The Power of the Resurrection

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 18th, 2014
Opt. Memorial of St. Januarius

Liturgical texts here

 

 

A LOT hinges on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As St. Paul says today:

…if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. (First reading)

It’s all in vain if Jesus is not alive today. It would mean that death has conquered all and “you are still in your sins.”

But it is precisely the Resurrection that makes any sense of the early Church. I mean, if Christ had not risen, why would His followers go to their brutal deaths insisting on a lie, a fabrication, a thin hope? It’s not like they were trying to build a powerful organization—they chose a life of poverty and service. If anything, you’d think these men would have readily abandoned their faith in the face of their persecutors saying, “Well look, it was quite the three years we lived with Jesus! But no, he’s gone now, and that’s that.” The only thing that makes sense of their radical turnabout after His death is that they saw Him risen from the dead.

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When a Mother Cries

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for September 15th, 2014
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Liturgical texts here

 

 

I stood and watched as tears welled in her eyes. They ran down her cheek and formed drops on her chin. She looked as though her heart could break. Only a day before, she had appeared peaceful, even joyful… but now her face seemed to betray the deep sorrow in her heart. I could only ask “Why…?”, but there was no answer in the rose-scented air, since the Woman I was looking at was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

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Prophecy Properly Understood

 

WE are living in a time when prophecy has perhaps never been so important, and yet, so misunderstood by the vast majority of Catholics. There are three harmful positions being taken today regarding prophetic or “private” revelations that, I believe, are doing at times great damage in many quarters of the Church. One is that “private revelations” never have to be heeded since all we are obligated to believe is the definitive Revelation of Christ in the “deposit of faith.” Another harm being done is by those who tend to not only put prophecy above the Magisterium, but give it the same authority as Sacred Scripture. And last, there is the position that most prophecy, unless uttered by saints or found without error, should be mostly shunned. Again, all these positions above carry unfortunate and even dangerous pitfalls.

 

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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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Call No One Father

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 18th, 2014
Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Liturgical texts here

 

 

“SO why do you Catholics call priests “Fr.” when Jesus expressly forbids it?” That’s the question I am frequently asked when discussing Catholic beliefs with evangelical Christians.

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Who Am I to Judge?

 
Photo Reuters
 

 

THEY are words that, just a little under a year later, continue to echo throughout the Church and the world: “Who am I to judge?” They were Pope Francis’ response to a question posed to him regarding the “gay lobby” in the Church. Those words have become a battle cry: first, for those who wish to justify homosexual practice; second, for those wish to justify their moral relativism; and third, for those who wish to justify their assumption that Pope Francis is one notch short of the Antichrist.

This little quip of Pope Francis’ is actually a paraphrase of St. Paul’s words in the Letter of St. James, who wrote: “Who then are you to judge your neighbor?” [1]cf. Jam 4:12 The Pope’s words are now being splattered on t-shirts, fast becoming a motto gone viral…

 

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1. cf. Jam 4:12

Removing the Restrainer

 

THE past month has been one of palpable sorrow as the Lord continues to warn that there is So Little Time Left. The times are sorrowful because mankind is about to reap what God has begged us not to sow. It is sorrowful because many souls do not realize that they are on the precipice of eternal separation from Him. It is sorrowful because the hour of the Church’s own passion has come when a Judas will rise up against her. [1]cf. The Seven Year Trial-Part VI It is sorrowful because Jesus is not only being neglected and forgotten throughout the world, but abused and mocked once again. Hence, the Time of times has come when all lawlessness will, and is, breaking forth across the globe.

Before I go on, ponder for a moment the truth-filled words of a saint:

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings. —St. Francis de Sales, 17th century bishop

Indeed, this blog is not here to scare or frighten, but to confirm and prepare you so that, like the five wise virgins, the light of your faith will not be snuffed out, but glow ever brighter when the light of God in the world is fully dimmed, and darkness fully unrestrained. [2]cf. Matt 25:1-13

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matt 25:13)

 

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1. cf. The Seven Year Trial-Part VI
2. cf. Matt 25:1-13

Authentic Holiness

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 10th, 2014
Monday of the First Week of Lent

Liturgical texts here

 

 

I OFTEN hear people say, “Oh, he’s so holy,” or “She is such a holy person.” But what are we referring to? Their kindness? A quality of meekness, humility, silence? A sense of God’s presence? What is holiness?

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Fulfilling Prophecy

    NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 4th, 2014
Opt. Memorial for St. Casimir

Liturgical texts here

 

 

THE fulfillment of God’s Covenant with His people, which will be fully realized in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, has progressed throughout millennia like a spiral that becomes smaller and smaller as time goes on. In the Psalm today, David sings:

The LORD has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.

And yet, the revelation of Jesus was still hundreds of years away. So how could the salvation of the Lord be known? It was known, or rather anticipated, through prophecy…

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Global Revolution!

 

…the order of the world is shaken. (Psalm 82:5)
 

WHEN I wrote about Revolution! a few years ago, it was not a word being used much in the mainstream. But today, it is being spoken everywhere… and now, the words “global revolutionare rippling throughout the world. From the uprisings in the Middle East, to Venezuela, Ukraine, etc. to the first murmurings in the “Tea Party” revolution and “Occupy Wall Street” in the U.S., unrest is spreading like “a virus.” There is indeed a global upheaval underway.

I will rouse Egypt against Egypt: brother will war against brother, neighbour against neighbour, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. (Isaiah 19:2)

But it is a Revolution that has been in the making for a very long time…

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