31 October 2018

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 4 in C minor

It’s time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 4 in C minor as played by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Hans Zender:

A Photo Appreciation of Libraries from "The Atlantic"

"As the days grow shorter, one might feel a strong urge to find a warm place indoors and cozy up to a good book. As much as our world hurtles toward digitized information, physical books remain popular, useful, and revered items. We share, use, collect, and read billions of books every year, and we house our most treasured ones in libraries, in some of the most remarkable architecture around the world. And for those who cannot access these amazing buildings, there are volunteers who fill the need as they can, creating mobile libraries to bring books to people in remote places."

A recent photo essay in The Atlantic offered an appreciative look at a number of libraries.

To access the complete photo essay, please visit:

The Atlantic: Browsing the Stacks: A Photo Appreciation of Libraries (24 OCT 18)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of good books.

Marcel LeJeune on Evangelization Advice For Catholic Priests

"A seminarian I know recently asked me the following question: 'What can I do as a priest to help people become missionary disciples?' . . .

"I have been blessed to have many priests play a big part of my life. One thing that almost all my friends who are priests will tell you is I love Jesus and the Catholic Church. So, all of what I am going to say flows out of that love and a desire to see the Church be renewed."

In a recent Catholic Missionary Disciples commentary, writer Marcel LeJeune reflected on answers to this question, including modeling an authentic life as a disciple of Jesus; planning, programing, and structuring all of a parish's efforts towards evangelization and discipleship; and preaching the truth.

To access the complete Catholic Missionary Disciples post, please visit:

Catholic Missionary Disciples: A Layman's (Somewhat) Solicited Advice For Catholic Priests

Reflection Starter from Psalm 145

"The LORD is good to all, compassionate toward all your works. All your works give you thanks, LORD, and your faithful bless you." - Psalm 145:9-10

30 October 2018

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is being observed as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCASM), the fifteenth year of this annual initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM 2018 is a collaborative effort between government and industry designed to that ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats.

As part of this initiative, DHS is encouraging a number of cybersecurity actions during month and beyond. These actions include:
  • Making sure anti-virus software and firewalls is installed, properly configured, and up-to-date; setting the computer to automatically update (New threats are discovered every day, and keeping software updated is one of the easier ways to protect oneself from an attack.).
  • Updating the operating system and critical program software (Software updates offer the latest protection against malicious activities.); turning on automatic updating if that feature is available.
  • Backing up key files; if important files are stored on a computer, copying them onto a removable disc and storing it in a safe place.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign

National Cyber Security Alliance

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You touch hearts to reach out to those in need.

Bishop Tobin on Being Sensitive to Challenges Being Faced by Others

"My mom, God rest her, was a gentle, peaceful soul. She avoided confrontations and disliked arguments, even friendly family arguments about crazy things. And conversely, she had a keen awareness of other people’s problems and struggles.

"I remember one endearing little habit she developed, especially as she grew older. If we were walking or driving somewhere and she heard an emergency siren, from a firetruck, police car or ambulance, she would make the sign of the cross and say, 'Oh-oh, someone’s in trouble.'

"And, of course, it's true. When the siren of an emergency vehicle sounds, someone is in trouble - because of a fire, a crime, or a health emergency taking place. We all know that, but my mom's response was pretty unique.

"The ability to be sensitive to someone else's problem is a beautiful Christ-like virtue. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of the Diocese of Providence (RI), reflected on our need to for the "eyes of Jesus to see, the ears of Jesus to hear, and the heart of Jesus to respond with mercy and compassion" to the needs of others as they meet the problems facing them.

To access Bishop Tobin's complete essay, please visit: 

Without A Doubt: "Oh-oh, Someone's in Trouble" (11 OCT 18)

Reflection Starter from Catherine Pulsifer

"Our prayers are sometimes answered without us realizing or, in ways that we did not ask for but always remember God's plan is better than ours." - Catherine Pulsifer

29 October 2018

Alabama: "Angels Among Us"

As we continue to live this week, I offer this version of Alabama presenting "Angels Among Us":

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of miracles that happen each day.

Mary Cuff on Waiting for Miracles

"When I was a kid, I found a book that featured dozens of Eucharistic miracles. I was enraptured by the dramatic situations that led up to the glorious moment when a host dripped blood or turned into human flesh before an astonished congregation. For years after discovering this book, I didn't bow my head during the consecration. I did not want to miss even a single moment when the miracle happened, when the normal looking bread would reveal its hidden nature in an utterly spectacular way. . . .

"Miracles are an essential part of our Christian faith. As scientifically-minded moderns, we are often tempted to read the biblical miracles as inspirational stories or metaphors pointing to truth. However, our Christian faith demands belief in literal miracles. After all, Mary's virginal birth is not an optional belief, and it is more physically and literally miraculous than even walking on water. It makes no sense to accept only theologically 'necessary' miracles; miracles happen."

In a recent commentary, writer Mary Cuff reflected on her experience awaitinga miracle that did not happed in the way she hoped.

To access Ms. Cuff's complete post, please visit:

Crisis Magazine: Waiting for Miracles (24 OCT 18)

Reflection Starter

"A holy man was deep in prayer when past him came a cripple, then a bit later came a beggar, and when a man who had been beaten past by, the holy man cried out: 'Lord . . . Lord, how is it that such a loving God can see these things and yet do nothing about them?'

