One Thing from Mass

OTfM Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus said he came to light a fire upon the earth. I should be afire with love of Christ, and when I encounter others, they should not only see the fire, but they should recognize the invitation Jesus offers everyone to share in His good news, the gospel of salvation.

In this way, the fire of Christ will spread throughout my neighborhood and the whole world.

I often think about those first apostles, how they were transformed from frightened men to courageous evangelists. They were set on fire with passion for the Gospel after their encounter with the risen Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Their enthusiastic boldness for the faith was unmistakable. They went about healing the sick and ministering to the poor. Their witness was what drew thousands into the early Church.

I have never had that kind of faith myself. When I was young, I had no faith, having fallen away through my own disbelief and the influence of the hyper-secular world around me. I eventually came back to the Catholic Church, but even then it was only a tepid response. I stuck my toes in the water, but never had the courage to take the plunge.

It has only been recently that I started to truly understand my own weaknesses in this area. I have a long way to go, and many doubts and questions plague me, but I am on an intentional journey. I have decided not to leave things to chance, but have embarked upon a quest to learn more and share those experiences with others. And as I learn more, I realize the depth and breadth of Catholic teaching is at once daunting and exhilarating. There is an immense library of knowledge and inspiration that has been handed down through the ages, awaiting those intrepid explorers who wish to burn with the fire that Jesus wished were already consuming the world.

Through my search, I hope to find the match that might kindle my own fire.

Small RosaryReadings for August 14, 2016

Reading 1          Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10

In those days, the princes said to the king:
“Jeremiah ought to be put to death;
he is demoralizing the soldiers who are left in this city,
and all the people, by speaking such things to them;
he is not interested in the welfare of our people,
but in their ruin.”
King Zedekiah answered: “He is in your power”;
for the king could do nothing with them.
And so they took Jeremiah
and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah,
which was in the quarters of the guard,
letting him down with ropes.
There was no water in the cistern, only mud,
and Jeremiah sank into the mud.

Ebed-melech, a court official,
went there from the palace and said to him:
“My lord king,
these men have been at fault
in all they have done to the prophet Jeremiah,
casting him into the cistern.
He will die of famine on the spot,
for there is no more food in the city.”
Then the king ordered Ebed-melech the Cushite
to take three men along with him,
and draw the prophet Jeremiah out of the cistern before
he should die.

Responsorial Psalm          Psalms 40:2, 3, 4, 18

R. Lord, come to my aid!
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
The LORD heard my cry.
He drew me out of the pit of destruction,
out of the mud of the swamp;
he set my feet upon a crag;
he made firm my steps.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
Many shall look on in awe
and trust in the LORD.
R. Lord, come to my aid!
Though I am afflicted and poor,
yet the LORD thinks of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, hold not back!
R. Lord, come to my aid!

Reading 2          Hebrews 12:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
he endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

Gospel          Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”