Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 RV 22:1-7

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me,
“These words are trustworthy and true, 
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

Responsorial Psalm PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

R. (1 Cor 16: 22b, see Rev. 22: 20c) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!

 

 

Alleluia LK 21:36

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Fix Your Gaze / Enfocar tu Mirada

It’s the last day of the liturgical year. It’s hard to believe, time flies so fast. Perhaps on this day, more so than on other days, it might be good to slow down and consider why time appears to fly so fast. 

Jesus warns us not to get caught up in the pleasures of life, nor the anxieties. When Jesus walked the earth there were many tugs and pulls on people’s time. Even without any modern technology or access to global affairs, the everyday distractions were enough that Jesus had to strongly warn His followers against their lure. If those early Christians felt the pressure of distractions which would pull them away from Christ, we are certainly not immune.

As we cannot tell the future, we do not know when certain events will happen. We don’t know when we will die. Depending on the type of planner we are, we might not even know what’s for dinner tomorrow night. We don’t know when the economy will collapse or boom. We don’t know if our country will go to war, or how the next elections will turn out. We don’t know when Jesus will come back at the end of time. Given the uncertainties facing all of us, big and small, it is easy to get wrapped up in what we don’t know. 

Jesus intimately knows the human heart. He knows what it feels like to stare down the unknown, to be unsure of how things will come to pass. He speaks from His own experience when He tells the disciples to “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). 

How are we vigilant? Through prayer. What does prayer do? It pulls us away from the distractions that surround us and draws our gaze back to Christ. We can share our anxieties with our Lord and, if we take His instruction to heart, we lay them at His feet. None of us can escape the lure of the unknown without a heavenly strength. 

As the liturgical year comes to a close, take some time today to consider how often you have been wrapped up in daily anxieties rather than letting them fall through your fingers. Think about what you can do this Advent season to set the tone for the year to come. What practice might you incorporate into your day which will remind you to keep your gaze fixed on Christ, instead of on the unknown.

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Es el último día del año litúrgico. Es difícil de creerlo, el tiempo vuela tan rápido. Tal vez en este día, más que en otros días, sería bueno reducir la velocidad y considerar por qué el tiempo parece volar tan rápido.

Jesús nos advierte que no nos dejemos atrapar por los placeres de la vida, ni por las ansiedades. Cuando Jesús caminó sobre la tierra hubo muchos tirones y jalones para el tiempo de las personas. Incluso sin ninguna tecnología moderna o acceso a los asuntos globales, las distracciones cotidianas fueron suficientes para que Jesús tuviera que advertir enfáticamente a sus seguidores contra su señuelo. Si esos primeros cristianos sintieron la presión de las distracciones que los alejarían de Cristo, ciertamente nosotros no somos inmunes.

Como no podemos predecir el futuro, no sabemos cuándo sucederán ciertos eventos. No sabemos cuándo moriremos. Dependiendo del tipo de planificador que seamos, es posible que ni siquiera sepamos qué vamos a cenar mañana. No sabemos cuándo colapsará o prosperará la economía. No sabemos si nuestro país irá a la guerra, o cómo resultarán las próximas elecciones. No sabemos cuándo volverá Jesús al final de los tiempos. Dadas las incertidumbres que enfrentamos todos, grandes y pequeñas, es fácil quedar envuelto en lo que no sabemos.

Jesús conoce íntimamente el corazón humano. Sabe lo que se siente mirar fijamente lo desconocido, no estar seguro de cómo sucederán las cosas. Habla desde Su propia experiencia cuando les dice a los discípulos: “Velen, pues, y hagan oración continuamente, para que puedan escapar de todo lo que ha de suceder y comparecer seguros ante el Hijo del hombre” (Lucas 21,36).

¿Cómo estamos vigilantes? A través de la oración. ¿Qué hace la oración? Nos aleja de las distracciones que nos rodean y atrae nuestra mirada hacia Cristo. Podemos compartir nuestras ansiedades con nuestro Señor y, si tomamos en serio sus instrucciones, las ponemos a sus pies. Ninguno de nosotros puede escapar del atractivo de lo desconocido sin una fuerza celestial.

