PLANNING
  1. The elect, who are in final preparation for the Easter sacraments, will celebrate scrutinies on the next three Sundays. Many parishes may also have candidates for full communion with the Catholic church. If some of them will be received into the church on Easter or throughout the 50-day season, you may celebrate a special penitential rite with them today.
  2. Many experts have pointed out that candidates (those already baptized in another denomination) should not automatically be folded in with catechumens (those who are not baptized). Many of them have different needs, and they are not to be held back from full communion any longer than necessary. So, the Rite of Reception into Full Communion might be celebrated at any time of the year; it is not particularly linked to Lent or Easter.
  3. Some candidates, though already baptized, have little or no formation in Christian doctrine and living. Such people might well journey with catechumens for many months, since they need some of the same formation. When that is the case, they should still be clearly distinguished from the unbaptized, acknowledging the significance of the baptism they have already received.
  4. This might easily lead to having some candidates ready for reception as the community observes Lent and celebrates Easter. In such cases, the penitential rite would make sense on this Sunday. The rite is found in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, beginning at #464.
  5. So, the elect will celebrate the scrutinies and any candidates for full communion will celebrate a penitential rite. What about everybody else? How does the rest of the assembly ritualize their conversion journey? The answer, of course, is the sacrament of reconciliation. This might be a good time to announce all the opportunities to celebrate that sacrament this Lent. Let people know when your parish will celebrate a penance service, as well as opportunities for individual celebration of the sacrament. When lisiting penance services and opportunities for confession within your own parish schedule include those of neighboring parishes, too. Some deaneries post such opportunities in the area online for anyone  to consult.
  6. Planners might review the readings and prayers that are part of the scrutinies and the penitential rite for candidates to see if they might also be used in creating the parish penance service. If your service is scheduled during the third, fourth or fifth week of Lent, the scrutiny Gospels could provide a theme, (though you would want to use the shorter form of the Gospel for a penance service). If you gather issues of concern from the community to create local adaptations of the intercessions in the scrutinies, those same concerns could shape an examination of conscience or a series of petitions during the penance service.
Adapted: LAWRENCE MICK ©2018: The pastoral/worship planning resource from 2018 Reflections, 2020 Reflections can be read at National Catholic Reporter website.
OUR SUNDAY READINGS
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    Here’s a link to the Sunday readings for Oct. 3 (usccb.org). Sample Commentary on Genesis 2:18-24 The way in which God creates the woman shows that she shares the same nature and capacity of the man. The animals were formed from the earth, but she has been made of the same stuff, the same material,

  • Study Guide for September 26, The 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by eezell3 on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    Here’s a link to the Sunday readings for Sep. 26 (usccb.org). Sample Commentary on Mark 9:38-41 There were both Jewish and pagan exorcists at the time of Jesus. We don’t know if the man in this story was doing exorcisms for years or started doing them after he heard about Jesus. Regardless, he was using

PRO-LIFE MESSAGE

Growing in faith and understanding is a life-long process. It is reflected in each of our personal lives, just as it was reflected within Judaism and Christianity. God’s covenant with Israel was expressed in many dramatic ways to increase their understanding; and the disciples and those who followed them learned slowly who Jesus is. Lent is an opportunity to focus on who Jesus is for each of us.

CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY
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    by Patrick Clark on Thursday, September 23, 2021

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  • 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time: A Call to Gratitude and Humility
    by Conor Kelly on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    First Reading: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 54:3-4, 5, 6, 8 Second Reading: James 3:16–4:3 Gospel: Mark 9:30-37 This week’s readings represent a call to gratitude and humility, specifically envisioned as a rejection of entitlement. That is, the readings all remind us that genuine relationships are not transactions, and so we must not approach

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  • God does all things well: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by Maria Morrow on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

    Readings for 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time At times, the sufferings and injustices in the world can be overwhelming. From violent conflicts to natural disasters, it’s no wonder if we sometimes feel frightened, upset, or discouraged. Most of us have had enough times of peace, comfort, and security to be alarmed when that status quo

  • What defiles? 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time commentary
    by David Cloutier on Friday, August 27, 2021

    A recent study of the psychology of ritual behaviors yields some interesting insights. The authors argue that: Our framework focuses on three primary regulatory functions of rituals: regulation of (a) emotions, (b) performance goal states, and (c) social connection.  According to the APA dictionary, a “performance goal” was defined by American psychologist Carol Dweck as