In this e-weekly:
- Real Catholic TV! Catholic news, history, saints in video daily (Catholic Website of the Week)
- A Really Joyful Journey: Preparing People with Intellectual Disabilities to Receive the Sacraments (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- PRAYER FOR DECEASED LOVED ONES (under the Praying Hands at end)
Why is a church dedicated, set apart, made holy through sacred rites? For whom and for what purpose is a church anointed, consecrated, washed, and clothed as if it were a living being? For GOD that He may live there, and for the purpose of saving and the making holy of human persons! Why? So that they can become living temples carrying God to family, work, indeed the whole world that God may do there what He does in His Temple, His church!
The Church has some great Feasts of Dedication, namely, the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. John Latern, the Pope's Cathedral (this past Nov. 9th), (no, the Pope's Cathedral is not St. Peter's Basilica) and the Feast of the Dedication of the Churches of St. Peter and St. Paul (coming this Nov. 18th). These days mark the moment when these buildings were set apart for the service of God. So important that a day on the Roman Calendar is taken just to commemorate this event!
Every Catholic Church is either Blessed or Dedicated for sacred use, which means that it is set aside for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments. If consecrated with sacred chrism, the church can only be used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And as I said above, if God does this for mere stone, wood, and steel; how much more holy, sacred, and precious is your body & soul and mine made a Temple of the Holy Spirit by our yes and the power of the Church's Sacraments.
When the tempter knocks at the door of your soul, or you are tempted to use your body for something other than the glory of God, think of these things and then pray and strive like crazy to keep holy the place that God dwells in you so that you may continue to be the Temple which brings Him to your family, your school, your work, indeed to all the world who needs Him so desperately now!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. >>> Readings
P.S.S. Also, at the end of this e-weekly are the readings with reflections and questions for further reflection.
a) it is impossible
b) it is not possible, so we do not do anything, God does everything
c) it is only possible if we ourselves learn how to forgive
d) it is only possible when the Holy Spirit is extra active
596. What does “Lead us not into temptation” mean? (CCC 2846-2849, 2863)
a) we ask God our Father not to leave us alone and in the power of temptation
b) we ask the Holy Spirit to help us know how to discern between a trial and consenting to temptation
c) this petition unites us to Jesus who overcame temptation by his prayer
d) all of the above
597. Why do we conclude by asking “But deliver us from evil”? (CCC 2850-2854, 2864)
a) evil is not real, thus cannot hurt us
b) evil does not exist, but is just people’s bad choices
c) we are asking God to take away all suffering which is seen as only bad
d) “evil” indicates the person of Satan who opposes God and is “the deceiver of the whole world.”
598. What is the meaning of the final Amen? (CCC 2855-2856, 2865)
a) ‘so be it’
b) ‘thank goodness we are done’
c) ‘wow, awesome’
d) none of the above
(Latin de + dicare "to indicate, to consecrate, to proclaim")
- set aside for sacred use
Ways to Save Energy During Winter
*Decide on a setting for your thermostat and leave it there. Adjust your clothing by wearing layers. This will stop your heating unit from constantly turning on and off which will run up your bill.
*If your appliances are over ten years old, you can bet on a savings by replacing them with newer energy saving products such as those with high Energy Star ratings.
*Double paned windows are a win, win purchase. These windows have two panes with a layer of gas sandwiched in-between, which acts as insulation to slow the transfer of heat or cold through the window.
*Installing a heat pump might be your best bet depending on the mean temperature where you live. Check out the advantages as well as the disadvantages of owning one and always find out how long it will take to get your investment back in savings before buying.
*Have your furnace checked out the duct-work cleaned on a regular basis. Change the filters when the manufacturer recommends and don't place furniture to block air vents.
"Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons - not to be confused with sacramental ordination - are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1672
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." -Mark 13:31
As we approach the end of the liturgical year the readings remind us of another aspect of Jesus’ teaching: his insistence on the urgency of our repentance in light of the impending judgment. He will be the judge who will come in all his power and glory, when every knee will bend at His name. Jesus does not say these things to frighten us but to convince us of the need to be vigilant, to be prepared for His second coming. That day heralds the salvation and vindication of the righteous, a day of joy rather than fear. Yet we need to stay awake with love of God and be vigilant with charity toward our neighbor so as not to be caught unaware when that day arrives.
