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Category Archives: Mass Readings

Mass Readings, Mar. 9, 2014 – First Sunday of Lent

Mass Readings, Mar. 9, 2014 – First Sunday of Lent

This Sunday’s readings can be found here.

The first reading was, Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7 – The fall of man; Adam and Eve being tempted by the serpent.

Psalm 51 – Be merciful, Oh Lord, for we have sinned.

Romans 5:12-19 – St. Paul relating the connection between Adam and Jesus; sin and death came into the world through one man, Adam, and is also saved from sin and death by One Man, Jesus.

Matthew 4:1-11 – The tempting of Jesus by Satan in the desert.

Father began his homily by talking about what it means to “obey.”  To obey means “to listen,” or “to hear.”  We are called to be obedient to the Father, to listen to Him.  The evil one seeks to distract, to confuse, to keep us from listening to the Father.

If we go through the three temptations that Satan puts to Jesus, first he questions Jesus’ identity – “IF you are the Son of God . . . “.  Then he attacks Jesus on a physical level, suggesting that He turn the stones into bread.  Jesus responds with scripture, “One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”  Taking up the “Scripture Game,” as Father put it, the devil then uses Scripture to tempt Jesus a second time, suggesting that if Jesus throws Himself down from the parapet, “He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”  Jesus responds with, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”  (This also shows us how Scripture can, and so often is, twisted and taken out of context in an effort to make it conform to what someone wishes it to say.)  Finally, the devil tempts Jesus with power.  The devil, after having convinced Adam and Eve to fall, feels that all he needs to do is get Jesus to fall and then he can be in control of the whole world forever.  So, he takes a gamble by offering Jesus the entire world, if only He will bow down to him, but Jesus has had enough and sends Satan away.

Through this entire exchange, we see Jesus listening to the Father, obeying Him, through Scripture.  He is the contrast to Adam and Eve.  Where they did not listen, did not obey, Jesus does.  St. Paul refers to the fall of man as a “happy fault.”  It is because they fell that we needed a Savior.  God sending His only Son into the world to die, reveals for us a God Who is merciful, loving, cares for us, and truly understands us.

It is tempting to see God’s laws as over-burdensome.  When the devil asks Eve what God said about the fruit, she says God told them they would die if they even touched the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.  We know, and the devil knew, that God did not mean a physical death, but the devil uses this to trick Eve.  He twists the truth and convinces them that God was being too harsh, thus convincing them to fall.

Finally, Father encourages us to take time this Lent, and always, to pray.  Set time apart in our day and just listen – listen to God speak to us through Scripture, through stories of the Saints, or just in our hearts as we sit quietly with the One Who loves us perfectly.  In the Bible we hear God command us at Jesus’ baptism, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him,” and at the wedding at Cana, Mary tells us, “Do whatever He tells you.”  Jesus went into the desert in order to cut Himself off from the noise and chaos of the world.  We should try to do the same – cut away all that is extra in our lives, all that stops us from really listening to God.

Have a blessed week!

Deo Juvante, Jen

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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Mass Readings, Sun., Mar. 2, 2014

Mass Readings, Sun., Mar. 2, 2014

Sundays readings began with:

Isaiah 49:14-15 – The Lord will never forget us, His love is constant

Psalm 62 – Rest in God alone, my soul.

1 Corinthians 4:1-5 – The Lord alone judges us, we need not fear any human judgement.

Matthew 6:24-34 – We can not serve two masters – we must serve God alone; God cares for us and provides us with everything we need.

Monsignor said Mass this Sunday.

When a woman has a baby, she has a small glimpse of what it means to love someone completely.  If we take that love and multiply it hundreds, thousands of times, even then we can’t begin to fathom the depths of God’s love for us, His ability to love and forgive.  No matter who forgets us in this life, God never forgets us.

So what does God ask from us in return?  He asks only that He be our Master, our ONE master.  When we have God’s complete and total love, and we giver ourselves to Him completely in return, there are glorious consequences!

But sometimes things don’t go quite right.  We worry, we get anxious.  We cast judgement on ourselves (how am I doing?  what are others thinking about me?  Am I good enough?).  These things distract us from our goal.

