Celebrate Sunday Mass - 9.19.21

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9/19/2021 (1 month ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Sept 19, 2021 -- 25th 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 25th 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 25th Sunday in Ordinary time, we heard an excerpt from the Book of Wisdom in the Old Testament. The Book is also called "The Wisdom of Solomon". To those who are Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, we should immediately see the prophetic dimension of this passage. 

We should see this reference to the "just one", as a reference to the Messiah who was promised to Israel. 


We know that Messiah was, and is, Jesus Christ. He is the Promised One, the Anointed One, the Christ. He came to call all who recognize that we are sinners to repentance, conversion - and by His saving life, death, and Resurrection, He invites us into a new way of living and makes it possible.


He was condemned to a "shameful death", paying the penalty for our sins, though He was without sin.  In that great Act of Love, He set us free to become new creations, through His grace. (2 Cor. 5:17) 


Our second reading for Holy Mass is an excerpt from the Letter of St James. This Letter was written for all the early churches. The Apostle is instructing the early Christians - and each one of us who follow the Lord Jesus Christ - about how to live the Christian Way of Life. How to break free from what the Bible refers to as "the world" and begin to live in the "new world" of the Church, which is a seed and sign of the Kingdom of God. 


The phrase "the world" or "this world" in the Biblical text is not referring to the created order. That created order is good. Rather, it refers to the system which has rejected the true God and worships substitutes, idols, including the idolatry of self. 

In this excerpt we also hear an important answer to one of the most perplexing questions of life - What causes wars and fighting among us? The Bible makes it clear. We do.

Fighting and even wars are caused by our own inability to control our disordered passions. These disordered passions are the bad fruit of the effects of sin and a result of the fall from grace of our first parents. We cannot free ourselves without the help of Gods grace. Therefore, the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, the "Just One", to justify us, and set us free from sin. 

A few verses after the excerpt which we heard proclaimed; the Apostle tells us that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Further, that when we submit ourselves to the Lord, and resist the devil, the Lord will give us the grace to become instruments of rec
onciliation and peace. 
The Gospel passage for today is from the ninth chapter of St. Mark. Jesus is trying to prepare his disciples for His impending death. He told His disciples that He would be "handed over to men and killed". But, He continued, "three days later, He would be raised." They were not listening. They were preoccupied with their own self-centeredness. They were lost in "the world". 

The passage continues. St. Mark tells us "They did not understand". Instead of hearing this vital truth, they were fighting one another over who among them was the greatest. Jesus instructed them "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all". To demonstrate this Kingdom truth, He places a child in their midst.  

How are we responding to the call of our Baptism to follow Jesus Christ? Are we becoming new creations?  We can, if we cooperate with grace and invite the Lord Jesus Christ into every area of our lives. 

God bless you,
Deacon Keith FournierDean of Catholic Online School

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