Category: Mass

Three Year Cycle Bible readings

Question:

How well do you think a person would retain knowledge of the NT by listening to it over the course of 3 years?


Very well indeed.

What about the other 30% that is not heard?

Catholics listen to the entire Bible in a 3 year cycle.

Having said that, there are some parts of Scripture which seem to be emphasized over others.

There is information in the OT which is not essential for one’s salvation. Its stuff like this which was anulled by Christ on the Cross:

Leviticus 14:13
And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy:

Because:

Ephesians 2:15
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Therefore, the ordinances about sacrifices and washings are not stressed to Catholics.
Sincerely,
De Maria

Is it in the Spirit of the Mass to pray in the Orans position during the Our Father?

There remains no sacrifice for sins, for those who miss the Mass

FRED May 27, 2015 at 6:53 am
For those interested in the truth of the early church and how they meticulously maintained their categories , seeTim Kauffmans blog and one fold blog. ….

For those interested in the truth, that’s the last place they should go. If you’re interested in the truth of the early Church, go to staycatholic.com

Hebrews is clear and cannot be refuted,

That is true. Keep reading.

Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Oh look! A description of baptism which says that when we are washed with pure water we are actually washed in Christ’s blood.

But I actually wanted to show you what follows:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together

We call that the Mass. He says, don’t neglect to meet together for the Mass. Why? He’ll tell us next.

as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 

Because neglecting to meet together for the Mass is the same thing as rejecting Christ’s sacrifice. It amounts to a deliberate sin against Christ.

This is why missing the Mass is considered a mortal sin in the Catholic Church. Now, you see that you reject the Mass, wilfully and therefore, can you be saved? It is a very grave sin.

27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Those who miss the Mass are considered God’s enemies.

28 A man who refused to obey the laws given by Moses was killed without mercy if there were two or three witnesses to his sin. 29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled underfoot the Son of God and treated his cleansing blood as though it were common and unhallowed,

Why is missing the Mass considered to be a trampling underfoot of the Son of God? Why is it considered to be an insult to the cleansing blood of Christ?

Let’s cross reference with 1 Cor 11:27 So if anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29 For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died.

and insulted and outraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people.

It is such a wicked sin that St. Paul equates it with the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

Mark 3:28 “I solemnly declare that any sin of man can be forgiven, even blasphemy against me; 29 but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin.”

This one convicts you of blasphemy, Buckeee.

30 For we know him who said, “Justice belongs to me; I will repay them”; who also said, “The Lord himself will handle these cases.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Mhm. Yep. The bible convicts you and all Protestants. The Bible Teaches Catholic Doctrine.

He offered himself once and it put sin away. Hebrews 10:18 ” There remains NO more sacrifices for sin.” 

Because the only sacrifice for sin is in the Mass. And you reject the Mass, thereby trampling underfoot the Body of Christ which was sacrificed for your sins and insulting the Blood of Christ which was shed for you. Thus, you blaspheme the Holy Spirit of God which pours out His grace to all who partake of the Holy Eucharist with faith.

Against the Romish church and it’s idolatry of transubstantiation , an invention of the human brain. Let Him off the cross Catholics, HE IS RISEN!!!!!!! K

Again, you have not understood the Teaching of the Scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

Yeah, unbelievers, like yourself, don’t understand that Christ died for us to be saved. Therefore, we don’t take Christ off the Cross. We join Him upon it:

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Yeah, we obey Christ.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

We take up our Cross and follow Him:

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

In order that we may find merit in His eyes and be saved. And you don’t. What do the words, “worthy of me” mean, Fred?

Why the Mass is important, according to Scripture

I recently argued with an anti-Catholic who considers the Eucharist a hoax and blasphemous idol worship.  Here’s how the conversation went.  Response to Ed #818 in the Immaculate Conception in Scripture:

ED SAYS, “The word sacrifice shouldn’t be mentioned with the breaking of bread which you call the Eucharist. 

