meeting Christ in the liturgy library

 

Select Mass here

Season of PENTECOST

10th through 17th Sundays after Pentecost

 

10th Sunday after Pentecost

11th Sunday after Pentecost

12th Sunday after Pentecost

13th Sunday after Pentecost

14th Sunday after Pentecost

15th Sunday after Pentecost

16th Sunday after Pentecost

17th Sunday after Pentecost

 

10th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 12. 2-11; Gospel: St. Luke 18. 9-14

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Have you met those who scorn worshippers as hypocrites? Are you scandalized by the heinous sins of the Church's members? Have you been tempted to doubt the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church after the revelations of the misdeeds of bishops and priests? You then know for yourself what it was that drove those "who prided themselves on being just men and despised everyone else." (Luke 19, 8) The sin of pride blinds those in its tight grip to that which should concern them most: their own sins which alone deserve their attention as the sole obstacle to attaining the glory of heaven.

Jesus scandalized the Pharisees by eating with tax collectors and sinners as familiarly as with themselves. (Cf. Luke 5:30; 7:36; 11:37; 14:1) Against those among them "who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others," Jesus affirmed :"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Luke 18:9; 5:32; cf. John 7:49; 9:34) He went further by proclaiming before the Pharisees that, since sin is universal, those who pretend not to need salvation are blind to themselves. (Cf. John 8:33-36; 9:40-41) (CCC 588)

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/

(See also CCC 2559, 2613, 2631, 2667, 2839)


11th Sunday after Pentecost 

Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15. 1-10; Gospel: St. Mark 7. 31-37

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech...And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears , and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. (St. Mark 7. 32-35.)

The Gospels are filled with the evidence of the sacramental system initiated by Christ. As incarnate God he uses physical reality, the gifts of God's creation, as signs to bear the grace of supernatural life. All of creation is wrapped up in the proclamation of redemption.

In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. (Cf. St. Luke 8. 10.) He performs healings and illustrates his preaching with physical signs or symbolic gestures. (Cf. St. John 9:6; St. Mark 7:33 ff.; 8:22 ff.) He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant, above all to the Exodus and the Passover, (Cf. St. Luke 9:31; 22:7-20.) for he himself is the meaning of all these signs. (CCC 1151)

In the Baptismal ritual the priest continues this ordering of creation as a sign of salvation when he repeats the blessing "Ephphatha! Be opened!" over the ears and mouth of the newly baptized child. May the Lord open our ears to truly hear the Gospel and our mouths to proclaim our faith to the glory of God the Father.

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

See also CCC 1151, 1504.

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



 

12th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 3. 4-9; Gospel: St. Luke 10. 23-37

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our burden and privilege as Christians is to be held to the very highest standards of conduct in thought, word and deed: the standard of the virtue of charity. The charity of the Samaritan made him pleasing in God's eyes. though to Jews he was a heretic and an outcast, judged to be condemned. The priest, a leader and holy man among the Jewish people fell short in God's eyes, for he was without charity.

Christ died out of love for us, while we were still "enemies." (Romans 5:10) The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself. (Cf. Matthew 5:44; Luke 10: 27-37; Mark 9:37; Matthew 25:40, 45.) (CCC 1825)

We must love all, including our enemies, and must pray for them or we are without charity and therefore without God's love. Let us begin now the regular practice of prayer for our enemies that the doors of heaven may not be shut against us.

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

See also CCC 1293, 2083, 2603, 2822

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


13th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: Galatians 3. 16-22; Gospel: St. Luke 17. 11-19

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Jesus cures ten, but only one returns to give thanks. "Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they? No one, it seems, has come back to give glory to God but this foreigner."

The teaching of Christ here is not about the healing of the flesh, it is of a far greater and more precious gift: the grace of God in faith in Christ Jesus. God's gift of faith in the Son of Man is poured out freely for all, regardless of race. The working of his grace is seen here in the gratitude of the Samaritan. He who was thought to be socially repulsive, and an outcast even before he contracted leprosy, shows the dignity of faith in returning to give thanks to Christ. "Rise, and go your way, your faith has saved you."

