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Summer Challenge: Mass Prep for June 23/24

The Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Vigil and the Mass of the Day are this weekend! I hope you’ve been preparing along with us. This is the fifth day of prep for this weekend’s liturgy; here’s the post outlining the challenge I’ve thrown out there for everyone. Please give Fr. Mike Schmitz’s podcast a listen (it will make what we are doing easier to understand).

The link is to all the readings for each day.

At the Vigil Mass

Mass during the Day

Today, reread all the readings for this weekend. Then, review your notes from each day. Finally, again write two or three sentences (in your phone’s Notes app, or in a notebook where you keep important thoughts) about what God is saying to you in the readings.

Again, if you’re seeing this challenge for the first time today, no worries. Just jump right in and read both the first and second readings, and then the Gospel, and start. Take a minute with each reading; we can start correctly next week.

Y’all, I am firmly convinced that the secret to “getting more out of the Mass”…is bringing more to the Mass when we show up!

Do this with us for the remaining seven weeks of summer. And then let’s talk from week to week about how this exercise is changing your experience at Mass

God bless!

Summer Challenge: Gospel Reading for Jun 23/24, 2018

Next Saturday/Sunday is The Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Vigil and the Mass of the Day. If you missed it, here’s the post detailing the challenge. Please give the podcast a listen (h/t to Fr. Mike Schmitz for a typically nice job!).

The first link is to all the readings; the second will take you to the reading in the Bible.

At the Vigil Mass

GOSPEL

Luke 1:5–17

Mass during the Day

Luke 1:57–66, 80

Remember, Thursday’s goal is to read the Gospel reading, and capture a couple of sentences (in your phone’s Notes app, or in a notebook where you keep important thoughts) about what God is saying to you in the reading. You should pick the one for the Mass you’ll be attending; if you’re not sure, then read them both!

If you’re seeing this challenge for the first time today, no worries. Just jump right in and read both the first and second readings, and then the Gospel, and start. Take a minute with each reading; we can start correctly next week.

We are going to “fix” the issue of “getting something out of Mass”, precisely by bringing something with us!

Jump on in!

Summer Challenge: Second Readings for Jun 23/24, 2018

Next Saturday/Sunday is The Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Vigil and the Mass of the Day. If you missed it, here’s the post detailing the challenge.

The first link is to all the readings; the second will take you to the reading in the Bible.

At the Vigil Mass

SECOND READING

1 Peter 1:8–12

Mass during the Day

SECOND READING

Acts 13:22–26

Remember, Wednesday’s goal is to read the second reading, and capture a couple of sentences (in your phone’s Notes app, or in a notebook where you keep important thoughts) about what God is saying to you in the reading. You should pick the one for the Mass you’ll be attending; if you’re not sure, then read them both!

If you’re seeing this challenge for the first time today, no worries. Just jump right in and read both the first and second readings, and start.

You will be helping out both your priest and yourself with this exercise. There’s no better way to “get something” out of Mass, than to show up prepared to hear what God has to say!

Let’s go!

Summer Challenge: First Readings for Jun 23/24, 2018

Here are the two First Readings for The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist – Solemnity, both the Vigil and the Mass of the Day. If you missed it, here’s the post detailing the challenge.

The first link is to all the readings; the second will take you to the reading in the Bible.

At the Vigil Mass

FIRST READING

Jeremiah 1:4–10

Mass during the Day

FIRST READING

Isaiah 49:1–6

Remember, Tuesday’s goal is to read the first reading, and capture a couple of sentences (in your phone’s Notes app, or in a notebook where you keep important thoughts) about what God is saying to you in the reading. You should pick the one for the Mass you’ll be attending; if you’re not sure, then read them both!

Let’s get after it! This is a very similar process to the one your pastor/parochial vicars/deacons use to prepare for their homilies. If nothing else, we’ll learn what this process takes…

God bless you as you prepare for this Sunday’s liturgy!

A little summer challenge: Mass and Homily Prep for Congregations!

Hi, everyone! Since I find myself with a little more time on my hands right now, I am going to try to spend some of it writing. So here goes!

This podcast episode, “How To Prepare For The Sunday Readings”, came into my feed two weeks ago. It hit a nerve because I’d just been discussing sermon quality with my wife, and with a friend.

Fr. Mike points out, correctly, that we sometimes sit in judgment of the homilist on Sunday, without considering that he didn’t show up to seminary to volunteer to talk to a crowded room of strangers and acquaintances. For the record, I don’t feel judged, and I welcome the feedback I receive. But many clerics struggle to put together and deliver quality homilies, day after day after day; we should remember that.

The second part of his talk was what sparked my idea. Fr. Mike lays out a way for all of us to prepare for the Sunday Mass readings ourselves, so that we show up prepared to receive whatever it is that God wants to give us through the readings.

So here’s my challenge. I’d like for my readers/followers/Facebook/Twitter friends/whoever to try this method of preparation from now until school starts. And I’d like to discuss with you, here, or on Facebook, or wherever, what you are seeing/receiving in the readings.

Here’s a link to all of next Sunday’s readings. (This Sunday is the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, so there are two sets of readings.) If you wanna join us, please listen to the podcast (8 minutes), and then read over all three readings. Finally, jot some note about what one thing stuck with you from the readings. You can use the Notes application in your phone for this.

I’ll send out reminders each day of the reading, and the task to be done. All you have to do is a) read, and b) write one – three sentences describing what it is going on in your heart.

Let’s see how this goes. If it works out, we should all be better prepared to receive what our priests and deacons offer on Sunday. Heck, in the worst case, as Fr. Mike points out, we will have written our own “homily”!

So…give it a whirl. And like/comment if you’re going to jump in!

Let’s do this!

Homily – Epiphany 2018: Our Light Has Come!

Here’s my humble offering for Epiphany this year.  You can find the readings for Epiphany (if you missed them, or if you were distracted during Mass) here.

We get caught up in those Three Wise Men, and the camels, and the star shining on a manger, way too much.  The fact aside that the Three Magi visited Jesus, Mary and Joseph in a house (the Gospel says), that wasn’t nearly all that was going on.  Take a listen; comment if you feel moved to do so.

God bless!

Who’s invited?

The readings for today were pretty long, and had multiple paths one could take.  I was sorry, for example, that I couldn’t follow up on the “Many are called, few are chosen” line, and that I had to leave one of my wife’s favorite verses (“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)) for another time.

In my homily today, I chose instead to focus on our status as “the bad and the good alike”, to whom Jesus referred in this parable.  So much is lost on us in the change of time; we don’t get, for example, how that whole wedding invitation thing worked for the people of Jesus’ time (this article does a good job of explaining it).  For a king’s invitation to be blown off was…simply unheard of.

And we receive a similar invitation.  Who’s invited?  We all are.  But…what do we do with the invitation?

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