- Sunday Readings with Reflection and Questions (at end of e-mail)
- How a New York Catholic School Hopes to Transform Education for Children with Disabilities (Diocesan News and Beyond)
- Pope and Cardinals Speak About Kneeling (Catholic Websites of the Week under laptop)
Catholic Good News
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying,
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done."
When one is at the Holy Mass, they kneel from the conclusion of the Holy, Holy, Holy to the conclusion of the Great Amen and after the Lamb of God. This has been given by the Pope and received by the U.S. Bishops in the 2007 directives for the Mass (IGRM [GIRM] #43).
Why do we do this and why do we sometimes kneel when we privately pray? Let Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explain it:
“Kneeling does not come from any culture — it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy.” - The Spirit of the Liturgy
So kneeling comes to us from God by way of revelation in the Sacred Scripures (Holy Bible). But why is it so important? The Pope Emeritus continues:
“The two aspects are united in the one word, because in a very profound way they belong together. When kneeling becomes merely external, a merely physical act, it becomes meaningless. On the other hand, when someone tries to take worship back into the purely spiritual realm and refuses to give it embodied form, the act of worship evaporates, for what is purely spiritual is inappropriate to the nature of man. Worship is one of those fundamental acts that affect the whole man. That is why bending the knee before the presence of the living God is something we cannot abandon.” - The Spirit of the Liturgy
So he highlights that for worship to be real it must be on our hearts spiritually AND reflected in our bodies physically, in this case, by kneeling.
Jesus Himself prayed kneeling before His Father:
After withdrawing about a stone's throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done." -Luke 22:41-42
May these truths and realities make our next time of prayer on our knees more real and more life-changing!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This Sunday is the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings >> Here
There are groups, of no small influence, who are trying to talk us out of kneeling. "It doesn't suit our culture", they say (which culture?) "It's not right for a grown man to do this — he should face God on his feet". Or again: "It's not appropriate for redeemed man — he has been set free by Christ and doesn't need to kneel any more". - The Spirit of the Liturgy
Do not receive false talk or thinking as St. Paul warns. If interested check out the website section (below) for more foundation of kneeling from history and Church documents.
a) because Jesus brings us to the Father
b) because of the beauty of our prayer
c) we cannot because the distance between God and us, the creature, is infinite
d) we cannot because we do not have the power or authority to do so
583. How is it possible to address God as “Father”? (CCC 2779-2785, 2789, 2798-2800)
a) because Jesus reveals the Father to us
b) because the Holy Spirit makes Him known to us
c) because it awakens in us the desire to act as His children
d) all of the above
584. Why do we say “our” Father? (CCC 2786-2790, 2801)
a) because He is our own possession
b) because it expresses a totally new relationship with God
c) because we can have God any way we want Him
d) none of the above
Kneeling (from Middle English knelen “knee”)
- to fall or rest on both knees
This is truly FREE directory assistance. Call this number, listen to a short ad, and then via automated system you can get almost any listed phone number anywhere in US for FREE.
No one, whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new-born child. -Catechism of the Catholic Church #563
The Theology Of Kneeling - More from Pope Benedict XVI
Stand Up For Kneeling
"Why don't they want us to kneel at Mass?"
(Reference for kneeling from the Holy Bible and more)
OFFER RESOURCES FOR THE DAILY MASS READINGS/MEDITATION AT CHURCH
Parish can purchase and offer booklets of meditations on Daily Mass Readings.
You can get quality Catholic resources in the hands of parishioners assisting and helping them to pray and take time everyday to meditate on the Sacred Scriptures.
Talk to your Parish Priest and ask if some quality resources offering meditations or Daily Readings with meditations can be purchased and offered near the bulletins for people to partake of. Some concrete resources are Word Among Us, Magnificat, etc. If that is not possible, a donor might be sought or come forward who could help the parish offer it.
Credit: The John Cardinal O’Connor School.
