PLANNING
  • Ash Wednesday: Lent begins this week. Planners should consult with priests and deacons to determine the best schedule for Masses that day and whether other times of distributing ashes are needed. Chapter 51 of the Book of Blessings reminds us that distribution of ashes outside of Mass should be offered in the context of a celebration of the word. Even when ashes are brought to the sick, “at least one Scripture reading should be included.” The rubrics note that the service may be celebrated by a priest or deacon and that lay ministers may assist with the distribution. Be sure to have some soapy water or wet wipes for the distributors to clean their hands after the distribution.
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
  • Study Guide for October 3, The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by eezell3 on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    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

There is often no escape from illness. And, sometimes an illness is considered socially unacceptable and those afflicted cannot escape the injustice and the judgement that can accompany the condition. Today’s readings focus on leprosy, but they could be about any disease or condition that evokes fear, alienation or condemnation. Those who suffer are urged to turn to God for healing. All of us are called to imitate Jesus, who throughout his life, embraced and healed the sick and outcast. It is a hard challenge to ignore and an even harder one for many of us to accept.

CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY
  • The Heart Has Its Laws —26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by Patrick Clark on Thursday, September 23, 2021

    Lectionary: 137 All the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ may be found here on the USCCB website. Numbers 11:25-29 Psalm 19:8-14 James 5:1-6 Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 This post was originally published on September 26th, 2018 under the same title. Blaise Pascal’s famous adage “the heart has its reasons which reason

  • 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

  • 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time: 3 Points about Suffering
    by Patrick Clark on Thursday, September 9, 2021

    All the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ may be found here on the USCCB website. Reading 1: Isaiah 50:5-9 Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 116 Reading 2: James 2: 14-18 Gospel: Mark 8:27-35 This post was originally published by Jason King on September 12th, 2018 under the same title. In his The Cross and the Lynching Tree,

  • 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