Prepare for Mass

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Mt 6:33

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  • "Religion is not a Technology!" - There needs to be a personal relationship there. - Father Ted Tyler
    If the close relationship between the Last Supper and the mystery of Jesus' death on the Cross is emphasized on Holy Thursday, today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, with the procession and unanimous adoration of the Eucharist, attention is called to the fact that Christ sacrificed himself for all humanity. His passing among the houses and along the streets of our city will be for those who live there an offering of joy, eternal life, peace and love.

    In the Gospel passage, a second element catches one's eye: the miracle worked by the Lord contains an explicit invitation to each person to make his own contribution. The two fish and five loaves signify our contribution, poor but necessary, which he transforms into a gift of love for all.

    "Christ continues today" I wrote in the above-mentioned Post Synodal Exhortation, "to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged" (Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 88).

    Thus, the Eucharist is a call to holiness and to the gift of oneself to one's brethren: "Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world".


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  • Loving Means Acting Like The Good Samaritan

    Today, for example, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10: 25-37), which introduces us into the heart of the Gospel message: love for God and love for neighbour. But the person speaking to Jesus asks: who is my neighbour? And the Lord answers by reversing the question and showing through the account of the Good Samaritan that each one of us must make himself close to every person he meets: "Go and do likewise" (Lk 10: 37).

    Loving, Jesus says, means acting like the Good Samaritan. And we know that he himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us.

    Love is therefore the "heart" of Christian life; indeed, love alone, awakened in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us Christ's witnesses.

  • Texts of St. Josemaría:

    Our Lady was a guest at one of those noisy country weddings attended by people from many different villages. Mary was the only one who noticed the wine was running out. Don’t these scenes from Christ’s life seem familiar to us? The greatness of God lives at the level of ordinary things. It is natural for a woman, a homemaker, to notice an oversight, to look after the little things that make life pleasant. And that is how Mary acted.

    “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

    If our faith is weak, we should turn to Mary. Because of the miracle at the marriage feast at Cana, which Christ performed at his Mother’s request, his disciples learned to believe in him (cf. John 2:11). Our Mother is always interceding with her Son so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us, so that we can cry out, “You are the Son of God.”

    Grant me, dear Jesus, the faith I truly desire. My Mother, sweet Lady, Mary most holy, make me really believe! (Holy Rosary–Appendix, Wedding Feast at Cana)

    The Christian apostolate — and I’m talking about an ordinary Christian living as just one more man or woman among equals — is a great work of teaching. Through real, personal, loyal friendship, you create in others a hunger for God and you help them to discover new horizons — naturally, simply. With the example of your faith lived to the full, with a loving word, which is full of the force of divine truth.

    Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, queen of apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, Our Lady is able to get each of her children to face his own responsibilities. Mary always does the immense favor of bringing to the cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behavior may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother — you and me — with the firstborn Son of the Father.

    Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so the “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life. (Christ is Passing By, 149)

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      Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle. Father Dave considers how a job description lists a person's duties, and relates this to today's Gospel in which Jesus gives the Apostles a job description as they embark on their mission to preach. He sends them forth to share the faith, just as we are called to go forth today. Preached at Saint Paul the Apostl […]
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  • September 2008
    S M T W T F S
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  • Recent Posts

  • The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

    pope benedict address to diplomatic core - As a new year begins, our own hearts and the entire world continue to echo the joyful message proclaimed twenty centuries ago in the night of Bethlehem, a night which symbolizes humanity’s deep need for light, love and peace. To the men and women of that time, as to those of our own day, the heavenly hosts brought the good news of the coming of the Saviour: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Is 9:1). The mystery of the Son of God who became the son of man truly surpasses all human expectations. In its absolute gratuitousness this saving event is the authentic and full response to the deep desire of every heart. The truth, goodness, happiness and abundant life which each man and woman consciously or unconsciously seeks are given to us by God. In longing for these gifts, each person is seeking his Creator, for “God alone responds to the yearning present in the heart of every man and woman” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 23). Humanity throughout history, in its beliefs and rituals, demonstrates a constant search for God and “these forms of religious expression are so universal that one may well call man a religious being” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 28). The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man’s being and acting, the measure of the fulfilment of his destiny and of the building up of the community to which he belongs. Consequently, when the individual himself or those around him neglect or deny this fundamental dimension, imbalances and conflicts arise at all levels, both personal and interpersonal.
  • Each of us has dignity

