Tagged: Liturgy

Why is it called “the Mass”?

I found this answer on the Internet: The word “Mass” derives from the Latin phrase said during the dismissal (when the Mass is said in Latin), “Ite, missa est,” which is usually translated “Go, it is sent.” In the Eastern Catholic churches, as in the Eastern Orthodox churches, the service ordinarily is called the divine liturgy.
Read More…

The difference between prayer, worship and Liturgy

There is very little difference between the words “prayer” and “worship”. But they do not mean exactly the same thing.
The basic difference in this day and age, is that worship is only directed to God but prayer can be directed to either God or the Saints.
So, what is prayer?…(Read more)

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.

January 1, 2015 Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

The Octave Day of Christmas

Scripture proclaims Mary the Mother of God:

Luke 1:43

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

And so she is.  She is the mother of Jesus.  Jesus is God.  Therefore, she is the Mother of God.

Read more about the Mother of God.  And more.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me…eight maids a milking.

The eight maids a milking symbolize the eight beatitudes of Jesus Christ.  The beatitudes come from the  heart of the Church which is the bride of Christ.

Isaiah 66:10-12

King James Version (KJV)

10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

12 For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

Lectionary: 18

Reading 1 from the Holy Book of Numbers
Nm 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”

The Lord recited a prayer to Moses and instructed him to teach it to Aaron and his sons.  Who is Aaron?  Aaron is Moses’ elder brother.  He is the first High Priest of God, appointed by God.  Both Moses and Aaron are from the tribe of Levi.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.

May God have pity on us and bless us;

may he let his face shine upon us.

So may your way be known upon earth;

among all nations, your salvation.

R. May God bless us in his mercy.

May the nations be glad and exult

because you rule the peoples in equity;

the nations on the earth you guide.

R. May God bless us in his mercy.

May the peoples praise you, O God;

may all the peoples praise you!

May God bless us,

and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

R. May God bless us in his mercy.

On this day, we must understand, that the blessing of God, came to us through Mary, the Mother of God.  The blessing of God, is God made man, Jesus Christ.

Reading 2 from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Galations.
Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,born of a woman, born under the law,to ransom those under the law,so that we might receive adoption as sons.

The key words I focus upon, on this day, are BORN OF A WOMAN.  And what a woman!  Conceived without sin, united to the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception.  Lived her entire life without committing a sin.

We received the blessing of God, through this wonderful woman.

As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

We are sons of God.  Born of the same mother.  Mary is the mother of all who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ and the Commandments of the Father.

Revelation 12:17

King James Version (KJV)

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Alleluia HEB 1:1-2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets;

in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke
Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.

Having heard the message of the Angels, the shepherds hurried to witness the heavenly news they had received.

When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.

When the shepherds arrived, they reported what the Angels from heaven had told them.

All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.

And Mary treasured all this information in her heart.

Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

Then the shepherds returned to their fields, praising God for all they had heard and seen that night.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

And in eight days, the family took the child to the Temple in obedience to the Law of Moses.

Second Sunday of Advent – December 7, 2014

Lectionary: 5

Reading 1 IS 40:1-5, 9-11

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“.  But now, the Lord is relenting and begun to pour His mercy upon Jerusalem.  Therefore, He says to Isaiah:

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

The suffering of Jerusalem has satisfied God’s demand for justice.  Their sin has been expiated.  So, God relents.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

This voice in the desert is St. John the Baptist.  Isaiah is prophesying of his coming and his announcing the coming of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!

Mount Zion is a mountain outside of Jerusalem.  If I’m not mistaken, it is the same as Mount Sinai, the place from where God spoke to Moses (Exodus 19:18).

Isaiah is prophesying the time of the coming of Jesus Christ and is comparing Jerusalem to the Precursor, St. John the Baptist.  The irony is that Jerusalem will climb the mountain not to rejoice, but to lament the coming of the Messiah.  Because it is upon a high mountain outside of Jerusalem that they crucify Him.

Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.

This brings us up to the Second Coming of the Lord in Power.  When He comes to judge the earth. 

Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

And there will be a new heaven and a new earth.   And that is a great comfort, indeed.

Responsorial Psalm PS 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

R/ (8) Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD—for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

God has made peace with His people.  He has forgiven their sins and again promised them salvation if they keep His commandments.

R/ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

When God redeems the earth, all things will be made new.

R/ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.

God Himself will walk amongst His people.

R/ Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Reading 2 2 PT 3:8-14

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years
and a thousand years like one day.

Don’t we know it?  Not only that, but God’s way are not our ways.  Things always work out, but not the way we expect.

The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”
but he is patient with you,
not wishing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.

God waits on us that we turn to Him and be saved.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,

But He won’t wait forever.  So, don’t let that day catch you unprepared.

and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar
and the elements will be dissolved by fire,
and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.
Since everything is to be dissolved in this way,
what sort of persons ought you to be,
conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion,
waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.

Oh, yeah!  If God can dissolve things in this way, what manner of logic would persuade anyone to put God to the test?

But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.

Yes!  Be eager to do good that God may turn to you and say, “well done, good and faithful servant!”  And He will let you in to His House, forever.

Alleluia LK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Are you preparing for the birth of our Lord, in your hearts?  Jesus Christ was born long ago, in Bethlehem.  He will not be born there again.  It is time to prepare that Jesus Christ be born, in your heart, that you may be born again, in His Spirit.

Gospel MK 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

And preparing the People of God for the coming of their Saviour.

People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

And many people repented of their sins and were Baptized by St. John.

John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

That One is Jesus Christ.  Emmanuel, God with us.  He is the One who gives us living water in the Holy Sacraments, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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.