Christopher struggled to keep pace with his classmates and fell behind the curriculum. A week before eighth grade graduation, Laura says middle school officials told her and her husband that Christopher would not be passed to ninth grade.
“I went into warrior mom mode,” Laura says. She wanted to find a school that could better address Christopher’s learning needs. While searching for learning resources for Christopher, she learned about the John Cardinal O’Connor School.
The John Cardinal O’Connor School is a rarity in the Catholic school landscape — the Irvington, New York school serves exclusively second to eighth grade students with learning disabilities.
A 2002 study showed that 7% of children enrolled in Catholic schools had disabilities as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Comparatively, 11.4% of public school students at the time had disabilities.
Officials with the Archdiocese of New York, which oversees the school, say the John Cardinal O’Connor School is the “gold standard” of special education among Catholic schools in the country. With small student-to-teacher ratios, multisensory teaching methods and individualized curriculums, the archdiocese hopes it can replicate the school’s model, and better serve more students with learning disabilities.
Personalized instructionAfter Laura Aponte sent in Christopher’s application paperwork, the school’s principal interviewed him. In their conversation, she picked up on a processing issue that impacts Christopher’s ability to study, and he was admitted to the school as a student.
“I wasn’t necessarily looking for a Catholic school, but I was looking for something that had heart and would be considerate to my son’s needs,” Laura told The Pillar.
Christopher remembers his time at the John Cardinal O’Connor School fondly.
“It was other-worldly. I had a great teacher,” he says. “There were maybe 12 kids in my class, maybe. She would spend time with every kid and have us explain the content to her to make sure we understood it.”
It was time and attention he does not remember getting from any previous teacher. Kristen O’Leary, who’s been principal at the school for eight years, says she strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment.
“Often these kids have been bullied or made fun of for not being able to read or whatever they are going through,” O’Leary says. “It’s a safe place. They’re happy to come to school every day and find that they finally fit in.”
There are about 70 children in the building, and class sizes never go above 15 students per teacher. The class size limit for younger kids is 12. Younger students have a classroom assistant in addition to a teacher.
“As kids get older, we don’t want them to have that assistant anymore,” O’Leary told The Pillar. “We want them to be prepared for a normal high school environment that doesn’t have that much support.”
Although the school serves students in second to eighth grades, they are not grouped by grade level in the building. Students are arranged in cohorts based on instructional level, and their groupings are referred to as “teams” rather than “grades.”
“We use the Orton-Gillingham approach to instruction, which includes reading. Under that umbrella there’s a program called PAF, Preventing Academic Failure, so we use that program here for teaching students how to read and spell,” assistant principal Kimberly Cinguina says. “We use the Judith Hochman writing program, teaching basic writing skills. And that’s also called The Writing Revolution, a highly systemic and direct instructional approach for teaching students how to write.”
Cinguina says parents who are attracted to the school are often looking for one or more of particular instructional methods. Every student at the school has either an IEP, Individualized Education Plan, or IESP, Individualized Education Services Plan.
IEPs and IESPs detail how a student is performing, modifications needed for their successful learning and ways to measure a student’s outcomes. Public schools are legally required to offer IEPs for children who qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Private schools are not required to offer IEPs and often offer service plans instead.
The John Cardinal O’Connor School runs its own special education program with its own teachers. The Irvington Union Free School District provides other required services like speech therapists and occupational therapists. That partnership is critical to the school’s offerings — and is not always offered by public school districts.
About 70% of the student body is Catholic. Some of the non-Catholic students are Protestant, and others are not Christian at all.
“That actually becomes part of the curriculum at some point,” Cinguina says. “If we’re talking about a particular Catholic value or doctrine, a student who is a non-Catholic may say, ‘Well, in my religion we do this!’ So it’s really a learning experience for the children as well.”
Everyone in the school engages in daily prayer together. During non-pandemic times, the school’s students attend Mass together once a month and on holy days of obligation.
