Fr-Young :: “Call to Contrition and Conversion” – 11th Sunday OT 2016

davidnathan

Fr-Young :: Diocese of Saskatoon Appointments May 2016

 

More news/appointments to come, including the new pastor of the St-Front Pastoral Region. I’ll say more in the coming weeks in the parishes but thank you for all the kind words, and well-wishes so far, I’m excited for the next years and the experiences to come. I’ve loved being Pastor these past three years in the country parishes in the Wadena Deanery, and the two years at Holy Spirit and Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon: I am looking forward to celebrating/gathering together with each of you over this summer before beginning my studies. Yours in Christ, with Mary, Fr. G. Young…

MEMO

Date: May 18, 2016
To: Priests, Parish Life Directors, and all the Faithful of the Diocese of Saskatoon
From: Bishop Donald Bolen
Subject: Appointments

We are pleased to announce the following pastoral appointments, all of which will be effective August 1, 2016, unless otherwise indicated. Please note additional appointments will be announced in the coming weeks.

Priests Leaving the Diocese
• Fr. Augustine Ebido, OP – Fr. Augustine ministered in our diocese since December 2010, most recently as Pastor at St. Mary in Macklin, Sacred Heart in Denzil, and St. Donatus in St. Donatus. Fr. Augustine’s Prior Provincial has called him to return to the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker in Nigeria, effective the end of July.
• Fr. Joseph Gyim-Austin – Fr. Joseph ministered in our diocese since December 2008 in a number of parishes, most recently as Pastor at Sacred Heart in Davidson, St. Andrew in Kenaston, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Outlook, and Holy Redeemer in Elbow. He is returning to his home Diocese of Sekondi-Takoradi in Ghana in mid-June.
• Fr. Modestus Ngwu, OP – Fr. Modestus’s Superior has reassigned him to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania effective June 30th. Fr. Modestus served in a number of parishes in the diocese and for the past few years has been a Chaplain at a number of High Schools in Saskatoon and also Chaplain at the Regional Psychiatric Centre.
• Fr. Eugene Nwachukwu – After a year in parish ministry, Fr. Eugene served as Chaplain at St. Ann’s Senior Citizens Village in Saskatoon. Fr. Eugene returned to his home diocese of Sokoto in Nigeria at the end of March.
• Fr. Raphael Vezhaparambil, VC – Fr. Raphael served in a number of parishes in the diocese since he arrived in July 2011, most recently at St. Mary in Wynyard, Christ the King in Foam Lake, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Wishart. He will be returning to Marymatha Province in Kerala, India, at the beginning of June.

Our profound gratitude to these priests for their faithful ministry in our diocese. We are grateful to them for their generosity in coming to serve here. Each in his own way has deeply enriched the lives of the faithful of the diocese, and we wish them well in the future.
Retirements
• Fr. Joe Ackerman, OSB – After being involved in pastoral ministry since the mid 1960’s, and since 1998 as Pastor at St. Bruno in Bruno and St. Agnes in Peterson, Fr. Joe is retiring. We wish Fr. Joe well and extend our profound thanks to him for his years of dedicated service. We are incredibly grateful to Fr. Joe as he in his unique way deeply enriched the lives of the faithful of the diocese. We give thanks to Fr. Joe and to God for his generous ministry and wish him well in the days ahead.
• Judy Schmid – After four years of ministry, Judy Schmid is retiring as Parish Life Director at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Saskatoon, effective June 30th. We are profoundly grateful to Judy for her gentle presence in the parish and her faith-filled and dedicated ministry. We wish Judy God’s abundant blessings in the years ahead.
Sabbaticals
• Fr. Ephraim Mensah – Fr. Ephraim has ministered in our diocese since July 2005 in a number of parishes, most recently at St. Augustine in Humboldt, St. Scholastica in Burr, Holy Trinity in Pilger, and Assumption of Our Lady in Marysburg. Fr. Ephraim was incardinated into our diocese in May 2012. He is taking a twelve-month sabbatical for study and writing.
• Fr. Mick Fleming, CSsR – The Redemptorist community has given Fr. Mick a six-month sabbatical. Fr. Mick is currently serving as Priest Moderator at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Saskatoon.
Study Leave
• Fr. Geoffrey Young – Fr. Geoff will be taking a three-year program in liturgy at the University of Sant’Anselmo in Rome beginning this summer. Fr. Geoff has been ministering at St. Front in St. Front, Christ the King in Rose Valley, St. Athanasius in Perigord, St. Felix in Archerwill, St. George in Naicam and St. Lawrence in Nobleville.
Ministry in the North
• Through an arrangement with Archbishop Murray Chatlain of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-LePas, for the foreseeable future our diocese will be providing a priest to serve the parishes in La Ronge and Southend. For the coming year, Fr. Lawrence DeMong, OSB, will be serving as Pastor. Fr. Lawrence ministered most recently at Little Flower in Leader, Sacred Heart in Lancer and Sacred Heart in Liebenthal.
Chaplains
• Fr. Joe Jacek, OMI will be serving as Chaplain for St. Ann’s Senior Citizens Village. He began this appointment in April. Fr. Joe previously served at St. Aloysius in Allan, St. Mary in Colonsay, and St. Alphonsus in Viscount.

Pastoral Appointments
• St. Augustine in Humboldt, St. Scholastica in Burr, Holy Trinity in Pilger, and Assumption of Our Lady in Marysburg – Fr. Joseph Salihu will serve as Pastor with Fr. Greg Smith-Windsor serving as Associate Pastor. Fr. Joseph is from the Diocese of Kano in Nigeria, and has been serving in the Archdiocese of Edmonton for the past year. He was ordained July 2, 1994. Fr. Greg was ordained a year ago and has been serving as Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of the Holy Family.

• St. Bruno in Bruno and St. Agnes in Peterson – Fr. Cosmas Epifano, OSB will serve as Pastor. Fr. Cosmas served as Associate Pastor in Humboldt this past year.
• St. Mary in Wynyard, Christ the King in Foam Lake, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Wishart – Fr. Augustine Osei-Bonsu will be serving as Pastor. Fr. Augustine served at St. Anne’s in Saskatoon and at the Catholic Pastoral Centre. Fr. Augustine is from Ghana. He was ordained August 21, 2010.
• Sacred Heart in Davidson, Holy Redeemer in Elbow, St. Andrew in Kenaston and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Outlook – Fr. Madonna-Godwin (Fr. Godwin) Aghedo, OP will serve as Pastor. Fr. Godwin is a Dominican priest from Nigeria. He was ordained December 13, 1997.
• St. Mary in Macklin, Sacred Heart in Denzil and St. Donatus in St. Donatus – Fr. Binu Rathappillil, VC, a Vincentian priest from the Marymatha Province in India, will serve as Pastor. He was ordained December 28, 2004.
• Little Flower in Leader, Sacred Heart in Lancer and Sacred Heart in Liebenthal – Fr. Joseph Thazhathemuriyil, VC, a Vincentian priest from the Marymatha Province in India, will serve as Pastor. He was ordained December 28, 1989.
• Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon – Fr. Deyre Azcuna will serve as Associate Pastor, with Fr. David Tumback continuing as Pastor. Fr. Deyre will also be a hospital chaplain. Fr. Deyre is from the Territorial Prelature of Batanes, in the Philippines. He was ordained June 23, 2012.
• Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Saskatoon – Fr. Mark Miller, Superior of the Redemptorists has assigned Graham Hill, who will be ordained to the priesthood on June 10th, to the Redemptorist community in Saskatoon. Graham will serve as Priest Moderator of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

I wish to express my gratitude to all who will be assuming new responsibilities. They have responded to the needs of the diocese with generous spirits. I ask the people in parishes where changes are taking place to warmly welcome their new pastoral leaders into their midst.

To all the Priests and Parish Life Directors serving our diocesan Church, may God bless you abundantly as you continue your ministry with dedication, generosity and joy. A special note of thanks goes to the Redemptorists, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Benedictines of St. Peter’s Abbey who generously fill in on weekends when there is an urgent need. We are immensely grateful for their ministry.

Please note additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks. We anticipate receiving an additional three missionary priests however their appointments have not yet been finalized.

Grace and Peace in the Risen Lord,

Donald Bolen
Bishop of Saskatoon

bishopbolen

Fr-Young :: “Pentecost” – 2016

Pentecost

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Red.

These readings are for the simple form Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast.

EITHER:

First reading Genesis 11:1-9 ©
Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.’ (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.’
  Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. ‘So they are all a single people with a single language!’ said the Lord. ‘This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.’ The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.
OR:

Alternative First reading
Exodus 19:3-8,16-20 ©
Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Say this to the House of Jacob, declare this to the sons of Israel:
  ‘“You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. From this you know that now, if you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations shall be my very own, for all the earth is mine. I will count you a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation.”
  ‘Those are the words you are to speak to the sons of Israel.’
  So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, putting before them all that the Lord had bidden him. Then all the people answered as one, ‘All that the Lord has said, we will do.’
  Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder. The Lord came down on the mountain of Sinai, on the mountain top, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain.
OR:

Alternative First reading Ezekiel 37:1-14 ©
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’
OR:

Alternative First reading Joel 3:1-5 ©
Thus says the Lord:
‘I will pour out my spirit on all mankind.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men see visions.
Even on the slaves, men and women,
will I pour out my spirit in those days.
I will display portents in heaven and on earth,
blood and fire and columns of smoke.’
The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the day of the Lord dawns,
that great and terrible day.
All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved,
for on Mount Zion there will be some who have escaped,
as the Lord has said,
and in Jerusalem some survivors whom the Lord will call.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 103:1-2,24,27-30,35 ©
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
  wrapped in light as in a robe!
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
How many are your works, O Lord!
  In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
  Bless the Lord, my soul.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
All of these look to you
  to give them their food in due season.
You give it, they gather it up:
  you open your hand, they have their fill.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
You take back your spirit, they die,
  returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading Romans 8:22-27 ©
From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.
  The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 7:37-39 ©
On the last day and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood there and cried out:
‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me!
Let the man come and drink who believes in me!’
As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.
  He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

These readings are for the day of the feast itself:


First reading Acts 2:1-11 ©
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
  Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 103:1,24,29-31,34 ©
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
  The earth is full of your riches.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
You take back your spirit, they die,
  returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
  and you renew the face of the earth.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
  May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
  I find my joy in the Lord.
Send forth your spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
or
Alleluia!
EITHER:

Second reading
1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13 ©
No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
  There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose.
  Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.
OR:

Alternative Second reading Romans 8:8-17 ©
People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
  So then, my brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.
  Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.
Sequence
Holy Spirit, Lord of Light,
From the clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure
Come, thou light of all that live!
Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow
Thou in toil art comfort sweet
Pleasant coolness in the heat
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill:
If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew
On our dryness pour thy dew
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will
Melt the frozen, warm the chill
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give us comfort when we die
Give us life with thee on high
Give us joys that never end.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Alleluia!
EITHER:

Gospel John 20:19-23 ©
In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’
OR:

Alternative Gospel
John 14:15-16,23-26 ©
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.
I shall ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you for ever.
‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
And my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.

 

 

Fr-Young :: “Where To Follow” – Ascension of the Lord 2016

ascension

First reading Acts 1:1-11 ©
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’ he had said ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
  Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’
  As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 46:2-3,6-9

EITHER:

Second reading
Ephesians 1:17-23 ©
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.

OR:

Alternative Second reading
Hebrews 9:24-28,10:19-23 ©
It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.
  In other words, brothers, through the blood of Jesus we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his body. And we have the supreme high priest over all the house of God. So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our minds sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is faithful.

Gospel Acclamation Mt28:19,20
Alleluia, alleluia!
Go, make disciples of all the nations.
I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 24:46-53 ©
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.
  ‘And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.’
  Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were continually in the Temple praising God.

These readings are for the day of the feast itself:


First reading Acts 1:1-11 ©
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’ he had said ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
  Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’
  As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 46:2-3,6-9

EITHER:

Second reading
Ephesians 1:17-23 ©
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.

OR:

Alternative Second reading
Hebrews 9:24-28,10:19-23 ©
It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.
  In other words, brothers, through the blood of Jesus we have the right to enter the sanctuary, by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his body. And we have the supreme high priest over all the house of God. So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our minds sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is faithful.

Gospel Acclamation Mt28:19,20
Alleluia, alleluia!
Go, make disciples of all the nations.
I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 24:46-53 ©
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.
  ‘And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.’
  Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were continually in the Temple praising God.

Fr-Young :: “Pax Christi” – 6th Sunday Easter Homily 2016

filii dei

Readings at Mass

 

If the Ascension of the Lord is going to be celebrated next Sunday, the alternative Second Reading and Gospel shown here (which would otherwise have been read on that Sunday) may be used today.


First reading
Acts 15:1-2,22-29 ©
Some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, ‘Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.’ This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders.
  Then the apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:
  ‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 66:2-3,5-6,8 ©
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!
O God, be gracious and bless us
  and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
  and all nations learn your saving help.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!
Let the nations be glad and exult
  for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
  you guide the nations on earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
  let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
  till the ends of the earth revere him.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!
EITHER:

Second reading
Apocalypse 21:10-14,22-23 ©
In the spirit, the angel took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
  I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it.
OR:

Second reading
Apocalypse 22:12-14,16-17,20 ©
I, John, heard a voice speaking to me: ‘Very soon now, I shall be with you again, bringing the reward to be given to every man according to what he deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city.’
  I, Jesus, have sent my angel to make these revelations to you for the sake of the churches. I am of David’s line, the root of David and the bright star of the morning.
  The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ Let everyone who listens answer, ‘Come.’ Then let all who are thirsty come: all who want it may have the water of life, and have it free.
  The one who guarantees these revelations repeats his promise: I shall indeed be with you soon. Amen; come, Lord Jesus.
EITHER:

Gospel Acclamation Jn14:23
Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus said: ‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him.’
Alleluia!
Gospel John 14:23-29 ©
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
And my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.
Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give,
this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.
If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.
I have told you this now before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe.’