It is the Sacrifice of Thanksgiving which Melchizedek prefigured many centuries prior:

Genesis 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale. 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Genesis 31:54 Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

Leviticus 7:12 If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.

The living Bible in (1Cor.10:14-16) states, “So, dear friends, carefully avoid idol-worship of every kind” Which is what you are doing when you make the Host an idol and place it into a monstrance and genuflect to it.

Read further:

15 You are intelligent people. Look now and see for yourselves whether what I am about to say is true. 16 When we ask the Lord’s blessing upon our drinking from the cup of wine at the Lord’s Table, this means, doesn’t it, that all who drink it are sharing together the blessing of Christ’s blood? And when we break off pieces of the bread from the loaf to eat there together, this shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of his body. 17 No matter how many of us there are, we all eat from the same loaf, showing that we are all parts of the one body of Christ. 18 And the Jewish people, all who eat the sacrifices, are united by that act.

19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that the idols to whom the heathen bring sacrifices are really alive and are real gods, and that these sacrifices are of some value? No, not at all. 20 What I am saying is that those who offer food to these idols are united together in sacrificing to demons, certainly not to God. And I don’t want any of you to be partners with demons when you eat the same food, along with the heathen, that has been offered to these idols. 21 You cannot drink from the cup at the Lord’s Table and at Satan’s table, too. You cannot eat bread both at the Lord’s Table and at Satan’s table.

St. Paul is distinguishing between the idol worship of the pagans and the true worship of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.

The 2nd Commandment prohibits idols and bowing down to them.

True.

v16 “When we ask the Lord’s blessing upon our drinking from the cup of wine at the Lord’s table, this means, doesn’t it, that all who dink it are sharing together the blessing of Christ’s Blood? And when we break off pieces of the bread from the loaf to eat there together, this shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of His body.”

Read further:

23 You are certainly free to eat food offered to idols if you want to; it’s not against God’s laws to eat such meat, but that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and do it. 

Nothing will happen to you, good or bad, if you eat the meat offered to idols. But now keep reading:

23 For this is what the Lord himself has said about his Table, and I have passed it on to you before: That on the night when Judas betrayed him, the Lord Jesus took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks to God for it, he broke it and gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body, which is given[e] for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new agreement between God and you that has been established and set in motion by my blood. Do this in remembrance of me whenever you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you are retelling the message of the Lord’s death, that he has died for you. Do this until he comes again.

27 So if anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29 For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. 

If the bread and cup were mere idol worship, nothing would happen to us. That is according to the Teaching of Scripture. But it is the true Body and true Blood of Christ. Those who partake of this Sacrament but do not believe in it, will die because they have blasphemed the Body of Christ and the Blood which sanctified them.

But, now, what will happen to those, who like all Protestants, refuse to partake even in the celebration of the Eucharist? Let’s go to another book for that answer:

Hebrews 10:21 And since this great High Priest of ours rules over God’s household, 22 let us go right in to God himself, with true hearts fully trusting him to receive us because we have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean and because our bodies have been washed with pure water.

Oh look! A description of baptism which says that when we are washed with pure water we are actually washed in Christ’s blood. Hm. I’d better file this one in my memory banks.

But I actually wanted to show you what follows:

25 Let us not neglect our church meetings,

We call that the Mass. He says, don’t neglect to meet together for the Mass. Why? He’ll tell us next.

as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.

26 If anyone sins deliberately by rejecting the Savior after knowing the truth of forgiveness, this sin is not covered by Christ’s death; there is no way to get rid of it. 

Because neglecting to meet together for the Mass is the same thing as rejecting Christ’s sacrifice. It amounts to a deliberate sin against Christ.

This is why missing the Mass is considered a mortal sin in the Catholic Church. Now, you see that you reject the Mass, wilfully and therefore, can you be saved? It is a very grave sin.

27 There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible punishment of God’s awful anger, which will consume all his enemies. 

