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Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 21, 2018

January 18th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

            Cycle B

            1) Jon 3:1-5, 10

            Psalm 25:4-5, 6-9

            2) 1 Cor 7:29-31

            Gospel: Mk 1:14-20

 

Could this really happen?

Today’s readings seem a bit implausible.

In the first, a prophet named Jonah goes to a city called Nineveh — capital of a ruthless empire — makes a brief announcement of God’s judgment, and just like that, everybody repents of their sins.

The ruins of Nineveh are at modern Mosul in Iraq, a city that the Islamic State terrorist group controlled until recently. Could you imagine some guy in a village being told by God to go to Mosul in, say, 2016, preaching God’s justice on a downtown street — and every jihadi just laying down his weapons and walking away? Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 14, 2018

January 11th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

            Cycle B

            1) 1 Sm 3:3-10, 19

            Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-10

            2) 1 Cor 6:13-15, 17-20

            Gospel: Jn 1:35-42

Cultivating a heart that listens

Prayer is a conversation with God. We speak to God as we pray the responses of the liturgy and the psalms, in familiar devotions of the church and with words that flow spontaneously from the heart.

While speaking to God is a necessary part of Christian prayer, listening to God is even more fundamental. Today, God’s word invites us to cultivate a heart of listening so that we may hear God call each one of us by name. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Jan. 7, 2018

January 4th, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

The Epiphany of the Lord
Cycle B
1) Is 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1, 7-8, 10-13
2) Eph 3:2-3, 5-6
Gospel: Mt 2:1-12

Not just a once and future event

“Nations shall walk by your light.” “Justice shall flower in his days.” “The lives of the poor he shall save.” The Scripture texts today talk a lot about the future — and, of course, about the past. “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem.” “When King Herod heard of this.” “Then they opened their treasures.”
In the grand future the texts speak of, God will make all things new. In a realm of eternal light, he will rule over everything and everyone. There will be “profound peace.” “Every nation on earth will adore” him.
But that is not yet. At present, there are many “poor” and “afflicted” who cry out and need help. If we “raise (our) eyes and look about” in early 2018, we don’t see the powers that be bowing down to God.
And, by definition, the past has slipped away. Two thousand years ago, God revealed himself (the meaning of “epiphany”) to some wise seekers. They found Jesus, an infant in his mother’s arms. But if we travel to Bethlehem, we won’t see a star; just a town struggling amid political conflict and economic distress.
So is everything the biblical texts are speaking about locked behind us in the past or not yet opened up the future? Isn’t the Epiphany for us, too?
Well, yes! The second reading declares that “God’s grace,” now “made known,” is drawing men and women everywhere (“the gentiles”) into life in his incarnate Son.
By Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have become so connected to him that we “are … members of the same body” — notice that present tense. We’re closer to him than those wise, first-century seekers were.
In our celebration of the Eucharist, we thank God for sending his Son to establish his reign over every mind and heart, every life and relationship, every corner of creation. As we do that, Jesus makes himself present to us — and, through Communion, in us.
In the liturgy, the light of God’s kingdom yet to come illuminates us. We become the community upon whom “the Lord shines,” the people over whom “appears his glory.”
In this light, we go out as his servants to aid in extending his kingdom in the world. Guided by his Spirit, we can “have pity for the lowly.” We can “rescue the poor when he cries out and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.”

Reflection Question: 
Today’s psalm response is: “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” How will you adore him today?

•••

Perrotta is the editor and an author of the “Six Weeks With the Bible” series, teaches part time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Sunday Scripture readings, Dec. 24, 2017

December 21st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Fourth Sunday of Advent

         Cycle B

         1) 2 Sm 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16

         Psalm:89: 2-5, 27, 29

         2) Rom 16:25-27

         Gospel: Lk 1:26-38

        

Almost Christmas

On the brink of celebrating the end of Mary’s pregnancy — Christmas begins this evening — we look back to its beginning. Today’s Gospel presents the conversation between Mary and an angel named Gabriel.

Is there, for every person, a pivotal conversation — a conversation that determines the whole course of a person’s life? (“Olivia, can we talk about getting married?”) Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Dec. 17, 2017

December 14th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Third Sunday of Advent           

1) Is 61:1-2, 10-11  

Responsorial psalm: Lk 1:46-50, 53-54    

2) 1 Thes 5:16-24

Gospel: Jn 1:6-8, 19-28

           

Living in the joy of the Gospel

“Rejoice in the Lord!” is the invitation of this Third Sunday of Advent when God’s word calls us, once again, to enter into the meaning of life in light of the mystery of the Incarnation, soon to be celebrated in the great feast of Christmas.

Traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, the theme of rejoicing in the Lord echoes through the readings and into our hearts and lives. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Dec. 10, 2017

December 7th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Second Sunday of Advent

            Cycle B

            1) Is 40:1-5, 9-11

            Psalm 85: 9-14

            2) 2 Pt 3:8-14

            Gospel: Mk 1:1-8

           

 

The Advent blahs

 

Advent: time to figure out which commandments I’ve been breaking and squeeze in confession before Christmas.

Is that the message of today’s readings?

Sure, that’s part of it. But primarily an announcement is being made. God is going to do something! Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Dec. 3, 2017

November 30th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

First Sunday of Advent

            Cycle B

            1) Is 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7

            Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

            2) 1 Cor 1:3-9

            Gospel: Mk 13:33-37

Come, Lord Jesus: Our Advent prayer      

Each Advent, we are given a fresh chance to discover that the deepest longings of our heart are for God. The prophet Isaiah reminds us of this deep human desire for God. For this reason, he is considered the prophet of Advent who highlights the hopes of the people of Israel for a messiah. Our deep longing for God is at the heart of our Advent preparations. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Nov. 26, 2017

November 22nd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

            Cycle A

            1) Ez 34:11-12, 15-17

            Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6

            2) 1 Cor 15:20-26, 28

            Gospel: Mt 25:31-46

 

Head out on the highway      

As always on Sundays, today’s first reading and Gospel reading are coordinated. But they fit together less like a couple of Lego pieces than like the eastbound and westbound lanes of an expressway.

What is the same in both texts is the message that God intends to judge our cooperation or non-cooperation with his plans. Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Nov. 12, 2017

November 6th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time           

1) Wis 6:12-16

Psalm 63:2-8

2) 1 Thes 4:13-18

Gospel: Mt 25:1-13

   

Don’t miss the psalm!        

At Sunday Mass, we sing a few lines of a psalm. The music creates a mood, but the words usually pass by without leaving a lasting impression. Today, though, you might retrieve it and spend a few minutes with it.

“O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water” (Ps 63:2). Read more »

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Sunday Scripture readings, Oct. 29, 2017

October 25th, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Catholic News Service

 

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1) Ex 22:20-26

Psalm 18: 2-4, 47, 51

2) 1 Thes 1:5-10

Gospel: Mt 22:34-40

 

  No need to read any further         

Some Sundays in church I sit and listen to the Scripture readings waiting for something to strike me, but nothing does. All of it is good and important, but nothing shouts “this is meant for you here and now!”

But today I only have to get to the beginning of the first reading: “You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt” (Ex 22:20). What could be more “here and now” than that? Read more »

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