Fr-Young :: Perigord Music Performance 2016

outdoors2

Fr-Young :: “Love, Love, Love” – Homily 5th Sunday Easter 2016

downfromcross

Fr-Young :: “Inglorious Pastors” – Homily 4th Sunday Easter 2016

goodshepherd

Fr-Young :: 3rd Sunday Easter Homily 2016

christ-the-redeemer-light

Fr-Young :: Divine Mercy Sunday Homily 2016

Divine Mercy JPII

Fr-Young :: “Sin No More” – 5th Sunday Lent 2016

goodfriday

Fr-Young :: “Prodigal” – 4th Sunday Lent 2016

prodigalson

Fr-Young :: “Wyld Stallyns” – Homily 1st Sunday Lent 2016

chariot

Fr-Young :: “Duc in Altum” – 5th Sunday OT 2016

fishermen

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Green.


First reading
Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8 ©
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord of Hosts seated on a high throne; his train filled the sanctuary; above him stood seraphs, each one with six wings.
  And they cried out to one another in this way,
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.
His glory fills the whole earth.’
The foundations of the threshold shook with the voice of the one who cried out, and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said:
‘What a wretched state I am in! I am lost,
for I am a man of unclean lips
and I live among a people of unclean lips,
and my eyes have looked at the King, the Lord of Hosts.’
Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding in his hand a live coal which he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. With this he touched my mouth and said:
‘See now, this has touched your lips,
your sin is taken away,
your iniquity is purged.’
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
‘Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?’
I answered, ‘Here I am, send me.’

Psalm
Psalm 137:1-5,7-8
EITHER:

Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 ©
Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, the gospel that you received and in which you are firmly established; because the gospel will save you only if you keep believing exactly what I preached to you – believing anything else will not lead to anything.
  Well then, in the first place, I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it.
  I am the least of the apostles; in fact, since I persecuted the Church of God, I hardly deserve the name apostle; but by God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless. On the contrary, I, or rather the grace of God that is with me, have worked harder than any of the others; but what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.
OR:

Alternative Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:3-8,11 ©
Brothers, in the first place I taught you what I had been taught myself, namely that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; and that he was raised to life on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared first to Cephas and secondly to the Twelve. Next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died; then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles; and last of all he appeared to me too; it was as though I was born when no one expected it. But what matters is that I preach what they preach, and this is what you all believed.

Gospel Acclamation Jn15:15
Alleluia, alleluia!
I call you friends, says the Lord,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
Alleluia!
Or Mt4:19
Alleluia, alleluia!
Follow me, says the Lord,
and I will make you into fishers of men.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 5:1-11 ©
Jesus was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God, when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
  When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.’ ‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’ And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear, so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.
  When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.’ For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made; so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch.’ Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

Fr-Young :: “The Just Man” – 4th Sunday OT 2016

christ-the-redeemer-light

Readings at Mass


First reading
Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19 ©

 

In the days of Josiah, the word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying:
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you came to birth I consecrated you;
I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.
‘So now brace yourself for action.
Stand up and tell them
all I command you.
Do not be dismayed at their presence,
or in their presence I will make you dismayed.
‘I, for my part, today will make you
into a fortified city,
a pillar of iron,
and a wall of bronze
to confront all this land:
the kings of Judah, its princes,
its priests and the country people.
They will fight against you
but shall not overcome you,
for I am with you to deliver you –
it is the Lord who speaks.’

Psalm
Psalm 70:1-6,15,17 ©
My lips will tell of your help.
In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
  let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
  pay heed to me and save me.
My lips will tell of your help.
Be a rock where I can take refuge,
  a mighty stronghold to save me;
  for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.
My lips will tell of your help.
It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
  my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
  from my mother’s womb you have been my help.
My lips will tell of your help.
My lips will tell of your justice
  and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
  and I proclaim your wonders still.
My lips will tell of your help.
EITHER:

Second reading
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 ©
The supremacy of charity
Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them.
  If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.
  Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.
  Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.
  In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

Gospel Acclamation Jn14:6
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
No one can come to the Father except through me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 4:21-30 ©
Jesus began to speak in the synagogue: ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’
  But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’ And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.
  ‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’
  When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Fr-Young :: “Instruments of Mercy” – 3rd Sunday OT 2016

doglick

Fr-Young :: “The Was a Wedding…” – 2nd Sunday OT 2016

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Fr-Young :: “Full Immersion” – Baptism of the Lord Homily 2016

BaptismLord

 

Is 40:1-5, 9-11 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.

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.

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!
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 a strong arm;
here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

R. (11b) The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7 Beloved:
The grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of our great God
and savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

When the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
He saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Alleluia cf. Mk 9:7

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The heavens were opened and the voice of the Father thundered:
This is my beloved Son, listen to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Or cf. Lk 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
John said: One mightier than I is coming;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”

Fr-Young :: “Epiphany” – Homily 2016

Epiphany

Fr-Young :: “Holy Family Homily 2015”

HolyFamily2015

Fr-Young :: “A World to Be Consecrated to Her King” – Christmas Homily 2015

Christmas

First reading Isaiah 9:1-7 ©
The people that walked in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who live in a land of deep shadow
a light has shone.
You have made their gladness greater,
you have made their joy increase;
they rejoice in your presence
as men rejoice at harvest time,
as men are happy when they are dividing the spoils.
For the yoke that was weighing on him,
the barb across his shoulders,
the rod of his oppressor,
these you break as on the day of Midian.
For all the footgear of battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
is burnt,
and consumed by fire.
For there is a child born for us,
a son given to us
and dominion is laid on his shoulders;
and this is the name they give him:
Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God,
Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.
Wide is his dominion
in a peace that has no end,
for the throne of David
and for his royal power,
which he establishes and makes secure
in justice and integrity.
From this time onwards and for ever,
the jealous love of the Lord of Hosts will do this.

Psalm
Psalm 95:1-3,11-13 ©
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
  sing to the Lord all the earth.
  O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
Proclaim his help day by day,
  tell among the nations his glory
  and his wonders among all the peoples.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad,
  let the sea and all within it thunder praise,
let the land and all it bears rejoice,
  all the trees of the wood shout for joy
at the presence of the Lord for he comes,
  he comes to rule the earth.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.
With justice he will rule the world,
  he will judge the peoples with his truth.
Today a saviour has been born to us: he is Christ the Lord.

Second reading Titus 2:11-14 ©
God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

Gospel Acclamation Lk2:10-11
Alleluia, alleluia!
I bring you news of great joy:
today a saviour has been born to us, Christ the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:1-14 ©
Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken. This census – the first – took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.
  In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing:
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace to men who enjoy his favour.’

Readings for the Dawn Mass, celebrated at dawn on Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 62:11-12 ©
This the Lord proclaims
to the ends of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Look,
your saviour comes,
the prize of his victory with him,
his trophies before him.’
They shall be called ‘The Holy People’,
‘the Lord’s Redeemed.’
And you shall be called ‘The-sought-after’,
‘City-not-forsaken.’

Psalm
Psalm 96:1,6,11-12 ©
This day new light will shine upon the earth: the Lord is born for us.
The Lord is king, let earth rejoice,
  let all the coastlands be glad.
The skies proclaim his justice;
  all peoples see his glory.
This day new light will shine upon the earth: the Lord is born for us.
Light shines forth for the just
  and joy for the upright of heart.
Rejoice, you just, in the Lord;
  give glory to his holy name.
This day new light will shine upon the earth: the Lord is born for us.

Second reading Titus 3:4-7 ©
When the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

Gospel Acclamation Lk2:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace to men who enjoy his favour.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 2:15-20 ©
When the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

Readings for the daytime Mass on Christmas Day:


First reading Isaiah 52:7-10 ©
How beautiful on the mountains,
are the feet of one who brings good news,
who heralds peace, brings happiness,
proclaims salvation,
and tells Zion,
‘Your God is king!’
Listen! Your watchmen raise their voices,
they shout for joy together,
for they see the Lord face to face,
as he returns to Zion.
Break into shouts of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord is consoling his people,
redeeming Jerusalem.
The Lord bares his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.

Psalm Psalm 97:1-6 ©
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sing a new song to the Lord
  for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
  have brought salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
  has shown his justice to the nations.
He has remembered his truth and love
  for the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
All the ends of the earth have seen
  the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth,
  ring out your joy.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Sing psalms to the Lord with the harp
  with the sound of music.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
  acclaim the King, the Lord.
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Second reading Hebrews 1:1-6 ©
At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made everything there is. He is the radiant light of God’s glory and the perfect copy of his nature, sustaining the universe by his powerful command; and now that he has destroyed the defilement of sin, he has gone to take his place in heaven at the right hand of divine Majesty. So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.
  God has never said to any angel: You are my Son, today I have become your father; or: I will be a father to him and he a son to me. Again, when he brings the First-born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God worship him.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
A hallowed day has dawned upon us.
Come, you nations, worship the Lord,
for today a great light has shone down upon the earth.
Alleluia!
EITHER:

Gospel John 1:1-18 ©
In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not one thing had its being but through him.
All that came to be had life in him
and that life was the light of men,
a light that shines in the dark,
a light that darkness could not overpower.
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
as a witness to speak for the light,
so that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
only a witness to speak for the light.
The Word was the true light
that enlightens all men;
and he was coming into the world.
He was in the world
that had its being through him,
and the world did not know him.
He came to his own domain
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to all who believe in the name of him
who was born not out of human stock
or urge of the flesh
or will of man
but of God himself.
The Word was made flesh,
he lived among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John appears as his witness. He proclaims:
‘This is the one of whom I said:
He who comes after me ranks before me
because he existed before me.’
Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received –
yes, grace in return for grace,
since, though the Law was given through Moses,
grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God;
it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart,
who has made him known.

Fr-Young :: “Christmas Music” – Midnight Mass Perigord 2015

Christmas

Fr-Young :: “Ark of the New Covenant” – 4th Sunday Advent Homily 2015

 The Visitation – Iconthevisitationicon

Readings at Mass


First reading Micah 5:1-4 ©
The Lord says this:
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
the least of the clans of Judah,
out of you will be born for me
the one who is to rule over Israel;
his origin goes back to the distant past,
to the days of old.
The Lord is therefore going to abandon them
till the time when she who is to give birth gives birth.
Then the remnant of his brothers will come back
to the sons of Israel.
He will stand and feed his flock
with the power of the Lord,
with the majesty of the name of his God.
They will live secure, for from then on he will extend his power
to the ends of the land.
He himself will be peace.

Psalm
Psalm 79:2-3,15-16,18-19 ©
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
  shine forth from your cherubim throne.
O Lord, rouse up your might,
  O Lord, come to our help.
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
God of hosts, turn again, we implore,
  look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
  the vine your right hand has planted.
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.
May your hand be on the man you have chosen,
  the man you have given your strength.
And we shall never forsake you again;
  give us life that we may call upon your name.
Lord of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

Second reading Hebrews 10:5-10 ©
This is what Christ said, on coming into the world:
You who wanted no sacrifice or oblation,
prepared a body for me.
You took no pleasure in holocausts or sacrifices for sin;
then I said,
just as I was commanded in the scroll of the book,
‘God, here I am! I am coming to obey your will.’
Notice that he says first: You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the oblations, the holocausts and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to obey your will. He is abolishing the first sort to replace it with the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of his body made once and for all by Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation Lk1:38
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the handmaid of the Lord:
let what you have said be done to me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:39-44 ©
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
source: www.universalis.com

Fr-Young :: “Rejoice!” – Gaudete 3rd Sunday Advent 2015

Immaculate_Conception

Fr-Young :: “We Wait” – 1st Sunday Advent Homily 2015

endtimes

Fr-Young :: “Vietnamese Martyrs” 2015

Martyrs_of_Vietnam

Fr-Young:: “Long Live Christ the King” – Homily 2015

christtheking

Readings at Mass


First reading Daniel 7:13-14 ©
I gazed into the visions of the night.
And I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven,
one like a son of man.
He came to the one of great age
and was led into his presence.
On him was conferred sovereignty,
glory and kingship,
and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants.
His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty
which shall never pass away,
nor will his empire ever be destroyed.

Psalm Psalm 92:1-2,5 ©
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed;
  the Lord has robed himself with might,
  he has girded himself with power.
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.
The world you made firm, not to be moved;
  your throne has stood firm from of old.
  From all eternity, O Lord, you are.
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.
Truly your decrees are to be trusted.
  Holiness is fitting to your house,
  O Lord, until the end of time.
The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.

Second reading
Apocalypse 1:5-8 ©
Grace and peace to you from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. It is he who is coming on the clouds; everyone will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the races of the earth will mourn over him. This is the truth. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

Gospel Acclamation Mk11:10
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!
Alleluia!