Those who miss the Mass are considered God’s enemies.

28 A man who refused to obey the laws given by Moses was killed without mercy if there were two or three witnesses to his sin. 29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled underfoot the Son of God and treated his cleansing blood as though it were common and unhallowed,

Why is missing the Mass considered to be a trampling underfoot of the Son of God? Why is it considered to be an insult to the cleansing blood of Christ?

Let’s go back to 1 Cor 11:27 So if anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29 For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died.

and insulted and outraged the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to his people.

It is such a wicked sin that St. Paul equates it with the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:

Mark 3:28 “I solemnly declare that any sin of man can be forgiven, even blasphemy against me; 29 but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin.”

You might want to go search for another Bible that doesn’t teach Catholic Doctrine, Bucky. This one convicts you of blasphemy.

30 For we know him who said, “Justice belongs to me; I will repay them”; who also said, “The Lord himself will handle these cases.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Mhm. Yep. This bible convicts you and all Protestants. Maybe you can find another more to your liking. One that Protestants have totally rewritten to mean something totally different than what Christ teaches. This one Teaches Catholic Doctrine.

January 4, 2015 – The Epiphany of the Lord

Lectionary: 20

We continue in the book of Isaiah.  He prophesies of the forgiveness and mercy of God.

Reading 1 IS 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,

the glory of the Lord shines upon you.

See, darkness covers the earth,

and thick clouds cover the peoples;

but upon you the LORD shines,

and over you appears his glory.

Nations shall walk by your light,

and kings by your shining radiance.

Raise your eyes and look about;

they all gather and come to you:

your sons come from afar,

and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

God has forgiven Jerusalem their iniquities and shown mercy upon them.  He has freed them from the oppression of the Gentiles.  Therefore, Isaiah is prophesying the good news to the Jews.  It is both, the good news of their liberation from the Babylonians.  And the good news of the coming of the Messiah.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,

your heart shall throb and overflow,

for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,

the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.

This is prophetic in more than one way.  Our heart shall throb because God will write His commandments in our heart and give us a heart of flesh to replace our heart of stone.  And overflow because God shall pour the grace of the Holy Spirit into our hearts when we are born again in Baptism.  Now, the Latin word for “sea” is “mar” and Mary’s womb shall be emptied out when she brings for the Messiah.

The wealth of the nations is the Pearl of great price and His name is Jesus Christ, who shall be made manifest, the mystery which has been kept secret from of Old.

Caravans of camels shall fill you,

dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;

all from Sheba shall come

bearing gold and frankincense,

and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

This, of course, prophecies the coming of the Three Kings or Magi from the Orient.  But it is a veiled prophecy of the inclusion of the Gentiles, who will, in the New Testament times, convert in great numbers when the Gospel is proclaimed to them.  

Acts 13:46 (NABRE)

46 Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.

Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

R. (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

This prefigures the coming of the Gentiles into covenant with God in the New Testament era.  

O God, with your judgment endow the king,

and with your justice, the king’s son;

He shall govern your people with justice

and your afflicted ones with judgment.

This speaks of King Solomon, who was given wisdom to judge the people of God.  His wisdom was such that no other man before or since could compare.  But, Jesus Christ, the Son of David, was prefigured by King Solomon.  Jesus Christ is Wisdom Itself, because He is the Word of God made flesh.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Justice shall flower in his days,

and profound peace, till the moon be no more.

May he rule from sea to sea,

and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Solomon’s rule was great.  But it was nothing compared to the worldwide rule of the Catholic Church through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;

the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.

All kings shall pay him homage,

all nations shall serve him.

Today, there is hardly a nation upon this earth that does not have a representative of the Catholic Church within its borders, worshipping Jesus Christ.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,

and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.

He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;

the lives of the poor he shall save.