Like other schools around the country, the John Cardinal O'Connor School's instructional methods were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — school was online five days a week from the end of March 2020 through the end of June 2020. For the 2020-2021 school year, students were back in the classroom five days a week. In-person instruction continues today.
Many students complete their sacraments of initiation while enrolled at the school.
“Many of our students who were in public school may not have been able to participate in religious education,” Cinguina says. “Maybe because they have special needs and there wasn’t a good program for them. Maybe because they were overwhelmed by their school work, and the thought of going to after-school religious ed was overwhelming.”
The school uses service projects like toiletries collections to teach students about ways they can personally, positively impact the world around them.
“I’m not sure whether there are other schools that embody all of the components of this school,” Archdiocese of New York superintendent of Catholic schools Michael Deegan says. “Is it worthy of replicating? Absolutely. Can it be replicated? Completely. What we’re really looking for are funding opportunities in the community and metropolitan area so we can duplicate it in other locations in the archdiocese.”
The John Cardinal O’Connor School is not the only educational opportunity for children with disabilities in the Archdiocese of New York.
Of the archdiocese’s 171 Catholic schools, seven offer programs for kids with special education needs. The Alfred E. Smith Foundation and Cabrini Health Foundation help fund those programs, according to Deegan. He says the archdiocese is actively seeking funding opportunities to grow its special education offerings.
“We’re looking to secure other grants from other organizations to help us expand from seven to 14 to 21 in the near future,” Deegan says. “We want all children to have access to a Catholic education regardless of their learning challenges.”
Deegan believes both models of schooling — settings that provide exclusively for students with disabilities and settings where children with disabilities learn along those without disabilities — are worth pursuing.
“We serve a multiplicity of children with many differentiated needs. So having the setting the John Cardinal O'Connor School provides is important for the children who need that setting. But some students' needs can be met in other schools, so it is also good to invest in the programs in those schools,” he said.
Sister Dale McDonald, vice president of public policy for the National Catholic Educational Association, told The Pillar that while it is beneficial for students with intellectual disabilities to interact daily with other kids, she could not offer a blanket assessment of whether an inclusive classroom, or a specialized environment like the John Cardinal O'Connor School, is a preferable approach.
Ultimately, she said, it depends on the particular student's learning needs. She noted that under federal “least restrictive environment” regulations, students with disabilities must be educated alongside peers without disabilities to the maximum extent possible.
“Prior to the ‘60s, children with any type of disability were totally isolated, totally separated from...‘normal’ kids. But some of them didn’t need to be. People started to realize it’s a civil right not to discriminate against kids with disabilities.”
Deegan said the different choices in the archdiocese allow families to select an option that works best for their child.
“I'd like to be able to replicate JCOS and at the same time expand services to the programs that currently exist at other schools,” he said. “Given the need, I think that it is possible to do both...The sky's the limit, but it's really all about funding. The will is there. The only thing holding us back is funding.”
Funding is an issue. Tuition at the John Cardinal O’Connor School costs $16,000 per year — more than most Catholic high schools in the archdiocese. The Archdiocese of New York offers income-based financial aid to students.
“We’ve seen families get anywhere from 25% to 75% depending on the level of need,” O’Leary said. “This school year was actually the first that it was available.”
Historically, funding special education in Catholic schools has been a challenge nationwide. In 1996, a group of parents in Kansas City founded an organization called FIRE Foundation. The non-profit aims to provide children with special needs the opportunity for an inclusive education in their respective Catholic schools. A different group of parents in Washington D.C. and Baltimore started the Catholic Coalition for Special Education in 2005. Both organizations provide grants to help schools hire special educators, certify existing teachers and help families navigate the world of special education.
“[W]hen it comes to education many Catholic children with disabilities are unable to attend their parish schools due to limited resources,” coalition president Francesca Pellegrino says on the coalition’s About Us page. “This is where CCSE steps in to help parishes and their schools access the resources they need to welcome all God’s children.”