Gospel John 18:33-37 ©
‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ Pilate asked. Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’ Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’ ‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’

Fr-Young :: “The Light of Faith Amidst Darkness” – 33rd Sunday OT 2015

danielnebuchadnez

Readings at Mass


First reading Daniel 12:1-3 ©
‘At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who mounts guard over your people. There is going to be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book. Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace. The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars for all eternity.’

Psalm Psalm 15:5,8-11

Second reading
Hebrews 10:11-14,18 ©
All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.

Gospel Acclamation Mt24:42 44
Alleluia, alleluia!
Stay awake and stand ready,
because you do not know the hour
when the Son of Man is coming.
Alleluia!
Or Lk21:36
Alleluia, alleluia!
Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to stand with confidence
before the Son of Man.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 13:24-32 ©
Jesus said, ‘In those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.
  ‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
  ‘But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.’

FR-YOUNG :: “Giving from our Poverty” – 32nd Sunday OT 2015

elijahwidow

Readings at Mass


First reading
1 Kings 17:10-16 ©
Elijah the Prophet went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks; addressing her he said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’ he said ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel:
“Jar of meal shall not be spent,
jug of oil shall not be emptied,
before the day when the Lord sends
rain on the face of the earth.”’
The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.

Psalm Psalm 145:7-10 ©
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
  who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
  the Lord, who sets prisoners free.
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
  who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger
  and upholds the widow and orphan.
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who loves the just
  but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
  Zion’s God, from age to age.
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading Hebrews 9:24-28 ©
It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on the real one; but it was heaven itself, so that he could appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, like the high priest going into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. Instead of that, he has made his appearance once and for all, now at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since men only die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, too, offers himself only once to take the faults of many on himself, and when he appears a second time, it will not be to deal with sin but to reward with salvation those who are waiting for him.

Gospel Acclamation Rv2:10
Alleluia, alleluia!
Even if you have to die, says the Lord,
keep faithful, and I will give you
the crown of life.
Alleluia!
Or Mt5:3
Alleluia, alleluia!
How happy are the poor in spirit:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel Mark 12:38-44 ©
In his teaching Jesus said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’
  He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal. A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’

http://universalis.com/

Fr-Young :: “To Inherit Eternal Life” – 28th Sunday OT 2015

richyoungman

Readings at Mass


First reading Wisdom 7:7-11 ©
I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones;
compared with her, I held riches as nothing.
I reckoned no priceless stone to be her peer,
for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand,
and beside her silver ranks as mud.
I loved her more than health or beauty,
preferred her to the light,
since her radiance never sleeps.
In her company all good things came to me,
at her hands riches not to be numbered.

Psalm Psalm 89:12-17

Second reading Hebrews 4:12-13 ©
The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

Gospel Acclamation Mt11:25
Alleluia, alleluia!
Blessed are you, Father,
Lord of heaven and earth,
for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom
to mere children.
Alleluia!
Or Mt5:3
Alleluia, alleluia!
How happy are the poor in spirit:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Alleluia!
EITHER:

Gospel Mark 10:17-30 ©
Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
  Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’
  Peter took this up. ‘What about us?’ he asked him. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.’

Fr-Young :: “Not Against But For Us” – 26th Sunday OT 2015

christ-the-redeemer-light

Readings at Mass


First reading
Numbers 11:25-29 ©
The Lord came down in the Cloud. He spoke with Moses, but took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied, but not again.
  Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp. The young man ran to tell this to Moses, ‘Look,’ he said ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ Then said Joshua the son of Nun, who had served Moses from his youth, ‘My Lord Moses, stop them!’ Moses answered him, ‘Are you jealous on my account? If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets, and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!’

Psalm
Psalm 18:8,10,12-14 ©
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
  it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
  it gives wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
The fear of the Lord is holy,
  abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
  and all of them just.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
So in them your servant finds instruction;
  great reward is in their keeping.
But who can detect all his errors?
  From hidden faults acquit me.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
From presumption restrain your servant
  and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless,
  clean from grave sin.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.

Second reading James 5:1-6 ©
An answer for the rich. Start crying, weep for the miseries that are coming to you. Your wealth is all rotting, your clothes are all eaten up by moths. All your gold and your silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be your own sentence, and eat into your body. It was a burning fire that you stored up as your treasure for the last days. Labourers mowed your fields, and you cheated them – listen to the wages that you kept back, calling out; realise that the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. On earth you have had a life of comfort and luxury; in the time of slaughter you went on eating to your heart’s content. It was you who condemned the innocent and killed them; they offered you no resistance.

Gospel Acclamation Jn17:17
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your word is truth, O Lord:
consecrate us in the truth.
Alleluia!

Gospel
Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48 ©
John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.
  ‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
  ‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.’

Source: http://universalis.com/

Fr-Young :: “Child-like, Not Childish” – 25th Sunday OT 2015

Jesus and Child

Readings at Mass


First reading
Wisdom 2:12,17-20 ©
The wicked prepare to ambush the just man
The godless say to themselves:
‘Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us
and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our breaches of the law
and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
‘Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part
and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,
and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’

Psalm Psalm 53:3-6,8

Second reading James 3:16-4:3 ©
Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.
  Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force. Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it; when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.

Gospel Acclamation Jn8:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
anyone who follows me will have the light of life.
Alleluia!
Or cf.2Th2:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
Through the Good News God called us
to share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 9:30-37 ©
After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
  They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

Source: http://universalis.com/

Fr-Young :: “Caesarea Philippi” – 24th Sunday OT 2015

augustus

Readings at Mass


First reading Isaiah 50:5-9 ©
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.
My vindicator is here at hand. Does anyone start proceedings against me?
Then let us go to court together.
Who thinks he has a case against me?
Let him approach me.
The Lord is coming to my help,
who will dare to condemn me?

Psalm
Psalm 114:1-6,8-9 ©
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
I love the Lord for he has heard
  the cry of my appeal;
for he turned his ear to me
  in the day when I called him.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
They surrounded me, the snares of death,
  with the anguish of the tomb;
they caught me, sorrow and distress.
  I called on the Lord’s name.
O Lord, my God, deliver me!
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
How gracious is the Lord, and just;
  our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple hearts;
  I was helpless so he saved me.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
He has kept my soul from death,
  my eyes from tears
  and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord
  in the land of the living.
I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.

Second reading James 2:14-18 ©
Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty’, without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that? Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.
  This is the way to talk to people of that kind: ‘You say you have faith and I have good deeds; I will prove to you that I have faith by showing you my good deeds – now you prove to me that you have faith without any good deeds to show.’

Gospel Acclamation Jn14:6
Alleluia, alleluia!
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;
No one can come to the Father except through me.
Alleluia!
Or Ga6:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
The only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord,
through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 8:27-35 ©
Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’ And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.
  And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again; and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him. But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’
  He called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.’

Source: http://universalis.com/

Fr-Young :: “Ephphatha” – 23rd Sunday OT 2015

ephphatha

Readings at Mass


First reading Isaiah 35:4-7 ©
Say to all faint hearts,
‘Courage! Do not be afraid.
Look, your God is coming,
vengeance is coming,
the retribution of God;
he is coming to save you.’
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
the ears of the deaf unsealed,
then the lame shall leap like a deer
and the tongues of the dumb sing for joy;
for water gushes in the desert,
streams in the wasteland,
the scorched earth becomes a lake,
the parched land springs of water.

Psalm Psalm 145:6-10 ©
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
  who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
  the Lord, who sets prisoners free,
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
  who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger
  and upholds the widow and orphan.
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!
It is the Lord who loves the just
  but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
  Zion’s God, from age to age.
My soul, give praise to the Lord.
or
Alleluia!

Second reading James 2:1-5 ©
My brothers, do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people. Now suppose a man comes into your synagogue, beautifully dressed and with a gold ring on, and at the same time a poor man comes in, in shabby clothes, and you take notice of the well-dressed man, and say, ‘Come this way to the best seats’; then you tell the poor man, ‘Stand over there’ or ‘You can sit on the floor by my foot-rest.’ Can’t you see that you have used two different standards in your mind, and turned yourselves into judges, and corrupt judges at that?
  Listen, my dear brothers: it was those who are poor according to the world that God chose, to be rich in faith and to be the heirs to the kingdom which he promised to those who love him.

Gospel Acclamation
cf.Mt4:23
Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom
and cured all kinds of sickness among the people.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 7:31-37 ©
Returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region. And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

source: http://universalis.com/

Fr-Young :: “Have You Understood the Victory” BlogPost Reflection on BVM

altarpiece

A homily by St John Chrysostom
Adam and Christ, Eve and Mary
Have you seen the wonderful victory? Have you seen the splendid deeds of the Cross? Shall I tell you something still more marvellous? Learn in what way the victory was gained, and you will be even more astonished. For by the very means by which the devil had conquered, by these Christ conquered him; and taking up the weapons with which he had fought, he defeated him. Listen to how it was done.
  A virgin, a tree and a death were the symbols of our defeat. The virgin was Eve: she had not yet known man; the tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the death was Adam’s penalty. But behold again a Virgin and a tree and a death, those symbols of defeat, become the symbols of his victory. For in place of Eve there is Mary; in place of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the tree of the Cross; in place of the death of Adam, the death of Christ.
  Do you see him defeated by the very things through which he had conquered? At the foot of the tree the devil overcame Adam; at the foot of the tree Christ vanquished the devil. And that first tree sent men to Hades; this second one calls back even those who had already gone down there. Again, the former tree concealed man already despoiled and stripped; the second tree shows a naked victor on high for all to see. And that earlier death condemned those who were born after it; this second death gives life again to those who were born before it. Who can tell the Lord’s mighty deeds? By death we were made immortal: these are the glorious deeds of the Cross.
  Have you understood the victory? Have you grasped how it was wrought? Learn now, how this victory was gained without any sweat or toil of ours. No weapons of ours were stained with blood; our feet did not stand in the front line of battle; we suffered no wounds; witnessed no tumults; and yet we obtained the victory. The battle was the Lord’s, the crown is ours. Since then victory is ours, let us imitate the soldiers, and with joyful voices sing the songs of victory. Let us praise the Lord and say,
Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?
The Cross did all these wonderful things for us: the Cross is a war memorial erected against the demons, a sword against sin, the sword with which Christ slew the serpent. The Cross is the Father’s will, the glory of the Only-begotten, the Spirit’s exultation, the beauty of the angels, the guardian of the Church. Paul glories in the Cross; it is the rampart of the saints, it is the light of the whole world.
Responsory
Like a thorn which has borne a rose, Eve gave birth to Mary, so that goodness might overpower our guilt and grace supplant our sin.
The Lord willed this for our greater glory, so that goodness might overpower our guilt and grace supplant our sin.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
grant that your faithful who rejoice in the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  may be delivered from every evil here on earth through her prayer
  and come to the enduring joys of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Fr-Young :: “Beloved Children of Law” – 22nd Sunday OT 2015

ChildrenofLaw

Readings at Mass


First reading
Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8 ©
Moses said to the people: ‘Now, Israel, take notice of the laws and customs that I teach you today, and observe them, that you may have life and may enter and take possession of the land that the Lord the God of your fathers is giving you. You must add nothing to what I command you, and take nothing from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God just as I lay them down for you. Keep them, observe them, and they will demonstrate to the peoples your wisdom and understanding. When they come to know of all these laws they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation.” And indeed, what great nation is there that has its gods so near as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation is there that has laws and customs to match this whole Law that I put before you today?’

Psalm Psalm 14:2-5 ©
The just will live in the presence of the Lord.
Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain?
He who walks without fault;
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart;
he who does not slander with his tongue.
The just will live in the presence of the Lord.
He who does no wrong to his brother,
who casts no slur on his neighbour,
who holds the godless in disdain,
but honours those who fear the Lord.
The just will live in the presence of the Lord.
He who keeps his pledge, come what may;
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm for ever.
The just will live in the presence of the Lord.

Second reading
James 1:17-18,21-22,27 ©
It is all that is good, everything that is perfect, which is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow of a change. By his own choice he made us his children by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all that he had created. So do away with all the impurities and bad habits that are still left in you – accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. But you must do what the word tells you, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.
  Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn6:63,68
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life;
you have the message of eternal life.
Alleluia!
Or James1:18
Alleluia, alleluia!
By his own choice the Father made us his children
by the message of the truth,
so that we should be a sort of first-fruits
of all that he created.
Alleluia!

Gospel
Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23 ©
The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture:
This people honours me only with lip-service,
while their hearts are far from me.
The worship they offer me is worthless,
the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.
You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’ He called the people to him again and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’

TRANSCRIPT 22nd Sunday

In our first reading, we hear how God gives us the law, let’s say the capital L Law, the Ten Commandments are the greatest of these. But the first five books of the Bible are called the Torah, they’re called the Law of God and as the time went on, God’s commandments, there was other commandments, or there’s other practices and laws that small “l” law, that developed in the tradition of the Jewish people, the Israelite people. And many things that probably weren’t necessary for a time, in a generation, or over those thousand years, necessary for the governance of the people of God, crisises and challenges they had. But they just kept building up, building up and these other laws, these laws that Jesus recognizes are from human tradition start to become a burden, takes us away from why the heart of law was given in the first place, which is to love your God with your whole heart, whole strength and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s the heart of the law, that’s the purpose of the Torah, but all these other little laws that had their time and place started to become almost cumbersome, even to the people of God. They were kept from coming to Christ, who is the fulfillment of the law.