Further Reading: Matthew 24:35
RealCatholic TV offers solid Catholic programming including, daily news, daily political commentary, daily features on saints and history as well as regular episodes on morality, movie reviews, entertainment, apologetics, and much more.
The site provides content through a video player that allows users to view, send, and download content regardless of their computing platform with no plug-ins required. All viewers have free access to home page content – daily news and commentary (current events and politics) from the Catholic perspective, messages directly from Catholic bishops to the faithful, program previews, and more.
THANKSGIVING BLESSING TABLE
If your parish has a Mass for Thanksgiving Day or Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving Day, ask your Pastor to consider having a Thanksgiving Blessing Table. (Along with proper pandemic protocols.)
Let the blessings of the Holy Mass share and bless food from your own table and bless those who partake of the food.
A table can be set up near the front of the sanctuary for people to put food on it they bring at the beginning of Mass. Priest can bless food during Mass, and then it can be picked up after Mass to be taken to their homes and shared with their loved ones having been blessed and come from the Holy Mass.
‘A Really Joyful Journey’: Preparing People with Intellectual Disabilities to Receive the SacramentsCNA Staff, Nov 14, 2020 / 08:00 am MT (CNA).- As book titles go, the “Directory for Catechesis” is hardly the catchiest. But this volume could potentially transform the lives of thousands of people.
That is the conviction of Gail Williams, center manager at Caritas St. Joseph in Hendon, north London. When the updated directory -- formerly known as the General Directory for Catechesis -- was released in June, she was struck by what it said about people with disabilities.
“People with disabilities are called to the fullness of sacramental life, even in the presence of serious disturbances,” the directory said. “The sacraments are gifts of God and the liturgy, even before being rationally understood, asks to be lived: therefore, no one can deny the sacraments to people with disabilities.”
“It means so much for it actually to be printed in there,” Williams told CNA, “because the General Directory for Catechesis is the go-to for anybody that’s not really doing this work. And they’ll often say: ‘Well, is it in the General Directory for Catechesis?’”
“To be able to say ‘Yes, it is’ is just amazing, because then you have real proof and back-up that actually the Catholic Church does want to embrace everyone and does want to encompass those that are usually ignored.”
For the past 40 years, Caritas St. Joseph has supported people with intellectual disabilities, as well as their families and friends, in the English Diocese of Westminster. Formerly known as St. Joseph’s Pastoral Centre, Caritas St. Joseph wants to share its expertise far beyond the borders of Westminster diocese, which includes all of London north of the River Thames and some outlying areas.
Williams believes that some parishes are scared of catechizing those with learning disabilities. She is on a mission to persuade them that it can, in fact, be “a really joyful journey.”
Her interest in catechesis began when her oldest son, who is severely dyslexic, started his First Communion course at the age of seven.
“Nobody understood how he functioned. In those days, it was all ‘sit down and read from the book,’ and it was so difficult for him,” she recalled.
She realized that her son’s faith grew by listening to the words said at Mass, as well as through the sounds and smells at the church they attended.
In 2006, Williams attended a course called “Symbols of Faith” at St. Joseph’s. When she returned to her parish with a deeper knowledge of how to teach the faith to people with learning disabilities, she made a disturbing discovery.
She found that there were families that didn’t bring their children to church because they couldn’t cope with crowds or remain still during the quieter parts of Mass.
“To go back and find that part of my parish family was missing because of all these reasons was a real eye-opener for me,” she remembered. “That’s when I really felt quite strongly that everybody should be included.”
The latest catechetical directory is the third since the Second Vatican Council. The first, the General Catechetical Directory, was published in 1971. The second, the General Directory for Catechesis, was issued in 1997. The latest version updates catechetical methods for the digital age and is likely to have a profound impact on the teaching of the Catholic faith around the world.
When Williams begins catechizing a child, she takes them into an empty church and helps them to appreciate all the sensory elements: the colors, sounds and smells. She may lead them to the altar and explain why it is much more than an ordinary table.
“It's not about long, convoluted words. It’s about showing and supporting them in making their own discoveries,” she said.
Williams urges parents of disabled children to raise the directory’s new recommendations with their pastors. If their parish doesn’t know where to begin, she advises them to contact Caritas St. Joseph or similar organizations where they live.