Naturally it is ok to be concerned about earning a living or doing what we need to do, but it’s a matter of attitude.  Do we go to God first with our problems, or do we try to take matters into our own hands, determined to do it ourselves?

Maybe we don’t want to give ourselves to God completely.  Maybe we don’t trust ourselves.  Maybe we don’t trust God.  If this is the case then we need to pray for the desire to give ourselves to God.  Simply tell Him that you want to trust Him, but you can’t right now, and ask Him to help.

Each day we need to entrust all of our daily tasks to the Lord.  Commit every day to doing God’s will to the best of our ability, seeking His kingdom, and giving ourselves over to Him.  When we do this, we find that we are able to let go of all our worries and anxieties, knowing that God is caring for us in every way.

Deo Juvante, Jen

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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Mass Readings, Sun. Feb. 23, 2014

Mass Readings, Sun. Feb. 23, 2014

The readings for this past Sunday are here:

Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18 – Correct your fellow man if necessary, but don’t bear hatred, revenge, or grudges; don’t incur sin on yourself because of them.

Psalm 103 – The Lord is kind and merciful.

1 Corinthians 3:16-23 – We are a temple of God; we do not belong to the world, but to God.

Matthew 5:38-48 – Love our enemies and give to anyone who asks of us; be perfect as Our Heavenly Father is perfect.

Monsignor said Mass.  He broke down the readings by focusing on how we are all made to be like God.  He calls us to be perfect, as He is perfect; to be transformed into fitting temples for the Holy Spirit.  To do this, we need to be willing, committed, have hope, and perseverance.

First, we have to be willing.  He won’t force us.  When He calls us, He wants our willing response.

Second, what is our level of commitment?  Do we actively seek His help and then LET Him help us?   Is God first in our lives and do we let Him be in charge?

We also need to have hope.  Do we have the attitude of love and generosity that our Father has?  Obviously there is a line to be drawn – we don’t give to others to the point of our own bankruptcy and we don’t intentionally subject ourselves to people who harm us.  It is the attitude that is important. When someone has harmed us, we can forgive them without opening ourselves up to be hurt again.  When we encounter people in the course of our daily life, do we treat everyone equally, regardless of how they look?  Satan will try to tell us that it doesn’t matter, that we shouldn’t even bother trying.  But we have to retain hope in what God has promised.

Finally, we need to have perseverance.  We’re all going to screw up sometimes.  It’s not always easy to say yes to God.   We need to start every day fresh, committed to trying again.  We need to start every day saying yes to God.

Have a blessed week!

Deo Juvante, Jen

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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Mass Readings, Feb. 16, 2014

The readings from Sun., Feb. 16, can be found here.

Sirach 15:15-20, focuses on how we have the choice of good or evil in this life.

Psalm 119, “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!” – how we should long to know and keep the Lord’s decrees.

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 – the eternal and never changing mystery of God.

Matthew 5:17-37 – Jesus takes the old law and expands it, fulfills it.  “Do not kill,” is no longer just physical killing, but also “killing” someone with your words or your anger.  Adultery is not just the physical act, but even to lust after someone.

Father’s homily focused on how it is through keeping God’s commandments that we grow in sanctity.  We want to grow in sanctity because our ultimate goal is Heaven – we want to be Saints!

Looking at the first reading, we have good and evil before us; we are free to choose either.  At all times, we should be asking ourselves, “What kind of decision am I making?  Is this something that will help me grow in sanctity?  Is this something that will help me get to Heaven?”

Father then told a great story about St. Padre Pio.  People always wanted to come see Padre Pio.  Most times they wanted spiritual advice or to have him hear their confession.  Sometimes though, he would have someone come to see him, who only wanted a little “souvenir,” a relic of the holy priest that many knew would be a Saint one day.

One day, a little nun came to see Padre Pio and, while he was distracted, she took his Rosary and began to run off with it.  Padre Pio noticed and ran after her.  When he caught up with her, he asked her to give back the Rosary.  She was immediately contrite and asked his forgiveness, saying that she only wanted a relic from him.  Padre Pio looked at her tenderly and told her, “Sister, go home and make your own relics.”

