Celebrate Sunday Mass With Bishop Strickland - 8.23.20

Join Bishop Strickland for Sunday Mass.

The Sunday Mass videos can be found below.

Bishop Strickland during a previous Sunday Mass.

Bishop Strickland during a previous Sunday Mass.

8/23/2020 (8 months ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Sunday Mass in English: 

Sunday Mass in Spanish: 

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...


I know you look forward to hearing Bishop Strickland preach. The response to offering these beautiful liturgies has been overwhelming. I also know that, like me, you are drawn closer to the Lord when he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them. 

In our first reading, we will hear the Lord speaking through the Prophet Isaiah. The Prophet denounces a self-seeking leader named Shebna and establishes Eliakim, the son of Hilkia, to replace him. In his commentary on this historical event, St Jerome says that Eliakim did not fare any better as a ruler. He dispensed patronage to members of his own family and fell away from the Lord and into disfavor. Leadership requires integrity. It requires a single-hearted focus on God. After all, all authority comes from the Lord.

In some sphere, every one of us is called to exercise leadership. Every one of us is given some authority. In exercising it with integrity, we all need, more than anything else, to stay close to the Lord. He alone can help us to stay faithful to our charge. David the Psalmist is a great example to us of how to do this. His continual praise of the Lord served to always draw him back to the Lord, even though he fell. David was a man of deep prayer. That is our call as well, to become men and women of prayer.  

Our second reading for Mass is taken from the very last part of the eleventh chapter of St Paul's Letter to the Romans. In this chapter the Apostle addresses Gods' call to the Jewish people as continuing and His inclusion of the Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ into the Church, by being grafted into the Vine. Jesus Christ is the Vine. 

He ends this beautiful explanation with a prayer "How rich and deep are the wisdom and the knowledge of God! We cannot reach to the root of his decisions or his ways. Who has ever known the mind of the Lord? Who has ever been his adviser? Who has given anything to him, so that his presents come only as a debt returned? Everything there is comes from him and is caused by him and exists for him. To him be glory forever! Amen."

We are called to totally trust in the plan of the Lord in our own lives as well. Everything we have has come from and through Him.

The question which Jesus poses to His disciples in the Gospel for the Holy Mass on the 21st Sunday is asked of each one of us. "Who do you say I am?" It is not just asked once - but continually. It is meant to inform the response of our entire life. It calls us to radical conversion. How we answer that question determines who we will become - and how we will live. It is a question which cannot be answered indirectly, or halfheartedly. It is not enough to rely on what - "some say". How this question is answered has historic consequences.

The answer to that question has changed millions of lives. It has informed the founding, as well as the fall, of entire Nations. It has transformed barbarians into saints and inspired the most beautiful art the world has ever seen. It has prompted acts of bravery and sacrifice which changed the course of history.

 The question has divided human history. It has divided families and entire Nations. This question is the most important question to ever be asked. It requires a radical response from the heart, the center of the human person. That answer paves the path toward how one lives and how one dies. 

The question finds its origin in a dialogue between Jesus and His early followers recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. Their first answers initially came from the thinking of the crowd. But, when they answered from the heart, they were transformed.  This question begs to be answered in this urgent hour. The answer can change each one of us. It can change the whole world.

Peter answered clearly and correctly. He was prepared for a new and unique vocation. He became an instrument, a Vicar, of Christ. He is the Rock upon which the Church will be built.  Who is Jesus Christ to you? The only proper response is Peters response "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God"

May the Lord bless you, your families, the Church, and the Nations of the world on this Lord's Day.   

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

Back to Catholic Online >

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online.