A medida que el año litúrgico llega a su fin, tómate un tiempo hoy para considerar la frecuencia con la que has estado envuelto en las ansiedades diarias en lugar de dejarlas en las manos de Dios. Piense en lo que puede hacer en esta temporada de Adviento para marcar la pauta para el año que viene. ¿Qué práctica podrías incorporar en tu día que te recuerde mantener tu mirada fija en Cristo, en lugar de en lo desconocido?

Comunicarse con la autora

Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.

Feature Image Credit: Anete Lusina, www.pexels.com/photo/crop-woman-taking-notes-in-calendar-5239917/

Giving Thanks First / Dar las Gracias Primero

Leprosy during Jesus’s time essentially meant your entire life was taken from you. You couldn’t be near your family and friends. You couldn’t be part of the community. You were even expected to warn people not to come close to you. It was, in many ways, a miserable existence.

So if the necessity to isolate suddenly came to an end, it seems natural that the first thing a person would do would be to go to the priest and get official approval to join the community again. Giving thanks could come later, after all. God doesn’t need our thanks, anyway. God is complete and perfect whether or not we give thanks right away.

In a very real sense, giving thanks is ultimately for our benefit. It helps us to remember our place and be humble. We must not forget that the good things in our lives would not be ours without God permitting them, no matter how hard we work for them. What’s more, secular science confirms that gratitude is good for our mental and even physical health. Those who give thanks daily tend to be healthier and happier.

So, while it is natural to be caught up with the joy of the gift and put gratitude on the back burner, Jesus calls us to rise above our natural inclinations. Let us pray today for the grace to be thankful, first and foremost.

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La lepra durante el tiempo de Jesús esencialmente significaba que te quitaban toda la vida. No podías estar cerca de tu familia ni a tus amigos. No podías ser parte de la comunidad. Incluso se esperaba que advirtieras a la gente que no se te acercara. Era, en muchos sentidos, una existencia miserable.

Entonces, si la necesidad de aislarse de repente llegara a su fin, parece natural que lo primero que hiciera una persona sería acudir al sacerdote para obtener la aprobación oficial de unirse nuevamente a la comunidad. Uno podría dar las gracias después. Porque al fin de cuentas, Dios no necesita nuestro agradecimiento. Dios es completo y perfecto aunque le demos las gracias o no.

En un sentido muy real, dar las gracias es ultimadamente para beneficio nuestro. Nos ayuda a recordar nuestro lugar y a ser humildes. No debemos olvidar que las cosas buenas de nuestra vida no serían nuestras sin el permiso de Dios, por mucho que trabajemos por ellas. Además, la ciencia secular confirma que la gratitud es buena para nuestra salud mental e incluso física. Los que dan gracias a diario tienden a ser más sanos y felices.

Entonces, si bien es natural dejarse atrapar por el gozo del regalo y poner la gratitud en un segundo plano, Jesús nos llama a elevarnos por encima de nuestras inclinaciones naturales. Oremos hoy por la gracia de ser agradecidos, ante todo.

 Comunicarse con la autora

J.M. Pallas has had a lifelong love of Scriptures. When she is not busy with her vocation as a wife and mother to her “1 Samuel 1” son, or her vocation as a public health educator, you may find her at her parish women’s bible study, affectionately known as “The Bible Chicks.”

Feature Image Credit: pixabay.com/photos/man-praying-kneel-kneeling-1867390/

Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 RV 20:1-4, 11—21:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,
holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,
which is the Devil or Satan,
and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,
which he locked over it and sealed,
so that it could no longer lead the nations astray
until the thousand years are completed.
After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
and who had not worshiped the beast or its image
nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.
They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
 

Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A

R. (Rev. 21:3b) Here God lives among his people.
My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. Here God lives among his people.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. Here God lives among his people.
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. Here God lives among his people.

 

 

Alleluia LUKE 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, 
but my words will not pass away.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

How Near Is The Kingdom Of God? / ¿Qué Tan Cerca Está el Reino de Dios?

**This reflection was reposted from Diocesan Archives.**

As we draw near to the end of Ordinary Time, preparing to enter into Advent, the Gospel readings are… serious. Jesus is giving serious warnings about the destruction of Jerusalem, about signs in the sun and moon and stars, about wars and the persecution of his followers. And understandably, his followers are asking the obvious questions: When will this happen? How will we know? What should we do?