“We can come out and we can train people, and we can share our knowledge, expertise and resources. But once you are trained, don’t be afraid to be the voice for those people who are left on the fringes of your parish,” she said.
Williams noted that, while her work is deeply rewarding, it can be emotionally draining. At one point, she was visiting families after finishing her day job.
“Sometimes you would spend one minute with the child because he had had enough at school that day and just wasn’t interested,” she said. “But then you would spend half an hour with the mum, because she hadn’t seen anyone all week or he had had a difficult day at school and she needed to talk to someone.”
“At those times you think ‘Well, I can’t catechize today.’ But actually you’re supporting the whole family. And it’s so important that even if it seems impossible, actually it isn’t. Kindness, patience and time is the best gift.”
There are also heart-lifting breakthroughs. Williams talks about discussing transubstantiation with a child who responded by making two sign-language gestures, one meaning “change” and the other signifying “creation.”
“So then you know that actually she’s understanding that that’s the Consecration, that the bread and the wine is changing and creating the Body and Blood. You get moments like that, that absolutely clarify what you are doing,” she said.
Above all, Williams wants parents to know that, thanks to the latest directory, a new path is open to them.
“It doesn’t matter where you are or who you are. God can always be present in your life,” Williams said.
“Quite a lot of time we get the question ‘Do they really know?’ And yes, they really do. Sometimes you have to work with someone for four years, sometimes for a year. Sometimes you can support them straightaway on the Communion program.”
“Just don’t be afraid,” she concluded. “It is possible for everyone.”
Growing up, she said that her parents made it a point to expose their children to “the transcendental truth, goodness and beauty” through beautiful literature and art. Since they believed that was not available in the upstate New York schools where they lived, her mother decided to homeschool them.
Learning from a Catholic curriculum, Boudreau says excellent books and beautiful music were a regular part of her education.
“It was a very natural part of the fabric of our life and it was interwoven with a really sacramental understanding of life and of family,” she said.
“The faith, it always fit like a hand in the glove with our upbringing and with our education.” That integration of faith, beauty and truth is something the 23-year old woman says she hopes permeates her music, especially in her new, full-length album, “Hints and Guesses” – a follow-up to her 2012 EP, “Hands in the Land.”
“And anybody – everybody – is affected by beauty, no matter what their life experience is, where they’re from, or what they’ve done, there’s something about beauty that bypasses those preconceived ideas and it just sets the heart in a very good position to hear God.”
But Boudreau doesn’t label her work as “Christian music” – not because it doesn’t deal with the faith, but because of the inclination of some to automatically be turned off by such a label or assume that it will sound a certain way without listening to it.
“I’m a Catholic woman and that affects the way that I write and the way that I understand the world, but I have noticed there’s a tendency when people hear about a label like ‘Christian’ they misunderstand it, so they feel threatened by it and they close their hearts to it.”
However, when music or other art forms simply expose the listener to beauty instead of assigning labels, that’s when conversion of the heart can begin, she explained.
“God, in His wisdom, he knows that beauty is a way of bypassing the intellect and softening the heart to make it receptive.”
That’s something she hopes “Hints and Guesses” will do – open listeners’ hearts up in a way that allows them to be more receptive to authentic beauty, and in turn, God.
“I hope that the album would act kind of as a question mark for them – that it would bring up certain things or inspire certain movements that would make them examine things a little more deeply – to have a more examined life and to ask those big questions, whether it has to do with relationships, inner healing, if it has to do with seeking God more ardently, or if it has to do with just being more receptive to life in general.”
One of the songs on the album, “The Weight of Glory,” is based on a sermon of the same name by C.S. Lewis and deals with asking questions and developing a thirst for God.
Another track, “Solitudes,” focuses on how human relationships can never fully satisfy us, while at the same time revealing something eternal.
“There will always be a part of us that is incommunicable to another person and that’s what sets us above creation and it’s what makes us like God, in a sense. And yet, there’s that tension: we are made for community,” Boudreau explained.
Her new album – which was completed after a successful Kickstarter campaign back in March – was received enthusiastically and reached number 22 on the top 100 “Singer/Songwriter” category on iTunes the day after it was released in September.
Boudreau toured for a month over the summer and is now playing shows intermittently, but says right now is a “waiting period” while she discerns her next move.
"Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory - with Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert, and with Solomon atthe dedication of the Temple. In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!'" Finally, the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory on the day of his final coming."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #697
-Teacher: Tell us, Johnny, where is your father staying on business? Johnny: In Vishakhapatnam. Teacher: How interesting. And now tell us all how it is spelled. Johnny: Oh, I just remembered he got reposted to Goa.
-Little Johnny comes home and his father sighs, "Alright, boy, out with your report card." Johnny says, "I don't have it, dad." "What? Why not?" asks his father. "I borrowed it to my friend. He wanted to freak out his parents."
-When in doubt, mumble.
- I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
- I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
- If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you!
I was visiting a friend who could not find her cordless phone. After several minutes of searching, her young daughter said, “You know what they should invent? A phone that stays connected to its base so it never gets lost.”
Where You Want to Be
"Where is Pearl Harbor?" I asked my fourth-grade history class. "Here’s a hint: It’s a place where everyone wants to go." One student blurted out, "Candy Land!"
UNANSWERED PRAYER? The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father
always paused and bowed his head, for a moment, before starting his sermon.
One day, she asked him why.
"Well, Honey," he began, proud that his daughter was so
observant of his messages, "I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good
"How come He doesn't do it?" she asked.
UNTIMELY ANSWERED PRAYER:
During the minister's prayer, one Sunday, there was a loud
whistle from one of the back pews. Tommy's mother was horrified. She
pinched him into silence and, after church, asked, "Tommy, whatever made you
do such a thing?"
Tommy answered, soberly, "I asked God to teach me to whistle,
and He just then did!"
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."
O most merciful and eternal Father, Whose will it is that all should be saved, Who did send Thy Son to the lost and did pour out Thy Life-giving Spirit: Have mercy on our relatives and those who are near and dear to us who have fallen asleep, and on all who have died throughout the ages; forgive and save them, and by their intercession visit us, that with them we may shout to Thee, our God and Saviour, the song of victory: ALLELUIA. (said 3 times)
"In the work of teaching and applying Christian morality, the Church needs the dedication of pastors, the knowledge of theologians, and the contribution of all Christians and men of good will. Faith and the practice of the Gospel provide each person with an experience of life "in Christ," who enlightens him and makes him able to evaluate the divine and human realities according to the Spirit of God. Thus the Holy Spirit can use the humblest to enlighten the learned and those in the highest positions."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2038
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – November 15, 2020
The First Reading - Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates.
The Lectionary only presents excerpts from this beautiful poem about an ideal woman. The entire passage Proverbs 31:10-31 should be read for those interested in entering more deeply into God’s Word for this Sunday. It is striking that, of all the different persons the sacred author could have chosen to use as an example of the embodiment of Wisdom—a king, sage, prophet, priest, warrior, farmer—the sacred author chooses a wife and a mother. The poem has meaning for all of us, whatever our walks of life. We needn’t be called to the vocation of motherhood to be able to recognize that it is this woman’s fidelity to the small things which constitute the warp and woof of everyday life that attracts the praise of the sacred author and ultimately God Himself. Whether we the readers are students or professionals, single or married, male or female, the Scripture is calling us to follow this woman’s example by being faithful in our duties of state, faithful in the things that do not attract attention but are important to those who are in relationship with us, those who are depending on us. Blessed Theresa of Calcutta is often quoted as saying, “We can do no great things; but we can do small things with great love.”
Adults - How do you view the small daily tasks in your life?
Teens - How do small things make such a huge difference?
Kids - What is something small you can do for someone that will make a big difference in their day?
Responsorial- Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R.Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Of course, as Proverbs emphasizes several times, “the Fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom. Therefore, blessed are those who have embarked on the path of wisdom. The “fear of the Lord” is not being scared of God, but of acknowledging and worshiping him. One who “fears the Lord” can have the meaning, a “worshiper of the Lord.” True wisdom begins with right worship. Rightly ordered religion is the foundation for an approach to life that leads to human flourishing. What is the meaning of “rightly ordered?”
The Second Reading- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.
Reflection - This “alertness” and “sobriety” were also characteristic virtues of the “woman of valor.” Verses not quoted in the Lectionary say, “She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and tasks for her maidens. … She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night” (Prov. 31:15,18). The valiant woman is also an anticipation of the model disciple who awaits the coming of the Lord—indeed, she is like one of the wise virgins of last week’s Gospel. These virtues of “alertness” and “sobriety” need to characterize the lifestyles of all disciples of Jesus Christ. We have to practice the virtue of temperance with regard to physical pleasures and comforts, otherwise our soul becomes “drowsy” and overly attached to the things of this world. Then, when trial and temptation come, we are too weak to resist because we have become too addicted. Spiritual “alertness” requires keeping a reign on the body, and avoiding sensual indulgence that weighs down the soul and causes us to lose the appetite for spiritual things.