Sister McDonald says at the end of the day, most parents of children with learning disability want to see their kids treated normally at school — welcomed and well-educated.
“Hopefully another diocese or two will get together a school like (the John Cardinal O’Connor School),” McDonald said.
Born on May 3, 1991, Bl. Carlo is best known for his incredible computer programming skills and his website dedicated to Eucharistic miracles. The Italian teen also deeply loved the Eucharist and Our Lady. He prayed the Rosary and went to Mass every day.
Bl. Carlo died of leukemia on Oct. 12, 2006. He offered his sufferings for “the pains of the Pope and the Church.” His tomb remains on display in Assisi, due to the vast number of pilgrims visiting before and following his beatification.
He is also the first millennial to be named “blessed.”
Here’s 15 quotes from this new blessed to inspire you in your daily living:
1) “The Eucharist is the highway to heaven.”
2) “Our soul is like a hot air balloon. If by chance there is a mortal sin, the soul falls to the ground. Confession is like the fire underneath the balloon enabling the soul to rise again. . . It is important to go to confession often.”
3) “Continuously ask your guardian angel for help. Your guardian angel has to become your best friend.”
4) “All people are born as originals but many die as photocopies.”
5) “I am happy to die because I lived my life without wasting even a minute of it on anything unpleasing to God.”
6) “The Virgin Mary is the only woman in my life.”
7) “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church.”
8) “Do not be afraid because with the Incarnation of Jesus, death becomes life, and there’s no need to escape: in eternal life, something extraordinary awaits us.”
9) “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of heaven”.
10) “When we face the sun we get a tan… but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist we become saints.”
11) “By standing before the Eucharistic Christ, we become holy.”
12) “Our goal must be infinite, not the finite. The infinite is our homeland. Heaven has been waiting for us forever.”
13) “Sadness is looking at ourselves, happiness is looking towards God.”
14) “The only thing we have to ask God for, in prayer, is the desire to be holy.”
15) “What does it matter if you can win a thousand battles if you cannot win against your own corrupt passions? It doesn’t matter. The real battle is with ourselves.”
Bl. Carlo Acutis, pray for us!
“The teaching of the magisterium of the Church and of John Paul II is always current,” said Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv.
He told CNA that the words and writings of St. John Paul II are being frequently invoked by bishops at the synod who are defending the Church’s teachings on marriage.
Responding to calls for the Church to permit the divorced-and-remarried to receive Communion, he said, “many bishops have recalled the great teaching of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI which they expressed clearly, that it would be against the doctrine of the Church, against the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrament of Penance, against grace.”
Archbishop Mokrzycki, who is the president of the Ukrainian Bishops Conference, is among the synod fathers gathered in Rome for the Oct. 4-25 Synod on the Family, which gathers bishops from around the world to discuss issues relating to families in the Church today.
But many remember Archbishop Mokrzycki for another role – one of John Paul II’s two personal secretaries during the last nine years of his life.
Archbishop Mokrzycki spoke to CNA’s sister agency, ACI Stampa Oct. 22, the feast day of St. John Paul II. He discussed the Pope’s legacy, relevance to the synod, and what it was like to live beside a saint. The full transcript of the interview is below:
Q: Your Excellency, today – Oct. 22, the feast of St. John Paul II – is a special day for you personally and for the universal Church. It might be difficult for you to explain how you feel, but maybe we can try?
It is a great joy for us, and I don't only mean the Polish people, but for the entire Church, to think about the day of the election of John Paul II, who after his election won over the whole world, particularly the Italians, because he said those beautiful and famous words: “I don't know if I can explain myself well in your – in our – Italian language. If I make a mistake, correct me.” And from then on, all the children of Italy when they met him said: you asked us to correct you, so say it right!
It was a special day for the entire Church, and we saw it for the entirety of his long pontificate, he was an extraordinary man.