We naturally feel unsettled by these descriptions. It is not comforting or empowering to think of things falling apart and ending. And yet, in yesterday’s Gospel, when Jesus described people dying in fright and the powers of the heavens shaking, he tells his followers to “stand erect and raise your heads” rather than fearfully cower in a corner. Why? “Because your redemption is at hand” (Luke 21-28).

As he speaks of these things, Jesus uses words and imagery that his listeners would understand as referring to the Day of the Lord predicted by the Old Testament prophets. This was seen by Jews as the coming of the Messiah, the end of the Old Covenant, the dividing point of all of history. Jesus is helping us to see that the Day of the Lord is more than a day: it extends to the end of time, as the experience of the first Christians – persecution, growth, war, and disaster – is repeated by every generation until Jesus returns. Jesus IS with us. Jesus WILL return in glory. And Jesus WILL reign over all eternally.

There is another lesson here. In today’s short Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that these things will certainly come because his word is Truth. No matter what is happening in our human lives, in the culture, in the natural world, in our families, in our hearts, HIS WORD IS TRUTH. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will NOT pass away.” His word is meaningful and everlasting and absolutely stable. More stable than the sun and the moon and the mountains and the sea, more lasting than our own ideas and hopes and agendas, more meaningful than all our own activity.

All of human history is moving toward a final, climactic moment when Christ returns in glory. Each of our personal contributions to that history will be made known when Christ establishes “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1), and takes his place on the eternal Throne of Love. By placing these readings at the end of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to ponder the awesomeness of our eternal destiny, the seriousness with which we must attend to our baptismal calling, and the great Gift of Love that God gave us in sending His only-begotten Son to save us.

With this as our backdrop, we are better “prepared to prepare” – this Sunday we enter into Advent, when we focus our efforts on joyful preparation for our celebration of this Gift of Jesus at Christmas!

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A medida que nos acercamos al final del Tiempo Ordinario, preparándonos para entrar en el Adviento, las lecturas del Evangelio son… serias. Jesús está dando serias advertencias sobre la destrucción de Jerusalén, sobre las señales del sol, la luna y las estrellas, sobre las guerras y la persecución de sus seguidores. Y comprensiblemente, sus seguidores están haciendo las preguntas obvias: ¿Cuándo sucederá esto? ¿Cómo lo sabremos? ¿Qué debemos hacer?

Naturalmente, nos sentimos perturbados por estas descripciones. No es reconfortante ni fortalecedor pensar en que las cosas se desmoronan y terminan. Y, sin embargo, en el Evangelio de ayer, cuando Jesús describió a las personas muriendo de miedo y los poderes de los cielos temblando, les dice a sus seguidores que “estén atentos y levanten la cabeza” en lugar de encogerse de miedo en un rincón. ¿Por qué? “porque se acerca la hora de su liberación” (Lucas 21-28).

Al hablar de estas cosas, Jesús usa palabras e imágenes que sus oyentes entenderían como una referencia al Día del Señor predicho por los profetas del Antiguo Testamento. Esto fue visto por los judíos como la venida del Mesías, el final del Antiguo Pacto, el punto de división de toda la historia. Jesús nos está ayudando a ver que el Día del Señor es más que un día: se extiende hasta el final de los tiempos, como la experiencia de los primeros cristianos -persecución, crecimiento, guerra y desastre- se repite en cada generación hasta que Jesús regrrese. Jesús ESTÁ con nosotros. Jesús VOLVERÁ en su gloria. Y Jesús REINARÁ sobre todos eternamente.

Hay otra lección aquí. En el breve evangelio de hoy, Jesús les dice a sus discípulos que estas cosas ciertamente sucederán porque su palabra es Verdad. No importa lo que esté pasando en nuestras vidas humanas, en la cultura, en el mundo natural, en nuestras familias, en nuestros corazones, SU PALABRA ES VERDAD. “Podrán dejar de existir el cielo y la tierra, pero mis palabras no dejarán de cumplirse.” Su palabra es significativa y eterna y absolutamente estable. Más estable que el sol y la luna y las montañas y el mar, más duradero que nuestras propias ideas, esperanzas y agendas, más significativo que toda nuestra propia actividad.