-Are you alert to the presence and grace of the Lord in all parts of your life?
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 25:-14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable: "A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one-- to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money. "After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.' His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"
Reflection The key message of this parable is the twice-stated response to the two faithful servants: These two servants share the virtue of the valiant woman: they are faithful in small matters. As a result, they share in the “joy” of the master. The third servant is a joyless fellow who applies a “hermeneutic of suspicion” to the master’s motives and activities, and furthermore is disingenuous in his alibi for his sloth. As the master points out, if the lazy servant had really been so scared of the master because of the master’s supposed greed, he would have at least left the money in the bank to earn interest. In fact, it seems that the servant had just been lazy, and at the point of reckoning, he attempts, unconvincingly, to divert attention from his own behavior by making slanderous accusations about the master’s character and motivations. Dr. John Bergsma writes: “My hero of this story is the second servant, which is the character most applicable to most of us mediocre types who fill the pews on Sunday to hear these readings. We don’t reject the Lord like the third servant. Yet neither are we the ‘celebrity’ Christians, the living saints who seem to have an abundance of gifts both natural and supernatural. We are just rather ordinary. The second servant is my hero. He’s not envious of the first servant. He doesn’t waste time comparing himself with his co-worker who is literally ‘more talented.’ He doesn’t complain that he only got two talents. He just gets to work and does what he can. In the end, he receives the same reward as the first: the Master’s joy. It’s a message to all of us to focus on our duties of state, focus on doing the small things of our small lives with great love and great faithfulness. If we do, we can look forward to sharing the Master’s joy along with ‘five-talent servants’ like Saints John Paul II, Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Calcutta, and Josemaría.”
Adults - How can you step beyond the ordinary in your faith?
Teens - How can you be more content with what you have?
Kids - What does it mean to be faithful?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - Eternal happiness is the divine reward for an earthly service faithfully rendered. The false excuse of the third servant is repeated in many forms among us still "God is too austere, he could not expect me to make such sacrifices. I have to provide for myself; his promises and threats may be only empty words. He may never return to demand a reckoning, to settle accounts with us. These and all other such excuses are proved false in this parable. God is a kind Father who has our eternal interests at heart. He does expect us to make the necessary sacrifices. He showed us the way on Calvary. When working for God we are really providing for our own future; his external glory and our eternal salvation are the fruits of the same labor. He will certainly return to settle accounts—it will then be too late to make any changes. Let us be wise and make the changes now while we have time and then our books will be in order on the day of reckoning. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
595. How is forgiveness possible? c) it is only possible if we ourselves learn how to forgive
Mercy can penetrate our hearts only if we ourselves learn how to forgive – even our enemies. Now even if it seems impossible for us to satisfy this requirement, the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit can, like Christ, love even to love’s extreme; it can turn injury into compassion and transform hurt into intercession. Forgiveness participates in the divine mercy and is a high-point of Christian prayer.
596. What does “Lead us not into temptation” mean? d) all of the above We ask God our Father not to leave us alone and in the power of temptation. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us know how to discern, on the one hand, between a trial that makes us grow in goodness and a temptation that leads to sin and death and, on the other hand, between being tempted and consenting to temptation. This petition unites us to Jesus who overcame temptation by his prayer. It requests the grace of vigilance and of final perseverance.
597. Why do we conclude by asking “But deliver us from evil”? d) “evil” indicates the person of Satan who opposes God and is “the deceiver of the whole world.” “Evil” indicates the person of Satan who opposes God and is “the deceiver of the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). Victory over the devil has already been won by Christ. We pray, however, that the human family be freed from Satan and his works. We also ask for the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance as we wait for the coming of Christ who will free us definitively from the Evil One.
598. What is the meaning of the final Amen? a) ‘so be it’ “At the end of the prayer, you say ‘Amen’ and thus you ratify by this word that means ‘so be it’ all that is contained in this prayer that God has taught us.” (Saint Cyril of Jerusalem)