What do they do? Who do they turn to? What is their strategy? Rock (Jesus) or Sand (the world)?

Here is what St. John Chrysostom has to say about it: “By ‘rain’ here, and ‘floods,’ and ‘winds,’ He is expressing metaphorically the calamities and afflictions that befall everyone; such as false accusations, plots, bereavements, deaths, loss of friends, vexations from strangers, all the ills in our life that anyone could mention. ‘But to none of these,’ says He, ‘does such a soul give way; and the cause is, it is founded on the rock.'” 

“Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one Body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” More than a handful of years ago, I was speaking with an acquaintance of mine whose life was clearly, diametrically opposed to my own. He told me, “The difference between my life and yours is that you could compare my life to a beautiful ship anchored in the harbor, with the sails blowing gently in the wind, a gallant sight to see for all to visit and watch. My boat, safe and magnificent in a calm sea!”

“I agree totally with your assessment,” I added. “There is just one problem.”

“That’s not what ships are made for.”

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.’” 

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September 10, 2022


Saturday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 442

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 10:14-22

My beloved ones, avoid idolatry.
I am speaking as to sensible people;
judge for yourselves what I am saying.
The cup of blessing that we bless,
is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ?
The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?
Because the loaf of bread is one,
we, though many, are one Body,
for we all partake of the one loaf.

Look at Israel according to the flesh;
are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?
So what am I saying?
That meat sacrificed to idols is anything?
Or that an idol is anything?
No, I mean that what they sacrifice,
they sacrifice to demons, not to God,
and I do not want you to become participants with demons.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons.
You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.
Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger?
Are we stronger than him?

Responsorial Psalm – PS 116:12-13, 17-18

R.        (17) To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.

R.        To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.

R.        To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

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

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 6:43-49

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command?
I will show you what someone is like who comes to me,
listens to my words, and acts on them.
That one is like a man building a house,
who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock;
when the flood came, the river burst against that house
but could not shake it because it had been well built.
But the one who listens and does not act
is like a person who built a house on the ground
without a foundation.
When the river burst against it,
it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 9, 2022


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

Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest

Lectionary: 441

Reading 1 – 1 COR 9:16-19, 22B-27

Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach, I offer the Gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the Gospel.

Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the Gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.

Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race,
but only one wins the prize?
Run so as to win.
Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.
They do it to win a perishable crown,
but we an imperishable one.
Thus I do not run aimlessly;
I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.
No, I drive my body and train it,
for fear that, after having preached to others,
I myself should be disqualified.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
For a sun and a shield is the LORD God;
grace and glory he bestows;
The LORD withholds no good thing
from those who walk in sincerity. 
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia – JN 17:17B, 17A

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

Gospel – LK 6:39-42

Jesus told his disciples a parable:
“Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite!  Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 9 – Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, priest


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Peter Claver, Priest, please go here.

Lectionary: 636A

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 – IS 58:6-11

Thus says the LORD:
This is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 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. (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.
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. (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.
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. (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.

Alleluia – Jn 13:34

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

Gospel – Mt 25:31-40

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

Reflection – Lectionary: 441


“You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Today we are being treated with a very famous morsel of Scripture quotes that most people have heard even if they have never read anything else in the Bible. Perhaps much of its popularity is due in part to the widespread experience that everyone has with this issue. We could ask ourselves, what is truly the problem with hypocrisy? When someone condemns the sinful behavior of others and then engages in the very same behavior, we seem to lose it, or at least, some of the time. Obviously, it is objectionable to realize that someone is not practicing what they are preaching, but it goes much deeper than that: a hypocrite is trying to convince us that they are more holy, righteous, and moral than the rest of the people. This is what makes it so hateful and repulsive on practically every level imaginable. 

“If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it!” For those of us who sincerely try to follow Jesus and live by the Gospel, we must be convinced that our behavior shapes our personality and, therefore, all of our moral and otherwise important decisions in life. The scriptures clearly show the track record of those who have abandoned their own set of values and goals toward Heaven and those who never gave up, even though it was tough at times to stay focused and faithful. It is all about balance and humility. Jesus wants us all in Heaven, and every day we are either moving closer or further away from this awesome destiny of ours. Today let us carry Jesus deep within our souls so that we do or say nothing that would displease him. This is the challenge and fruit of being loving people who love God and our neighbor. It is truly an exciting adventure. 

“Truth without love is brutality and love without truth is hypocrisy.” Warren W. Wiersbe

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Reflection – Lectionary: 636


Today we celebrate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and there are so many presents to open! Let us begin our festive spiritual birthday celebration.

First, from the Catechism:
(487) What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines, in turn, its faith in Christ.

