Meeting Christ in the Liturgy

ORDINARY TIME, Sundays 2-11, Year B
1997, 2000, 2003

Select cycle here

SUNDAYS 2 - 4

SUNDAYS 5 - 7

SUNDAYS 8 - 11

SUNDAYS 2 - 4


SECOND Sunday
1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 40;
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
St. John the Baptist, the first to preach Christ, the last and greatest of the prophets, could not contain himself and cried out "Behold, the Lamb of God!" to the two disciples with whom he stood. (John 1:35, RSV CE) Truly filled with the Holy Spirit, St. John overflows with the divine love in which he shares, a love which seeks ever to pour itself out and embrace every soul. He cannot help but shout aloud the fantastic news of salvation in Christ, the perfect paschal Lamb who will offer himself in the perfect sacrifice of the Cross.

The two disciples, having heard the Word proclaimed, are capable in faith of recognizing the Lord as "Rabbi", teacher, with the humility of authentic discipleship. They follow the Lord, as he invites them to "come and see" the place where he stays.

One of these two among the first disciples was St. Andrew. He too, filled with the Holy Spirit and unable to keep the news of the Messiah to himself, "first found his brother Simon, and said to him, 'We have found the Messiah' (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus." (John 1:41-42). The missionary impulse, the desire to proclaim Christ with burning charity for the salvation of others which we see in Saints John and Andrew, is at the core of the Christian message, and has been present from the beginning.

In recent remarks the Holy Father spoke of the missionary impulse of authentic faith, seeking to spread itself, and of the work of the Church for the Jubilee Year 2000. Evangelization, he said, is the normal way in which the Church makes the light of Christ visible to the world. This light - "of love, of truth, of beauty" - cannot be imposed by force but must "illumine the spirit and attract the heart". Evangelization flows from the Eucharist which is the center and the nourishment of the Church's missionary activity. The Holy Father speaks of the supernatural desire of those who love Christ to preach the Gospel and to lead others to meet Christ in the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist.

The Church teaches that the faithful cannot be silenced, that the impulse to spread the Gospel, to proclaim Christ as Messiah, is not an option, but rather an obligation. The Church is not "catholic", not universal, if the Church is not also missionary. " 'Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men': 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age.' (Matthew 28:19-20) " (CCC 849) Christ has commanded that the Church grow to embrace all peoples, languages and cultures. God's love is satisfied only by reaching out to every single human being.

There are some Christians who have the odd idea that it is somehow an imposition upon others to speak of one's faith in public places, in schools, at work, in the marketplace. The truth is quite the opposite. From the beginning authentic Christians did not hesitate to proclaim Christ as Lord in word and action. The host of martyrs who have the illuminated the way for the Church for nearly two millennia witness to this by their blood. You and I are not Christians in the authentic, wholehearted, sense unless we receive from Christ the fire of His love which cannot be stamped out, and which seeks to spread itself and to consume other souls in a conflagration which will light the way to salvation for all the world.

Let the Church's preparation for the two thousandth anniversary of the Incarnation be the opportunity to discover and practice a love which is an undeniable sign of and sharing in God's own love. Preach, teach and live Christ. Do not keep the Messiah a secret. If you truly have his love, you will speak of him. You will not be able to keep silent.

"Come and see; we have found the Messiah!"

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick (Publish with permission.)


THIRD Sunday of the Year
Jonah 3:1-5.10; Psalm 25;
1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The kingdom of God is at hand for each of us as, members of His one Body, we meet Christ as Redeemer in his Church.

" 'Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying :"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in the gospel." '(Mark 1:14-15) 'To carry out the will of the Father Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth.' (Lumen Gentium 3) Now the Father's will is 'to raise up men to share in his own divine life.' (LG 2) He does this by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, 'on earth the seed and beginning of that kingdom.' (Lumen Gentium 5)" (CCC 541) The constant work, "leitourgos", which Christ has ordained for the Church is the liturgy. This work makes the kingdom present for the renewal and conversion of Christians and of all mankind.

Within the Church Christ calls all men to conversion, as the unfolding and growth of baptismal grace. "Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-15). In the Church's preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism (Acts 2:38) that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life." (CCC 1427)

Perhaps you have been asked, "Are you saved? Have you been born again?" For the Catholic who follows the fullness of the Gospel message the answer is a resounding "Yes!" In John 3:3 the Lord teaches that "unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The Greek word translated as "anew" or "again" has two meanings: "again and again and again" and "from above". The Catholic Christian is called, then, to be born again each and every day by communion with the Savior in prayer, in the communio of the Church, by communion with the Savior in Confession and, in the liturgy, the proclamation of the Word and the Holy Eucharist. The purpose of the sacramental life in Christ is the purification and upbuilding of baptismal grace in each Christian and in the whole Church, "again and again", each day, and "from above", in the Holy Spirit who is from above.

