The theme for Catechetical Sunday, Sept. 19, you may think is lifted from the Communion Rite at Mass. You are partially right. Yet, the roots of that phrase go back to the words and time of Jesus himself. At the Mass it is the response to the invitation to receive Holy Communion:
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
But only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.
In Matthew Chapter 8, it is recounted that Jesus went to Capernaum, and there healed the slave of a Centurion (Roman Soldier) by fiat. How did it happen?
Upon entering the village, Jesus heard that a person lie ill. Jesus came to bring sight to the blind, release to captives, healing for those who are ill--- and so, he offered to go to the house, but the Centurion protested. “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” The vignette ends with Jesus proclaiming that never has he seen such faith in Israel as this Centurion – a pagan – expressed.
We have been subject to something out of our control for the past 18 or so months. It seems as if the pandemic has touched every corner of our lives. Whether or not we have faced illness, we have faced isolation, loneliness, loss of ……. (you name it). There is grief in us all.
There is need for healing. Healing of mind, body, spirit. Healing of relationships. Healing of families.
We bless our catechists today, our teachers, our parents, all of us – for indeed all of us together have the responsibility to pass on the deposit of faith to our young people; to lift them up and help them grow in their relationship with Christ through knowledge of his power and strength.
God bless your week.
Take some time with this tried and true way to reflect on Words of Sacred Scripture
Read Meditate Pray Contemplate
Lectio Divina is a prayerful reflection on a Scripture passage from any part of the Bible. Our process proposes reflecting on the Gospel of this coming Sunday, in order to prepare your mind, heart and soul to hear Christ speaking to you in the Liturgical proclamation of Scripture by Lector, Psalmist, Priest.
Our Lectio Divina this week is on Mark 8: 27-25 - Unless you deny yourself, and take up your cross, you cannot be my follower – my disciple. And then immediately, that perplexing line, whoever saves his life will lose it, whomever loses her life, will be saved. It is only in the power of the Cross, as Jesus instrument of crucifixion, transformed into the Tree of Life – Cross of victory. The Lectio Divina resource is here.
There’s such a straight line
of relationships, of reality
in your corrective demonstration:
Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.
How can such unity be understood?!
Surely only you
can empower this example, establish this revelation
in human hearts, minds, emotions, experience.
You are the “One” who sent Jesus
and you send all whom you call.
In you, all become one
even as they remain – Jesus, child, disciples, me - also two or three, four and more.
Your life is an arrow shot straight from heaven to earth.
Piercing, it divides our divisions and destroys our illusions.
Striving isn’t thriving, arguing doesn’t enable, competing doesn’t complete us.
Your life is a paradox which compels rather than contradicts.
Last are first, least are greatest,
servants are revered, the smallest are most cherished.
Jesus, Holy Spirit, Creator God,
I pray I’ll understand your saying when you speak of heaven’s ways –
dying and rising, disappearing and returning, sorrow and joy, separation and unity.
I pray I won’t be afraid to question when I don’t understand –
what this has to do with me, and why, and how, and when.
How did Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio become Pope Francis? When terrorists wreaked havoc on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, it forever altered global affairs — including, inadvertently, paving the way for a relatively unknown Argentine cardinal to eventually become Pope Francis. Click Here to Read More!
Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone by Rev James Martin, SJ: A how to book on prayer. How to get started, how to spend time with God, how to listen to God's voice. Fr. Martin uses his articulate writing style and incisive sense of the human person to help everyone learn how to pray. It is available on Amazon or on Audible.
Let us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, a book of reflections recently published by Pope Francis. This is a way to see the path through the pandemic, and how to grow from this journey. In three short chapters, A Time to See, A time to Choose, A time to Act, the Holy Father reflects and challenges us to think about how this pandemic crisis will change us. This is the book you have heard our priests mention the past few weeks in their homilies, and we recommend it as a good read. Available on Amazon or at Holy Grounds.
New American Bible, Revised Edition This translation of the Bible is used at the Liturgy.
It would be good investment in your faith development. Use it when your family or household reads the Bible together, and also for for your own study.
Available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover and leather bound editions.
The Word on Fire Bible: The Gospels: This edition of the Bible is being published in several volumes by the Bishop Robert Barron’s organization, The Word On Fire. The Translation is the Revised Standard Version – Catholic edition. The volume with the Four Gospels is the first to be published. It includes artwork illustrating Scriptural stories in all mediums: painting, stained glass, manuscript illuminations and more. It includes easy-to-read background stories of the Gospels and Jesus’ life, and is a unique entry into understanding more deeply the person and story of Jesus as told by the four evangelists.
Available through Amazon or directly from www.wordonfire.org
The Confessions of St. Augustine – I would be remiss if I didn’t offer you for your reading enjoyment, or re-reading if you’ve already read, the Confessions. St. Augustine’s self-indulgent Spiritual Auto-biography, which has inspired Christians who desire a deeper relationship with Christ to read and study the Confessions. This could be your next pandemic project!
Looking at monastic insights we might gain and learn from as a result of pandemic isolation:
What is Lectio Divina? - A Short video by Fr. James Martin, SJ
A resource put together as a gift to our Church for moments of prayer toward the end of life, especially useful for us as we accompany a loved one who may be in hospice, or near death when a priest cannot come to celebrate the Anointing of the sick.
This resource was prepared and sent to us for use by The Liturgical Press. It was prepared for use during this pandemic for times when a priest cannot come for anointing of the sick, or at the time of death, if a funeral is not able to be celebrated. I have sent it to a number of families, friends and neighbors upon hearing of illness or death, and it has been well received and offers a variety of prayer and home liturgy options for families and groups of friends. Check it out, share it if you know of a family or friend who could use it.
Sharing the Word of God at Home is a resource offered to give families ideas for reading the Bible together, listening to God’s Word at home in a family, household, or single person at home setting.
A Mother’s Reflection on Liturgy: Word, Sign, Symbol, Ritual was written a few years back, but is a great short two-page reflection on sharing the liturgy with young families and understanding the pieces of the liturgy.