So I want to reflect with you on this theme, okay? Because laws, for the most part, in our culture, we have a love/hate relationship with the law. Okay, let’s just put it this way. In our society, if you’re in the city or you’re in the town and we had no by-laws whatsoever, no ordinances, no laws, it’d be chaotic, okay? So if I have garbage to picked up, okay, now we hate laws, okay, because to a certain degree, they restrict our freedom, they restrict our license to do whatever we want and live our life how we want. So at first, we don’t like when it restricts our freedom. But woe to anyone, as soon as your neighbor puts his garbage on your law or crosses over your property line, also now we want the laws, we want laws for other people, we just don’t want them for ourselves, right? We want to restrict those other guys but we don’t want to restrict ourselves. So you see in the city the necessity for certain legislation, certain laws to govern human interaction because ultimately, I might only need my garbage on Wednesday picked up, the neighbor needs it on Friday, another guy needs it on Monday, so we sacrifice certain aspects of our own license, our own freedom for the greater good. And at the end of the day, we’re more free to be a good citizen, a good neighbor, because of those laws. So that’s the good place of law.

But there’s also the other side of things, too, where laws can actually restrict our freedom, can restrict us of choosing what is good. So I’m going to walk with you through this, and there’s a couple of analogies I’m going to build on, okay? One is a sports analogy and one is one of children at play, okay? So the first sports analogy I’m going to give, it’s not going to be the Riders or the football because I don’t want to leave you depressed and bemoaning walking out of here. So let’s talk about the Blue Jays, let’s talk about baseball, okay? Because it’s hot right now, the Jays are up by four, five-nothing already, they’re doing awesome, okay? We’re going to have the World Series again. Last time they were this good, I was in grade one or kindergarten, when they won the World Series. They haven’t been in the playoffs since. So it’s great news.

So baseball, there’s thousands of rules, hundreds and thousands of rules. There’s whole book that the umpires carry, that managers and players, they memorize these rules. Each one of those rules has a reason why it’s there, okay? There’s rules in Major League Baseball because of Pete Rose or because of Ty Cobb beating people up as he runs around the bases. There’s rules of what’s in and what’s out, what’s fair and foul, what’s a strike, what’s a ball and all those rules are there for a reason. And if you were take one of them out of the context or you don’t care about baseball, these laws, these rules, seem silly. But if you love baseball, you love the rules because it gives structure and discipline to the game. So, like I said, when they’re interiorized, you can be a better baseball player. You know the rules but you’re not thinking about them constantly.

Let me give an example. Josh Donaldson, great, great offensive player and the Blue Jays had good offense all year. But now they have a few guys that actually know how to play defense, they know how to field, okay? And a guy like Donaldson or Tulowitzki, okay, they’re great defensive players. As little children, they would’ve learned the basic rules and as time goes, their parents or their coaches, they would’ve trained them more and more rules, given them both the structure of the game, of how the game works, but also the discipline about how you play the game, okay? So, for example, if Donaldson’s on third and a guy’s got a left-handed or right-handed bat, he’ll stand in different place depending on who’s on base, he’ll be in a different location. If the ball’s hit, immediately he knows how to ground it, and in what way, and to throw it to what position. All the fielders, all the good players know those rules, they know those disciplines. Do you think in the fraction of a second, when that ball is hit, they’re thinking about the ten thousand rules of baseball? No. They interiorize the rules through practice, through discipline since a young age, so much so that they are actually more free now to be the best baseball player they can be.

This is true also in religious life, in spirituality. All the teachings of the Church, the teachings that come from God, the teachings that are defended by the Church and also, some of the traditions that the Church disciplines, they say this is important for Catholics to do, all those things are like all those rules that go into a game. Okay? They help us, God willing, if you’re not focused just on the rule itself, but focused on the reason why it’s there, they help us to grow in our relationship of God. So to be a good baseball player, you need to know those rules, those ordinances, those disciplines. Well, to be a saint, you also need to be disciplined, you have to understand what is right, what is wrong and the boundaries of our game, okay?

Another analogy I’ll give, because our culture, we’re very anti-authoritarian, anti-legal, unless, of course, it affects us and then we want the police to be there to protect us against the crazy guy or whatever. We don’t like law until we actually need the law and then we love it and we blame people in authority, we have a love/hate relationship there. And the reality is, we think also with children, with young people, they must be the most anti-rule, anti-law people in the world, and they’re not, they’re not. Okay? The silly parents, they say, “Well, I’m not going to discipline our kids,” or, “We don’t want to punish them,” and it has the guise, the modern mindset, the guise that somehow that’s a loving thing to do for your children. No. Having no boundaries, no rules is the opposite of love for a child. You need to give structure, not because you don’t love them, because you love them.

The loving Father, I have had good examples this summer, I’ve been up at the lake and I get to be there with my nephews, I got four nephews, six down to one years old, okay? Four nephews. And they’re great, they play, they can go for 18 hours of a day, play around on the beach or in the backyard and you’d think that they don’t like rules and structure. They make up rules and structure for themselves, for their own play. Okay? So for example, they’re playing cops and robbers, Nathan’s the oldest, he’s six, he’ll be like, “Those two trees over there, Sam,” Sam’s two. Sam’s, “Yeah, yeah.” He doesn’t know much, okay? “Those two trees, that’s the prison. Okay? If we put you there, you can’t leave those trees.” Sam knows that. Elijah knows that, Nathan, they know the rules, they all consent to it and then they’re free to enter into the play, whatever game it is. When we were kids, I played on recess, I grew up on a park and our school was right there, Lakeview Park and we used to play mini-sticks or baseball outside or soccer. We’d use the grass, we’d use the trees or the bush to be the boundaries of the game. Everyone consented to the rules and therefore, we ultimately enjoyed the game more. Okay? So that’s the point of good law, good discipline, it allows for a freer exercise of the game or, in our case, our life we live, the spiritual life. We need those rules.

Now, the other extreme…well, one more note on that, okay? Don’t you hate, if you’ve ever been over and you’re playing cards, you’re playing Kaiser, or Hearts, or whist, or one of those games and you have someone say, “Well, let’s not count points, okay? Let’s not nitpick about the rules, let’s just play.” I hate those people, I hate that, okay? I can’t stand it, let’s have tea and biscuits and talk about the weather and swathing in the fields, okay? If you’re going to play Kaiser, you play Kaiser. If you’re going to play hockey or mini-sticks or you’re going to play street hockey, play hockey. But there’s a certain structure where if you remove those rules, it’s not what it’s supposed to be and it’s not even fun, okay? You know the Mom that comes out, “Oh just play for fun, don’t have all those-” No, that’s silly, Mom, you don’t know hockey, okay? There’s a rule, if you yell, “Car!” you stop, okay? The goalie walks out and you don’t take a shot at the net. Right? You would beat that kid up, okay? There’s a written structure that if we all partake in it, we enjoy the game more, okay? And sometimes it requires great imagination.

Okay, that’s the positive side and we have a culture that wants to pretend, even in the spiritual life it’s, “Oh, just be free, worship God how you want, go worship the tree in your backyard.” No, okay? When that happens, it’s chaos and ultimately, we’re left adrift in this world. We need certain aspects of discipline and rules and it helps us to be a better Christian, okay? In the Church, we always emphasize that, we’re not obsessed about the laws but the laws point to a deeper disposition that helps us to become saints and all the saints of our church emphasize this, they’re disciplined men and women. Not perfect, but understand that there’s rituals, there’s prayers that help foster a deep relationship with Christ.

Now, that’s the good side. Rules, laws are important. The other side, the other extreme, okay? The Kaiser analogy again. We’ve all played Kaiser or if you’ve played Kaiser, you’ve all met the Kaiser Nazi, I’m going to call them, okay? The one that is the anal, retentive person that knows every rule and every trick that needs to be played and if you don’t do it, they yell at you and they have this obsession about the structure and the rules of the game. Or we could get a really, really nerdy baseball person, the statistician and almost they take the fun out of the game itself. They’re so rigid on laws that they actually destroy the purpose of the law in the first place. Those are the Pharisees, those are the people Jesus confronts today. The image I’ll give you that I heard, it’s like the Medieval Knights, we started off, we were wearing, you were just wearing cloth, okay? And then they get someone with an ax hits you and you die and you realize, “Huh, there’s this metal stuff, let’s put some chain mail on, okay?” That’s why a priest…it’s supposed to be battle armament gear, that’s why it looks like chain mail, okay? That’s what the vestments are, they’re from Roman times.

Okay, you started to put chain mail, then the guy developed, the Englishmen, longbowmen, loved these great big longbows that the arrows could pierce the armor. They started to put on thicker armor, metal plates and all that stuff, right? And they kept adding things and eventually knights got good at beating up on Saracens and people and rescuing princesses and they would hack where the joints are vulnerable in the armor. So they started to put more metal plating on, okay? So each one of those innovations was good, it was trying to help the knight to be the best knight. Okay? Each one of those pieces of protective gear. Think of them like a law, like an ordinance. They were necessary but eventually you get to the point of the High Middle Ages where you have these guys that have so much gear, you have five squires to dress them, you have so much metal that they couldn’t even move. If you’ve ever seen Robin Hood: Men in Tights when the soldiers come out and they’re like ching, ching, ching, ching and they can’t move, they can’t even more their arms to fight. And Robin Hood just comes and knocks them over and like dominoes, they all fall. Okay?

That’s sometimes what happens sometimes with laws, with religion within the Church but at the time of the Pharisees, it was excessive. You lose the mobility to achieve what the purpose of the original law was in the first place, to love God, to worship God. The knight loses the purpose to beat up the bad guys, or attack the Saracen, or rescue the princess, they can’t be a good soldier anymore, they can’t move their arms anymore, okay? And so what happens is that Jesus comes on the scene and he’s saying that these things you’ve piled on, this chain mail, this metal, it’s restricting you to the whole heart of the law. What is the heart of the law? I’d rather say who is the heart of the law? Christ Jesus. He is the Word made flesh, the Word of the logos in Greek but it’s the Torah, the law inscribed in flesh.

So as the old law, like Moses, the law was inscribed on tablets, I’ve shared that with you. Now as the prophets had longed for, they’d longed that the law of God, the promises, the words of God would be inscribed in the human heart and this happens with Christ, where the law is made flesh and dwells among us. And He comes now and points us back to the heart of the law and he purifies our hearts. He reminds us that it’s not that stuff on the outside that makes us unholy, it’s when we have a corrupt and divided heart that evil comes out from there. You asked that as we end here, what’s the way in which we keep our hearts close to the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ so that we may be faithful disciples like this.

How can we become saints? We need to draw close to that beating heart of our Savior. I just went to visit Father Collin in Cudworth, he’s out there now, and beneath the altar, they have this beautiful altarpiece of The Last Supper. And you remember the story. Saint John is reclined at the chest of Jesus, and imagine John, one of the closest disciples of Jesus and he can hear the beating heart of Christ Jesus. We need to do that, that’s how we keep our hearts in beat with our Lord. That’s how we’re made clean, that’s how we purify that innermost stony heart to be sprinkled with clean water. And at times, we really need also to go to the sacrament of confession, to sprinkle clean water, to bring us out from that rigid heart. Okay?

When we come to the Mass, that’s what we do. We come close to the beating heart of our Savior. He consoles us, he feeds us, he disciplines us in the things that matter to his heavenly father, the laws that are actually from God, not from human innovation. That’s why we come, okay? When the Church says you must come to Mass on Sundays, it’s the equivalent of me saying to my little nephew Nathan, who’s a good lead for his brothers, “Do not go past the driveway onto the street.” They can go and they can watch for cars but Sam wants to follow, he wants to go that way, too, and he runs out in the street. Imagine what my heart would feel if I’m watching those kids and Sam was hit. The laws we give, the laws God gives to us are to protect us, to keep us in his love and care. They’re not laws in and of themselves, they’re for the love of God, our father, for us.

So try to be faithful to those teachings of the Church. We are required to come to the Mass so when you go back home, be faithful to that. It’s for your own good to come to the Eucharist, it feeds you, it gives you strength for all the challenges of the day. Know that God loves you, that’s why we say this, that’s why I say this. We need to trust in the teachings about the fondness of Father and draw close to him in the Eucharist. He will stay up our hearts, he will enliven us, he’ll give us the gift of himself so that we may also love, unlevered, with our whole heart.

Pogues: The Cadillac stood by the house and the yanks they were within, and the tinker boys they hissed advice, “Hot-wire her with a pin.” When we turned and shook as we had a look in the room where the dead men lay, so big Jim Dwyer made his last trip to the shores where his father’s laid.