"Christ's call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, 'clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.' (Lumen Gentium 8, art.3) This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a 'contrite heart,' drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first. (Psalm 51:17; John 6:44; 12:32; 1 John 4:10)" (CCC 1428)

Rather than allowing the scandal of sin and the problem of evil to dishearten us, should these not rather impel us more urgently to attend to that personal conversion for which we join in the work of worship?

Jesus Christ, "the same yesterday, today and forever", calls us to meet him where he may be found, in Word and Sacrament, so that in our conversion of heart we may have the perfect antidote to hopelessness, the "pearl of great price": the kingdom within.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick


FOURTH Sunday
Deuteronomy 18, 15-20; Psalm 95; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28

Jesus the Lord is Christ, for he is anointed, as with oil, by God the Father with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is Christ and Lord because he is God and Man and in him Man is perfectly reconciled to God,; God's salvation is made completely available to all men. This work continues each day in the sacramental liturgy of the Church, the perfect offering of Christ mad visible and present in the midst of His Body, the Church.

Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed,' 'he who was anointed' and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed.' The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing."(St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres., 3, 18, 3:PG 7 / 1, 934.) His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power," "that he might be revealed to Israel" (Acts 10:38; Jn 1:31) as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God." (Mark 1:24; John 6:69; Acts 3:14) (CCC 438)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/

For further reading on today' Gospel, see also these paragraphs in the CCC: 1673, 2173)


FIFTH Sunday
Job 7:1-4. 6-7; Psalm 147;
1 Corinthians 9:16-19.22-23; Mark 1:29-39

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him followed him, and they found him and said to him, 'Every one is searching for you.' "(Mark 1:35-37)

All of mankind is searching for Christ. Our destiny from the beginning of time is God our Creator, and we do find him if, like Simon Peter and those who were with him, we stand ready to abandon our comforts, our plans and dreams, to follow him.

The great witness of Peter and the other Apostles, the first priests of Jesus Christ, is that they followed the Lord heroically, going even with him into the "lonely place" of celibate life, and abandoning mother and father, sisters and brothers, wife and children, to follow the vocation to which Christ called them. Sacrificing the human companionship of marriage and family life is not a cold and empty place if there is found in it a marriage to Christ's beautiful and radiant bride, the Church. Celibacy in Christ is a sign and a motive of charity, a powerful witness of the command to "seek ye first the kingdom of God". For two millennia men have followed Christ in the heroic life of the ministerial priesthood, not to reject the joys and consolations of human marriage, but to marry the Church and to be fathers, raising up sons and daughters who will live forever in the true marriage feast of the Lamb in heaven. The Faith has been preached to the remotest corners of the earth, from the Apostles to the missionaries of today, because of joyful and confident acceptance on the part of men and women religious, as well as priests, to share in Christ's all-consuming mission to die to self in accomplishing the Father's will.

The unchaste cannot comprehend or appreciate the jewel of celibacy, which radiates within the Church of Christ. For countless souls it is a magnificent source of attraction to Christ and his Gospel. Celibacy is holy because made holy by the example of the God-Man, and a gift which the Church preserves and protects as a grace which gives fruitfulness to the Bride of Christ in raising up new members. The gift of celibacy is an irreplaceable sign of God's love, for by it the priest is freed to be radically available and open to every man and woman in generous service. The man or woman religious is prepared each day to follow Christ wholeheartedly, instruments of God's compassion through free service of mankind.

"All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate 'for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.' (Mt 19:12) Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to 'the affairs of the Lord,' (1 Cor 7:32) they give themselves entirely to God and to men. Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church's minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God." (CCC 1579)

The priest of Jesus Christ is a man of God whose whole way of life proclaims that the Lord is his portion and his inheritance. The priest is an undeniable sign to the world of the calling of every creature to the eternal life with God that is threatened by man's sinful rejection of God.

In accepting the gift of celibacy the priest is better equipped to act in persona Christi, for by it he is freed, as was Christ, to dedicate himself more generously to the preaching of the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins and the worthy celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

St. Augustine describes a conflict we all face in The City of God between two loves: the love of God to the point of disregarding self, and the love of self to the point of disregarding God. Mankind is in constant danger of forgetting that this life and its joys, such as marriage, will end, and that we cannot be happy or fulfilled unless we look to the kingdom for the fullness of joy where we will behold the source of all beatitude, our heavenly Father, face to face.