(490) To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.” The angel Gabriel at the moment of the Annunciation salutes her as “full of grace.” (Luke 1:28). In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.

(491) Through the centuries, the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception.

(492) The “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son.” The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.” (Ephesians 1:3-4)

(493) The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.” By the grace of God, Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

Secondly:
The only starting point in every and any discussion about the Blessed Virgin Mary is Jesus Christ, her Son. This must always be the focus of our conversation and understanding of who she is and why she is pivotal and critical to our understanding of Jesus and what He accomplished for all of humanity. It starts with the Garden of Eden described in the first chapters of Genesis when Satan, the leader of all the fallen angels, tempts Eve to first doubt her trust in the Lord and then disobey Him. Both she and Adam were permitted to eat from all the trees in Paradise except ONE. The devil, however, was not to have its’ intended and avaricious victory as the Lord made it clear that this was not the end of the battle for the soul of humanity: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers,” speaking of the ultimate combat between the forces of evil and the offspring of the descendant of Eve, who is Mary, the Mother of Jesus Our Redeemer. Thus, the “Tree of Good and Evil” is transformed into the “Tree of Life,” the wood of the Cross upon which Jesus died to “free us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray.” (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen) So if Jesus is the New Adam (Romans 5:14), then clearly Mary is New Eve. Eve = Mother of all the Living & Mary = Mother of the Church (The Body of Christ to whom she gave birth.)

Thirdly:
In A Tale of Two Angels: We know who the serpent in the Garden of Eden was. We all read about it in the Book of Revelation: “Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it.” (Chapter 12:7-9) Let’s take a good look at these two angels: The serpent in the Garden of Eden and the Angel Gabriel. One approached Eve, the other, The Virgin Mary, with two very different outcomes! Satan tricked Eve by re-phrasing what God had forbidden Adam and her to approach; Gabriel’s announcement (Annunciation) was met with serious questions from Mary: “But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.” (Luke 1:29) Eve’s response to the fallen angel/demon: Distrust and Disobedience. Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel: Trust and Obedience: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1) The aftermath of Eve’s choice: Death entered the world; the aftermath of Mary’s choice: Life entered the world.

Finally:
The significance of our Faith: The Church has long believed and taught that the Virgin Mary had to have been preserved from any stain of sin, just as Eve was. It is also crystal clear that God had a tremendous plan involving this woman from Nazareth who would have had to have been free from any pretext or pride when being asked to be the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God. And her own body was to be free from any of sin’s dark shadows because it would be in the very recess of her human body that Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, would dwell for nine months. How could it be different?

So consider this in your prayers today in commemorating the wonderful birthday of the Mother of Jesus: 1. God has a magnificent plan for me, and it started from the beginning of time.
2. He sent His only Son to die for me, both Divine like God and human-like me (thanks to the obedience of the Virgin Mary).
3. I am created to live on this earth to accomplish as much as I can while I am alive, with the great assistance of the Mother of God, “now and the hour of my death.”
4. After I die, I will be made pure and stainless to live in Heaven forever as was Mary to carry Jesus in her womb.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us! Happy Birthday!

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September 8, 2022


Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lectionary: 636

Reading I – Mi 5:1-4A

The LORD says:
    You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah,
        too small to be among the clans of Judah,
    From you shall come forth for me
        one who is to be ruler in Israel;
    Whose origin is from of old,
        from ancient times.
    (Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
        when she who is to give birth has borne,
    And the rest of his brethren shall return
        to the children of Israel.)
    He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
        by the strength of the LORD,
        in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
    And they shall remain, for now his greatness
        shall reach to the ends of the earth;
        he shall be peace.

OR:

Rom 8:28-30

Brothers and sisters:
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 – 13:6AB, 6C

R.    (Isaiah 61:10)  With delight I rejoice in the Lord.
Though I trusted in your mercy,
    let my heart rejoice in your salvation.
R.    With delight I rejoice in the Lord.
Let me sing of the LORD, “He has been good to me.”
R.    With delight I rejoice in the Lord.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of Justice, Christ our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 1:1-16, 18-23 or 1:18-23

The Book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. 
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

    Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
        and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.” 

OR:

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

    Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
        and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 439


“For the world in its present form is passing away.” Some of the most inspiring opportunities of remarkable growth come when we are sad, feeling lonely, or grieving. And yet, there are so many among us who despise these moments and become angry, saddened, or even despairing. While these are the normal phases or stages of human life and dealing with longing and disappointments, we simply can not remain there too long lest we lose sight of the battle or journey of life. Grief can be a test as long as we do not make a lifestyle. 