St John Chrysostom on the temptations of the devil – The five paths of repentance

publican

St John Chrysostom on the temptations of the devil
The five paths of repentance
Shall I list the paths of repentance? There are certainly many of them, many and various, and all of them lead to heaven.
  The first path is the path of condemnation of sins. As Isaiah says, Tell your sins, and you will be acquitted. And the Psalmist adds: I said “I will bear witness against myself before the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. So you, too must condemn the sins you have committed. Condemn them, and that condemnation will excuse you in front of the Lord, since whoever condemns the sins he has committed will be slower to commit them next time. Stir up your own conscience to be your accuser – so that when you come before the judgement-seat of the Lord no-one will rise up to accuse you.
  This is the first path of repentance but the second is in no way inferior to it in excellence. It is to forget the harm done to us by our enemies, to master our anger, to forgive the sins of those who are slaves together with us. As much as we do this, so much will our own sins against the Lord be forgiven. So this is the second path to the expiation of our sins. As the Lord says, Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours.
  Would you like to know the third path of repentance? It is prayer: fervent prayer, sincere and focused prayer, prayer coming from the depths of the heart.
  If you want to know the fourth path, I will tell you it is the giving of alms. It has great power.
  And finally, if someone acts with modesty and humility, that path is no less effective as a way to deprive sin of its substance. Look at the publican, who had no good deeds to speak of. In place of good deeds he offered humility, and the huge burden of his sins fell away.
  So now I have shown you the five paths of repentance. First, condemnation of sins. Second, forgiving the sins of those near us. Third, prayer. Fourth, almsgiving. Fifth, humility.
  So do not be idle, but every day advance along all these paths at once. They are not hard paths to follow. Poverty is no excuse for not setting out on the journey. Even if you are destitute you can do all these things: put aside anger, carry humility in front of you, pray hard, condemn your sins. Poverty is no obstacle – not even to that path of penitence that demands money: that is, almsgiving. Remember the story of the widow’s mite.
  Now we have learnt the right way to heal our wounds, let us apply these remedies. Let us regain true health and confidently receive the blessings of Holy Communion. Thus we may come, filled with glory, to the glory of Christ’s kingdom, and receive its eternal joys through the grace, mercy and kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsory
Prayer is good when accompanied by fasting and almsgiving. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold, for almsgiving will purge away every sin.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you, for almsgiving will purge away every sin.

Let us pray.
Lord, by your grace we are made one in mind and heart.
Give us a love for what you command
  and a longing for what you promise,
  so that, amid this world’s changes,
  our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
  one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Fr-Young :: “Many Did Not Follow…” – 21st Sunday OT 2015

pizzaro

Readings at Mass


First reading
Joshua 24:1-2,15-18 ©
Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together at Shechem; then he called the elders, leaders, judges and scribes of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to all the people, ‘If you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.’
  The people answered, ‘We have no intention of deserting the Lord and serving other gods! Was it not the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery, who worked those great wonders before our eyes and preserved us all along the way we travelled and among all the peoples through whom we journeyed? What is more, the Lord drove all those peoples out before us, as well as the Amorites who used to live in this country. We too will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’

Psalm
Psalm 33:2-3,16-23 ©
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
  his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
  The humble shall hear and be glad.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
The Lord turns his face against the wicked
  to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The Lord turns his eyes to the just
  and his ears to their appeal.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
They call and the Lord hears
  and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
  those whose spirit is crushed he will save.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Many are the trials of the just man
  but from them all the Lord will rescue him.
He will keep guard over all his bones,
  not one of his bones shall be broken.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Evil brings death to the wicked;
  those who hate the good are doomed.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.
  Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

EITHER:

Second reading
Ephesians 5:21-32 ©
Give way to one another in obedience to Christ. Wives should regard their husbands as they regard the Lord, since as Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife; and as the Church submits to Christ, so should wives to their husbands, in everything. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body – and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.

OR:

Alternative Second reading
Ephesians 5:2,25-32 ©
Follow Christ by loving as he loved you. Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her to make her holy. He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words, so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious, with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it; and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body – and we are its living parts. For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery has many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn6:63,68
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life;
you have the message of eternal life.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 6:60-69 ©
After hearing his doctrine many of the followers of Jesus said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you? What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?
‘It is the spirit that gives life,
the flesh has nothing to offer.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit
and they are life.
‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him.’ After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.
  Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life, and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

Source: http://universalis.com/

TRANSCRIPT “Many Did Not Follow…” – 21st Sunday OT 2015

All right. Three readings this week have tough teachings, each one of them. The first reading from the book of Joshua, after the people of God have gone through the wilderness journey and everyone except for Joshua and one other young man survived that journey. Moses and the rest of the people died in the desert. And they come to the River Jordan. God asks them a question. He says, “Today you must choose,” He was speaking through Joshua, “Are you with me or you’re against me?” And the people respond, “We’re with you, Lord. We believe you.” And we have to choose between the one true God or all these other gods of our own making and other spirits and so forth, the things that created divided hearts. And the people follow and they cross through the River Jordan into the Promised Land. It’s a line that they must cross. And it is a tough teaching, it’s a tough test, but it’s very black and white. You’re either with me or you’re against me.

The second reading too is a tough teaching. And in modern times and sometimes liberal theologians, they want to edit away this reading because it’s hard for us to hear. But just because something is hard to hear and it’s challenging doesn’t mean we ignore it or whitewash it out of the word of God. And we have to reflect upon this. And we heard how this deep mystery, St. Paul is speaking, that is marriage. What is marriage? First of all what it’s not and unfortunately and this is why many have ignored this passage, and we don’t hear it too much at the weddings although we hear that some of the couples choose this. Sometimes people use this to show some sort of domination or abuse even of spouses, of husbands towards wives. That is inspired, not from the spirit of God, but from the devil. Okay? The abuse that husbands use towards their wives in the name of some sort of interpretation that husbands are heads of wives, therefore…is false.

In fact, what Christ teaches us is that He is the model. He is the icon of which a marriage is called to be. So husbands and wives are to be subject to one another, to be obedient, to be loving, to be self-sacrificial to one another as Christ is to His church and the church loves and follows Christ Jesus. This is the call. Okay? The point of marriage, you’re not…husbands and wives, the point of marriage from a sacramental perspective, it’s not just to help each other to pay taxes. Okay? And it’s not just puppy love and friendship, that is important. That is the human element of marriage. It is the love between two, a man and a woman. Yes, but that’s the natural side. The sacramental side, what it means to be married from a Christian perspective is to help each other to get to heaven. That’s the difference. The taxes, do your taxes fine. Pay the least amount of tax legally expected of you. But the point of Christian marriage is to help each other to be saints, to get to heaven.

And the third and the final tough teaching that we have. Another line in the sand that we must be faithful too otherwise we are out of the communion with God, is the teaching on the real flesh and blood that Jesus gives to us to bring us to eternal life. Now I’ve shared with you a little bit in last week’s on this sixth chapter of John. It’s called The Bread of Life Discourse. We had the climax and now the denouement, the reaction to what Jesus says. First he says, “Very truly, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you cannot have eternal life.” You can’t go to heaven, right? And first, they balk at this. They say, “This teaching is difficult, it’s tough.” First thing to know, the crowd, the people that are balking, the people that are challenging Jesus, they’re not His enemies, they’re not the Pharisees or those who are trying to attack Jesus. They’re His closest disciples. Those that have witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. They’re the ones that love Him and follow Him. And now He teaches them this line in the sand sort of teaching. Okay?

I came across this story about this explorer conquistador named Francisco Pizarro. Regardless of what happened with the conquest and so forth, it’s an interesting story where the Spaniards are following in this army and they’ve conquered what’s now Panama, Central America and they want to go into South America. And Pizarro is pretty bold, he draws a line in the sand and says, “Okay, Castilians, Spaniards. You can either be cowards and go back to poverty in Panama or you can cross this line and follow me with courage to the wealth” of what, at the time, was the Incan empire in Peru. None of them really followed, but there was, they call the thirteen. Twelve men followed him, and he went to Gods knows where, look for the lost city of gold and silver. But the story is an interesting line in the sand moment where basically you’re either with me or you fall and we disperse.

And this happens with this teaching. Jesus, after he’s challenged by the disciples and they’re disturbed by this teaching because Jewish people under the law, the Israelites, were forbidden to eat flesh and blood. Okay? Why? Because the pagans used to kill their enemies and drink their blood and then there was various other proscriptions [SP], things that…pagan sacrifices. And the Israelite people when they hear flesh and blood, they immediately say, “This is wrong. It’s cannibalism or some other sort of evil that leads us away from God.”

So rightly they questioned. They said, “This can’t be true. How is it possible?” And what does Jesus do? He intensifies His language. At first He says in the Greek in the gospel, John is [inaudible 00:06:29], “Eat my flesh, drink my blood.” Sort of how human beings eat, we sit down and we eat. I go to your house and we [inaudible 00:06:36] some perogies and cabbage rolls, okay? Well, what happens is Jesus doesn’t back down. He actually says, “Amen [SP], amen” or “very truly I tell you, which means if this is true. And he says unless you…now he uses the word [inaudible 00:06:52] and this he says, “Unless you gnaw on my flesh and drink in my blood, you cannot have eternal life.” That word [inaudible 00:07:00] is way like animals, like the coyotes like I said a couple of weeks ago, the way the coyotes devour the flesh outside behind my rectory in St. Fran [SP].

So he intensifies his language and they go crazy. They disperse because this is offensive to them and they go away. We hear in John 6:66. Okay? 666, if you look at it up, this is what happens. And he said or rather “because of this, many of his disciples turned away, turned back and no longer went about with him.” This is a divisive teaching. It has been in the beginning and through Every generation till now. It’s challenging, it’s tough. It’s been the source of division even amongst Christians of how is this true? How can Jesus give His true flesh and blood to us?

Now throughout the history of the church, when there was strength in the faith of the faithful, many Catholics, many Christians, men and women, when there was attack, some tried to say, “It’s not the flesh and blood. It’s a symbol. It’s a spiritual presence. All this is…” They were glad…they would shed their own flesh and blood and they died for this true teaching. But with time, the devil comes about and in a different way. You see the dispersing over this teaching in the beginning, but with Catholics when they’re strong, it’s like the story of how to cook a frog, which I am not French. I don’t eat frogs and I’m not going to try this. But apparently if you have a boiling pot of water and you try to throw a frog in, it’s just going to jump out, right? But the devil is creative. So instead of a boiling heat to kill the frog or the frog and this is the analogy, this hard teaching. Rather you put the frog into some lukewarm water on the pot. Okay? Like a little bath, a little spa. And then you start to ratchet up the heat a little notch at a time and eventually it’ll boil, right? That’s now the devil’s approach on wheedling down this essential teaching of the catholic and Apostolic church.

Over the last decades, last years, we changed this and aren’t in and of themselves bad things. I’ll give you a few examples. We allow now people to receive communion in their hands or standing, even though the true preference of the church is to kneel and to receive on the tongue, even since Vatican II. The church says to help people maybe they prefer to make a throne of which where Jesus can sit and we can receive him. Even things, the visibility of the alter rails, Ukrainians, you remember the iconostasis, the icons. Well, [inaudible 00:09:37] were supposed to have alter rails, never were supposed to be removed. I don’t know where that came about, but still the optics of it. The idea that when I come and I kneel to receive the Eucharist, you have to question that as a kid when you’re teaching kids about this. Why is this so special that unlike other things I take and I eat or I stand and do, why do I kneel here? Why do I receive our Lord on the tongue?

And all those things, they’re in and of themselves not necessarily wrong, but all those different things kind of wither away like the ratcheting up of the heat. That now we have a case where North America less than one out of three Roman Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist. One out of three. And coincidentally, I don’t think it’s a coincidence, less than one out of three Catholics come regularly to the mass. Those things are connected. When that teaching is under a threat, when that teaching is doubted and not doubted in the sense that I question how this is possible? But doubted through our practice that I say, “It’s not important to me anymore,” we see the church disintegrate, we see it divided like in John 6.

The question is not where do we doubt this aspect of our faith or we question how because it is a mystery. It is a great mystery just like we heard about marriage, a profound mystery. The question is what we do in that? Do we make it such a priority in our faith that I come here and I say, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” Or do we disperse because it’s tough. That’s the response. First of all, when Jesus sees these all happening, this is probably the most…I would say probably the most saddening time in His heart of His whole ministry on earth because all His loved ones, His disciples, have abandoned Him. And what does He do? He looks back perhaps with even tears in His eyes and He says to His apostles, the twelve that remain, “Are you going to abandon me too?” And it’s what it’s about. It’s not about who He is or about His miracles but it’s about this teaching.

“Are you going to leave me too?” And Peter with the voice…the first pope and the voice of the apostles then till now says this. “Lord,” he said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” But he says this, “Lord, where else can we go? Whom else shall we go? You and you alone have the words of eternal life.” Jesus when he says, “You don’t believe, you doubt. But what if you see the Son of Man ascend and return to His father in heaven.” What’s he saying? He’s saying, “This is impossible if I was but a man. But if I am the God man, if I am the word that was made flesh.” When God speaks His word, spirit and truth, when He speaks His word, it is. When God said, “Let there be light and there was light” when he created the world. When He says to Lazarus, “Come out.” And he was raised from the dead and he comes out. When he says to the little girl who has died [inaudible 00:12:40], “Get up.” She gets up. And when Jesus says, “This is my body, this is my blood.” It is. Our whole faith, our whole…that line in the sand that I share with you today and these last weeks is so essential for our faith. We come and we kneel before our Lord. We come and place ourselves here that we may be fed with His flesh and blood that we may receive the gift, the promise of eternal life that we long for. And we say, “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.”

Fr-Young :: “Flesh of My Flesh” – Assumption & 20th Sunday OT 2015

Our Lady and the Blessed Sacrament

 

 

Readings at Mass (Saturday)

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:


First reading
1 Chronicles 15:3-4,15-16,16:1-2 ©
David gathered all Israel together to bring the ark of God up to the place he had prepared for it. David called together the sons of Aaron and the sons of Levi. And the Levites carried the ark of God with the shafts on their shoulders, as Moses had ordered in accordance with the word of the Lord.
  David then told the heads of the Levites to assign duties for their kinsmen as cantors, with their various instruments of music, harps and lyres and cymbals, to play joyful tunes.
  They brought the ark of God in and put it inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and they offered holocausts before God, and communion sacrifices. And when David had finished offering holocausts and communion sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.

