Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
August 6, 2017
DANIEL 7:9–10, 13–14
PSALM 97:1–2, 5–6, 9
2 PETER 1:16–19
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Fans of the Harry Potter Series
might be familiar with the subject of Transfiguration, taught by Professor McGonagall.
In Harry Potter, Transfiguration is the artof transforming oneself beyond their physical
appearance into an entirely different creature. McGonagall herself is known for
changing into a cat! In the Christian tradition, Transfiguration means to change into
something more beautiful in appearance to reveal something even more profound
about God. That’s what Jesus did on top of the mountain in the presence of a few
of his disciples. Transfiguration is a word that’s not really part of our everyday
language, is it? It sure wasn’t an everyday sort of experience for Peter, James,
and John, either. Jesus took the disciples to the top of a high mountain where his
clothesbecame dazzling white, his appearance completely changed right before
their very eyes, and they were simply dumbfounded. Jesus chose this moment
to reveal his divinity — that he is God. Jesus’ divinity is affirmed by the voice
in the clouds that says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). What a direct command: “Listen to him!” While it’s
good to become comfortable with the image of Jesus as a friend, buddy, and
companion, it’s also good to remember that, in the words of today’s psalm,
“The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth” (psalm refrain; see Psalm 97:1a).
This is the Jesus whom we worship and who brings us to our knees in awe of his presence!
While the vision of a transfigured Jesus in all his magnificent glory is essential for our
spiritual life, we can’t stay on the mountaintop forever — there’s too much to do down
here on the plains. But at the same time, we can’t do good works here in the world
without prayerfully encountering God on a “mountaintop” of our own. Strengthened
by our “aha moments” with Jesus, let us go out into our classrooms, ball fields, and
homes to dazzle like the sun.
Have you ever had a “mountaintop” experience? That is, an experience so set apart
and special where you encountered God? Describe it.
Ad maiorem Dei gloriam (“For
the greater glory of God”) is the
motto of the Jesuits and of their
founder, St. Ignatius Loyola.
God’s Word, Your World! 2016 – 2017 © 2016 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications. All rights reserved. Orders: 1-800-933-1800. Written by Mary O’Neill McManus. Permission
to publish granted by the Very Reverend Ronald A. Hicks, Vicar General, Archdiocese of September 2, 2015.
Jul 31, 2017 9:59 AM
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Jul 24, 2017 10:06 AM
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 30, 2017
1 KINGS 3:5, 7–12
PSALM 119:57, 72, 76–77,127–128, 129–130
MATTHEW 13:44–52 OR 13:44–46
Imagine this: one night you are awakened by the sound of an alarm ringing in your
home. Your house is on fire. With no time to spare, what would be the one thing
that you would grab on your way out?
Material items come and go; what is truly important to take with you?
Today’s Gospel reading offers a series of brief parables from Jesus. The first few
follow a similar pattern: seeking and finding something that is precious, followed
by a selling of one’s own goods, and ultimately buying the prized commodity.
Through these parables, Jesus is telling us that entry into the Kingdom of heaven
requires all of these steps. Finding a precious gift or being caught in Jesus’ net
is just the first step. We are asked to sell what is most important to us in order
to purchase the fullness of what is being offered to us — the gift of being welcomed in to Jesus’ Kingdom.
So, what is it that you would grab as you are exiting the burning building?
Are you willing to offer it up to Jesus in order to receive the reward?
How do you continue that moment of initial revelation, the finding of the gift or being
caught in Christ’s net, and expand upon it in order to experience the Kingdom?
Make a conscious effort this week to parcel out some of the things in your life
that may be distracting or take up a lot of your time. These may include watching
TV, texting, or spending time on social media. Give up your phone for a couple of days.
Make an effort to spend some quality time this week with your family and friends,
away from technology. Also, spend some of that time that you would normally spend
doing other things and pick up your Bible .Read some Scripture.
Enter into some prayer with what you read.
Reflect upon a moment in which you experienced the “hook” of Jesus’ presence in your life.
What did this finding of something precious feel like?
How did you respond to this initial experience of revelation?
What still needs to be done to work toward the Kingdom of heaven?