Toda la historia humana se está moviendo hacia un momento culminante final cuando Cristo regrese en su gloria. Cada una de nuestras contribuciones personales a esa historia se dará a conocer cuando Cristo establezca “un cielo nuevo y una tierra nueva” (Ap. 21:1), y tome su lugar en el Trono eterno del Amor. Al colocar estas lecturas al final del año litúrgico, la Iglesia nos invita a reflexionar sobre la grandeza de nuestro destino eterno, la seriedad con la que debemos atender nuestro llamado bautismal y el gran Don de Amor que Dios nos dio al enviar a Su Hijo unigénito para salvarnos.

Con esto como telón de fondo, estamos mejor “preparados para prepararnos”. Este domingo entramos en Adviento, cuando enfocamos nuestros esfuerzos en la preparación gozosa para nuestra celebración de este Don de Jesús en Navidad.

Comunicarse con la autora

Kathryn Mulderink, MA, is married to Robert, Station Manager for Holy Family Radio. Together they have seven children (including Father Rob), and seven grandchildren. She is President of the local community of Secular Discalced Carmelites and has published five books and many articles. Over the last 30 years, she has worked as a teacher, headmistress, catechist, Pastoral Associate, and DRE, and as a writer and voice talent for Catholic Radio. Currently, she serves the Church by writing and speaking, and by collaborating with various parishes and to lead others to encounter Christ and engage their faith. Her website is www.KathrynTherese.com

Feature Image Credit: Gahan N Rao, https://unsplash.com/photos/XT9vAArzgyg

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

Reading 1 RV 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice: 
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast.”

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion.”

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot 
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia!  Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

Then the angel said to me,

“Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

 

 

Alleluia LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Thanksgiving Day

The following are a selection of the readings that may be chosen for this day.

Reading I Sir 50:22-24

And now, bless the God of all,
    who has done wondrous things on earth;
Who fosters people’s growth from their mother’s womb,
    and fashions them according to his will!
May he grant you joy of heart
    and may peace abide among you;
May his goodness toward us endure in Israel
    to deliver us in our days.

Responsorial Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (see 1)  I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
    and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
    his greatness is unsearchable. 
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
    and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
    and tell of your wondrous works. 
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
    and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your justice.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
    and compassionate toward all his works.
R.    I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
    and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
    and speak of your might.
R.       I will praise your name for ever, Lord 

Reading II 1 Cor 1:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Alleluia 1 Thes 5:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten persons with leprosy met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed. 
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. 
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine? 
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” 
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 RV 15:1-4

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring:
seven angels with the seven last plagues,
for through them God’s fury is accomplished.

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.
On the sea of glass were standing those
who had won the victory over the beast
and its image and the number that signified its name.
They were holding God’s harps,
and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
 

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 7-8, 9

R. (Rev. 15: 3b) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!

 

 

Alleluia RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lord Prepare Me / Prepárame Señor

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the crowd to prepare themselves for persecution in His name. He continues: “You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.”

Yes, we can indeed see that, especially with the political climate today. Anything good or moral or that follows God’s Commandments or Church teaching causes people to immediately disregard us as “crazy” or “nuts.” Yet we know that following Christ is neither crazy nor nutty. 

Before Communion at my parish, we sing a brief but beautiful song that simply says: “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for You.”

I absolutely love this song because in just its few short words, it encompasses how we should feel as we prepare ourselves to receive Christ, who is truly present—body, blood, soul, and divinity—in the Eucharist.

Yes, we must prepare ourselves. We must repent of our sins. We must make changes in our lives to live in accordance with His laws. We must make a choice to follow Christ and not the world. As He said, the world will hate us. The world will mock us. But what truly matters is our eternal life, and if we follow Him—not halfheartedly and not just on Sundays—then our reward will be great in heaven.

So let us prepare ourselves to be a sanctuary for Him. Let us open our hearts to His love and to His mercy, and let us make room for Him. 

Advent begins this weekend. It is a time of preparation for the God who gave us everything we have. It’s a time to contemplate the vulnerable infant in the manger who came as a poor child rather than as a rich king. It’s a time to make room in our hearts for our Lord who died on the cross to apologize for our sins. We didn’t deserve any of this, yet He gave us this gift freely. How will we prepare? How will we thank Him?

We begin by preparing our hearts and homes for Him. We take time every day to shut out the outside world, to increase our prayer life, to spend time together as a family talking about our Lord’s birth, to stop stressing about food, gifts, and traveling, and to just allow Christ to enter our days. We give Him our time. 