Psalm
Psalm 131:6-7,9-10,13-14 ©
Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength.
At Ephrata we heard of the ark;
  we found it in the plains of Yearim.
‘Let us go to the place of his dwelling;
  let us go to kneel at his footstool.’
Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength.
Your priests shall be clothed with holiness;
  your faithful shall ring out their joy.
For the sake of David your servant
  do not reject your anointed.
Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength.
For the Lord has chosen Zion;
  he has desired it for his dwelling:
‘This is my resting-place for ever;
  here have I chosen to live.’
Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest, you and the ark of your strength.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 ©
When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation Lk11:28
Alleluia, alleluia!
Happy are those
who hear the word of God
and keep it.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 11:27-28 ©
As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

These readings are for the day of the feast itself:


First reading
Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10 ©
The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail.
  Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days.
  Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.’

Psalm
Psalm 44:10-12,16 ©
On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
  The daughters of kings are among your loved ones.
  On your right stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words:
  forget your own people and your father’s house.
On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.
So will the king desire your beauty:
  He is your lord, pay homage to him.
They are escorted amid gladness and joy;
  they pass within the palace of the king.
On your right stands the queen, in garments of gold.

Second reading
1 Corinthians 15:20-26 ©
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia!
Mary has been taken up to heaven;
all the choirs of angels are rejoicing.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 1:39-56 ©
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
  And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

 

 

 

 

Readings at Mass (Sunday)


First reading Proverbs 9:1-6 ©
Wisdom has built herself a house,
  she has erected her seven pillars,
she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine,
  she has laid her table.
She has despatched her maidservants
  and proclaimed from the city’s heights:
‘Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.’
  To the fool she says,
‘Come and eat my bread,
  drink the wine I have prepared!
Leave your folly and you will live,
  walk in the ways of perception.’

Psalm
Psalm 33:2-3,10-15 ©
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
  his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
  The humble shall hear and be glad.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Revere the Lord, you his saints.
  They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry
  but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Come, children, and hear me
  that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is he who longs for life
  and many days, to enjoy his prosperity?
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Then keep your tongue from evil
  and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn aside from evil and do good;
  seek and strive after peace.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Second reading
Ephesians 5:15-20 ©
Be very careful about the sort of lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but you redeem it. And do not be thoughtless but recognise what is the will of the Lord. Do not drug yourselves with wine, this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, so that always and everywhere you are giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Acclamation Jn1:14,12
Alleluia, alleluia!
The Word was made flesh and lived among us:
to all who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God.
Alleluia!
Or Jn6:56
Alleluia, alleluia!
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me, and I live in him,
says the Lord.
Alleluia!

Gospel John 6:51-58 ©
Jesus said to the Jews:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

Transcript of “Flesh of My Flesh” – Assumption & 20th Sunday OT 2015

[LYRICS] Out in the country,
Far from all the soot and noise of the city,
There’s a village green.
It’s been a long time
Since I last set eyes on the church with the steeple
Down by the village green.
[Father Young]
And today is the feast day, the solemn feast, the 15th of August, of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s assumption, body and soul, into heaven. And tomorrow, too, I’m going to preach on this important aspect of our faith, the role of Mary as the model of what it means to be a disciple. And she’s also the pattern of holiness that the Church must follow so we can enter into heaven.

Now, I was talking with some of my brother priests earlier this week, and they’re saying, “Oh, how are you going to tie that to the bread of life, the Eucharist?” right? We’re hearing the bread of life discourse for many months. And I shared last week about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. And believe it or not, I will tie together the importance of Mary, the mother of God, and the flesh and blood we receive in the Eucharist. You’ll see some connections here.

First, what is the best image that I’ve come across to articulate the role of Mary, especially the dogma that is proclaimed and that we commemorate today, that she has been assumed, both body and soul, already to heaven? Other than Christ, she’s the only creature that has bodily already preceded us into heaven. When our loved ones have passed away, we long for the resurrection of the body. But our souls are in purgatory, then to heaven. But we wait for the bodily resurrection.

But with Mary, she’s already bodily in heaven, okay? So that’s the uniqueness there. A lot of times, people think the assumption of Mary is that we assume she’s in heaven, okay? No, I can assume or I can longingly expect to see my grandma or my grandpa in heaven, okay? That’s not what the dogma of Mary is about here.

So what’s the image that, as I said, that I like to use is the image of one of the titles she’s had. And we sing it in a lot of those Marian hymns. And it’s in Latin, it’s Stella Maris. In Latin, that means star of the sea. But it’s also a play on her name because Mary comes from Miriam in the Old Testament. Marian [inaudible 00:02:37] here too, okay? All of it comes from the same Hebrew name, Miriam, which means from the water or from the sea.

And so the Latin phrase Stella Maris had a whole bunch of connotations. But the long and short of it is this, and it’s analogy for our spiritual life here on earth, that while we’re on earth, we are pilgrims on the earth, yes, or we’re seafarers, like we’re on a journey. But we’re ultimately going to a final destination. We have our home. We have Eden where we’re from. But ultimately, our final home, our final resting place is heaven.

And so the image of a seafaring journey was used often in the tradition of the church. And so when Mary’s called the Star of the Sea, the Stella Maris, it’s reminded that in the old days, when they used to travel at sea, the only way safely to get from one side to the other of an ocean or sea was to use the stars to navigate, right? Long before there was clocks and longitude-latitude, you had to use the stars. And if you had a clear night and you could see the brightest stars, the brightest star in the sky was the Star of the Sea, the True North, right? And that was the Stella Maris. And if you keep your eyes fixed on it, you can safely get to your destination.

So that’s one of the images that I love, and our Knights of Columbus, we use that. That’s why you have the anchor on your logo, okay? This idea that the anchor represents hope, the theological virtue, but also represents the Blessed Virgin Mary, who keeps us on the right path, because we know that if we follow her example, one day, we’ll become saints too in heaven, because our mother will gently guide us there and protect us.

A few other important images, and I’ll just draw on a few scripture passages that speak to Mary’s role as the model disciple and also the model of what it means to be the Catholic church here on earth. And you can tell this is something I could speak hours about, as I have. Mary is the most tender and my most loving topic I like to share about, outside of Christ, is the role of Mary in our lives because of my own story, which I won’t get into. But I just know that she’s always been there, gently pointing me to Jesus, her son.

One of the other images we have, and I read in the gospel story, when Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, her cousin. And we have this incident where John the Baptist, the baby, is leaping in the womb, okay? So just a little bit of context, which is something that is quite profound. In the Old Testament, remember when Moses is given the laws, the Ten Commandments, the tablets? And they placed them in the Ark of the Covenant. It’s this beautiful gold carrying case. And the Israelite people believed that the Ark of the Covenant is really the word of God, it’s the law of God, was inscribed on tablets. And the people would believe that almost God was dwelling with them whenever that law, the word inscribed on tablets, was in their midst, that God was there with them.

And there’s a story with David. It’s a weird story, if you just take it out of context. But they’re bringing the Ark of the Covenant, with the stone tablets, into the city. And David strips down naked, like the day he was born. And he’s dancing with joy. And his wife gets jealous, and all this stuff happens. And they ask David, “Why are you leaping for joy?” He says, “Because our lord has come to dwell under our roof, pitched his tabernacle, pitched his tents, in our midst. Our Lord comes to the humblest little tent. And that brings joy.”

Okay, so you flash forward to the story that we just read of Elizabeth and Mary, what happens here? You have a child, the last prophet, really, just like David before, but the last prophet, John the Baptist, in his own mother’s womb, is leaping for joy. Because what? The word actually that was inscribed in flesh, God himself, has come to dwell under her house.

And the next little image you need to understand. Why is Mary so important? Why is Mary so important? Because as this beautiful creature without sin, she always says yes to God. There’s one of the stories in the gospel where . . . And if you read it wrong, people think it’s something insulting even to speak of Mary. And it’s when he goes to his hometown, and they say, “Lord, your mother and your brothers and sisters, they’re all here waiting for you.” And Jesus says something, he says, “No, my mother and my brothers and sisters are those who hear the word of God and obey it, listen to it.” And it’s not an insult to Mary. In fact, what he’s doing is he’s saying, “Ah, if only you were like my mother.” Why? Because, okay, we can hear God say lots of stuff to us, right? There’s a difference between hearing and listening. You can tell your grandchildren, as I’ve shared with you, you can say a lot of things to them, they can hear you, yeah, yeah, yeah. But if they listen to it, like “Go clean your room,” they say “Yes,” and they go do it, right? Okay, they obey it. In Latin, obedire means to listen, not just to hear, but obedire means to listen to, right?

So when we say Mary, not only did she hear God’s plan, God’s love story, love plan, and his promise that from you will be born the Messiah. She heard it. And not knowing completely how it’s going to work out, but trusting in faith of God, she obeyed it.

And what happened to God’s word? It wasn’t even just inscribed on tablets or wood or stone. It took flesh in her life. The word became flesh, and he pitched his tent amongst us.

So Mary, you see, her obedience, she is the greatest disciple. She’s the first disciple. She’s the greatest. So when we look to Mary, when we ask for her help to bless our families, to protect us, to guide us, we see in her the model of what it means to say yes to the word of God. And what happens when we say yes to God? Our lives are never the same. They’re changed. The word actually takes flesh in our life, and we become more like Christ.

So friends, as we continue this feast day and this beautiful weekend, we celebrate the role of Mary. May we say yes like her. May we keep our eyes fixed on her, because she’ll lead us to our heavenly homeland, where Christ himself, who took flesh and blood from Mary herself . . . Remember, I said how I’m going to tie this together. You got to think about this. Even biologically, the flesh and blood, the very genetics from the human. Jesus is divine, but he’s human. The genetics of who Jesus was was a human came from his mother, his mother. So when she looked down upon her child or Joseph looked upon the Son of God, he had the features of the blessed mother. She could look down and actually see the face of God but also see her own family, her own blood line being taken up by her son, Jesus Christ.

This is a profound mystery. That same flesh and blood that feeds us in the Eucharist every time we come, which is true food, true drink, that brings life to the world. So Mother Mary, we ask that you protect us, that you guide us, so that we, feeding on the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, will reach the safe shores of our heavenly home.

 

 

 

Fr-Young :: “Flesh & Blood” – 19th Sunday OT 2015

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*Note – I made an error in the sequence of the Prophet Elijah’s story – he flees from Jezebel after the showdown with her Baalist priests – our first reading takes place after this event, and God ministers to him and feeds him with cakes of bread and drink.  Apologies for my mistake: Please seen the Book of Kings for the whole story, it’s a good read 🙂

Transcript of “Flesh & Blood” – 19th Sunday OT 2015

And today, in our Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus continues to teach us that He is the bread that comes down from heaven. He’s flesh. He’s blood; living flesh, living blood. His body, blood, soul and divinity, feeds us, frees us and brings us into…one day, into life in heaven with our Heavenly Father. Now, this is the good news. This is the Gospel that is shared, that Christ brings freedom. Christ brings liberation from sin. Christ brings new life despite darkness and death in the world. So this is the good news, and we’ve heard this again and again. We have to also recognize that there also was some bad news, okay?

I want to contrast these two different times; the time before Christ and the time now with Christ. But also, the time before Christ, and also now, the post-Christ period we have in our culture, in our world. So I’m going to just share with you some of the history. And we heard it in the first reading, the greatest of the prophets of the Old Testament, Elijah. Just to give you a little bit of context. And it will help you understand the depth of the meaning when Christ talks about His offering of Himself, flesh and blood, to bring us to new life.

Elijah was the greatest prophet, as I mentioned. And during this time, it’s written in the book of Kings. So this is centuries before Jesus’ coming. The king has apostatized from the true faith. That means that he started to worship foreign gods and move away from the commandments of Moses and the faith of Abraham. And he leads the Israelite people away from God. He marries this princess, this Jezebel, who becomes the queen of Israel.

She is the leading reason why, along with the king, they eradicate the old faith, the traditional practices and sacrifices to Yahweh, the teachings of the commandments, and they reinstitute a new age spirituality, let’s call it, which is really an old age. And it’s the worship of this foreign god, and we would believe to be a demon or even the devil himself. His name is Bael or Baal, B-A-A-L. They started to kill off all the priests and the prophets of the old law, and they started to reinstitute this pagan practices.

Now, on first glance, and today, too, we often have this with Christians and Catholics. We say, “Well, it’s spirituality. It’s different spirituality.” Ironically even the name Baal, and the way they worshiped him, Baal was this god who was their father. And he required sacrifice and blood to be appeased. Baal was this father, protector of the people. Before even the Israelites were in the land, the people in Palestine, they would’ve worshiped him and offered different sacrifices.

And at first glance, you might say… As a Christian or a student of scripture, you might say, “That sounds an awful lot like our God, an awful lot like Yahweh, who requires sacrifice, and so forth, for communion.” And a lot of the Israelites went that way. Just like today, a lot of people say, “Well, its spirituality. We basically believe the same things. I’m not religious. I’m spiritual.” Right? Well, the problem with that is the devil is also spiritual, okay?

A lot of people that are deviling [SP], in new age spirituality, or the Israelites even 20,800 years ago, were going to a lot of old age practices, but we often get it repackaged again and again. So in the context of this, all the Israelites were apostatizing. The priests, the prophets, were killed. And Elijah, despairing almost, flees away from the evil, Jezebel, who wants to put him to death. He is at the point where he says, “I’m the last of your prophets. I just want to die. I give up.”