The celibate priest, and any man or woman who foregoes the earthly joys of marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, disregards himself for more perfect love of God. He is a help to men as he walks the paths of this earth in solidarity with every child of God, married or single, religious or lay, young or old. His celibacy is not sterile but rather most fruitful. The priest is ordained to give the grace of the sacraments, but his celibacy plays a role as well. Radically available to everyone who calls upon him, the priest is an effective and credible witness who shows by his life that the aching for love in every restless human heart is satisfied when the heart rests in God.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick ( Publish with permission.) www.christusrex.org/www1.mcitl/


SUNDAYS 6 - 9


SIXTH Sunday
Leviticus 13, 1-2. 44-46; Psalm 32; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45

"Go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded." (Mark 1, 44)

Some say that priesthood is a creation of the Church and that Christ did not intend to make a priesthood. Here he acknowledges the Levitical priesthood, which he raised up and made perfect by his own sacrifice, creating an eternal priesthood which shall not pass away. The bodily healing of the stain of leprosy is a sign of the perfect healing of redemption made once for all by Christ the High Priest.

The one priesthood of Christ
Everything that the priesthood of the Old Covenant prefigured finds its fulfillment in Christ Jesus, the "one mediator between God and men." (1 Tim 2:5) The Christian tradition considers Melchizedek, "priest of God Most High," as a prefiguration of the priesthood of Christ, the unique "high priest after the order of Melchizedek'; (Heb 5:10; cf. 6:20; Gen 14:18) "holy, blameless, unstained," (Heb 7:26) "by a single offering he has forever perfected for all time those who are sanctified," (Heb 10:14) that is, by the unique sacrifice of the cross. (CCC 1544)

The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Hebr. 8, 4) (CCC 1545)
(Paragraph numbers indicate reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/
For further reading on today' Gospel, see also these paragraphs in the CCC: 1546 and following.)


SEVENTH Sunday
Isaiah 43, 18-19. 21-22. 24-25; Psalm 41; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22; Mark 2: 1-12

The scribes learned their catechism very well: "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Mark 2: 7)
Alas, today many people have no problem believing that they can forgive their own sins. And they do so. Any Catholic who goes for years without benefit of the sacrament of Confession must believe so, for as John teaches, "he who says he is without sin is a liar." Catholics at Mass go to Communion in large numbers without first discerning through an examination of conscience whether or not they are spiritually prepared to do so. To receive the Body and Blood of Christ while conscious of serious sin is a sacrilege. The Sacrament of Confession is the means commanded by Christ for the forgiving of serious sins. To reject the Sacrament of Confession is to reject the divinity of Christ and Christ Himself. Christ has been revealed that we may believe totally in him, that we may totally follow him. Salvation comes to us through the acceptance of love of the whole Christ, in all His Sacraments, in the whole Gospel, not just those parts that we find personally appealing.

The Eucharist and Confession together work toward the salvation of souls.

By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins -- that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church. (CCC 1395)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick (Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/
For further reading on today' Gospel, see also these paragraphs in the CCC: 1422 and following.)


EIGHTH Sunday
Hosea 2, 16-17. 21-22; Psalm 103; 2 Corinthians 3:1-6; Mark 2: 18-22

The Church is the bride of Christ, which he has purified and made holy. The bond between Christ and his Church can never be broken. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. Marriage is merely a sign for this most perfect and inviolable of bonds.

The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship.. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. The theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist. (John 3:29) The Lord referred to himself as the "bridegroom." (Mark 2:19) The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride "betrothed" to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him. (Cf. Matthew 22:1-14; 25: 1-13; 1 Corinthians 6: 15-17; 2 Corinthians 11:2)
(CCC 796)

Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ' (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter." (Acts of the Trial of Joan of Arc) (CCC 795)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/
(For more reading on the Church see CCC 748 and following.)


NINTH Sunday
Deuteronomy 5, 12-15; Psalm 81; 2 Corinthians 4:6-11; Mark 2: 23- 3: 6


What was the relationship between Jesus and Israel? Why did the scribes and pharisees attack Christ so violently and seek to kill him?

"From the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, certain Pharisees and partisans of Herod together with priests and scribes agreed together to destroy him. (Cf. Mark 3:6; 14:1) Because of certain of his acts--expelling demons, forgiving sins, healing on the sabbath day, his novel interpretation of the precepts of the Law regarding purity, and his familiarity with tax collectors and public sinners (Cf. Matthew12:24; Mark 2:7, 14-17; 3: 1-6; 7: 14-23) -- some ill-intentioned persons suspected Jesus of demonic possession. (Cf. Mark 3:22; Jn 8:48; 10:20) He is accused of blasphemy and false prophecy, religious crimes which the Law punished with death by stoning." (Cf. Mark 2:7; Jn 5:18; John 7:12; 7:52; 8:59; 10:31, 33)

The conflict between God and worldly authority we see in scripture continues to day in those who attack the Church. Just as the Apostles did we must give thanks for being worthy to "suffer for the sake of the Name" of Jesus Christ. The more the Church is configured to Christ, the more the Church will suffer the attacks of all those who deny the truth of Scripture and tradition which she has faithfully taught from the beginning in the Holy Spirit.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/

(For more reading on the Church see CCC 574, 581, 582, 591, 1859, 2167, 2173, and following.)