How often do our prayers turn to the theme of thanksgiving to God? Or does our concern for present needs and wants cloud our remembrance of past gifts and blessings?

Thanksgiving characterizes the prayer of the Church which, in celebrating the Eucharist, reveals and becomes more fully what she is. Indeed, in the work of salvation, Christ sets creation free from sin and death to consecrate it anew and make it return to the Father, for his glory. The thanksgiving of the members of the Body participates in that of their Head. (CCC 2637)

As in the prayer of petition, every event and need can become an offering of thanksgiving. The letters of St. Paul often begin and end with thanksgiving, and the Lord Jesus is always present in it: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"; "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." (1 Thess 5:18; Col 4:2) (CCC 2638)

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/


14th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: Galatians 5. 16-24; Gospel: St. Matthew 6. 24-33

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The sin of idolatry, condemned by our Lord in the Gospel today, begins in the overweening concern for things, for money, for other persons. Any person, place or thing which we admit to first place in our lives becomes an idol, for the first place in our hearts, mind and souls belongs to God alone.

Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24) Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast" (Cf. Revelation 13-14) refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God." (Origen, Contra Celsum 2, 40: PG 11, 861.) (CCC 2113)

The Lord gives us a practical rule of life in order that we may successfully avoid the sin of idolatry while at the same time living in harmony with the beauty of creation and having our natural needs fulfilled: "Seek first the kingdom of God and his service and all these things will be given you as well.' (Matthew 6, 33)

Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God." (CCC 2114)

Not only our spiritual integrity and eternity depends upon the true worship of the true God, but our sanity and worldly happiness as well.

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

See also CCC 305, 1942, 2113, 2424, 2848)

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


15th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: Galatians 5. 25-26; 6. 1-10. Gospel: St. Luke 7. 11-16

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the Gospels we meet Christ the physician. Do we seek him as physician of our bodies only? Has he become for us a mere earthly Messiah?

Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that :God has visited his people" (Lk 7:16; cf. Mt 4:24) and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; (Cf. Mk 2: 5-12) he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. (Cf. Mk 2:17) His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited me." (Mt 25:36) His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them. (CCC 1503)

While the Church continues Christ's ministry to the sick in many forms, such as hospitals and hospices for the dying, these works never take first place ahead of the ministry of Christ to forgive. Such is the reason that in the sacrament of anointing of the sick, the priest offers first the opportunity for confession to the ill or dying.

Just as he fled from those who sought to carry him off to make him king, so too, those who seek Christ in prayer for succor only from their earthly sufferings miss his true coming as Yeshua, "he who saves his people from their sins". Our greatest disease and suffering is death, brought into the world by sin. Do we seek him in prayer first for forgiveness? Do we humbly face our sins and seek contrition and confession? This is first and greatest meaning of "go and sin no more, your faith has healed you."

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

(See also CCC 994)

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


16th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: Ephesians 3. 13-21; Gospel: St. Luke 14. 1-11

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"Which of you, having an ass or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a sabbath day?"

The Pharisees "were watching" the Lord in order to trap him breaking the laws and so discredit him, and when they saw him cure the man with dropsy on the Sabbath, he knew their hearts and challenged them in this way. The Lord recalls the Pharisees to the authentic understanding of the law which would have easily enabled them to understand Christ's actions on the Sabbath. He shows how God's laws of mercy and aid to those in need has a higher authority than a corrupt interpretation of law which would tolerate injustice toward men while allowing exceptions for animals. These Pharisees and other leaders of the people would not have hesitated to save an animal on which their livelihood depended on the Sabbath, but hypocritically would have shrunk from helping a fellow man in need.