He goes off for 40 days. Forty days should stick out in your mind on this journey. Just like the journey, the Israelites through the desert, where God fed them with manna. And what does God do? He says, “Do not despair. I’m with you. I’ll protect you.” And He feeds him with bread. It says cake, but it’s bread, okay? Bread and water. And He sustains him. And after being replenished by bread, the bread of the angels, the bread that comes down from heaven, Elijah has the strength to go back and fight the Baal, the Baalists.

Now, this is an awesome story. I love Bible history, by the way. So I’m giving you lots of good details here. As you probably don’t hear this very often, it doesn’t come up in our Sunday, new revised lectionary, where we try to make it sound nicer and all that, but it’s part of scripture, and we hear it during the weekday readings. Elijah goes back and confronts Jezebel’s minions. Okay? Yes, they’re minions. All the priests that were formally of Yahweh were these new priests and priestesses of this new religion.

And he sort of has a priest showdown. It’s a shootout, okay? There is Elijah, the last of the priests of Yahweh, then there’s this thousands of Baalists. And the Baalists, so they have this wager, almost, where Elijah says, “Okay. You pray to your god, to this demon, Baal, and I’m going to pray to the true God of the people.” And everybody’s watching. Tens of thousands of people are gathered on this hill, and there’s this sacrifice in the middle.

So the Baalists start, and they do the practices that are emblematic. They are symptoms of most devil worship and demonic things. You might need earmuffs if the little kids can understand this. They would mutilate their flesh. They cut themselves, offer blood sacrifices, right? They would often sacrifice human beings, especially children. This is what the Baalists did to appease this god, Baal. And nothing happens. The sacrifice stays there in the center of all this silly liturgical dancers here running around.

And he says, “Well, maybe your god is sleeping. Maybe shout louder. Maybe cut off some more of your flesh.” Right? “Maybe then, he’ll wake up.” And they go dance around for all morning and nothing happens. The people see this. Then Elijah says, “Okay, it’s my turn now.” So he gets up, and he puts the 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel that had gone astray, around this sacrifice, this ox. Then he offers a prayer to God, and he takes water, representing the Red Sea and the crossing through of the Jordan into the Promised Land, and most especially, foreshadowing the baptism to come.

What he does with the water, he pours it. Not once, not twice, but three times and prays to the true God. Then fire comes and consumes the sacrifice, and the people say what? “The Lord Yahweh is the true God.” And they kill all the bad Baalist priests, and the people are liberated from this evil. Okay. That’s Bible history in a nutshell, an interesting story that you need to hear.

So we see that before the good news of Christ, who liberates us from sin and evil, we see the bad news of a world consecrated and given over to the evil one, to say that. And his accompanying signs are always this. What does the want from us and those that dabble in the spiritual works of evil? What does the devil want? He’s wanted it since the beginning. He wants us to die. He wants blood. He wants us to give up our lives, to kill our brothers, to kill the innocent.

This is what the devil wants. And often, we give it to him. And you say, “Oh, 3000 years ago? We don’t do that anymore. We don’t brutalize children. We don’t abuse children. We don’t do these things.” Yeah, we do. It’s called abortion. It’s called child abuse. It’s called pornography. All the different pernicious things that are reaping us away from our love of God, and using the people and the flesh of this world, to please no one except for Satan.

It’s a tough word, and I don’t say it every week. If you’re visiting, I don’t preach about the devil every week, but once a year. Okay? But it is a pernicious offering. As opposed to the sweet offering of Christ, it is a sweet offering to the evil one. And it’s reaping apart our culture. Its reaping apart our lives away from God. So that’s the bad news, okay? And if I left it at that, you would walk away very sad. Well, now we can read with new eyes, new lens, the good news of Christ’s liberation from the evil.

So upon the Bread of Life Discourse, He says, “Unlike the bread your ancestors ate in the desert,” like that Moses brought, that wafer-thin substance on the dew. And they had bread in the morning, they had flesh. They had quail in the evening, bread and flesh. Unlike even the bread that has fed Elijah so he could destroy the power of evil at work amongst the people of God, “I am the true bread that comes down from heaven.” And then He goes on and He says, “My bread is flesh for the world.”

So unlike the unholy sacrifices, the offerings of the old, Jesus undoes the work of the evil one, undoes the work of corrupt men and women’s hearts. He offers Himself to reconcile us to the true God and Father, our Lord. Ironically the highest point with the devil looking on, of Jesus as the son… Remember how the devil always wants the death of God’s children, God’s sons and daughters? Well, the true son of God is put to death. The devil thinking in his mind, “I’ve won.” And he is conquered. His head is destroyed by Christ’s offering.

And again and again, we are presented with the offering of Jesus as the flesh and blood, for us, in this Eucharist. Now, in the story, when Jesus is talking in the Gospel of John, this is chapter six, He talks about how, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you cannot have eternal life.” So the evil one wants death, God wants life for us. But He says, “You have to eat my flesh and drink my blood.” At first, the people grumbled. Many of them were disturbed by this image, rightly so. And they start to complain. And what happens?

At first, he says, “eat.” And the Greek word that the New Testament has written is, the Greek word is “phagein.” And it’s the way human beings eat. I come to your house, we sit down, and we “phagein” it up. We dine. Okay? And they get upset, and they say, “This must be some sort of symbol. Can you explain it?” And what does Jesus say? He says, “Amen, Amen,” or “Truly, I say to you.” He intensifies His language and now uses the word “trogein.” And “trogein” is the word that would be used to describe how animals eat.

Like the coyotes out behind my house in Saint-Front, they “trogein” the flesh of animals. They devour it. They drink in the blood, right? Now, Jesus says, “Amen, Amen, unless you devour my flesh, drink in my blood, you cannot inherit eternal life.” And they go crazy in the bad way. And in chapter 6 verse 66-, Okay, that’s somewhat of a coincidence. But 6-6-6, they all leave Jesus. Jesus was raising people from the dead. He was delivering us from demons and from the evil one. He was healing the sick. He just fed them with bread and fishes, loaves.

They wanted to make Him king. And then He teaches this teaching, the most central doctrine that has been defended and blood has been spilled over for 2000 years up until our [inaudible 00:12:31], that you have to eat my flesh and blood, and they all go away. “This is a tough teaching,” they said. “This is a harsh teaching. We cannot abide by it.” And what happens? I can only imagine, but Jesus with broken heart.

Seeing all those people, those sheep without a shepherd, He has now brought them together, and they have left Him. He turns back to His apostles. He turns back to Peter and says, “Are you going to abandon me, too, because of this?” And what does Peter say? And he’s been saying it through the church and through you since this episode. He doesn’t understand what’s going on. He doesn’t understand how the Eucharist is going to sacramentally allow this to happen. But Peter says, “Lord, where else can we go? Only you have the words of eternal life.”

Peter professed this, but we profess it every time we come to the Eucharist. The teaching that Jesus is truly, substantially body, blood, soul and divinity, present in the Eucharist. That he feeds us with not dead flesh, but living flesh and blood that sustains us, that feeds us. This is a tough teaching, but it is the truth. It is the truth that’s brought us freedom, that’s brought us deliverance from death, from evil.

And it’s also the profession of faith you make every time you come to the mass. You don’t come for the music or the homily or how awesome, wicked awesome, the priest is, right? You come for Christ, who feeds us with flesh and blood, who is present in this place.

Fr-Young :: “Without the Shepherd, I Shall Want” – 16th Sunday OT 2015

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Readings at Mass


First reading Jeremiah 23:1-6 ©
‘Doom for the shepherds who allow the flock of my pasture to be destroyed and scattered – it is the Lord who speaks! This, therefore, is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds in charge of my people: You have let my flock be scattered and go wandering and have not taken care of them.
  Right, I will take care of you for your misdeeds – it is the Lord who speaks! But the remnant of my flock I myself will gather from all the countries where I have dispersed them, and will bring them back to their pastures: they shall be fruitful and increase in numbers. I will raise up shepherds to look after them and pasture them; no fear, no terror for them any more; not one shall be lost – it is the Lord who speaks!
‘See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David,
who will reign as true king and be wise,
practising honesty and integrity in the land.
In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel dwell in confidence.
And this is the name he will be called:
The-Lord-our-integrity.’

Psalm Psalm 22:1-6

Second reading
Ephesians 2:13-18 ©
In Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single New Man in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the cross, to unite them both in a single Body and reconcile them with God: in his own person he killed the hostility. Later he came to bring the good news of peace, peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near at hand. Through him, both of us have in the one Spirit our way to come to the Father.

Gospel Acclamation Jn10:27
Alleluia, alleluia!
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord,
I know them and they follow me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 6:30-34 ©
The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

Transcript of “Without the Shepherd, I Shall Want” – 16th Sunday OT 2015

Friends, our first reading and all of our readings today reflect on this longing we have. This longing for a true shepherd, a true king that will liberate us, that will free us from all of our troubles, all of our deepest longings will be satisfied. The prophet Jeremiah in the first reading, just to give you a little bit of context, is a prophet after the fall of the northern tribes they call the tribes of Israel, the ten tribes who were carted off by the Assyrians, invaded, and the people were intermarried or killed, and that’s where you get Samaritans and they’re sort of the matee of the time. They’re the mix breeds between the Israelite people and these other four nations.

After a few centuries too, the southern kingdom, the Kingdom of Judah is now under threat, and the holy city of God, Jerusalem, Zion, is under siege by the Babylonians. Jeremiah is preaching in this context, and the message is, “Do not be afraid.” This has always been the message of God. Every angel that ever appears to us is always, “Be not afraid. Trust in me.” Jeremiah is saying that even though the greatest affliction is coming against the people right now and soon they would go into captivity in Babylon for 100 years, they’d be exiles in a foreign land, Jeremiah says, “Don’t worry. Trust in God.” He promises that from the branch of David’s tree, a stump will grow. “A stump will come and your savior, your messiah, your king, your Lord, will come among you.”

Okay, just a little bit to reflect on this. You say, “How is that applied to us today? Why does that matter to us? Yes, the messiah comes. How does that change our life?” Deep down in each one of us and every human person, because of our creation as I shared last week, our origin, we have a longing for God. Now in our lives, the more and more we become removed from this reality, we try to find leaders, we try to find satisfaction for those longings we have. This is why, and I’ll include myself and I’ll tell you a little bit about it, why we idealize or idolatrize certain people. Flawed people like you and I, we elevate them up. We expect from politicians to be above ourselves. We expect that they will solve the problems. Or the President in the States when he’s running, all the hope, all the dreams is almost pseudo-Messianic, even to the point where he says, “We’ll turn back the tides of the waters that are rising.” It sounds Messianic, and people want to believe that. However flawed that person is, they can never achieve that, right?

When I was a young guy, high school, I am 18, 19, I was studying political science. I was getting involved with these political movements and so forth. I had a very both enlightening and also kind of discouraging and enlightening conversion experience. Because I had so much hope in the idea of the political process, and there was two parties merging. I was at that conference. As a youth person, I was sponsored to go there this conference. You can figure out what political party that was. They’re merging these two parties, and there was always this hope that things would change.

That being said, and actually seeing if you will how the sausage is made and how the policies are made and being someone that . . . my faith least later, but maybe at that point was in question about my beliefs about human life or the sanctity of marriage. Those things that I know to be non-negotiable, that I’d believe in my heart of hearts I can’t compromise on, and seeing that political process, it was sort of discouraging. Also leaders that you thought would represent our beliefs compromise because we need to do that to get around in this world, so being discouraged by that. But is that their fault? No. I had this ideal from leaders. I longed for something of them that they could not satisfy. Let’s be honest.

We do this again with celebrities. We obsess about them. We have TV programs and magazines. We read all the silly little details about their life because it’s a celebrity, someone we idealize. We get fascinated with them. Then we watch the same programs that tear them apart when they fall apart. Tiger Woods is the best example of this. We love, we admire his talent, we care about him, and then we find out he’s not the husband he really should be, and we love to hear about this. That’s what we do.

Often we have that longing for leadership, affirmation from our leaders. We want someone to lead. It goes even with our good teachers, wonderful teachers for example, or parents as kids we look up to. They say something affirming to us, and we latch on it. We feel like we never felt before, that we have a purpose, we have a meaning. Then later on we find out that our mum and dad are not perfect. Our teachers are not beyond reproach. To be fair once again to them, that’s because we have an expectation of them that cannot be satisfied.

So turn back then to our message today. There is the longing, and now Jesus comes upon this hell, He looks down upon the people, and He has compassion. One translation was pity, His compassion for His people. His compassion for all of us wandering sheep looking for a true shepherd, and Christ has compassion. The apostles finally, all those tribes that were scattered, the 12 representing the tribes now, come back to Him with joy, telling the story how all people are finally coming, and this huge crowd gathers. So what happens? The challenge is . . . the message of the old testament of prophet Jeremiah says, “Look at it, from David’s line, that human family, a savior will come, a king will come, a shepherd came.” But another prophet, Ezekiel, says something different. He says, “Really don’t strive expecting perfect kings.” Saul or David, all these flawed men that we push in power, and then they fall from grace so often. He says, “Don’t trust in them as king, whether the king of Babylon or Egypt or all these kings, these men we try to make God.” He says, “Yahweh, the Lord will be your king. He will reign over you, over your hearts, over your whole life.”