This is so hard for me to understand.  Because I still see so many poor and helpless who are crying out for God and yet are still suffering on this earth.  But I am comforted by the fact that Scripture says that those who suffer are sons of God and only through suffering will we receive the inheritance of the glory of God with Jesus Christ, who suffered and died upon the Cross to give us an example to follow.

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Reading 2 EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:

You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace

that was given to me for your benefit,

namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.

It was not made known to people in other generations

as it has now been revealed

to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:

that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,

and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

What is this mystery of which St. Paul so often speaks?  It is the mystery of the revelation of Christ.  The mystery that Christ is hidden in the Old Testament and revealed in the New.  The mystery that all humankind is called to live the Commandments and do the will of God.  The mystery that we are, all humankind, united in Christ.  

Alleluia MT 2:2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

We saw his star at its rising

and have come to do him homage.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Have you ever wondered, “what is this star?”, that the Three Magi saw?  It is one of those mysteries.   It is the “Rising Star.”  It is the “Light of the Nations.”  

Isaiah 42:6 I, the Lord, have called you for justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,

2 Peter 1:19 Moreover, we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

 This Rising Star is Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit informed Three Magi that He was soon to be born and in the form of a star, led them to His birthplace.

Gospel MT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,

in the days of King Herod,

behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?

We saw his star at its rising

and have come to do him homage.”

The Three Kings or Magi, were Gentiles.  Yet, the Holy Spirit had informed them of the coming of the Messiah, the King of the Jews, and they were the first Gentiles to give Him worship.

When King Herod heard this,

he was greatly troubled,

and all Jerusalem with him.

King Herod was troubled because that newborn King was His competition.  Jerusalem was troubled because the Jews were awaiting the coming of the Messiah which was prophecied in the Old Testament.  

Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,

He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,

for thus it has been written through the prophet:

And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

since from you shall come a ruler,

who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

King Herod knew the customs of the Jews and had heard of the Messiah.  So, he got the Jewish leaders together and found out where they expected the King of the Jews to be born.  And they informed him that it was prophecied it would be Bethlehem.  The city of Bread.

Then Herod called the magi secretly

and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.

He sent them to Bethlehem and said,

“Go and search diligently for the child.

When you have found him, bring me word,

that I too may go and do him homage.”

So, Herod found the Three Magi and tried to use them to find the newborn King.

After their audience with the king they set out.

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,

until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.

And the Star which they had been following, rose again and led them to the place where the Messiah was.

They were overjoyed at seeing the star,

and on entering the house

they saw the child with Mary his mother.

They were very happy.  And they entered the place and saw the newborn King with His mother, Mary.

They prostrated themselves and did him homage.

Then they opened their treasures

and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,

they departed for their country by another way.

They worshipped Him and gave Him gifts.  But they did not return to Herod, as they had promised, because they had been warned, in a dream, that he meant to do harm to the child.  So, they departed in secret by another way.

December 8, 2014 – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Patronal Feastday of the United States of America

Lectionary: 689

Reading 1 GN 3:9-15, 20

The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary,  is the celebration of the union of the Holy Spirit with Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, from the moment that she was engendered.  This union of the Holy Spirit and Mary is the reason why she was begotten without sin.

We begin in the book of Genesis at the point when Adam has already fallen from grace because it is at this point that God announces the coming of a Woman, who will hate the Serpent so much, that she will never be under his control.  This is the ProtoEvangelium.  The first announcement of the coming of the Messiah, the Seed of the Woman, Who will crush the Serpent under their feet.

The Woman will crush the Serpent by virtue of her giving birth to the Saviour.  The Saviour will crush the Serpent by virtue of His obedience to God, His Father.

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”

Adam, once a friend of God, now feared and hid from Him.

He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?

Having eaten of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam was now separated from God.  It is as though the umbilical cord had been cut and Adam was no longer united to God.

The Catechism says that Adam lost the grace of Original Justice in which he was conceived.  And now lived in a state of Original Sin, which placed him at odds with God who is all holy.