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.” Here again, we have words of comfort and wisdom when we face the tests of life. God calls us to a deeper walk with Him every single day. Sometimes that takes the form of sadness or disappointment, and sometimes it is just the plain tiresome pace of life we encounter. No matter what form it takes, we are tested because that is the price of joy, and if we want wisdom, we welcome this particular kind of test. Rejoice today: He has called you!

From dark clouds we get precious water. From dark mines we get valuable jewels. And from our darkest tests come our finest blessings from God.” Unknown

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September 7, 2022


Wednesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 439

Reading 1 – 1 COR 7:25-31

Brothers and sisters:
In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord,
but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
So this is what I think best because of the present distress:
that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife?  Do not seek a separation.
Are you free of a wife?  Then do not look for a wife.
If you marry, however, you do not sin,
nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;
but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,
and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping, 
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R. (11) Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord, and you must worship him.
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters;
her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king;
behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
The place of your fathers your sons shall have;
you shall make them princes through all the land.
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.

Alleluia – LK 6:23AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Rejoice and leap for joy!
Your reward will be great in heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 6:20-26

Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.  
For their ancestors treated the prophets
in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false 
prophets in this way.”

September 6, 2022


Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 438

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 6:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
How can any one of you with a case against another
dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment
instead of to the holy ones?
Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world?
If the world is to be judged by you,
are you unqualified for the lowest law courts?
Do you not know that we will judge angels?
Then why not everyday matters?
If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters,
do you seat as judges people of no standing in the Church?
I say this to shame you.
Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough
to be able to settle a case between brothers?
But rather brother goes to court against brother,
and that before unbelievers?

Now indeed then it is, in any case,
a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another.
Why not rather put up with injustice?
Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?
Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.
Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived;
neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers
nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers
will inherit the Kingdom of God.
That is what some of you used to be;
but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified,
you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
and in the Spirit of our God.

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

R. (see 4) The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.

Alleluia – See Jn 15:16

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

Gospel – Lk 6:12-19

Jesus departed 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.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground.
A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon
came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;
and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.
Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him
because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 438


” …but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Once again, we are served with a most profound invitation to not only receive Christ, to walk with Jesus, but also to be so rooted in the Lord so that nothing will shake the confidence we are promised to have in Him. Along with this awesome invite, we are to surround ourselves and even bathe in complete and unadulterated thanksgiving and gratitude. Now that is definitely a recipe for happiness all day long! 

“Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.” What may be a little different in the presentation of the Scriptures for today is this dramatic detail which should readily be imagined with all the images we can muster. If we sought to touch Jesus with everything we’ve got, we can be assured that our days, really our entire lives, would show a great difference practically immediately. This will especially show in the way we treat our friends, our enemies, our fears, and our pain. 

Sometimes to destroy the monsters that we face, we have to come against them in the same way that they have come against us. But if I do so in the power of God, I might have come against them in the same way, but I have come against them with a very different kind of power. And in that sense, nothing is the same.”  Craig D. Lounsbrough

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Reflection – Lectionary: 437


“On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.” In the Gospel today, especially in light of the traditional honor of work on this Labor Day, we witness yet another pathetic example of hypocrisy taken to its unusual conclusion. Clearly these people were as closed as a dead oyster. The scribes and Pharisees would rather a man suffer with a horribly deformed hand than to be cured on the Sabbath. This is because they prefer to maintain a deformed view of reality and others suffer who do not fit into their constructs and mindsets. You see, the Sabbath is much more than law, but truly a gift of God’s care for all of us. He rested on the seventh day not out of fatigue but to show how a fruitful life should be lived, with enough time for re-creation and renewal. Our redemption from sin and death is truly the work of God and not us. He has literally “done all the work.” Now, for this glorious break, He wants us to enjoy it!

You and I, unfortunately, tend to rush through our busy week, maybe offering God a fleeting wave or a passing prayer. Sunday, the Sabbath, however, calls us to true and thought-out decisions with real intention. We are simply to stop from all the other things we had to do or must do or have to do, and spend quality time with Him and focus attention on Him. When we decide to obey, that is, listen to the Fourth Commandment, we become aware of the astounding and comforting truth that we really belong to God. It is not the Sabbath that we worship but the One who has initiated the Sabbath as we swim in a sort of a memorial in time, a useful tool to help us focus our attention on our awesome destiny. It has the great chance of avoiding spiritual withering within us and awakens the great promise of our Faith: “Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 

On all Sundays of our lives, try to remember this Reflection. Consider taking a different approach to the Sabbath and let God be at peace with you and for you. Cut out any unnecessary activity and focus on your hope of Heaven. Then perhaps we may truly appreciate the blessing of St. John for us as cited from his Gospel in the Alleluia Verse of today: “My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.”

