The Urgency for the Gospel

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 26th – 31st, 2014
of the Sixth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE is a perception in the Church that evangelization is for a chosen few. We hold conferences or parish missions and those “chosen few” come and speak to us, evangelize, and teach. But as for the rest of us, our duty is to simply go to Mass and keep from sin.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Some Personal Words and Changes from Mark…

 

 

JESUS said, “The wind blows where it wills… so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” That seemed to be the case in His own ministry when He would plan to do one thing, but the crowds would determine a different path. Likewise, St. Paul would often set sail for a destination but be thwarted by bad weather, persecution or the Spirit.

I have found this ministry to be no different over the years. Often when I say, “This is what I shall do…”, the Lord has other plans. Such is the case again. I sense the Lord wanting me to focus right now on some very important writings—some “words” that have been brewing for over two years. Without an elongated and unnecessary explanation, I don’t think many people understand that this is not my blog. I have so many things I would like to say, but there is a clear agenda that is not my own, an organic unfolding of “word.” Spiritual direction in this regard has been invaluable in helping me to step aside (as much as possible!) to let the Lord have His way. I hope that is happening for His sake and yours.

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The Two Temptations

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 23rd, 2014
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THERE are two powerful temptations that the Church is going to face in the days ahead to draw souls from the narrow road that leads to life. One is what we examined yesterday—the voices who wish to shame us for holding fast to the Gospel.

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Joy in Truth

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 22nd, 2014
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Opt. Mem. St. Rita of Cascia

Liturgical texts here

 

 

LAST year in The Sixth Day, I wrote that, ‘Pope Benedict XVI in many ways is the last “gift” of a generation of giant theologians who have guided the Church through the Storm of apostasy that is now going to break out in all its force upon the world. The next pope will guide us too… but he is ascending a throne that the world wishes to overturn.’ [1]cf. The Sixth Day

That Storm is now upon us. That terrible rebellion against the seat of Peter—the teachings preserved and derived from the Vine of Apostolic Tradition—is here. In a candid and necessary speech last week, Princeton Professor Robert P. George said:

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1. cf. The Sixth Day

Truth Blossoms

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 21st, 2014
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Opt. Mem. St. Christopher Magallanes & Companions

Liturgical texts here


Christ True Vine, Unknown

 

 

WHEN Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, that did not mean that doctrines would come easily without need for discernment, prayer, and dialogue. That’s evident in today’s first reading as Paul and Barnabas seek out the Apostles to clarify certain aspects of the Jewish law. I am reminded in recent times of the teachings of Humanae Vitae, and how there was much disagreement, consultation, and prayer before Paul VI delivered his beautiful teaching. And now, a Synod on the Family will convene this October in which issues at the very heart, not only of the Church but of civilization, are being discussed with no little consequences:

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Casting Out the Ruler of This World

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 20th, 2014
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

 

‘VICTORY over the “prince of this world” was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus freely gave himself up to death to give us his life.’ [1]Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2853 The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper, and continues to come into our midst through the Holy Eucharist. [2]CCC, n. 2816 As today’s Psalm says, “Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.” If that is so, why does Jesus say in today’s Gospel:

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1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2853
2. CCC, n. 2816

Christianity and the Ancient Religions

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 19th, 2014
Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

 

IT is common to hear those opposed to Catholicism invoke arguments such as: Christianity is just borrowed from pagan religions; that Christ is a mythological invention; or that the Catholic Feast days, such as Christmas and Easter, are just paganism with a face-lift. But there is an entirely different perspective on paganism that St. Paul reveals in today’s Mass readings.

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Stand Back

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 16th, 2014
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here

 

 

WHEN you look at skin up close, very close, suddenly it doesn’t look so nice! A beautiful face, under a microscope, can look quite unattractive. But take a step back, and all one sees is the big picture that together—eyes, nose, mouth, hair—is lovely, despite the little flaws.

All week, we have been reflecting on God’s plan of salvation. And we need to. Otherwise, we get drawn into the small picture, looking at our own times through a microscope that can make things look rather frightening.

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God's Timeline

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 15th, 2014
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Liturgical texts here


Israel, from a different perspective…

 

 

THERE are two reasons souls fall asleep to the voice of God speaking through His prophets and the “signs of the times” in their generation. One is that people simply don’t want to hear that everything is not peachy.

It’s our very sleepiness to the presence of God that renders us insensitive to evil: we don’t hear God because we don’t want to be disturbed, and so we remain indifferent to evil… the disciples’ sleepiness [in Gethsemane] is not a problem of that one moment, rather of the whole of history, ‘the sleepiness’ is ours, of those of us who do not want to see the full force of evil and do not want to enter into his Passion. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Catholic News Agency, Vatican City, Apr 20, 2011, General Audience

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The Twelfth Stone

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for May 14th, 2014
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle

Liturgical texts here


St. Matthias, by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)

 

I often ask non-Catholics who wish to debate the Church’s authority: “Why did the Apostles have to fill the vacancy left by Judas Iscariot after his death? What’s the big deal? St. Luke records in the Acts of the Apostles that, as the first community gathered in Jerusalem, ‘there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons in the one place.’ [1]cf. Acts 1:15 So there were plenty of believers on hand. Why, then, did the office of Judas have to be filled?”

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1. cf. Acts 1:15