Near the Feet of the Shepherd

 

 

IN my last general reflection, I wrote of the Great Antitdote that St. Paul gave to his readers to counter the “great apostasy” and deceptions of the “lawless one.” “Stand firm and hold fast,” said Paul, to the oral and written traditions that you have been taught. [1]cf. 2 Thess 2:13-15

But brothers and sisters, Jesus wants you to do more than cling to Sacred Tradition—He wants you to cling to Him personally. It’s not enough to know your Catholic Faith. You have to know Jesus, not just know about Him. It is the difference between reading about rock climbing, and actually scaling a mountain. There is no comparison to actually experiencing the difficulties and yet the exhilaration, the air, the elation of reaching plateaus that bring you to new vistas of glory.

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1. cf. 2 Thess 2:13-15

A New Creation

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 31st, 2014
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

WHAT happens when a person gives their life to Jesus, when a soul is baptized and therefore consecrated to God? It’s an important question because, after all, what is the appeal of becoming a Christian? The answer lies in today’s first reading…

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Why We Don't Hear His Voice

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 28th, 2014
Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

JESUS said my sheep hear my voice. He did not say “some” sheep, but my sheep hear my voice. So why then, you may ask, do I not hear His voice? Today’s readings offer some reasons why.

I am the Lord your God: hear my voice… I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear, my people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, will you not hear me?” (Today’s Psalm)

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Listen to His Voice

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 27th, 2014
Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

HOW did Satan tempt Adam and Eve? With his voice. And today, he works no differently, except with the added advantage of technology, which can propel a horde of voices at us all at once. It is the voice of Satan that led, and continues to lead man into darkness. It is the voice of God that will lead souls out.

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Bringing Jesus Into the World

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 26th, 2014
Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

Henry Ossawa Tanner's The AnnunciationThe Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner (1898)

 

 

BRINGING the presence of Jesus into the world is not a complicated process requiring a Masters in Divinity. It is a matter of imitating Jesus:

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. (John 15:10)

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A Prophetic Sign

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 25th, 2014
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Liturgical texts here

 

VAST parts of the world no longer believe in God because they no longer see God among us. “But Jesus ascended into Heaven 2000 years ago—of course they don’t see Him…” But Jesus Himself said that He would be found in the world in His brothers and sisters.

Where I am, there shall my servant be also. (cf. Jn 12:26)

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Stoning the Prophets

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 24th, 2014
Monday of the Third Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

WE are called to give a prophetic witness to others. But then, you should not be surprised if you are treated as the prophets were.

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A Prophetic Life

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 21st, 2014
Friday of the Second Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THE Church needs to become prophetic again. By this, I do not mean “telling the future,” but by our lives becoming a “word” to others that points to something, or rather, Someone greater. This is the truest sense of prophecy:

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Planted by the Stream

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 20th, 2014
Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

TWENTY years ago, my wife and I, both cradle-Catholics, were invited to a Baptist Sunday service by a friend of ours who was once a Catholic. We were amazed at all the young couples, the beautiful music, and the anointed sermon by the pastor. The outpouring of genuine kindness and welcoming touched something deep in our souls. [1]cf. My Personal Testimony

When we got into the car to leave, all I could think of was my own parish… weak music, weaker homilies, and even weaker participation by the congregation. Young couples our age? Practically extinct in the pews. Most painful was the sense of loneliness. I often left Mass feeling colder than when I walked in.

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The Great Antidote


Stand your ground…

 

 

HAVE we entered into those times of lawlessness that will culminate in the “lawless one,” as St. Paul described in 2 Thessalonians 2? [1]Some Church Fathers saw the Antichrist appearing before the “era of peace” while others toward the end of the world. If one follows St. John’s vision in Revelation, the answer seems to be that they are both right. See The Last Two Eclipses It is an important question, because our Lord himself commanded us to “watch and pray.” Even Pope St. Pius X raised the possibility that, given the spread of what he called “a terrible and deep-rooted malady” that is dragging society to destruction, that is, “apostasy”…

…there may be already in the world the “Son of Perdition” of whom the Apostle speaks. —POPE ST. PIUS X, E Supremi, Encyclical On the Restoration of All Things in Christ, n. 3, 5; October 4th, 1903

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1. Some Church Fathers saw the Antichrist appearing before the “era of peace” while others toward the end of the world. If one follows St. John’s vision in Revelation, the answer seems to be that they are both right. See The Last Two Eclipses