    The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son are reminders that each one of us has dignity and are worth everything to God who wants a relationship with us and for us to be happy forever.
  • The Multitudes Were Following After Him

    The crowds were following Jesus when he turned around and made them think about something. Easy is it to follow him when it is convenient. Hard is it to follow him when doing so will cause us discomfort. Sometimes doing the right thing will cause us some discomfort but it is the cross that we are asked to bear.
  • Narrow Gate

    There is a question that has always nagged believers: Will there be many or few people saved? During certain periods this problem became so acute as to cause some people terrible anxiety.

    This Sunday's Gospel informs us that Jesus himself was once asked this question. "Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few people be saved?'"

    The question, as we see, focuses on the number -- How many will be saved? Will it be many or few? In answering the question, Jesus shifts the focus from "how many" to "how" to be saved, that is, by entering "through the narrow gate."

    We see this same attitude in regard to Jesus' second coming. The disciples ask "when" the return of the Son of Man will happen and Jesus answers indicating "how" we should prepare ourselves for that return, and what to do during the time of waiting (cf. Matthew 24:3-4).

    Jesus' way of responding to these questions is not strange or discourteous. He is just acting in the way of one who wants to teach his disciples how to move from a life of curiosity to one of true wisdom; from the allure of idle questions to the real problems we need to grapple with in life.

    From this we already see the absurdity of those who, like the Jehovah Witnesses, believe they know the precise number of the saved: 144,000.

    This number, which recurs in the Book of Revelations has a purely symbolic value (the square of 12 -- the number of the tribes of Israel -- multiplied by 1,000) and is explained by the expression that immediately follows: "A great multitude that no man could number" (Revelations 7:4, 9).

    Above all, if 144,000 is really the number, then we can both close up shop. Above the gate to heaven there must be a sign like the ones parking lots put up: "Full."

    If, therefore, Jesus is not so much interested in revealing to us the number of the saved as he is in telling us how to be saved, we can understand what he is trying to tell us here. In substance, there are two things: one negative and the other positive.

    It is useless, or rather it is not enough, to belong to a certain ethnic group, race, tradition, or institution, not even the chosen people from whom the Savior himself comes. What puts us on the road to salvation is not a title of ownership ("We ate and drank in your presence..."), but a personal decision, followed by a consistent way of life. This is even more clear in Matthew's text which contrasts two ways and two gates, one narrow and the other wide (cf. Matthew 7:13-14).

    Why are these ways respectively called "narrow" and "wide"? Is it perhaps that the way of evil is always easy and pleasant to follow and the way of goodness always hard and tiresome?

    Here we must be careful not to cede to the usual temptation of believing that here below everything goes magnificently well for the wicked and everything goes terribly for the good.

    The way of the wicked is wide, but only at the beginning. As one goes down this way it gradually becomes narrow and bitter. In any case, it becomes very narrow at the end because it finishes in a blind alley.

    The joy that is experienced in it has the characteristic of diminishing more and more as one tastes it, and it finally causes nausea and sadness. We see this in certain forms of intoxication experienced in drugs, alcohol and sex. A larger dose or stronger stimulation is needed each time to produce pleasure of the same intensity.

    Finally the organism no longer responds and it begins to break down, even physically.

    The way of the just is instead narrow at the beginning, when one starts off on it, but it then becomes a spacious boulevard because hope, joy and peace of heart are found in it.

    Father Cantalamessa

  • Faithfully Waiting

    Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

    Be watchful for you know not the day nor the hour

    You also must be ready for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour

    To whom much is given much will be expected

    Keep your lamps burning

    Watchful Servants/Faithful or Unfaithful Servant

    Are you faithful to God?

