Celebrate Sunday Mass - 2.20.22

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2/20/2022 (4 months ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

February 20, 2022 -- SEVENTH 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 February 20, 2022, in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Texas. 

Our readings for today's Holy Mass speak to us of the Mercy of God and our own call to be merciful to others.

In the first reading, we heard of David once again sparing the life of Saul. Saul was trying to kill David. David, accompanied by Abishai, his sister's son, came across Saul asleep. Abishai wanted to "nail him to the ground with a spear". 

But not David.  He responded mercifully. He said "Do not harm him, for who can lay hands on the Lords anointed and remain unpunished."

Our canticle, the responsorial Psalm, continues the theme. We sing or pray with David in these words from Psalm 103: "The Lord is kind and merciful".

In our second reading, we heard another excerpt from the 15th chapter of the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians. The entire chapter is an instruction from the Apostle Paul concerning the Resurrection from the Dead. 

First, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and then, our own Resurrection. 

By assuming our humanity, Jesus, the Incarnate Word, has now made it possible for us to become more and more like Him - by grace and through faith. This ongoing process of conversion will culminate in the fullness of our redemption when we are raised from the dead.  

But the transformation of our character, and our hearts, begins now. It is by grace that we are given the capacity to reflect the Mercy of the Lord in our behavior toward others.

Last week, I encouraged us all to prayerfully read the entire chapter fifteen of this letter. I say it again. Catholics need to regularly read, pray and study the Bible. It is not enough to simply hear it at Holy Mass.

Every time we recite the ancient creed at Holy Mass, we reaffirm our faith in the Resurrection from the dead. Do we really believe what we say? This faith in the Resurrection is the source of our hope and happiness in this life and the doorway to the life to come!

The power that comes from the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ is transformational. 

In the Gospel appointed for this Sunday Mass, we heard another portion of St Luke's account of what is often called the Sermon on the Mount. St Luke's rendition is also called the Sermon on the Plain. 

The word "Blessed" in the English translation of this beautiful sermon from Jesus can be translated "Happy". When we live as disciples of Jesus Christ, we find true happiness, beginning now and stretching into eternity.

The portion we heard on this seventh Sunday in Ordinary time, is positioned right after the Beatitudes and Woes which the Evangelist and Apostle records. They are the very core of the teaching of Jesus on how his disciples should behave toward others. They reflect the Mercy of God. 

Jesus sets an example we are called to imitate. But he does much more. 

Through His suffering, death and Resurrection, Jesus makes it possible for us to live this way. What impedes us is sin. He pays the penalty for our sin, and we receive His Divine Life, called grace. 

This grace is mediated to us through the Sacraments, and, in particular, through reception of the Most Holy Eucharist. It comes to us through prayer. It comes by reading and studying the written Word of God, the Bible. 

Grace makes it possible to begin living as new men and women, sons and daughters in the Son. Disciples of Jesus who continue to reveal His Mercy, Compassion and Love to a word desperately in need of it.  

So, on this Lords Day, let us choose to follow Jesus Christ. Let us choose to be His disciples. He now lives His life in and through us and continues His Redemptive mission to the whole world. Let us be merciful, as He is merciful. 

Have a Blessed Lords Day,

Deacon Keith Fournier, JD, MTS, MPhil
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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