Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time & St. Charles of Sezze, January 18,2017
Jesus the Great High Priest heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. The healing is met by the Pharisees’ hardness of heart, which causes Jesus anger and grief. “The Pharisees immediately took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.” But Christ is anointed with “the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.” Our withered, hard hearts will be healed only by the piercing of his.read more
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time & St. Anthony of Egypt, January 17,2017
Born around 251 A.D. in Upper Egypt, Anthony responded wholeheartedly to the words of Christ in Matthew 19:21: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Anthony sold his family estate, and sought out a solitary life in the Nitrian Desert, then later at Pispir, on the banks of the Nile. His followers lived in nearby hermitages, and this primitive organized life earned Anthony the name “father of monasticism.” His erudite sayings formed a spiritual touchstone for succeeding generations of ascetics, including Saint Benedict.read more
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time & St. Berard and Companions, January 16,2017
The people know what makes sense when it comes to patching an old cloak or storing wine in skins, but they cannot make sense of Jesus. They prejudge him according to standards not adequate to his stature. He is “the source of eternal salvation,” whose perfection is revealed in the obedience with which he faces suffering. Only those who accept that paradox understand.read more
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time A & Santo Niño Feast Day & St. Paul the Hermit, January 15,2017
Why are there only few attendance at mass today? What is there in the mass that is an agent of change to all of us? In the mass, we say, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.” This prayer comes from today’s gospel passage (Jn 1:29), when John the Baptist points out Jesus to his followers and calls him “the Lamb of God.” Where did this image come from, and what does it tell us about Jesus and his impact on our lives? John was thinking of the Passover, the great saving event of the Jewish people, when God rescued them from Egypt and slavery. On the night of their deliverance, the Israelites smeared the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and were spared by the angel of death, who killed the first-born of the Egyptians. The lamb had saved them from destruction (cf. Exodus 11-13). John saw in Jesus the one who had come to save his people and take away their sins. And we know, even better than John did how true his vision was. For Jesus went to the cross and shed his blood so that our sins might be forgiven. His victory over sin and death is celebrated in the Book of Revelation: “I looked… and heard the voices of many angels… and they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.’ Then I heard every creature… cry out. ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, for ever and ever’” (Rev 5:11-13).read more
Readings & Reflections: Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Gregory Nazianzen, January 14,2017
Jesus declares, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” All it takes is two words – “Follow me” – to call Levi from his life of vice. For “the word of God is living and effective, penetrating even between soul and spirit, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” Things that Levi could never have penetrated about himself now become clear. “Naked and exposed” to the One who “sympathizes with our weaknesses,” Levi gets up and follows.read more
Readings & Reflections: Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Hilary, January 13,2017
Born into a pagan family, Hilary is said to have studied his way into the Church, meditating in part on the prologue to John’s Gospel. In 353 A.D. he was chosen bishop of Poitier, France. Only three years after being elected bishop of Poitiers, France. Hilary was sent into exile in Phrygia, present-day Turkey by the emperor, professed Arian, because he refused to condemn Athanasius. There Hilary composed his great doctrinal work On the Trinity. “Anyone who fails to see that Christ Jesus was at once true God and truly man is blind to his own life: to deny Christ Jesus, or God the Spirit, or our own flesh, is equally perilous,” he wrote. Hilary governed his diocese from afar, thwarted only the slow mail delivery. He returned to Poitiers and died in 367 A.D. Hilary was dubbed the “Athanasius of the West” because, like the great doctor from Alexandria, he worked tirelessly to uphold the truth of the divinity of the Son of God in an age dominated by the Arian heresy. Hilary was hailed by Saint Augustine as “the most illustrious doctor of the churches.”read more
Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, January 12,2017
“We have become partners of Christ if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.” This truth is what moves the leper to beg before Jesus: “If you wish, you can make me clean.” The leper recognizes in Christ his Maker – the beginning of his reality. When we claim partnership with Christ in this way, Jesus is moved to pity.
Heavenly Father, You have guided us directly through our consciences! You have invited us to listen and to respond to your call yet we have been cold and indifferent. Lord God, give us the grace to soften our hearts and enable us to re-arrange our busy schedules and priorities to include regular rhythms of withdrawal and retreat from activity to be in silence and solitude with You. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & Blessed William Carter, January 11,2017
Jesus “had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest.” In his human flesh, Christ is eminently accessible: the “whole town” gathers at his door with their sick and afflicted. Everyone is looking for him. Through his human flesh Christ destroys the one who has the power of death.
Heavenly Father, as we look at our lives we find loneliness and separation from people in our family and community and even from You. We have parts of our lives that are dark and embarrassing and seem unchangeable. Lord, we believe that it is into this very darkness and discomfort that Jesus came for us and He is moved with pity for us, stretches out his healing hand to us and says, “I do will it. Be made clean.” Yes, our dear Father, we believe, that Jesus is here with us to heal us and make us whole. Amen.read more
Readings & Reflections: Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time & St. Gregory of Nyssa, January 10,2017
When we meet someone with authority, we are astonished because somehow that person unseats our deepest fears, fills us with certainty, and realizes the desires crucial to our happiness. God is so mindful of us that he comes into our midst to exercise that authority to the point of expelling our unclean spirits. The “new teaching” of Jesus is our salvation.
Heavenly Father, I fervently ask for the grace to make a new beginning in my life. Lord, I believe in my heart, that if I can only sit with my hands open in humility, I will be able to respond to your invitation to follow you with great dedication and commitment. Amenread more
Readings & Reflections: The Baptism of the Lord A & St. Adrian of Canterbury, January 9,2017
In the Gospel today (Mt 3:13-17) John the Baptist invited the people to repentance by turning away from the darkness of sin into the light of God’s presence, joy and peace. When Jesus came and baptized him, a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). Our Catechism teaches that “his eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when ‘God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power,’ ‘that he might be revealed to Israel’ (Acts 10:38), as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as ‘the Holy One of God’” (CCC:438). Then after, Jesus invited the people into the realm of God’s kingdom, saying, “The Kingdom of God is near! Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mk 1:14). This was his call about a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace. All were invited but only few listened and followed him as his disciples. Why?read more
Daily readings with reflections, Pope's messages, Bishop's messages, Church's music & videos, Educational Speaker, Bible Stories, Christopher Notes, Church Militant Video, Religious Movies, Journey Home