  • Thoughts on Greed

    Greed and envy focus a person on self. Those who pursue wealth seek security and safety. They use their riches to shield themselves from life's vicissitudes and to find comfort and confidence in material things. In the pursuit of wealth they lose sight of the real meaning of life because they are seduced by the illusion that with their fortune they can control their lives. Yet one day everyone will die - possessions cannot protect against that day. source:

    Novena Prayer to St Martha "St. Martha, I resort to thy protection and aid and as a proof of my affection and faith I offer this light which I shall burn every Tuesday. Comfort me in all my difficulties and through the great favor thou didst enjoy when the Savior was lodged in thy house,. Intercede for my family that we may always hold God in our hearts, and that we may be provided for in all our necessities, I ask, St. Martha, to overcome all difficulties as thou didst overcome the dragon at thy feet."

  • Pope Benedict XVI on the sinful woman redeemed by love

    The manner in which she chose to come before Jesus, bathing his feet with tears and drying them with her hair, kissing them and sprinkling scented oil upon them, was done to shock those who viewed people in her condition with the merciless eye of the judge. What is striking, on the other hand, is the tenderness with which Jesus treated this woman, exploited and judged by so many. In Jesus she found at last a pure eye, a heart capable of loving without exploiting. In the gaze and heart of Jesus she received the revelation of God-Love!

    To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be noted that Jesus' mercy was not expressed by putting moral law in parentheses. For Jesus, good is good and evil is evil. Mercy does not change the connotations of sin but consumes it in a fire of love.

  • Life is not just a succession of events or experiences; it is a search for the true, the good, and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. -PB16 Message for the 43rd World Communications Day May 24, 2009

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      On Father’s Day, my family usually gets my dad a card that has a picture of a grill or a football or tools or beer (I’m probably not alone here). These popular images of earthly fatherhood are not entirely off base, but, of course, there’s more to fatherhood than what we see at the Hallmark store.
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Parable of the laborers in the vineyard

Posted by prepareformass on September 14, 2008

Prepare for Mass – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Todays Readings

The Lord is near to all who call upon him in truth – Ps 145:18. 
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near – Is 55:6
and turn away from things that are bad for us and cling to his mercy and compassion. His ways are far above our ways.  

Is 55: 6-9
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; Let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Paul in Phil 1:20-24 discusses living in Christ and dying with Christ.  “Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death” Phil 1:20c.  He speaks about living in the flesh as fruitful labor.

Jesus tells a parable of the landowner who hires people to labor in the field.  The ones who start late are treated with the same compassion as those who labor all day.  This shows the tremendous compassion God has for all people.  In this parable we are reminded by the landowner searching for laborers throughout the day of how God searches for us throughout our lives.  As we work and labor throughout life doing good deeds are we compassionate for people who in the eleventh hour are called into labor or are we upset with envy by God’s generosity?

Laborers in the vineyard – Justin Allard

Homily – Fr Bonaventure – The Parable of the Vineyard

Pope Benedict General Intentions February 2008 – Kristy Linnhoff

Marie Bellet – Ordinary Time

Psalm 145
Photographic depiction of Psalm 145 from YouTube user marghut

More Psalm 145 videos…


One Response to “Parable of the laborers in the vineyard”

  1. deaconkranz said

    Nice site. Glad I found it.

    Homily for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday Year A
    By Deacon John Kranz