SUNDAYS 10 - 12


TENTH Sunday

Genesis 3:9-15; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35

Brethren in Christ,
We interrupt the customary greeting to bring you the following important message: "Who are my mother and my brethren? Here are my mother and my brethren! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister and mother." (Mark 3, 33-35) Obedience makes us the family of God!

Should the scriptural concept of "brethren", which in this case means cousins (see CCC 500), be rejected because other words better express the truth about man created by God as male and female? It may certainly be true that for some members of the Body of Christ certain forms of address are seen to exclude. In authentic Christianity, however, differences of opinion, some very legitimate, are never more urgent for the Body of Christ than the essential unity of our one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Language excludes only those who place a higher priority upon words and a lower priority upon the truth which those words are used to express. We are all "brethren" of Christ, his brothers, sisters and mothers, when we do the will of God.

In today's Gospel good is likewise called evil. Christ is accused of working with the devil in exorcising the people of possession by demons. "He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons." (Mark 3, 22) But even the devil requires unity, for he must have the obedience of the demons in order to do his malicious work. "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (Mark 3, 23-24) Christ points out the sinfulness of those who further the devil's work of division by attacking his good works, "for they had said, 'he has an unclean spirit.' " (Mark 3, 30) "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." (Mark 3, 28-29). By calling evil good and good evil one sins against the Holy Spirit through whom all good comes. Attacking the unity of the Church by distorting or changing the words, prayers, actions or signs of the liturgy brings disunion and division and can never be called "good". The liturgy belongs to the whole Church and is not the province of one or a few. Worship "in spirit and in truth" is obedient to the norms of the liturgy.

Unity is brought about by one people who profess and proclaim one Word of God and who worship God according to the one Eucharist. The Church preserves unity by guarding the Scriptures and the liturgy for the sake of unity. Our unity is essential and is made a reality by Christ, not by choice of words or language. We are brethren when and as we are obedient to God's will for unity in the Church by the power of the Spirit, the Lord and giver of life. The Holy Spirit, poured out at Pentecost, is given to those who obey God. Those who obey the charism of unity are blessed by the Holy Spirit of love.

For the sake of unity we are willing to sacrifice our preferences for language or custom, time or place and devote ourselves generously to the perfect expression of our unity: the liturgy, the "public work" of the People of God. When in Rome Catholics from every nation under heaven are able, in a beautiful expression of the unity of the Church, to pray together. They do so in Latin, the language of our Roman Rite. This tongue, though foreign to some, becomes in the liturgy a good for all because it is the language by which oneness is proclaimed and made visible.
By mandating the what and how of the liturgy the Church sacrifices the preferences of individuals for the sake of holy unity. Unity in the liturgy, for example through vernacular translation faithful to the Latin norm, expresses the perfection that Christ has given to his bride, the Church, in making her one and universal. The one faith in Christ is proclaimed most compellingly throughout the world today in those places where the liturgy is preserved as an authentic expression of the universal Church. Evangelism starts with authentic liturgy.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/

(For further reading on today's Gospel see also the following paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 500, 539, 548, 574, 1864 .)


ELEVENTH Sunday
Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 91; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

Brethren in Christ,

When you prayed in public last, did you make the sign of the cross, and did you look around to see if anyone noticed?
When you witness in action to the Gospel by prayer you become the fertile soil in which the Kingdom takes root. Your witness to the Kingdom will be undeniable. Such is of the Kingdom of God which all may see and so find shelter under its spreading branches.

The seed is the Word of God. When the Word takes root the Kingdom grows. We are called upon receiving the Word to meditate upon it in prayer so that it way take root in us and bear fruit in joy and virtue. The Catechism teaches the principles of meditation.

"Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking. The required attentiveness is difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books, and Christians do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history--the page on which the 'today' of God is written. (CCC 2705)

"To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: 'Lord, what do you want me to do?" (CCC 2706)

There are as many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower.' (Mark 4:4-7, 15-19) But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: Christ Jesus. (CCC 2707)

The principles of Christian prayer rule out some Eastern forms of meditation, sometimes called 'centering prayer' which deny the Incarnational aspect of prayer in which Christ sanctifies the whole person, thoughts, words, and actions. All of one's gifts are to be used in authentic prayer, including mental reflection. To attempt to escape one's thoughts in prayer, to attempt to escape the self in any way, is to deny the offering of that gift to God in prayer.

"Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him." (CCC 2708)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick

(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/

(For further reading on today's Gospel see also the following paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 546, 2707.)