Q: What was it like to live with a saint? Was it more joy, or work?
Both – joy and fatigue, because John Paul II was a very strong man with himself and with others. We worked a lot and made others work a lot. And this is also why we saw that his pontificate was very interesting and very rich.
Q: What has he taught you as a bishop and as a pastor that is useful for your mission today?
The Holy Father was not only the head of the universal Church, not only the head of the Vatican State, but was above all a pastor, the bishop of the diocese of Rome, and he underlined this a lot during his pontificate. He wanted to visit all the parishes of the diocese. And at the end when we saw that he had so much fatigue and couldn’t visit the parishes anymore, about 20 parishes remained and he wanted to meet them just them same, and so he invited all the parishes that he still hadn’t visited to the Paul VI Hall. And we saw that the Romans were very grateful for this great gesture of love, because they saw that the Pope didn’t neglect them, he didn’t forget them, and even if he couldn’t go, he invited them to his house. And so also for me.
He was a great pastor. I was able to learn from him a vision of pastoral life, of concern for all levels, of love for one’s neighbor, of charity and of bringing people to salvation. The great ones, the poor, the little ones; I saw how with great love he embraced each and every one.
Q: Of the magisterium of John Paul II, a large part was dedicated to the family. Right now you are busy with the synod on the family. How does this magisterium enter into the synodal debate?
During the pontificate of John Paul II, above all in the years in which I was with him, the Pope didn’t speak a lot about his family. He sometimes spoke about his father, sometimes about his sister that he lost as a child and his brother who was a doctor that died young. But he made it visible that around him was a great family of friends, a great family of the Church. And then I saw that in the years I was with him many families came to find him from different parts of the world: from Poland, from Italy, from the United States. He had the capacity of maintaining contact with many people, with many families and not only Christians. Also and above all with many Jewish families. And in this I saw the importance of contact with the family, and as the Pope he underlined the role of the family in the life of the Church and in the life of society.
From the beginning of his pontificate, he placed a lot of focus on the great role of the family. He dedicated a cycle of catechesis in the Wednesday audiences to the passage in Genesis which says: male and female I created them. And then there is the apostolic letter to the family, Familiaris Consortio. He was very committed in the development of this theme and was close to the family, to emphasize the great importance of the family in daily life, and the necessity of being close to the family in order to live better the vocation of each one. Because every person has a vocation, to be a religious sister, a priest, a doctor. But to be a family is a great beauty, but also a committed vocation that requires responsibility, and is also difficult to live. Because of this, John Paul II wanted to help this vocation to grow.
Q: Now 10 years after John Paul II’s death, what is his legacy today?
The teaching of the magisterium of the Church and of John Paul II is always current. Of course society has changed a bit, because culture changes, circumstances change. Also during this synod the bishops have brought different problems and family difficulties. Some wanted to be a little bit “progressive” and offer Communion to the divorced-and-remarried, but many bishops have recalled the great teaching of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI which they expressed clearly, that it would be against the doctrine of the Church, against the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrament of Penance, against grace. Certainly the teaching of John Paul II was perhaps very demanding, but real. If we want our faith to have value, we must bear some sort of difficulty, because only then are we faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ.
Q: What does your diocese bring to the synod?
For me, it was a great experience, because I was able to hear testimonies and the vision of life and of the Church throughout the world on the different continents. But I want to say above all that we bishops are very close to families, we want to help people grow in the vocation of being in a marriage, a family. And we know that this vocation is very beautiful, very important, but we also want to help families realize their vocation and their commitment.
Elderly Priests, Sisters are 'true shrines of holiness,' Pope Says
VATICAN CITY, October 18 (CNA/EWTN News) .- During his daily Mass homily Pope Francis reflected on various biblical figures who experienced difficulty in their old age, and encouraged those present not to forget the elderly.
The Pope directed his reflections to those gathered in the Santa Marta guesthouse of the Vatican on Oct. 18 for his daily Mass, centering his thoughts upon the latter lives of Moses, John the Baptist and Saint Paul.