    I believe we are all laborers in the field of our Lord. As we labor, our first concern is for fairness, justice, and impartiality ~ as it applies to the one doing the labor ~ just as it was for those who were sent into the field first and were paid the same as the last. But our understanding of this ideal is not the same as the Lord’s. To Christ, justice is allowing for a man the means by which to provide for his family, a means to clothe the naked, to feed the less fortunate. For our Lord, laboring has so much more to do with others rather than self. In fact, self has nothing to do with it at all. Laboring to rid the person of “SELF” prepares the divine landscape within each of us. And that’s difficult. It’s true spiritual labor. But with this labor comes a two-fold ideal of mercy, individual and communal, and what follows is potentially heaven on earth.
    Before we can labor in the spiritual garden the Lord wants to prepare within our souls, it is useful to understand that laboring in this garden begins with routing out all sense of “SELF”. In routing out this lesser ideal, we labor to prepare for a higher state of being that enables us to offer acts of mercy that are in perfect harmony with the Divine Will of our Heavenly Father, not tainted with self-interest. Again, this is difficult. It requires time, practice and patience ~ not to mention tremendous grace. SELF-interest can rear its ugly head without us even being aware of it. For example, I might go to a prayer meeting more so that others might see that I am a holy deacon rather than for more understanding and inspiration to live according to the Divine Will. To our Lord this gift is really no gift at all, because it is polluted with self-interest rather than unadulterated love for God. Hence you can see from this example that ridding the individual of SELF has much to do with one’s intention. Again, the intention to receive communion from a deep longing for an intimate relationship with God rather than coming to the Lord’s table out of habit. Perhaps it’s the intention to assist those suffering from natural disasters because we truly see the face of Christ in each of his suffering sons and daughters, rather than out of concern that we should do “at least something” so that we make it through the pearly gates. Or maybe it’s the intention to offer a strong shoulder for someone to lean on who has just been laid-off work because of this economy. I could go on. Needless to say, laboring in this garden has nothing to do with SELF and everything to do with the larger Body of Christ. And the more one becomes perfected in this way of life, the irony is, the more perfected their acts of mercy become as an affect on The Body of Christ.
    The individual mercy I am referring to is that mercy we allow for ourselves. By doing away with self-interest, pride, ego, and all the rest, we open the door widely so that Christ might come and dwell within our hearts and within our souls. This is, in itself, a great act of individual mercy. Why? Because we have cleaned out the old, weeded out the unnecessary, and made it new again, so that our Thrice Holy God may dwell within us and enable us to bare fruit according to his Divine Will. It’s like a light shining in a closet but the is door closed. This individual mercy is an act that we can initiate, like turning on a light so that we might become so much more radiant than we really are ~ when left to our own devices. And the more perfected we become, the more freely Christ can flow through us and affect His entire Body.
    This is the communal mercy we offer for others. At this point our labor becomes like a light shining in a closet and the door has been opened. This light shines outside the closet and now illuminates the next room. You know these corporal acts by now that make up this light: Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Heal the sick. But what you may not have known is that the intention of our heart is very much taken into account. And it begins with laboring to rid the individual of SELF.
    The easiest thing in the world to do is to let loose of SELF and allow it to run freely. There is no labor in that at all. SELF is totally consumed by flesh and all that goes with it: lust, pride, ego, licentiousness, decadence, self-indulgence and all the rest. The flesh is weak and therefore very lazy. It will stay out all night long and party for hours on end ~ with no prompting at all. The laboring on our part comes into play when we work to control the flesh, and the lesser sense of SELF, so that we might prepare a place that our Lord loves to dwell. With time, practice and patience we might come to realize that this is truly the greatest act of mercy we can offer our own souls. The more we die to self the more we are resurrected in Christ, and the greater impact we have on the community which makes up his Body.
    This is why Jesus says that the first will be last and the last will be first. In giving us equal opportunity to labor in the fertile fields that lay within each of us, the first will be last because they are the first to route out all sense of SELF, and by grace have placed themselves last before all others. In fact, Jesus said, “If you wish to be the greatest in heaven be the servant of all.” Again, he said, “Even the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.” Those who have labored well have learned the exalted position that being last commands. And being last, they hold first place in the heavenly kingdom. Hence, the first will be last and the last first.
    The good news is, at the end of this day’s labor we will receive the same compensation, becoming more fully participants in His sacrifice and His glory. We bring the gift of SELF to this alter with the intention of offering it in complete union with Christ to our Father for the fulfillment of His divine plan and the gift of eternal salvation for all humankind.

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