So how do we balance that then? We’re supposed to have a king, but yet Jerusalem failed, and the people are carted off to captivity. We’re also supposed to have God to be our king. Well, the answer is Jesus. Here, the fulfillment of the long line of David, this true and perfect man that would become king, and also God himself sits on the throne. So you see how Christ is the message of the good news. Christ brings about the peace that we all long for. Like sheep without a shepherd, He feeds His flock. He leads us . . . that beautiful-, our favorite song, I think most of us, Psalm 23 that we hear in funerals, we hear again and again. “The Lord now is my shepherd,” and what’s the answer? I no longer want. So we see this beautiful fulfillment in Christ. Now we sometimes forget this, as Christians, as Catholics, we have our Lord, we have our king. But sometimes we go to those old wells, we try to find the perfect leader, the perfect God-man in another place. We’re reminded again and again to be humble, to come to Him, and He will give us rest.

So Christ is our fulfillment. The message of the gospel, the evangelical message that the apostles brought was not that there is some earthly kingdom, that we have . . . “Come, let’s make Him king.” Remember that Jesus after he multiplies the loaves, they want to make Him king, and He slips away. The message of the good news of Christ is not that He comes and He just teaches us to do good things, and be good things, and pay our taxes in the right way. Christ comes, and what does He offer us? God. He offers Himself for us. You say, “What is the response? This now, here and now. We start that longing, and we still strive to be satisfied in all these things. What is the answer? How do I say yes to that?” It’s here in this place. We come to the Lord our shepherd, He feeds us, He gives us His very body and blood. We say to Him in our prayer in our heart when we come to the mass faithfully, we say, “I need you. I love you. Feed me. Feed my soul. You’re my strength, my fortress. You’re my righteousness. Lord I need you.” As we continue this mass, we come close to Christ our king. He is the true shepherd. He longs for our souls and He will free us and give us rest.

Fr-Young :: “Agere Sequitur Esse” – Homily 15th Sunday OT 2015

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Readings at Mass


First reading Amos 7:12-15 ©
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, said to Amos, ‘Go away, seer;’ get back to the land of Judah; earn your bread there, do your prophesying there. We want no more prophesying in Bethel; this is the royal sanctuary, the national temple.’ ‘I was no prophet, neither did I belong to any of the brotherhoods of prophets,’ Amos replied to Amaziah ‘I was a shepherd, and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and the Lord who said, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”’

Psalm Psalm 84:9-14 ©
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
  a voice that speaks of peace,
  peace for his people.
His help is near for those who fear him
  and his glory will dwell in our land.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
Mercy and faithfulness have met;
  justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
  and justice look down from heaven.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
The Lord will make us prosper
  and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
  and peace shall follow his steps.
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and give us your saving help.
EITHER:

Second reading
Ephesians 1:3-14 ©
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.
Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ,
to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence,
determining that we should become his adopted sons, through Jesus Christ
for his own kind purposes,
to make us praise the glory of his grace,
his free gift to us in the Beloved,
in whom, through his blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins.
Such is the richness of the grace
which he has showered on us
in all wisdom and insight.
He has let us know the mystery of his purpose,
the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning
to act upon when the times had run their course to the end:
that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head,
everything in the heavens and everything on earth.
And it is in him that we were claimed as God’s own,
chosen from the beginning,
under the predetermined plan of the one who guides all things
as he decides by his own will;
chosen to be,
for his greater glory,
the people who would put their hopes in Christ before he came.
Now you too, in him,
have heard the message of the truth and the good news of your salvation,
and have believed it;
and you too have been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise,
the pledge of our inheritance
which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised.
Or cf.Ep1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia!
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 6:7-13 ©
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic.’ And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

Transcript “Agere Sequitur Esse” – Homily 15th Sunday OT 2015:

Today’s reading is to remind us of our divine adoption. We’re called as to be called God’s children, as His sons and daughters and also to bear witness in the world. As Christians, we are called to proclaim, evangelize about the Gospel. To witness to God’s love, mercy, salvation, revealed through Christ Jesus. The challenge we have as Christians, as you’ll hear me use this phrase often, that we are called to be Christians in the world, very much transforming the world. We’re not called to be of the world and there’s a distinction there.

A story, hopefully, that will help to illustrate this. Because sometimes in the world as Christians, we stop to put on the mind of Christ, we stop and we start to think moreso in the ways of the world, through even our ideas of what’s right and wrong, of how to live our lives. Well, there’s these two rivers in Europe. One is named the Rhône and one the Argeș. The Rhône is this beautiful, pure river with fresh, clean waters cascading down from snowcapped mountains.

The Argeș river, however, is a muddy waterway, wandering like a slimy, dirty, brown snake through the countryside. For many miles actually the rivers even run parallel, run right beside each other, and even when they finally merge, they come together but for awhile the clear, blue water on the one side and the muddy water on the other side stay apart and they run beside each other. Well, what do you think happens eventually? A little bit further down, that putrid, dark water of the Argeș consumes the pure brother and they too become dirty.

And that’s the sort of thing sometimes that happens. What do I mean? The more we move away from our source, just like that river analogy, the more we move away from that source, the more we encounter the things of the world. Sometimes we start to resemble more of the world than we do of what Christ has called us to. Even the purest, the most loving heart in any land, every, any generation can’t always stay pure very long. Working in most offices or places of work, attending most schools or going to college for the first couple of years, living in most communities, especially Nackenheim, right?

It’s hard not to just sorta get muddied with all the stuff we encounter daily. We begin just to take on the attitudes, the values of the society around us and often they are very opposing values. And the views of others and ourselves and even of God become distorted. That’s what I want to share with you today. As Christians, we of course are called to be, of course, in the world but remember our identity, our calling. For this, I want to reflect with you with. The world today needs an enlightenment of that. We need an evangelization. We need our eyes to be open again to our true calling, our mission here and now, and our final destination.

There’s a story of a young boy who had been blind from birth and he had just been operated on with a new procedure that allowed him to see for the first time. The parents were filled with joy and anticipating for the doctor to remove the patches from his eyes. And they were uncertain what his response would be, if he would be terrified or confused. The boy suddenly began to take it all in. All, everything he saw. Blinking his eyes. The colors and beauty around him. Full of excitement his parents said to him, “Why didn’t you tell me it was so beautiful?” This too is the work of the Evangelism.

In this story, we get so used to the things that are of God or of our faith that sometimes we forget to even tell the story anymore. Of who we are and this time, this period, more than anything, our young people, we need to hear an evangelism that enlightens our eyes again to our identity. We are beloved sons and daughters of God. We need this more than ever today. So what is the trouble then today if I keep saying today there’s a challenge with the way we see ourselves? The way we see truth and what is right or wrong in this world. Well, what is the cause of that? Okay, so right now your are going to put on your philosopher or philosophy thinking caps. Okay. And don’t worry, I don’t do this every week but you’re gonna get a little bit of history here of why our modern mind thinks in a particular way.

So there is this basic tenet in what’s called existential philosophy . . . which is just a fancy way of saying those that wonder about the truth of who we are, where we are going, and where we’re from . . . that’s existential philosophy. Why do I exist? Okay. You have asked that, so you’re a philosopher. Good. And there is this basic tenet that we invent ourselves. That existence precedes essence.

This is a new philosophy. For me, it’s a stupid philosophy but it’s the philosophy that’s underpinned everything that has happened in the last hundred years. Politically. Culturally. Socially. All these different moral discussions we have. This is existence precedes essence. What’s this mean? A key point for the modern mind is that our freedom is first not even freedom, just license. The ability to be able to choose whatever I want. This is the most important value for the modern philosopher, the modern mind. In other words, we choose. We decide. We decide who we will be. Who we will become. So existence, we exist but we choose and become who we want to be.

See, now you start to see why all these different moral things that come on, like where you hear the United Nations have declared there’s 32 different genders. And how do you determine what gender you are? Not male and female, but it’s what someone identifies themselves as. And 120 years ago, no one in their right mind would even thought that way. But now we just, that’s just pretty much commonplace. When we go to high school, say I mentioned last year I was at Holy Cross, or I go to my old high school, or I go to even when I was in school, just ten years ago. This is what most kids think. It’s like, “No.” It’s like, “Who am I to judge, you know? You just choose how you want to live. You identify, you can be whatever you want.” This mentality comes from bad philosophy and it’s also produced some bad fruit. But it’s important to know where this comes from. Who’s to blame? You say. Okay, who? Let’s get a lynch mob going. Who are we going to blame?

You can blame a French guy. Okay, his name is John Paul Sartre and he was in the beginning of the twentieth century. And he was, like most people who cause a lot of problems in the world, a really bad former Catholic and he became atheist. Sartre, John Paul said, “How about freedom?” Said, “If God exists, I can not be free. And I am free, therefore God cannot exist.” All wonderful. And most first year university students take one class of philosophy and they’ll get some Sartre, they get some Nietzsche. God is now dead. All that stuff, that’s not true philosophy. That’s garbage, okay?

Plato. Aristotle. Saint Thomas Aquinas. That’s philosophy, okay? This is where this comes from, unbridled freedom. I choose. I. If I am this, this, therefore I am. All this nonsense it comes and ultimately then God becomes an obstacle to my free will. My own happiness. Because God is this obstacle for me. There’s rules, there’s things that I should, I ought not to do. Right? And how frequently we begin to live our entire life with ourselves as the center of the world. It’s a ago ego drama. It’s the I world. Right? And you start to say, “Ah, yes, yes, yes.” You look, you go, “My grandkids or my teenage daughter.” Right? It’s all about them. Right? Well, guess what? You baby-boomers, you started it. Okay, so let’s not get into that. But it’s not all about us. This is not the Christian message. This is not the message from faith. So what is the response? What does God tell us about this reality? About who we are?

With this in mind, let’s look at the second reading of Saint Paul. He gives this answer. He goes to this city of Ephesus in Greece, which is still around today. It was this port city where it had all these different cultures and philosophy and intellectuals and tradesman. So it was a very educated group of people. And they would be asking these deep questions about existence. And he comes there and he doesn’t begin with saying, “You know, you’re called to blah, blah, blah.” He says first, “Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. To be holy and blameless before him in love.”

So the starting point, with this in mind, the starting point is this. The first focus is not on ourselves. It’s not an ego drama. It’s a feel drama. God loves us and knows us even before we are made. Even before, as Saint Paul says, before the foundation of the world. So God first calls us. This is an important lesson for us today. Saint Paul also talks about, Christ is the Lord, the Kairos. So those first century Christians, when they hear Kairos, they would have thought only of Caesar. They used to say Kaiser Kairos Caesar is the lord. But Saint Paul is saying, “No, there is one Lord. Christ is our Lord and God.”

So the first question, the first of two I leave you with today, is this. What is the great Lord of our life? If it’s anything short of Christ, if it’s anything short of God to be the first Lord, the first love of our life, everything becomes distorted. What of the things that we place above God, do they end up being some sort of Gods of our own making? Or is it Christ?

The second, which is really an important lesson for us to remember, is that we did not choose God first. God chose us in love. The modern trend and what I was kinda critiquing in that kind of modern culture, is that I choose. I make myself. So we have a whole generation of young people, we have multi-generations now, that are lost in this world. Okay. They are questioning, “Who am I? What am I about? Where am I going?” And the answers we give, the answers we give in a secular culture, a culture that’s sort of post-Sartre, is that you are what you are. Right? What you make of yourself.

And therefore that works well for selling stuff. Especially to young people who are empty inside or lost inside. To sell a lot of cool things, because we start to identify with what we wear, how we look, or how we’re esteemed amongst our peers. All these different things begin to creep in. You wonder why there are 40 to 50-year olds are on the news trying to figure out, why are all these teenage guys, why are all these young guys flocking around the world to fight for this Islamic State? You know, they’re playing for 15 years and they wanna go. Because they have no purpose. They don’t know who their identity is. And finally there’s this anti-Christ. There’s this movement that gives them a sense of belonging. Sense of identity. That’s why gangs are so popular amongst the youth everywhere, especially today. It’s because we don’t know who we are.

So back to that image I gave you earlier with the rivers. The further we move away from our source, eventually we get diluted. And so we have to remember, as Christians. of who we were made. Where did we come from? Then what are we called here to be? Here and now. And where we are called in the end to go. And when young people hear that message, it will inflame their hearts. But if we don’t give that message, we are just going down a dark path. Where we try to fill our lives with a whole bunch of things that don’t bring any meaning. This is the challenge for us today. And the second one is to take comfort. Right? That you are chosen. It’s not something I do for myself. God chose us first. He loves us. We are just needing to accept. To capitulate to that love. To surrender to God who loves us.

Jesus says, “It’s I who chose you. You did not choose me. I chose you first,” and so we can be at peace with that. That we can trust in Him. Friends, as we continue, we are reminded by Saint Paul again, in Him, we are chosen, we are destined, created according to His purpose, according to His will. Again, again, and again. In other words, he’s simply saying, “It’s not you, not you, not you. It’s not all about you.” It’s not all about Father Jepia [SP]. It’s about Him. It’s about Christ. So we do that when we come to the mass. We tap in, if you will, that fresh water. We are reminded of who we were. The water that fed us and washed us in baptism. We’re nurtured in Christ Jesus’s body and blood. And we know that, here and now, we can fulfill our mission in this world. We know where we came from. We also know our final destination. And that is to become saints one day. Amen.

Totus Tuus ego sum Maria