These three figures, he noted, remind him of "the shrines of holiness which are the nursing homes of elderly priests and religious sisters."
Pope Francis recalled the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by all three men in their youth, and contrasted it to isolation and pain they suffered at the end of their lives, stressing that although none of them were spared suffering in their old age, the Lord never abandoned them.
Noting that the apostle Paul "has a joyful and enthusiastic beginning," the Pope recalled that he experienced a decline in the latter years of his life, and both Moses and John the Baptist shared a similar experience.
"Moses, when young," stressed the pontiff, was "the courageous leader of the People of God who fought against his enemies" in order to save his people, however at the end of his life "he is alone on Mount Nebo, looking at the promised land" but is unable to enter it.
Saint John the Baptist, noted the Pope, in his later life was tormented by anguish, and "finished under the power of a weak, corrupt and drunken ruler who in turn was under the power of an adulteress' jealousy and the capricious wishes of a dancer."
Turning his thoughts back to Saint Paul, Pope Francis stressed that the apostle endured a similar experience, speaking in his letters of those who abandoned him and rejected his teachings.
However, the Pope clarified that although Paul wrote about his great sufferings, he also wrote that "the Lord was close to him and gave him the strength to complete his mission of announcing the Gospel."
Pope Francis concluded his reflections by stressing that the situations of the three biblical characters in their old age reminded him of those elderly priests and religious sisters in nursing homes.
Referring to them as a "shrine of holiness," he urged the guests present not to forget the elderly, and to visit them, because "bearing the burden of solitude, these priests and sisters are waiting for the Lord to knock at the door of their hearts."
In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action, especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments, is an encounter between Christ and the Church. The liturgical assembly derives its unity from the "communion of the Holy Spirit" who gathers the children of God into the one Body of Christ. This assembly transcends racial, cultural, social - indeed, all human affinities. -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1097
Teacher: "Why are you praying in class little Johnny?” Little Johnny: “My mom taught me to always pray before going to sleep."
Little Johnny, why does your little sister cry? Because I helped her. But that is a good thing! What did you help her with? I helped her eat her gummy bears.
Wife: “Oh the weather is lovely today. Shall we go out for a quick jog?“ - Husband: “Hahaha, I love the way you pronounce ‘Shall we go out and have a cake’!”
Optimist: The glass is half full. Pessimist: The glass is half empty. Mother: Why didn’t you use a coaster!
My girlfriend and I often laugh about how competitive we are. But I laugh more.
Dating a Hoarder
I used to date a hoarder, and she broke up with me. That stings extra hard—I’m like the one thing she can get rid of.
A Teacher Tries
There was a teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on. He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn't want to go on.
When the second boot was finally on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on -- this time on the right feet.
He then announced, "These aren't my boots." She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to. Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off.
He then said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear them." The teacher didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots on his feet again.
She said, "Now, where are your mittens?" He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots."
Jesus and Satan were having an argument as to who was the better programmer. This went on for a few hours until they agreed to hold a contest with God the Father as the judge. They sat at their computers and began. They typed furiously for several hours, lines of code streaming up on the screen. Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning struck, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power was restored, and God the Father announced that the contest was over. He asked Satan to show what he had come up with. Satan was visibly upset and cried, "I have nothing. I lost it all when the power went out." "Very well, then," God the Father said, "Let us see if Jesus did any better." Jesus entered a command and the screen came to life in vivid display, the voice of an angelic choir poured forth from the speakers. Satan was astonished. "But how? I lost everything, yet Jesus' program was intact. How did he do it?" God chuckled, "Jesus saves!"
TIME TO PRAY
A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night. 'Yes, sir.' the boy replied.
'And, do you always say them in the morning, too?' the pastor asked..
'No sir,' the boy replied. 'I ain't scared in the daytime.'
