Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today's Mass Readings



I love it when the a daily reading from Mass is one that has a special meaning. But today both the first reading and the Gospel were passages that have meaning for me. The first reading , 2 Timothy 2:8-15 contains our Bishop's Episcopal Motto "The word of God is not chained" and the Gospel Mark 12:28-34 included the "Two Great Commandments", "The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

The first is meaningful because it is our Bishop's Episcopal Motto. If it means enough to a "Successor to the Apostles" to make it his motto then it should probably be a passage that I contemplate, perhaps I would learn something. The second from the Gospel is a great passage that I find really simplifies what I need to focus on during an examination of conscience.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Readings from Trinity Sunday

I am always interested in how the readings at Mass come together to form a cohesive teaching and theme. All though most of the time I try to find it on my own by reading them before Mass the connection is more often than not lost on me. That is when I rely on either the Missal (or some form of it) or the priests homily to point it out. I always get it, I just sometimes need some help. After all, I am not a biblical scholar and let's be honest there is a whole lot of background, cultural anomalies and "you had to be there"'s going on most of the time to make the connections. So when I do make that connection, when I can see the cohesiveness on my own, I get kind of excited. 


That happened  this Sunday and because this last Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Trinity the homily focused on the mystery of the Trinity. Almost any commentary to be found on Sunday's Mass was focused on that as well.  There was also an underlying connection in the readings that really points to the joy of the Christian life. 


It begins with Dt 4:32-34, 39-40. Moses poses questions and gives examples pointing out how God choose the Israelite people to be His people and all of the things that God did for them. This begins setting up how wonderful it is to be a people of God. It moves from there to the Psalm (from Psalm 33) and the response "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own." Again, showing what a wonderful thing it is to be a people of God. 


The readings move on to the New Testament and point out what is possibly the greatest message of the Gospel. The best of the Good News if you will. In the Gospel reading (Mt 28:16-20) Jesus gives the Great Commission to his Apostles to go and make people from every nation a people of God through the Sacrament of Baptism. Now anyone who wants to be counted among the people of God can be. It is no longer just the nation of Israel. But it gets even better, because as the Paul teaches in the reading from Romans (8:14-17) in this baptism we are not just a people of God but children of God. If it was great and blessed and awesome to be a people of God, how much more to be children of God!