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Sunday Readings

PLANNING
  1. First readings for Lent in Cycle B focus our attention on covenants with God. This week we hear about God’s covenant with Noah after the flood. Next Sunday we will hear of God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The Third Sunday of Lent brings us the terms of the covenant God made with Moses after the Exodus. The first reading for the Fourth Sunday of Lent sees the destruction of Jerusalem and the Israelites’ exile as a result of unfaithfulness to the covenant.
  2. Of course, this theme will only last for the first two Sundays if you have catechumens ready for the final stage of their preparation for the Easter sacraments. In that case, the readings for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent will come from Cycle A, at least at whatever Masses you celebrate the scrutinies.
  3. If you have such catechumens in your faith community, this First Sunday of Lent is the day to celebrate the Rite of Sending of the Catechumens for Election. This rite, an optional rite for the United States, helps to link the whole parish with the celebration of the Rite of Election with the bishop, commonly celebrated at the cathedral and/or a centrally located parish later in the day. The rubrics and texts for the Rite of Sending are found in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, beginning at #106.
  4. One of the major deficits in the implementation of the RCIA in many parishes is the lack of involvement of the whole parish in the journey of the candidates. If your parish has involved the whole community throughout the process, then this rite offers an opportunity for the parish to share in this key moment in the catechumen’s journey of faith. If you haven’t adequately involved the community throughout the whole process, it’s still important to do so during Lent.
  5. Remember that Lent developed in conjunction with these final days of the catechumenate in ancient times. The whole community joined with the “elect” (as catechumens who have been called to the sacraments by the bishop are now called) to deepen their own conversion, so that they could richly celebrate the renewal of their own baptism at Easter. The journey of the elect and the Lenten journey of the already baptized merge into a shared experience of repentance and renewal
  6. Even if you don’t have any catechumens in your own parish, try to find ways to help parishioners link their Lenten practices with the elect’s spiritual journey. Can you gather names of the elect in neighboring parishes and pray for them throughout Lent? Might your parishioners write short letters to those preparing for the Easter sacraments, offering their prayers and support?
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 Jan. 30 (usccb.org). Sample Commentary on Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19 Sometimes Jeremiah urged a course of action that made him seem like a traitor, though he was actually trying to make his people submit to God’s will. As a result, his people often seemed like an army attacking

  • Study Guide for January 23, The 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by eezell3 on Sunday, January 9, 2022

    Here’s a link to the Sunday readings for Jan. 23 (usccb.org). Sample Commentary on Luke 1:1-4 Luke begins both his Gospel and the Book of Acts in the style of other Greco-Roman texts, which shows us that both Luke and many of the first hearers of his Gospel were cultured and well-educated. Here’s a link

PRO-LIFE MESSAGE

Lent is a time to remember that God first reached out to us. This was not a meagre, one-time gesture like those we often make and withdraw, but a profound, lasting and healing covenant. During this season, we reflect on and ask forgiveness for our own alienating, sinful actions. We ponder in deep prayer and silence that God has invested everything, including a beloved Son, into this relationship.

CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY
  • Lectionary – Epiphany of the Lord
    by Conor Kelly on Thursday, December 30, 2021

    First Reading – Isaiah 60:1-6 Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13 Second Reading – Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 Gospel Reading – Matthew 2:1-12 The traditional way of interpreting the readings for this Sunday’s Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord is to highlight the significance of the “magi from the east.” Commentators tend to

  • Fourth Sunday of Advent: Prepare to Receive
    by Maria Morrow on Wednesday, December 15, 2021

    We find ourselves one week from Christmas, and on this final Sunday of Advent, we hear the story known as the Visitation, when the newly pregnant Mary visits her older and also pregnant cousin Elizabeth. Thus we begin this last week of preparation for Christmas with two women, and their in utero children, front and

  • Rejoice… maybe. 3rd Sunday of Advent
    by David Cloutier on Wednesday, December 8, 2021

    A deep problem in understanding Christianity as truly “good news” is our temptation to ignore the bad news. We hear – on this “joyful Sunday” of Advent – a glowing, celebratory reading from the prophet Zephaniah. Why the reason for such rejoicing? The reading does indicate some reason: “The Lord has removed the judgment against

  • Prepare the Way- 2nd Sunday of Advent (Guest Post by Brendan Murphy)
    by Patrick Clark on Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    This is a guest post by Brendan Murphy, a theologian, homeschooler, artist, beekeeper, and farmer who lives with his wife, Heather, and their five children in northeast Pennsylvania. He holds degrees in Theology from The University of Scranton and Fordham University. Over the past 20 years, he has taught Theology in a variety of contexts from

  • Lectionary: First Sunday of Advent
    by Conor Kelly on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-16 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14 Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:12–4:2 Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36 The readings for the First Sunday of Advent, like the readings throughout Advent, are truly forward looking. This, of course, fits with the emphases of the liturgical season, which exists to turn our hearts and

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