We are called to be Saints.  Rather than clinging to the relics of others, become a Saint and create your own.   Have a blessed week everyone!!

Deo Juvante, Jen

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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Mass Readings – Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014

Mass Readings – Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014

Our readings this week were (for full text click here):

Isaiah 58:7-10 – The prophet exhorts us to care for each other – feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, etc. – and remove oppression, false accusation, and malicious speech from our lives.  If we do this, we will be God’s light in the world.

Psalm 112 – The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – St. Paul tells us that he comes teaching Christ crucified.  It is not he who has any special power or wisdom, but God who is using Paul to spread the message of Christ.

Matthew 5:13-16 – Jesus is telling us that we are the salt and light of the world.  Like the lamp that is lit and put on a stand where it can light up the whole room, so we must light up the whole world with God’s light.  All who see us, should see Christ and glorify God through our good deeds.

Monsignor gave an abbreviated homily today because it is time for the Annual God’s Gift Appeal.  We got to watch a video from our bishop, explaining all the good things that this annual contribution pays for throughout our diocese, including seminarian education, various salaries, and numerous other ministries.  Here is the link to our diocese’s God’s Gift Appeal site which also has the video we watched today.

In his homily, Monsignor followed up on the Gospel message of keeping Christ in everything we do.  Not just our prayers, but our work, our joys, our sufferings, even the smallest tasks, can all be done with Christ in mind.  When we do this, we are making Christ take the first and primary place in our hearts and minds, as well as inviting Him to be a part of our daily lives.

Hope you all had a blessed Sunday and have a great week ahead of you!!

Deo Juvante, jen

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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Mass Readings and Homily, Feb. 2, 2014

Mass Readings and Homily, Feb. 2, 2014

Today was the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – the day Jesus was brought to the Temple to be dedicated to God.

 Click here for Sunday’s readings.   

Malachai 3:1-4 – A prophesy of the Lord’s coming
Psalm 24 – “Who is this King of Glory? It is the Lord!”
Hebrew 2:14-18 – Paul tells us that, because Jesus took on flesh and blood and shared in our humanity even to the point of death, He freed us from sin and made us His brothers and sisters in every way, and took away all fear of death.
Luke 2:22-40 – The narrative of Jesus being brought to the Temple 40 days after His birth for Mary’s purification and for His consecration to God, according to the law. It includes the prophesy from Simeon, “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,” and also mentions the prophetess Anna.

This passage has special meaning for me because it is how our youngest one’s name was chosen.

Our Deacon gave the homily Sunday because he is one of the people in charge of our Adoration program. Adoration is worshiping God above everything else in your life. As Catholics, we have Adoration time – time to pray while sitting before Jesus, Who can be either in the Tabernacle or placed in a special vessel called a Monstrance. At our church, we have 24/7 Adoration in a special chapel built specifically for that purpose. Deacon spoke at all the Masses in order to encourage people to sign up for specific hours of the day or night because Jesus can never be left alone in the chapel.

His homily focused on the question, “Do you know Jesus?” – really know Him. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Do you trust Him? Do you spend time with Him? If you really want to know someone and have a relationship with them, you have to spend time with them. Do you spend time with Jesus? How often do you come and sit with Him in Adoration? He then made 3 points:

1. How do we experience Jesus?

If we look around our church, see the stained glass, the statues, the paintings – all that beauty is designed to lift our hearts upward toward God. As humans, we are sensual beings and things that are beautiful can help us to see and experience the goodness and beauty of God. In the church we have an ambo, the pedestal from which we receive the Word of God; the altar, from which He feeds us with His Body; and the Tabernacle, His dwelling place within the church which makes this a Holy place. To fully experience God in our lives, we need to make Him part of everything we do and serve Him through our work and play. Deacon also related this to the readings. In Malachi, we hear the prophesy of Jesus coming to establish a new covenant with God’s people. In the Gospel of Luke we hear of how Jesus was to be a sign of contradiction, something we see clearly in His life – some followed Him, but many didn’t, especially those who were the leaders of the time.  We still see this happening today.

2. Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist

How do we know that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist? Because Jesus said so at the Last Supper. He said, “This IS my Body,” and “This IS my Blood.” The power to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ was then passed down through the Apostles and is given to the priests. The Church has consistently taught the True Presence from the beginning and there are many amazing Eucharistic Miracles that have happened over the years and been scientifically substantiated.

3. Adoration

There is no “right” way to Adore – we can sit, kneel, say prayers, speak from the heart, or just sit in the silence.  Jesus is waiting for us there, waiting for us to come and spend time with Him.  Deacon testified to the amazing power Adoration has to truly change our lives, help us to love others more, help us to grow closer to Jesus and become the person He wants us to be.  He especially encouraged us to pray for our spouses and for our marriage.  He credits Adoration with being what helped to save his marriage.  Like Jesus said to the Apostles in the garden of Gethsemane, “Could you not keep watch with me for an hour?”  What better way is there to spend an hour than sitting with Jesus?

I wanted to upload and share the beautiful video of our Adoration Chapel, but I couldn’t get it to upload.  Instead, please click here to visit our diocese website to see some photos of the Chapel as well as information about the artwork and about Adoration.

For me, going to Adoration feels like I’m going on a date.  I’m going to meet with the Person Who is the most important Person in my entire life, and He’s waiting for me – for ME!  No matter how I feel, no matter what I look like, no matter what is going on in my life, He’s there, waiting for me to come and tell Him all about it.  I can sit there in the quiet of the church or chapel and pour my heart out to Him, or praise Him in thanksgiving, or just sit there and let Him speak to me in my heart.  There is so much peace, so much love!  He is my Lord and my God, my Everything, my All.  I would encourage anyone to try going to Adoration.  You don’t have to be Catholic; no matter who you are or where you go to church, or even if you don’t go to church at all – He’s still there regardless and I promise you, if you try it, you won’t leave unchanged.  Can you think of a better way to spend an hour?  God bless!!

Deo Juvante, Jen

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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Mass Readings and Homily, Sun., Jan. 26, 2014

For the last couple months, I’ve been sharing our Sunday Mass readings and homily message on a message board I belong to.  I’d like to share them here too.

We had the opportunity to visit St. Mary’s in Bismarck this weekend. Our readings were Isaiah 8:23-9:3, Psalm 27, 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17, and Matthew 4:12-23 

The Gospel reading this Sunday showed how the prophesy from Isaiah was fulfilled by Jesus settling in Capernaum: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” We also heard the calling of the Apostles in this passage. And in the New Testament reading, St.Paul instructs us to always remember that we belong to Christ and Christ alone. The people had been arguing that they belonged to Paul or Apollos or Cephas, and Paul reprimands them, reminding them the Christ is not divided. Rather, it is Christ Who died for us and we should remain united in Christ, regardless of who has brought us the message.

The priest saying Mass focused on being called to follow Christ and preach the Gospel. He reflected on how Jesus spoke with passion and conviction wherever He went. We hear this in the Gospels when various people remark about the authoritative way Jesus taught, but we also must realize it when we think of the Apostles leaving everything they have – home, family, work – to follow Him. We too are called by Christ to follow Him. We should go forth into the world with passion and conviction also. Throughout history we see people like David Koresh or Harold Camping who gathered followers to their ways of thinking. People sold all of their worldly possessions, left their families, and went after these men. Why? Because they taught with passion and conviction. We all seek after the Truth and are naturally attracted to people who seem to possess it. Therefore, we must boldly proclaim the Gospel, preaching it to all we know and teaching Christ’s message through our very lives.

***Side note: Father didn’t say this but I’ve heard it many times and want to pass it along. Preaching the Gospel doesn’t have to mean bringing Jesus into every conversation we have. The way we live our lives on a daily basis – the things we say (and the things we don’t!), the decisions we make, having a sense of peace and joy even the face of adversity, etc. – will show Jesus’ true message of love and mercy far more than anything we can every say.

“always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you,” 1 Peter 3:15

Deo Juvante, Jen

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Mass Readings

 

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