Celebrate Sunday Mass - 8.29.21

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8/29/2021 (2 weeks ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

AUGUST 29, 2021 -- 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO SUNDAY MASS ON THE 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler.  Our participation at Holy Mass is always enhanced when we take time to prayerfully reflect on the readings. This is one of the reasons we are encouraged to read the readings for Holy Mass before we come to assist.

In our first reading for this 22nd Sunday in ordinary time, we heard the address Moses gave to the people. He commanded them, on behalf of the Lord, to obey the statutes and decrees that they might live and enter in and take possession of the Land the Lord had promised them. They walked in a covenant relationship with God. 

They were to be an example to the rest of the Nations by the way they lived. "For what great Nation is there" he asked "that has a "god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us?" What is clear is that their obedience to the Law is the key to their entering the land and prospering. 

Sadly, we know how often they failed to remain faithful. But the Lord continued to remain faithful. 

And, in our Psalm response we sing with David "The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord."  As members of the Church, the New Israel, we are heirs of the promises to Israel. How faithful are we to the New Covenant we entered, with Jesus Christ, in our Baptism?

In our second reading, the Apostle James reminds the whole early church - and each one of us - that all gifts come from the Lord. And that, through Jesus Christ, He has given us a new birth. 

We are now the first fruits of the new creation which was begun though the saving life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are to be doers of the word and not simply hearers. 

And we are given the grace we need to do just that, if we stay close to the Lord. That will lead us to live differently, because the Lord Himself now lives His Life in and through us.

In our Gospel passage for today's 22nd Sunday of Ordinary time, we heard a portion of the 7th chapter of the Gospel of St Mark. 

Mark wrote to primarily pagan, or gentile converts to Jesus Christ. He explains that the ceremonial washings in the Jewish Law were not simply hygienic. Rather, they had a spiritual significance. They were to be a call to purity of life, a symbol of the call to holiness, the call to a purity of heart, a single-minded devotion to the Lord. 

Sadly, many had lost sight of this at the time of Jesus. In fact, it is a continual temptation. In this chapter Jesus is confronted by some Pharisees because His disciples were not strictly following the purifications. 

Jesus uses this as an opportunity to explain what matters most, the heart.

This is a key to understanding the teaching of the Gospel. The heart is the center of a person, the Catechism tells us it is the seat of our moral personality. It is the place from which we make the choices which will affect the world within us and around us. We need to regularly examine ourselves and ask ourselves, what have we set our heart upon? 

Jesus told us, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be as well".  (Matt. 6:21) On this Lord's Day, we should examine ourselves, in the light of the Holy Spirit. Where is our treasure? 

God bless you,  

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School

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