You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”

Dr. Scott Hahn alls this a pre-Judgment event.  In the Judgment, we will be told our sins and be judged by God.  Adam is standing before God and being judged.

The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”

Adam blames his wife for his sin.  Scripture says that it is Eve who was tricked by Satan.

The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

And the Woman, Eve, blames the Serpent.  The Serpent is the Devil, the Father of lies.

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.

God condemns the Serpent to crawl on its belly.

I don’t think this is an explanation of why snakes lost their legs.  I believe this is an analogy or parable which is somehow related to the events of Revelation 12:7 where the Dragon was exiled from heaven and condemned to roam the earth.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”

The is the Proto-Evangelium.  The first account of the Gospel predicting the coming of the Mother of God and her Son, the Saviour of the world.

Notice that there is “enmity” or “deep hatred”, between the Serpent and Mary.  From the moment of her coming into existence, Mary is united to God and an enemy of Satan.  Therefore, she is conceived without sin and remains without sin her entire life.

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

Eve became the mother of all mankind.  But Eve, here, represents Mary and the Church, because it is Mary who is the Mother of all who live in Christ. See Rev 12:17.

Responsorial Psalm PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

In Mary, God did something new that had never been seen.  A woman protects the man?  God made man, Ecce Homo, is put under the care of a mere woman.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
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.

God has done great things for us through the Maid which He made the Mother of His Son.  And Holy is His Name.

R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Therefore, thank God, for the Maid who gave her fiat that the Lord, the Saviour, might be engendered in her immaculate womb.

Reading 2 EPH 1:3-6, 11-12

Brothers and sisters:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Holy is the name of our God!

who has blessed us in Christ

Who has given us His Son

with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,

And, in Baptism, has poured the grace of the Holy Spirit into our souls.

as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,

As He predestined us from time immemorial.

to be holy and without blemish before him.

that we might live righteously and be justified in His eyes.

In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,

Because of His love He elected us to be born again in Christ.

in accord with the favor of his will,

because He wanted to bless us

for the praise of the glory of his grace

by the gift of His life

that he granted us in the beloved.

that He gave us through His son.

In him we were also chosen,

In Christ we were elected

destined in accord with the purpose of the One

in line with the will of God

who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,

Who completes all which He sets out to do

so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,

So that we might give glory to His name.

we who first hoped in Christ.

We who turned to His Son believing and expecting to receive the promised salvation.

Alleluia SEE LK 1:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Most of us recognize these words as the prayer known as the Hail Mary.  But as you can see, they were first spoken to the Virgin Mary by the Angel Gabriel.  And they are inscribed in the Word of God. 

When you read these words, please recognize, that although they were spoken by the Angel, the Angel was also conveying the message which God sent him to deliver.  Therefore, it is not just the Angel praising Mary, but God through the Angel.

Gospel LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God

God sent the angel Gabriel

to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,

to Nazareth

to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.

to relay a message to the Virgin Mary

And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”

And the message is one of praise

But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

The word, “hail” is a greeting reserved for royalty.  So, the humble maid was confused why an angel from heaven would humble himself before her.

Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.

But he comforted her and explained that she would be the Mother of God.

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

The Mother of the promised Saviour.

But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”

Mary was again confused.  She, obviously, at her age, knew about the birds and the bees.  And there is no record of any woman engendering a child without sexual relations.

And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.

And the Angel explained that this child would not be engendered by natural means, but by supernatural means by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The terminology, “the Most High will overshadow you” is Hebraic euphemism which means that she will be the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.   This is what it means when a man overshadows or covers a woman.  This is how she would have understood it.

And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”

As proof, the Angel offers that her own aged relative will also bear a son, even though she has been barren these many years.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

But that mattered little.  Because Mary gave her wholehearted fiat to the Lord and did not question the Angel’s explanation.

Then the angel departed from her.

And the Angel went back to God who sent him.

