Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34) These are the words of today’s Gospel message for us to ponder throughout this week. Our opening song drives this point home: “Take up your cross, the Savior said, if you would my disciple be; deny yourself, the world forsake, and humbly follow after me” (Take Up Your Cross). It is likewise echoed in our song at the presentation of the gifts (Only This I Want): “Only this I want: but to know the Lord, and to bear his cross, so to wear the crown he wore.” During Communion, our second song ta
Marvels of Mass
What is the Anointing of the Sick? On the First Saturday of the month at the daily morning mass, this sacrament is celebrated, but what is it really? The following is taken from various parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick. Through the anointing with the blessed oil of the sick, the Church supports those who struggle against illness or injury and continues this healing work of Christ.
Our liturgies open with a song of praise, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” exalting God’s greatness over all of creation. It ends with a beautiful reminder for us – “everywhere that I can be, Thou, God, are present there.” Yes, everywhere we can be, God is present.
We begin our readings this weekend with a reading from the Book of Joshua. We hear the wonderful verse: ‘As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’ (Joshua 24: 15). This verse was also sung about in our opening song, “God, We Praise You”. The text for this hymn is Te Deum laudamus in Latin; in English “Thee, O God, we praise”. It is a hymn of praise – “God, we praise you! God, we bless you! God, we name you sovereign Lord.” Yes, ‘as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’ That’s what we proclaimed at the very beginning of our mass.
Once again today we hear from the “Bread Discourses” from the Gospel of John. We continue to learn how Christ is the Bread of Life and this week expounds on the idea of what else would we do or where would we go if we don’t choose to follow Him.
As we continue the Bread of Life discourses for the Gospel this weekend, I thought I’d put in a little bit of the teachings on the Eucharist from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. So many of us never receive any type of education surrounding our Catholic faith after high school, or perhaps even Confirmation. The Catechism is such a good resource for all to learn about what we believe or to re-invigorate our faith.
III. THE EUCHARIST IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION
The signs of bread and wine
Seeing that we are into the Bread of Life Discourses in the Gospel of John, I decided to write a little about the invitation to Communion that we hear at each Mass:
The invitation to Communion is the prayer that is said immediately following the Lamb of God, and precedes the reception of Communion at Mass.
The priest begins this prayer, saying:
“Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”
This weekend begins what is often referred to as the ‘Bread of Life discourses’ in the Gospel of John. Yes, we’ve switched from the Gospel of Mark to John for a few weeks (remember that the Gospel of Mark is rather short in comparison to the other three, so we get a few weeks from other gospels in this cycle of Year B.) If you’re interested, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has put out a resource on their website for reflection on the next 5 weeks on the ‘Bread of Life discourses’ with sample homilies that would be a good reflection each week:
Last weekend in the Gospel, Christ sent the apostles out to preach to others.
This past week, I've done a couple presentations regarding an upcoming pilgrimage to Rome in 2019 - both for musicians and parishioners. I am so excited about this trip that I think I'll just write about it for this column!