A life built upon Sabbath is contented because in rhythms of rest we discover our time is full of the holiness of God.”  Shelly Miller

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September 5, 2022


Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 437

Reading 1 – 1 COR 5:1-8

Brothers and sisters:
It is widely reported that there is immorality among you,
and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–
a man living with his father’s wife.
And you are inflated with pride.
Should you not rather have been sorrowful?
The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst.
I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit,
have already, as if present,
pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed,
in the name of our Lord Jesus:
when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit
with the power of the Lord Jesus,
you are to deliver this man to Satan
for the destruction of his flesh,
so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not appropriate. 
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough,
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast,
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 5:5-6, 7, 12

R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
You hate all evildoers.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
But let all who take refuge in you
be glad and exult forever.
Protect them, that you may be the joy
of those who love your name.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.

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 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up and stand before us.”
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
“I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Read Today’s Reflection

September 4, 2022


Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 129

Reading 1 – Wis 9:13-18B

 Who can know God’s counsel,
 or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
 For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
 and unsure are our plans.
 For the corruptible body burdens the soul
 and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
 And scarce do we guess the things on earth,
 and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;
 but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?
 Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom
 and sent your holy spirit from on high?
 And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
 are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
 the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
 but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
 that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Reading 2 – Phmn 9-10, 12-17

I, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus,
urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment;
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave
but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.

Alleluia – Ps 119:135

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
and teach me your laws.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 14:25-33

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

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 129


“Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?” The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) was the penultimate metaphor for people trying to reach heaven without the assistance of God. That is precisely why they were thrown into a huge and overwhelming state of confusion where no one could understand each other. That scene prepared us for Pentecost and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, which endow us with the potential to understand everyone in their spheres of life because of the presence of Love in their lives. Thus the reference in the Gospel is made to the tower that someone starts to build but cannot finish.

“Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?” Ten thousand troops vs. twenty thousand troops? Is this a battle hard to call? The answer is absolute “no,” but this passage is not about military exercises. It is about the impending confrontation that each of us has with death. Will we be ready? It is time for “peace terms.” Thus, the Gospel of today gives us the specifics of those terms. Before the final call, you and I must be sufficiently detached from this world but at the same time attached to living in the world, walking in the light of truth. How is that done? “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” We are simply called to love in the power of the Holy Spirit, freely given to those who love in the name of Jesus the Lord.

“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” St. Teresa of Calcutta

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September 3, 2022


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

Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 436

Reading 1 – 1 COR 4:6B-15

Brothers and sisters:
Learn from myself and Apollos not to go beyond what is written,
so that none of you will be inflated with pride
in favor of one person over against another.
Who confers distinction upon you?
What do you possess that you have not received?
But if you have received it,
why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?
You are already satisfied; you have already grown rich;
you have become kings without us!
Indeed, I wish that you had become kings,
so that we also might become kings with you.

For as I see it, God has exhibited us Apostles as the last of all,
like people sentenced to death,
since we have become a spectacle to the world,
to angels and men alike.
We are fools on Christ’s account, but you are wise in Christ;
we are weak, but you are strong;
you are held in honor, but we in disrepute.
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty,
we are poorly clad and roughly treated,
we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands.
When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure;
when slandered, we respond gently.
We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all,
to this very moment.

I am writing you this not to shame you,
but to admonish you as my beloved children.
Even if you should have countless guides to Christ,
yet you do not have many fathers,
for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 145:17-18, 19-20, 21

R. (18) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD keeps all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Alleluia – JOHN 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 6:1-5

While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath,
his disciples were picking the heads of grain,
rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.
Some Pharisees said,
“Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Have you not read what David did
when he and those who were with him were hungry?
How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering,
which only the priests could lawfully eat,
ate of it, and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

Read Today’s Reflection

September 3 – Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church, please go here.

Lectionary: 635

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, or the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730.

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 96:1-2A, 2B-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 – 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.”

Reflection – Lectionary: 436


“The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” The Gospel of today points us to a condition of spiritual infection that is all around us. The pettiness and the self-inflated importance of the Pharisees remind us of those who have and exercise authority over us but under the lure and seduction of power on every scale, which is immense depending on the degree of the power one possesses. The abuse of authority has inflicted great harm upon individuals and societies and has harmed the possibility of peace and forgiveness in our world. Jesus cuts through the heart of the problem in the Gospel today, which should ring loudly in everyone one of us no matter what state of life we occupy. He is the Lord of the Sabbath, of our days and nights, and of all authority that ever existed over human beings.