First Sunday of Advent 2014

USCCB »  Bible »  Daily Readings

November 30, 2014

Lectionary: 2

Reading 1 IS 63:16B-17, 19B; 64:2-7

A reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah.  This reading is in the context of the Babylonian exile.  The Jews were captured and taken away from their homes.  Only a remnant remained in Jerusalem.  The rest were living in captivity in far away lands.  God permitted this because of their disobedience.  It was a result of the curses which God proclaimed in the very beginning, in the book of Deuteronomy in the “Punishment for idolatry”.

You, LORD, are our father,

God is our Father, because He is the creator of all things.

our redeemer you are named forever.

Our redeemer is a reference to the Messiah, who will pay for the sins of mankind and unite us to God.

Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways,

and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?

The answer to this question is, because they are rebellious and do not obey.  It is the consequence of their rebellion.

Return for the sake of your servants,

the tribes of your heritage.

Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,

with the mountains quaking before you,

while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for,

such as they had not heard of from of old.

No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you

doing such deeds for those who wait for him.

This is a reference to the Exodus, when God saved Israel from Egypt. 

Would that you might meet us doing right,

that we were mindful of you in our ways!

Isaiah is interceding for the people of Israel.  He is crying out for forgiveness and mercy.  This is very important because Isaiah is a righteous man and it is to the righteous that God pays heed.

Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;

all of us have become like unclean people,

all our good deeds are like polluted rags;

we have all withered like leaves,

and our guilt carries us away like the wind.

There is none who calls upon your name,

who rouses himself to cling to you;

for you have hidden your face from us

and have delivered us up to our guilt.

Yet, O LORD, you are our father;

we are the clay and you the potter:

we are all the work of your hands.

Isaiah is trusting in the mercy of God.  He knows that the people of Israel are “anawim”, they are “poor in spirit” and can offer God nothing but their repentance and sorrow for their sins.

Responsorial Psalm PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

R/ (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

We have seen the face of God in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

O shepherd of Israel, hearken,

from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.

A reference to the Ark of the Covenant.  Two angels, or cherubim, were carved upon it on either side of the Mercy Seat.

Rouse your power,

and come to save us.

The Psalmist,  King David, calls for God to come and save the nation.

R/ Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Once again, O LORD of hosts,

look down from heaven, and see;

take care of this vine,

and protect what your right hand has planted

the son of man whom you yourself made strong.

Like Isaiah, the Psalmist admits that without God’s grace, we can do nothing good.

R/ Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

May your help be with the man of your right hand,

with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.

Then we will no more withdraw from you;

give us new life, and we will call upon your name.

R/ Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

And this final stanza recognizes the coming of the Son of Man, which is euphemism for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

Reading 2 1 COR 1:3-9

The 2nd reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

Brothers and sisters:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father

and the Lord Jesus Christ.

He begins with a blessing which hearkens back to the Gospels. 

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,

This is a reference to his prior visit and to the initiation of many of them into the Christian faith.

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.

This is a reference to their having received the Sacrament of Confirmation and thus having received the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

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.

This is not a proclamation of absolute salvation.  Although that is how it sounds.  It is a proclamation of the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  There are many other texts where St. Paul speaks of the assurance of hope in our salvation.

Alleluia PS 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Show us Lord, your love;

and grant us your salvation.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Alleluia means “God be praised”.  And in this prayer, we are calling for that which God has already shown us in His Son.  His love and His salvation.

Gospel MK 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Be watchful! Be alert!

Christ warns His disciples to work out their salvation in fear and trembling.

You do not know when the time will come.

You don’t know when you will die.

It is like a man traveling abroad.

He leaves home and places his servants in charge,

each with his own work,

and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.

Nor do you know when the Son of man will come back.

Watch, therefore;

you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,

whether in the evening, or at midnight,

or at cockcrow, or in the morning.

Therefore, be prepared.

May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.

What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

All of us must be aware of this.  Not just our priests or rulers in the Church.  We must all be conscious of our actions and do the will of God.  Because we don’t know when He will call us home.