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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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    by eezell3 on Sunday, June 26, 2022

    Here’s a link to the Sunday readings for July 10 (usccb.org). Sample Commentary on Luke 10:25-37 As Jesus continues his journey to the cross, he runs up against persons of authority who question his ministry. The man in this passage tries to pull Jesus into a legal debate. Rather than square off against him, Jesus

  • Study Guide for July 3, The 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by eezell3 on Sunday, June 19, 2022

    Here’s a link to the Sunday readings for July 3 (usccb.org). Sample Commentary on Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 Jesus already sent out his twelve closest disciples (9:1f). Here he sends even more, this time throughout Samaria. This passage shows that the missionary work undertaken in the Book of Acts is based on Jesus’ own command. Here’s

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
  • Self-Surpassing Freedom- 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
    by Patrick Clark on Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    The readings for this Sunday may be found on the USCCB website: I Kings 19:16b, 19-21 Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11 Galatians 5:1, 13-18 Luke 9:51-62 What is freedom? What does freedom require? What does it look like? And what, if anything, is the ultimate meaning or purpose of freedom? This Sunday’s readings suggest answers to these

  • Sixth Sunday of Easter: A Call for Conscience
    by Conor Kelly on Thursday, May 19, 2022

    First Reading – Acts 5:1-2, 22-29 Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 Second Reading – Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23 Gospel Reading – John 14:23-29 When I consider this week’s readings, the theme I keep coming back to, for a number of reasons, is conscience. The first reason is that one common theme across the

  • Second Sunday of Easter: Seeing and Believing
    by Conor Kelly on Wednesday, April 20, 2022

    First Reading – Acts 5:12-16 Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 Second Reading – Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19 Gospel Reading – John 20:19-31 There is a curious thread about sight connecting this week’s readings. The role of sight is prominent in the Gospel reading, of course. First, when the disciples who encounter Jesus on

  • Adultery and Idolatry- 5th Sunday of Lent
    by Patrick Clark on Friday, April 1, 2022

    This post was originally published on March 13, 2013 under the same title. Isaiah 43:16-21 Psalm 126:1-6 Philippians 3:8-14 John 8:1-11 Small children are not the only ones who routinely confuse the word “adultery” with “idolatry.” Even though I presume they know the difference, students in my Intro Bible course often mistakenly use one for

  • Fourth Sunday of Lent: Prodigal Mercy
    by Conor Kelly on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

    First Reading – Joshua 5:9a, 10-12 Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 Second Reading – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Gospel Reading – Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 (nb: some parishes will use the readings from cycle A this Sunday, which are an option for all and required if a parish is doing the Scrutinies of the Elect

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