God’s Word, Your World! 2016 – 2017 © 2016 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications. All rights reserved. Orders: 1-800-933-1800. Written by Kyle Turner. Permission to publish
granted by the Very Reverend Ronald A. Hicks, Vicar General, Archdiocese of September 2, 2015.
Jul 17, 2017 10:17 AMSixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time July 23, 2017
Justice Tempered with Compassion
Focus: To experience the Kingdom of Heaven.
Wisdom 12:13, 16–19
Psalm 86:5–6, 9–10, 15–16
Matthew 13:24–43 or 13:24–30
Gospel Matthew 13:24–30 (longer form Matthew 13:24–43)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection God’s Justice and Patience :
Have you ever done a small service for someone else that seemed to make a big difference to them? What happened? Today, we continue the section of the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus uses parables to tell us about the Kingdom of Heaven. God sows the good seed of justice and right relationship in our lives because he desires that we live fruitful lives. Sometimes, however, we give in to negative behaviors, attitudes, or actions that are like weeds in the field God has planted. But God will wait patiently for our return, and we are assured that God will judge our actions justly at the end of time. We are also reminded (in the longer form of the Gospel) that small things can grow into great ones. The Kingdom, we are told, is like a tiny seed that grows into a large plant. As people who have been given the gift of faith, we are called to build God’s Kingdom on earth by sharing our presence and care with others. When we do this on earth, we have an idea of what to look forward to in the future.
Think about the past week. Which of your actions or thoughts helped grow the good seed that God has planted within you?
What did you do or say were like weeds of negativity, harm, or hurt toward yourself or another?
What will help you to grow strong and faithful, and to avoid evil or sinful ways?
What small things can you do for others as a sign of God’s love?
Focus on Church Teaching
This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that God is patient with us, showing mercy, withholding judgment for a final day, and hoping that we will seek repentance and live justly (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 827, 1037). Knowing the compassionate justice that God wants for all, we contemplate on Jesus’s words and deeds, inspiring us to unite ourselves with Christ.
Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America second typical edition © 1970, 1986, 1997, 1998, 2001 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved.Celebrating the Lectionary for Junior High Grades © 2017 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications. All rights reserved. Orders 800-933-1800.
Jul 11, 2017 10:57 AM
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Is 55:10-11
Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come
down and do not return there till they have watered the
earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the
one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall
my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word
shall not return to me void, but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
Reading II Rom 8:18-23
Brothers and sisters:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as
nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation the
revelation of the children of God; for creation was
made subject to futility, not of its own accord but
because of the one who subjected it, in hope that
creation itself would be set free from slavery to
corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the
children of God. We know that all creation is groaning
in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we
ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we
also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption,
the redemption of our bodies.
Gospel Mt 13:1-23 or 13:1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down
by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole
crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at
length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and
birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground,
where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because
the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was
scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns
grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich
soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or
thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
The disciples approached him and said, “Why do
you speak to them in parables?” He said to them
in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of
the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you,
but to them it has not been granted. To anyone
who has, more will be given and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not, even what he has will
be taken away. This is why I speak to them in
parables, because they look but do not see and
hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s
prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall
indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed
look but never see. Gross is the heart of this
people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they
have closed their eyes, lest they see with their
eyes and hear with their ears and understand with
their hearts and be converted, and I heal them.
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to
you, many prophets and righteous people longed
to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear
what you hear but did not hear it.
“Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed
sown on the path is the one who hears the word
of the kingdom without understanding it, and the
evil one comes and steals away what was sown in
his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the
one who hears the word and receives it at once
with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a
time. When some tribulation or persecution comes
because of the word, he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who
hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the
lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who
hears the word and understands it, who indeed
bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or
Reflection Process / Questions
• 10 mins Reading - underline a word or idea
that strikes you
• 10 mins Writing - write what you have heard,
write your response to a reflection question(s)
that attracts your attention
• 10 mins Sharing / Praying - share with a friend
or pray to God about livingtheword you have
• The final chapters of Isaiah are called
the ‘Book of Consolations’, written to
comfort and encourage the Israelites
in exile. God’s people are invited to
trust deeply in the power and
promises of God. They will return
home. The power of God’s word to do
and bring about what is spoken points
also to the Gospel reading and the
power of the ‘seed’ that is sown to be
extremely fruitful. The Hebrew ‘dabar’
is translated as both ‘word’ and ‘deed’.