WHY GO TO CHURCH?
One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church,
to which he replied, "I'm not going."
"Why not?" she asked.
I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1), I'm tired, and (2), I don't fell like it."
His mother replied, "I'll give you two good reasons why you SHOULD go to church:
(1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.
The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the bread does not divide Christ.
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1377
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, October 17th, 2021
The First Reading- Isaiah 53:10-11
The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity. If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.
The first reading is a prophecy of what Jesus would go through for us in his passion. He gave everything and experienced true suffering for our salvation. In His Passion, he fulfilled the prophecy of the Suffering Servant, given in this chapter of the book of Isaiah.
Adults - Take time to consider the immense love God has for you, that He would send His Son to suffer for your salvation.
Teens - How can we show the love Jesus has for us to others in our lives?
Kids - Say a prayer thanking God for His incredible love for you.
Responsorial- Psalm 33: 4-5, 18-19, 20, 22
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
-Be merciful to someone this week, as God is merciful to you.
The Second Reading- Hebrews 4:14-16
Brothers and sisters: Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
The second reading reminds us that because of his suffering, when we approach Jesus in prayer when we are suffering, we approach someone who knows what we are feeling — who can “sympathize with our weakness.” We’re not asked to make sacrifices that God hasn’t felt, and we’re not asked to do it alone. When we unite our suffering to Jesus’, he takes ours and, like his, makes it into life-giving change.
Do you know that Jesus understands all that we go through? Can that comfort you when you’re sad?
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 10:35-45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to him, "We can." Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Our Gospel makes it very clear that it’s a baptism of service; one of sacrifice — possibly even the sacrifice of our lives. Jesus asks James and John if they are prepared to accept that baptism, a baptism of danger, when they ask him to give them places of honor in heaven. He tells them that they will, in fact, experience what Jesus will experience. (Eventually, they were martyred for the faith, too.) Jesus reminds them, and us, that authority in Christianity isn’t supposed to be like civil authority which is often abused. For us, authority means service like Jesus served. In fact, the authority of our teaching and preaching is rooted in service — if the world doesn’t see us serving others, living as Jesus lived, our words have no authority with them.
Adults - What implications or consequences does your baptism have for your life? What have you had to sacrifice in order to live your baptism fully? How does your baptism challenge you to serve others, especially the poor and vulnerable?
Teens - Jesus connects authority with service. How does it make you feel to see people in authority not serving others? How do you think of those who have authority and abuse it? Who is the best leader you know? What makes them so?
Kids -What does it mean to serve others as a Christian?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “With James and John, let us tell our divine Lord that we are ready to follow him on the path to Calvary; that we are ready to drink the cup of sufferings which he drank and to be immersed in the sorrows which he endured. He went through all of this for us; we are doing it for our own sakes. He carried the real cross—ours is light when compared with his; furthermore, he will help us to bear our daily trial and struggles. How could any Christian become weary and fainthearted when he has Christ helping him on the road?”
--Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
582. Why can we dare to draw near to God in full confidence? a) because Jesus brings us to the Father: Because Jesus, our Redeemer, brings us into the Father’s presence and his Spirit makes us his children. We are thus able to pray the Our Father with simple and filial trust, with joyful assurance and humble boldness, with the certainty of being loved and heard.
583. How is it possible to address God as “Father”? d) all of the above:We can invoke the “Father” because the Son of God made man has revealed him to us and because his Spirit makes him known to us. The invocation, Father, lets us enter into his mystery with an ever new sense of wonder and awakens in us the desire to act as his children. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we are therefore aware of our being sons of the Father in the Son.
584. Why do we say “our” Father? b) because it expresses a totally new relationship with God: “Our” expresses a totally new relationship with God. When we pray to the Father, we adore and glorify him with the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Christ we are “his” people and he is “our” God now and for eternity. In fact, we also say “our” Father because the Church of Christ is the communion of a multitude of brothers and sisters who have but “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32).