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Whoever Boasts, Should Boast in the Lord

Today, Saturday August 30, 2014 is the Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time.

From today’s first reading:
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written,
Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.

We are proud of many things we do, but we should remember that it all comes from God.  And the things we say and do matter very little compared to the awesome things Jesus Christ has done for us.

Here are the complete readings for today
Reading 1: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21
Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

See the readings

Message and red hearts on the clothesline against wooden background

For the Foolishness of God Is Wiser than Human Wisdom

Today, Friday August 29, 2014 is the Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist. Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

Sometimes God’s plan doesn’t make sense to us. Maybe it is best to accept that we don’t know everything and to trust in the wisdom of God.

First Reading

1 Corinthians 1:17-25

Brothers and sisters: Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Exult, you just, in the Lord;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

For 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.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

The Lord brings to naught the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the Lord stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel

Mark 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.

Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.

She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.”

She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”

The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Blue sky and clouds grunge background

May the Lord of Peace Himself Give You Peace at All Times

Today, Wednesday August 27, 2014 is the Memorial of Saint Monica . Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

This is a wonderful verse for when we are feeling stressed. Christ is the Lord of Peace and he can grant us peace at all times in our lives, even when we seem overwhelmed.

First Reading

2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18

We instruct you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us. For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.

May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

This greeting is in my own hand, Paul’s. This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 128:1-2, 4-5

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.

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.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 23:27-32

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”

cross on the brown wooden table background

Brothers and Sisters, Stand Firm and Hold Fast

Today, Tuesday August 26, 2014 is the Tuesday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time . Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“Brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught.”

One thing I love about being Catholic is the traditions. When I think about how many of our traditions have been around for two thousand years, it reminds me how durable the Church is. Despite our human failings, the Holy Spirit has guided us and kept us strong through the centuries.

First Reading

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17

We ask you, brothers and sisters, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him, not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand. Let no one deceive you in any way.

To this end he has also called you through our Gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 96:10, 11-12, 13

The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Say among the nations: The Lord is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.

The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.

The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Before the Lord , for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.

The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Gospel

Matthew 23:23-26

Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

Proclaim Gods marvelous deeds to all the nations

Proclaim God’s Marvelous Deeds to All the Nations

Today, Monday August 25, 2014 is the Monday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time . Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.”

We should spread the good news throughout the whole world by our words and deeds. But let’s start in our own neighborhoods, serving one another as Christian brothers and sisters.

First Reading

2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the Church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more, and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater. Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and the afflictions you endure.

This is evidence of the just judgment of God, so that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God for which you are suffering.

We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 4-5

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all you lands.
Sing to the Lord; bless his name.

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

For great is the Lord and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Gospel

Matthew 23:13-22

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.”

Man worshiping god shot at yellow grass

To Him Be Glory Forever

Today, Sunday August 24, 2014 is the Saturday of the Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

No matter what is going on in our lives, do we remember to glorify God? Sometimes it is difficult, but may every day be a day in which our words, thoughts, and actions glorify God. AMDG.

First Reading

Isaiah 22:19-23

Thus says the Lord to Shebna, master of the palace:
“I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut
when he shuts, no one shall open. I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family.”

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8

Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple.

Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.

I will give thanks to your name,
because of your kindness and your truth:
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.

The Lord is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Your kindness, O Lord, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

Lord, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands.

Second Reading

Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!

For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?
Or who has given the Lord anything
that he may be repaid?

For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Gospel

Matthew 16:13-20

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

I am afflicted and in pain

I Am Afflicted and in Pain

Today, Saturday August 2, 2014 is the Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time. Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“I am afflicted and in pain. Let your saving help, O God, protect me. Lord, in your great love, answer me.”

Doing God’s will and speaking the truth can be painful at times. Do we trust in God to save us in the end?

First Reading

Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24

The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, “This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people: “It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard. Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord your God, so that the Lord will repent of the evil with which he threatens you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right. But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For in truth it was the Lord who sent me to you, to speak all these things for you to hear.”

Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the Lord, our God, that he speaks to us.”

So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah, so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the Lord hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Gospel

Matthew 14:1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.

Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

Jesus with mallet and chisel working in workshop

Is He Not the Carpenter’s Son?

Today, Friday August 1, 2014 is the Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son?”

People could not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They thought they knew everything about him. May we stop seeing Jesus as something ordinary and see the extraordinary things he has done in our lives.

First Reading

Jeremiah 26:1-9

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this message came from the Lord: Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the house of the Lord and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing. Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them for their evil deeds.

Say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you disobey me, not living according to the law I placed before you and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them, I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this the city to which all the nations of the earth shall refer when cursing another.

Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord. When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the Lord bade him speak to all the people, the priests and prophets laid hold of him, crying, “You must be put to death! Why do you prophesy in the name of the Lord: ‘This house shall be like Shiloh,’ and ‘This city shall be desolate and deserted’?” And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 69:5, 8-10, 14

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Those outnumber the hairs of my head
who hate me without cause.
Too many for my strength
are they who wrongfully are my enemies.
Must I restore what I did not steal?

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Since for your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
Because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

But I pray to you, O Lord,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Gospel

Matthew 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

Praise the Lord O My Soul

Praise the Lord O My Soul

Today, Thursday July 31, 2014 is the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest. Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.”

What a fitting verse for the feast of St. Ignatius. He preached that everything we do should be “for the greater glory of God”. When we do this, every act we perform becomes an act of praise. AMDG.

First Reading

Jeremiah 18:1-6

This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord:
Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message.

I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

Then the word of the Lord came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the Lord. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 146:1-6

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob. (Alternate response: Alleluia.)

Praise the Lord, O my soul;
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.

Put not your trust in princes,
in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.
When his spirit departs he returns to his earth;
on that day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.

Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord, his God.
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.

Gospel

Matthew 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?”

They answered, “Yes.”

And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

When I found your words I devoured them

When I Found Your Words, I Devoured Them

Today, Wednesday July 30, 2014 is the Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time. Today’s daily Mass readings are below.

“When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart.”

God has given us a hunger for his words. Let us know starve ourselves. Instead, feed the hunger by reading the Word of God every day.

First Reading

Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21

Woe to me, mother, that you gave me birth! a man of strife and contention to all the land! I neither borrow nor lend, yet all curse me.

When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, Because I bore your name, O Lord, God of hosts. I did not sit celebrating in the circle of merrymakers; Under the weight of your hand I sat alone because you filled me with indignation.

Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook, whose waters do not abide!

Thus the Lord answered me: If you repent, so that I restore you, in my presence you shall stand; If you bring forth the precious without the vile, you shall be my mouthpiece. Then it shall be they who turn to you, and you shall not turn to them; And I will make you toward this people a solid wall of brass. Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, For I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18

God is my refuge on the day of distress.

Rescue me from my enemies, O my God;
from my adversaries defend me.
Rescue me from evildoers;
from bloodthirsty men save me.

God is my refuge on the day of distress.

For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
mighty men come together against me,
Not for any offense or sin of mine, O Lord.

God is my refuge on the day of distress.

O my strength! for you I watch;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
As for my God, may his mercy go before me;
may he show me the fall of my foes.

God is my refuge on the day of distress.

But I will sing of your strength
and revel at dawn in your mercy;
You have been my stronghold,
my refuge in the day of distress.

God is my refuge on the day of distress.

O my strength! your praise will I sing;
for you, O God, are my stronghold,
my merciful God!

God is my refuge on the day of distress.

Gospel

Matthew 13:44-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”

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