Consider your own word. Do you ‘do’
as you ‘say’? Is your word powerful?
Effective? Can people rely on your
‘word’ and ‘what you say you will do’?
• St Paul uses striking imagery to
describe our spiritual journey. We
groan within ourselves as we ‘wait for
adoption’ and the ultimate redemption
of our bodies. What life experience at
present is causing you to ‘groan
inwardly’? Do you accept or resent
your human frailty and weakness? St
Paul’s words suggest he talked with
God about this. What is the
experience of ‘waiting for adoption’?
Can you link this with your discipleship
• Matthew chapter 13 has a series of
parables. Today we listen to the first
about the ‘Sower and the Seed’. The
seed is the focus of the parable. It is
symbolic of Jesus’ ‘word’ being sown
by his preaching. A concern of Jesus’
disciples and the early Christian
community was why Jesus was
apparently so ‘unsuccessful’. Many
people listened, were healed, but did
not believe and ‘follow’. This parable
may be an attempt by the community
of Matthew to explain why this
• Two points would have astounded the
listeners of this parable. The
generosity - or foolishness of the
sower - putting seed in places where it
will not grow. And the extreme
fruitfulness of the seed planted in rich
soil. A good crop would have been a
yeild of 30% of the seed, but this seed
brings also 60% and 100%
fruitfulness! What does this show
about God and the power of His
Word? Consider the fruitfulness of the
scriptures in your life. Can you identify
a time when you responded to the
Word asking you to do something
incredibly challenging? Life-changing?
What passage did this for you?
• The reader is invited to reflect upon
what type of ‘soil’ is present in their life
and if there are any obstacles to the
Word (seed)? Things closing my eyes,
ears, heart? A question or topic of faith
that I have not pursued enough and
been satisfied with ‘not
understanding’? Some trial or
tribulation that I have let dominate my
life, whose voice I have let be louder
than God’s voice? Concern and
‘anxiety’ for money, job, clothing,
posessions, relationships that have
led me to choose the world over God?
• What is one action that you will do to
‘livetheword’ this week?
livingtheword weekly download and resources are created by Fr Frank Bird sm, a Priest of the Society of Mary working in the Diocese of Auckland, NZ.
Jul 3, 2017 10:10 AM
LIVING THE WORD
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 9, 2017
SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR MASS
Find the readings at www.USCCB.org or in a Bible.
Zechariah 9:9 –10
Psalm 145:1–2, 8–9, 10–11, 13–14
Romans 8:9, 11–13
Matthew 11:25 – 30
Pray with the Word
To the childlike, O God, you reveal yourself, and on those who are
meek and humble of heart you bestow the inheritance of your kingdom.
Set our hearts free from every burden of pretension and refresh our
weary souls with the teaching of Christ, that with him we may shoulder
the gentle yoke of the Cross and proclaim to everyone
the joy that comes from you.
Through Christ our Lord.
Prepare for the Word
Use this question to prepare yourself to hear the readings before attending Mass:
What can I say I know about God because Jesus has shown me?
Reflect on the Word
Use these questions to reflect on the readings after attending Mass:
What do you find to be the biggest burdens of discipleship?
How does Jesus make even those big burdens seem light?
Act on the Word
Use these ideas to act on the readings during the week:
Discipleship is not easy, but God gives us lots of help. He gives us the Holy Spirit. He gives us the Eucharist. He gives us priests and teachers. He also gives us the great gift of one another. This week, distract yourself from your own burdens by helping another person to bear his or her burden. Perhaps you know a new parent who could use a babysitter, or someone at school who could use a friend. If you don’t know anyone personally who needs your help, consider volunteering at a local nursing home or bringing some canned goods (bought with your own money!) to a food pantry. How does your perception of your own burdens change when you’re focusing on someone else?
The Living Word™ 2016–2017 © 2016Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications. All rights reserved. Orders 1-800-933-1800. Written by John Angotti and Kristine Neumayer Jenkins; prayer written by Peter J. Scagnelli. Permission to publish granted by the Very Reverend Ronald A. Hicks, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Chicago, on November 12, 2015.