Tag: "Mass Readings"

Easter Sunday
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Easter Sunday

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The serpent’s bite was a deadly one.  The venom had worked its way deep into the heart of the entire human race, doing its gruesome work.  The anti-venom was unavailable until He appeared.  One drop was all that was needed, so potent was this antidote.  Yet it was not like Him to be stingy.  He […]

Ash Wednesday:  Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride
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Ash Wednesday: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

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On February 25, 2004, I was teaching English at the University of Central Florida in the Diocese of Disney, lecturing on “Ash Wednesday,” T.S. Eliot’s famous poem. There before me in the lecture hall sat several students with ashes smudged across their foreheads in the shape of a cross. Ash Wednesday. How apropos. T.S. Eliot […]

John the Baptist and Spiritual Joy
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John the Baptist and Spiritual Joy

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On the third Sunday of Advent, penitential purple gives way to pink and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday. “Rejoice heartily in the Lord, says Isaiah” (61:10). “My Spirit finds joy in God my Savior,” says the Virgin Mary (Luke 1: 47). “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul (I Thes. 5:16). “Make straight […]

Feast of the Holy Cross
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Feast of the Holy Cross

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Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race. In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew […]

Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?
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Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?

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Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher. Many even confess him as Savior. But the Incarnation of the Eternal God? Second person of the Holy Trinity? God can’t be one and three at the same time. Such a notion […]

The Difference the Spirit Makes
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The Difference the Spirit Makes

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As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 27, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, December 27, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14 2nd Reading: Colossians 3:12-21 Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-5 Gospel: Luke 2:41-52 The Holy Family, Our Model of Faith and Trust and Love and Unity He went down with them … and was obedient to them. (Luke 2:51) Today is not a […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 13, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, December 13, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Zephaniah 3:14-18 2nd Reading: Philippians 4:4-7 Responsorial: (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6 Gospel: Luke 3: 10-18 Advent, A Time to Trust in Jesus and His Power and Strength I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. (Luke 3:16) If you’ve […]

Reflections for Sunday, December 6, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, December 6, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Baruch 5:1-9 2nd Reading: Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 Responsorial: Psalm 126:1-6 Gospel: Luke 3:1-6 Advent, A Time to Respond to God’s Good Work in Us The one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it. (Philippians 1:6) Every winter, the […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 22, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, November 22, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Daniel 7:13-14 2nd Reading: Revelation 1:5-8 Responsorial: Psalm 93:1-2, 5 Gospel: John 18:33-37 Allowing Jesus Christ, Our King, To Feed Us with His Grace and Power Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 15, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, November 15, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Daniel 12:1-3 2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14, 18 Responsorial: Psalm 16:5, 8-11 Gospel: Mark 13:24-32 Reflecting on Jesus’ Second Coming and Our Life in Heaven They will see “the Son of Man coming in the clouds” with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26) Most […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 7, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, November 7, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 1 Kings 17:10-16 2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:24-28 Responsorial: Psalm 146:7-10 Gospel: Mark 12:38-44 Eagerly Awaiting the Second Coming of Christ Christ … will appear a second time … to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him. (Hebrews 9:28) November marks the final […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 25, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, October 25, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Jeremiah 31:7-9 2nd Reading: Hebrews 5:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 126:1-6 Gospel: Mark 10:46-52 Saying Yes to Jesus’ Call Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you. (Mark 10:49) Today’s readings all involve a call from God. In the first reading, the Lord makes a […]

John and James
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John and James

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It was time to make their move. Usually it was Peter who took the initiative, but now it was their turn. They cleared their throats and asked the master for the best seats in the house, the places of honor right next to the throne. Of course, in this conversation, recounted in Sunday’s gospel, John […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 11, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, October 11, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Wisdom 7:7-11 2nd Reading: Hebrews 4:12-13 Responsorial: Psalm 90:12-17 Gospel: Mark 10: 17-30 Being Good and Generous Stewards of Our Money How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:23) Can a rich person go […]

Marriage and Family
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Marriage and Family

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The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is love.” This the same point made a few years earlier by an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Gadium et Spes 24, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, says this: God is Trinity, a communion of […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 4, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, October 4, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Genesis 2:18-24 2nd Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11 Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-6 Gospel: Mark 10:2-16 Experiencing the Healing, Transforming Power of God What God has joined together, no human being must separate. (Mark 10:9) Today’s readings could not be more appropriate! This morning, Pope Francis will […]

Holiness of the Pharisees
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Holiness of the Pharisees

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Radio talk show hosts make a living on it.  Show after show, they bring before our eyes stupid, unjust and wasteful situations in order to incite outrage.  We love to listen and get ourselves all worked up.  Our indignation keeps us tuned in and raises the show’s ratings. It’s easy to focus on the outrageous […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 27, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 27, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Numbers 11:25-2 2nd Reading: James 5:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-14 Gospel: Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 Answering God’s Call to Reach Out to Those in Need Whoever is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:40) In the first reading, we see how […]

Anatomy of Envy
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Anatomy of Envy

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Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of business leaders that, regardless of their religion, they simply had to read the Bible. Why? Because success in business depends not so much upon understanding financial reports as it does upon understanding people. And when it comes to a book that reveals what makes people tick, […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 20, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 20, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 2nd Reading: James 3:16–4:3 Responsorial: Psalm 54:3-6, 8 Gospel: Mark 9:30-37 Saying Yes to Jesus and No to Sin “Where do the conflicts among you come from? (James 4:1) Our minds have the capacity to do amazing things. They can […]

Cl63 - hbratton notxt web
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Amen

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Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most Christians end every prayer with it. But what does “Amen” really mean? Is it just a pious way to “log off” our dialogue with God? Actually, most of us have never heard the origins of this word that we use so glibly. But we need to examine it […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 13, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 13, 2015

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Meditations and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Isaiah 50:5-9 2nd Reading: James 2:14-18 Responsorial: Psalm 116:1-6, 8-9 Gospel: Mark 8:27-35 What it Means to Deny Ourselves, Take up Our Cross, and Follow Jesus “Peter … began to rebuke him. (Mark 8:32) Peter has a striking insight and dares to express […]

Is Tradition a Four Letter Word?
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Is Tradition a Four Letter Word?

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One of the great battle cries of the Protestant Reformation was “sola scriptura!” Many thought that the Catholic Church had cluttered up the simple Christian faith by adding all sorts of practices, customs and doctrines over the centuries. They thought the Church in their day was guilty of exactly the same Pharisaical obsession with traditions […]

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