In our own day we have many organizations fighting to save every endangered species with the exception of the most endangered and the most precious species of all: the child in the womb. Married couples dote over a dog or cat as if it were their "child", often calling it such, while engaging in anti-life practices in order to avoid conceiving a human child created in God's image, or to kill a child already conceived. But there is room in their lives and hearts only for pet animals and not for a child with which God is prepared to bless them.

Man in great measure today has made his own laws and vociferously enforces obedience to such measures. For these God's holy and immutable laws are non-existent or forgotten.

...Jesus issued a solemn warning in which he presented God's law, given on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the New Covenant:

Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 5: 17-19) (CCC 577)

We are called in Christ to fulfill the law, and to keep the commandments which call us to reverence human life above all other life, to worship and obey God alone, in particular through the Sunday liturgy. We must remain steadfast and resolute in a lawless age in order that we may be called "great in the kingdom of heaven."

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

(See also CCC 575, 582, 588)

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


17th Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle: Ephesians 4. 1-6; Gospel: St. Matthew 22. 34-46

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The peace of Christ be with you!
St. John of the Cross zealously pursued the reform of the Church through the Carmelite order. He called for a return to simplicity and poverty in an age that glorified materialism and worldly fashion. He placed his love of God first and spurned human respect, risking violent attacks and even death. His single-mindedness, prayer and holy example won the day.
Today we encounter Christ in conversation with a lawyer who has asked him a question: 'Which commandment in the Law is the greatest?' This worldly man needed to learn the preference for Christ over this world. He asks, not in order to learn, but in a malicious plot to trap Christ and destroy him. Out of this malicious intention Christ brings forth the beautiful gift of the "greatest commandment": "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Mt 22:37-40)
The Decalogue, the ten commandments, must be interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:

The commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.' (Rom 13:9-10)(CCC 2250)

We also read, "The word 'Decalogue' means literally 'ten words.'(Ex 34:28; Deut 4:13; 10:4)(CCC 2056) "Jesus summed up man's duties toward God in this saying: 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'(Mt 22:37) This immediately echoes the solemn call: 'Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD.'(Deut 6:4) "God has loved us first. The love of the One God is recalled in the first of the 'ten words.' The commandments then make explicit the response of love that man is called to give to his God." (CCC 2083)

The misery index is way up in today's world, all the experts agree. Family breakups, murders, cheating, stealing, lying; all are present reminders that despite the predictions of many, man's lot is not improving. What is needed, of course, is love and concern for neighbor. On that many also agree. But the confusion enters the scene when all the experts convene to find the solution to the problem. For Christians, followers of a revealed religion, no committee is necessary. We worship and obey the Triune God, who has spoken the "words" that will bring us goodness, peace, and love. Man's inhumanity to man must be attacked, but all efforts are impotent without the first step: love of God.
Each man and woman must give first place to God and the kingdom, in love and obedience, and this is spelled out in the first commandment. Reverence is the outward manifestation of that love. The "sense of the sacred" is not optional for the Christian. It must be practiced and improved each day. If we do not reverence the Lord, we cannot with sincerity say that we love him. And so we utter his holy name in prayer and praise, and never in vain. And we acknowledge his true and real presence in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.

"Are these feelings of fear and awe Christian feelings or not?...I say this, then, which I think no one can reasonably dispute. They are the class of feelings we should have - yes, have to an intense degree - if we literally had the sight of Almighty God; therefore they are the class of feelings which we shall have, if we realize His presence. In proportion as we believe that He is present, we shall have them." (John Henry Cardinal Newman) (CCC 2144) ?

A good first step, and a practical one, would be to follow the prescribed practice in the liturgy of bowing the head at the name of the Holy Trinity, Jesus, our Lady and the saint of the day. This is a custom of the Church, but one which is not being handed down to our children. Another practical step is a genuflection prior to receiving our Lord in Communion, according to the strong recommendation of our bishops, in those places where Communion is not received while kneeling. With these signs of our love we can witness to others, and start a revolution of God's love in the world.

Let's pray for each other until, again next week, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Fr. Cusick
(Publish with permission.) http://www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/