Christ’s coming is the true meaning of Christmas. His coming is the greatest gift we could have ever asked for. This Advent season and this Christmas, let us treasure this gift.

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En el Evangelio de hoy, Jesús le dice a la multitud que se prepare para la persecución en Su nombre. Continúa: “todos los odiarán por causa mía. Sin embargo, ni un cabello de su cabeza perecerá”.

Sí, de hecho podemos ver eso, especialmente con el clima político actual. Cualquier cosa buena o moral o que siga los Mandamientos de Dios o las enseñanzas de la Iglesia hace que las personas nos ignoren inmediatamente como “locos”. Sin embargo, sabemos que seguir a Cristo no es una locura.

Antes de recibir la Comunión en mi parroquia, cantamos un canto breve pero hermoso que simplemente dice: “Señor, prepárame para ser un santuario, puro y santo, probado y verdadero. Con acción de gracias, seré un santuario vivo para Ti”.

Me encanta esta canción porque en sus pocas palabras cortas, abarca cómo debemos sentirnos mientras nos preparamos para recibir a Cristo, quien está realmente presente en cuerpo, sangre, alma y divinidad en la Eucaristía.

Sí, debemos prepararnos. Debemos arrepentirnos de nuestros pecados. Debemos hacer cambios en nuestra vida para vivir de acuerdo con Sus leyes. Debemos tomar la decisión de seguir a Cristo y no al mundo. Como Jesús dijo, el mundo nos odiará. El mundo se burlará de nosotros. Pero lo que verdaderamente importa es nuestra vida eterna, y si lo seguimos, no a medias y no solo los domingos, entonces nuestra recompensa será grande en el cielo.

Así que preparémonos para ser un santuario para Él. Abramos nuestro corazón a su amor y a su misericordia, y dejémosle espacio.
El Adviento comienza este fin de semana. Es una temporada de preparación para el Dios que nos dio todo lo que tenemos. Es una temporada para contemplar al infante vulnerable en el pesebre que vino como un niño pobre y no como un rey rico. Es una temporada para hacer espacio en nuestros corazones para nuestro Señor que murió en la cruz para disculparse por nuestros pecados. No merecíamos nada de esto, pero nos dio este regalo gratuitamente. ¿Cómo nos prepararemos? ¿Cómo le agradeceremos?

Comenzamos preparándole nuestros corazones y hogares. Tomamos tiempo todos los días para aislarnos del mundo exterior, para aumentar nuestra vida de oración, para pasar tiempo juntos como familia hablando sobre el nacimiento de nuestro Señor, para dejar de estresarnos por la comida, los regalos y los viajes, y simplemente permitir que Cristo entre en nuestro días. Le damos nuestro tiempo.

La venida de Cristo es el verdadero sentido de la Navidad. Su venida es el regalo más grande que podríamos haber pedido. Este tiempo de Adviento y esta Navidad, atesoremos este regalo.

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Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, with an MA in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 19 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer, editing both fiction and nonfiction books, magazine articles, blogs, educational lessons, professional materials and website content. Thirteen of those years have been in the pro-life sector. Currently Susan freelances and writes weekly for HLI, edits for American Life League, and is the executive editor of Celebrate Life Magazine. She also serves as executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program—an educational nonprofit program for K-12 students. You can reach her at slochner0.wixsite.com/website.

Feature Image Credit: Danny Aliano Rosas, https://cathopic.com/photo/11294-sagrada-familia

Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

Reading 1 RV 14:14-19

I, John, looked and there was a white cloud,
and sitting on the cloud one who looked like a son of man,
with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
Another angel came out of the temple,
crying out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud,
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest,
for the time to reap has come,
because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.”
So the one who was sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth,
and the earth was harvested.

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven
who also had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came from the altar, who was in charge of the fire,
and cried out in a loud voice
to the one who had the sharp sickle,
“Use your sharp sickle and cut the clusters from the earth’s vines,
for its grapes are ripe.”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and cut the earth’s vintage.
He threw it into the great wine press of God’s fury.
 

Responsorial Psalm 96:10, 11-12, 13

R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice 
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

 

 

Alleluia RV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” 
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ 
Do not follow them! 
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.” 
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”  

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.