“Even if you should have countless guides to Christ, yet you do not have many fathers, for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.” One of the basic and forgone conclusions we can draw from all of this is really quite simple: Everyone has a God. There is a single place at the center of the human heart, and only one entity can dwell there. If it is not the God who has been revealed to us by his Son, Jesus, then something or someone else is there in that space. It can be power, fame, money, or any other hidden vestige of selfishness, but it is certainly not the One True God whom we adore and love. No, to find complete happiness in this life that will last, even forever, we must fall in love with God.

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” St. Augustine

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Reflection – Lectionary: 435


“…for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.” As we have seen so many times before, Jesus often uses concrete and dynamic images to illustrate his point. He was certainly the Master Teacher who constantly made teaching memorable and easily understandable. Likewise, by drawing from examples of everyday life, Jesus, even today, helps his hearers to connect the Gospel with their ordinary experiences.

“Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” How should we understand Jesus’ reference to wineskins? We are used to buying and storing wine in bottles. In the time of Christ, this was possible but impractical. Glass was a precious material and was usually produced in small quantities. Bottles could not be transported easily and, being a costly material, would have required too much care for the average home. At the time of Christ, liquids would be stored in clay jars or containers made of animal skin. The latter was particularly convenient for transportation, as they could be carried easily, were lightweight, and would occupy less and less space as the liquid was consumed. Wineskins required a modicum of care, given that after a period of use, the leather would become worn and could easily rupture, especially if filled with un-fermented (“new”) wine.

Jesus uses this image to teach us about the new covenant that he inaugurates. You see, a complete and total conversion is necessary to “drink the new wine” of salvation and to maintain the level of fidelity and love of God to move forward in life. Without proper care, our souls, too, can become like old, thin wineskins, weakened by sin and spiritual sloth. What would be the point of taking a nice, hot shower after a full day of outdoor labor only to put on the same clothes? Sounds impractical, doesn’t it? The same is true with our souls. They require vigilance and care. The great news today is that the Lord is always at hand, offering us his grace through the sacraments to repair what is broken, strengthen what is weak, and fortify what is healthy.

When have you been open to the Holy Spirit today?
When did you sense strength in your soul?
How did you fight fear with faith?

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September 2, 2022


Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 435

Reading 1 – 1 COR 4:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God. 
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40

R. (39A) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
Criminals are destroyed 
and the posterity of the wicked is cut off.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from 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 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

Read Today’s Reflection

Reflection – Lectionary: 434


“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so as to become wise.” In the Old and New Testaments, the references to being saved and delivered from the power of darkness are many and significant. The reference to fishing as a way to understand our call in this world to spread the Gospel and dispel the forces of evil and fear is also plentiful. The fact that the majority of Apostles whom Jesus called to found and build the Church were fishermen is not a causal reference. There are profound reasons that make this quite significant for our understanding of the Bible and of the Church itself. This also has implications concerning our call to be good and faithful followers of Christ in this world. Let’s explore a few of them:

  1. Fishing takes patience: Good things, like waiting for the fish to bite, take time, and this is certainly the case with our spiritual lives. Overcoming harmful habits and unhealthy attitudes means that we should be patient with ourselves first before moving to evangelize our family and friends.
  2. Fishing requires humility: The proverbial description of “the one that got away” and the exaggerated size of the alleged near-catch humorously illustrates the need for humility out on the water and for every Christian in the world. For the followers of Jesus, there are no more bad days, but certainly, some days are better than others.
  3. Fishing involves a team of people: Keep in mind the kind of fishing referenced in the Scriptures. It is not the sole figure on the lake with one rod waiting patiently for the long-awaited prize for supper. No, rather, the kind of fishing in both the Old and New Testaments involved using large nets that required a team of people to bring in the haul. This is clearly good when we think that it takes a community gathering of one mind to effectively bring the Gospel to a displaced and broken world.
  4. Fishing feeds people: In early Christian churches, the Greek word for fish (ichthus) came to be interpreted as a sort of code word for the name of Jesus. You see, when you take the first letter of each of the Greek words for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior,” they spell “ichthus.” Although we cannot be sure when this identification first began or where it was first introduced, the fish has certainly become a standard Christian symbol. Perfect. We fish for Jesus, we fish with Him, and we bring Jesus to hungering and starving people, all the while we become closer and closer. “‘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.”
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September 1, 2022


Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 434

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 3:18-23

Brothers and sisters:
Let no one deceive himself.
If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:

God catches the wise in their own ruses,

and again:

The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

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

R. (1) To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
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. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
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. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.
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. To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it.

Alleluia – Mt 4:19

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

Gospel – 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 the boats 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.

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