The Time of the Tomb

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 6th, 2013

Liturgical texts here


Artist Unknown

 

WHEN the Angel Gabriel comes to Mary to announce that she will conceive and bear a son to whom “the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,” [1]Luke 1:32 she responds to his annunciation with the words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” [2]Luke 1:38 A heavenly counterpart to these words is later verbalized when Jesus is approached by two blind men in today’s Gospel:

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1. Luke 1:32
2. Luke 1:38

The City of Joy

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 5th, 2013

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ISAIAH writes:

A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you. (Isaiah 26)

So many Christians today have lost their peace! So many, indeed, have lost their joy! And thus, the world finds Christianity to appear somewhat unattractive.

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Your Testimony

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 4th, 2013

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THE lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute… these are the ones who gathered around the feet of Jesus. And today’s Gospel says, “he cured them.” Minutes before, one could not walk, another could not see, one could not work, another could not speak… and all of sudden, they could. Perhaps a moment before, they were complaining, “Why has this happened to me? What did I ever do to you, God? Why have you abandoned me…?” Yet, moments later, it says “they glorified the God of Israel.” That is, suddenly these souls had a testimony.

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The Horizon of Hope

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 3rd, 2013
Memorial of St. Francis Xavier

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ISAIAH gives such a consoling vision of the future that one could be forgiven for suggesting it is a mere “pipe dream.” After the purification of the earth by “the rod of [the Lord’s] mouth, and the breath of his lips,” Isaiah writes:

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall down with the kid… There shall be no more harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea. (Isaiah 11)

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The Survivors

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 2nd, 2013

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THERE are some texts in Scripture that, admittedly, are troubling to read. Today’s first reading contains one of them. It speaks of a coming time when the Lord will wash away “the filth of the daughters of Zion”, leaving behind a branch, a people, who are His “luster and glory.”

…the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor for the survivors of Israel. He who remains in Zion and he who is left in Jerusalem will be called holy: every one marked down for life in Jerusalem. (Isaiah 4:3)

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Compromise: The Great Apostasy

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 1st, 2013
First Sunday of Advent

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THE book of Isaiah—and this Advent—begins with a beautiful vision of a coming Day when “all nations” will stream to the Church to be fed from her hand the life-giving teachings of Jesus. According to the early Church Fathers, Our Lady of Fatima, and the prophetic words of 20th century popes, we may indeed expect a coming “era of peace” when they “shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (see Dear Holy Father… He is Coming!)

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Calling His Name

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for November 30th, 2013
Feast of St. Andrew

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Crucifixion of St. Andrew (1607), Caravaggio

 
 

GROWING up at a time when Pentecostalism was strong in Christian communities and on television, it was common to hear evangelical Christians quote from today’s first reading from Romans:

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom 10:9)

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The Rising Beast

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for November 29th, 2013

Liturgical texts here.

 

THE prophet Daniel is given a powerful and frightening vision of four empires that would dominate for a time—the fourth being a world-wide tyranny from which the Antichrist would come forth, according to Tradition. Both Daniel and Christ describe what the times of this “beast” will look like, albeit from different perspectives.Continue reading