Celebrate Sunday Mass With Bishop Strickland - 10.25.20

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Bishop Strickland during a previous Mass.

Bishop Strickland during a previous Mass.

10/24/2020 (1 month ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

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

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO ONLINE SUNDAY MASS ON THE THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME at the Chapel of Sts. Peter and Paul, in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. The Chapel is an extension parish of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

I know you look forward to hearing Bishop Strickland preach. The response to offering these beautiful liturgies online has been overwhelming. You will have the opportunity this Sunday to hear him preach. He will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And, I will have the honor of assisting as his Deacon. The readings from the Scriptures, 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 a portion of the law, given through Moses by the Lord, to His people Israel. Remember, Moses has already come down from the Mountain with the Ten Commandments. Now, the very way of life the Lord wants His People to live is being explained. Israel, the people of the Covenant, are to reveal Gods' love to all the Nations, in the way they live their lives. 

In choosing Israel as His People, the Lord intended to use them as His Instrument to bring all Nations back to Him. He reminds them that they were "aliens" in Egypt, and He delivered them. They are to manifest that same behavior to all aliens. Similarly, when they encounter the poor, or lend they are to behave in a manner which reflects their special relationship with the Lord.

These admonitions continue now, in the people of the New Covenant, the Church, the New Israel. We have been grafted into the vine through Jesus the Christ and empowered to live a New Way. How do we treat the "aliens" or immigrants in our own lives? How do we look at them? How do we treat the poor? If we follow the advice of David in our responsorial Psalm, we will continue in a relationship with the Lord and be able to live these admonitions. 

In our second reading, we will continue in the Apostle Paul's first Letter to the Thessalonians. The Apostle, in the verse right before the first one we will hear proclaimed, reminds them that they were beloved by God and that they had been called and chosen by God. Now, he reminds them that they had the power of the Holy Spirit to draw upon - and the example of the Apostles to follow.

He reminds them that they had broken from worshipping false gods and were converted for a new way of living, in Jesus Christ. When we listen to these words to the early believers, we must remember that they were just like us! We have been converted, by God's grace. We have been saved from sin and its consequences, death. We have been saved FOR a new Way of Living, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and in imitation of Jesus and the Saints who have gone on before us. 

How are we doing?

The Gospel appointed for Holy Mass is a continuation of the 22d Chapter of St Matthew. A lawyer is trying to test Jesus on which is the greatest commandment. Jesus recites a portion of the great Shema of Israel - to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. In other words, to love the Lord with our whole person. And, to love our neighbor as ourselves. 

The listeners could not refute it. Though, they clearly were not living it. That is evident by their behavior toward Jesus  

We all know this is true. 

We are also called to love the Lord with our whole person, and our neighbor as ourselves. Do we live this commandment? When we direct our entire lives toward the Lord - and really serve our neighbors. When we forget about ourselves, we find genuine happiness, in the Lord. To do this we need grace. Gods' Divine Life. He has given it to us fully in His Son. It is mediated through His Mystical Body, the Church, of which we are members. 

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

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