"Out of the silence, God spoke: 'Listen up! I did do something about them. I created you.' - Hasidic tale

28 October 2018

"You Are My Strength"

As we continue our Sunday celebration, I offer this version of "You Are My Strength":

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are Jeremiah 31:7-9, Hebrews 5:1-6, and Mark 10:46-52. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 126 (Psalm 126:1-6).

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 126 The Lord has done great things for us

The Gospel reading is as follows:

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me."

Jesus stopped and said, "Call him."

So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.

Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?"

The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see."

Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 28, 2018)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 28, 2018)

Community in Mission: A Man Who Saw by Hearing (27 OCT 18)

The Deacon's Bench: A prayer for Pittsburgh: Homily for October 28, 2018, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (28 OCT 18)

Father George William Rutler Homilies: 2018-10-28 - Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time  

The Sacred Page: 20/20 Vision: The Readings for the 30th Sunday in OT (23 OCT 18)

The Sacred Page: Jesus and Blind Bartimaeus (The Mass Readings Explained) (22 OCT 18)

St. Paul Center: Seeing the Son of David: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Word on Fire: Coming Home from Exile (Cycle B * Ordinary Time * Week 30)

Spirituality of the Readings: Keep on Asking (Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

In Exile: Seeing in a Deeper Way (Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Seeing (Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

The Word Encountered: Lording It over the Rest (Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Historical Cultural Context: The Blind Beggar (Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Clement of Alexandria (Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of salvation and all that it means.

Msgr. Pope on What Happens to Us When We Are Baptized

"The first reading for Monday's daily Mass, from the Letter to the Ephesians (Eph 2:1-10), gives a concise account of our salvation by Christ Jesus. It begins by describing our absolute need for salvation and then speaks to the gifts that come with it."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on God's gifts to us when we are open to and receive His gift of salvation.

To access Msgr. Pope's complete post, please visit:

Community in Mission: What Happened to Us When We Were Baptized into Christ Jesus? (21 OCT 18)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"Faith is life: it is living in the love of God who has changed our lives. Faith has to do with encounter, not theory." - Pope Francis

27 October 2018

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

As this blessed week draws to a close, I offer this version of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra presenting "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly":

Robin Sweetser on the Value of Leaves

"Foliage season is a mixed blessing. I have one eye on the gorgeous spectacle of changing colors and the other eye on the value of these leaves - and how I can put them to work.

 "Leaves that were just beginning to show some color yesterday will soon be brown and on the ground, their brief moment of glory gone. Here’s how to use those fall leaves to feed your soil instead of sending them to a landfill.

"Look at all those leaves as brown gold. The leaves of one large tree can be worth as much as $50 worth of plant food and humus. They are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and trace minerals the tree roots have mined from deep in the subsoil. Pound for pound, leaves contain twice the mineral content of manure. The huge amount of organic matter they offer can be used to improve soil structure. Leaf humus can lighten heavy clay soils and increase the moisture retention of dry sandy soils. No organic gardener should pass up this opportunity for a free soil amendment."

In a recent commentary, writer Robin Sweetser reflected on ways in which autimn leaves may be put to work.

To access Ms. Sweetser's complete post, please visit:

Old Farmer's Almanac: The Value of Leaves (14 SEP 18)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of Yourself in the Holy Eucharist.

The Power of the Eucharist

Mother Teresa once said, "I would not be able to work one week if it were not for that continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." This beautiful statement reflects the powerful graces that await us in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

The great saints in history have realized the deep relationship Christ invites us to have with Him through the reception of His body and blood in the Eucharist. St. Catherine of Siena has been called the Saint of the Eucharist. She experienced visions and ecstasies after taking Communion, and Pope Gregory XI issued a Bull allowing her to have a priest and altar always present so that she could hear Mass and receive Communion upon request. Suffering from illness at the end of her short life, Catherine could not stomach ordinary food, yet survived for seven years on nothing but consumption of the Eucharist.

St. Peter Julian Eymard founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament to help form Catholic communities dedicated to the Eucharist. Eymard had become convinced of its importance as the central focus of Christian life after being introduced to the practice of Eucharistic adoration during an 1849 trip to Paris. Shortly thereafter, he founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and started communities that worked to promote an awareness of God's mercy and love through a relationship with Christ in the Eucharist.

Eymard's message led many people to pursue a more fervent devotion to the faith and also drew non-practicing Catholics back to the sacraments. In 1862, the artist Auguste Rodin took refuge in one of Eymard's communities shortly after the death of his sister. Rodin later produced a sculpture depicting Eymard as a strikingly holy, ascetic figure, holding a scroll with words from Eymard's prayer, "O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine."

Like Rodin, artists from all backgrounds have been inspired by devotion to the Eucharist. For instance, author and mystic J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote in a letter, "Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. . . . There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth."

The Eucharist is a well-spring from which we can draw sustenance to fortify our souls during all circumstances of life. This is the miraculous gift that Christ has given to the Church, yet it is a gift that requires faith to enter fully into its mystery. The desire to contemplate this mystery more fully has led to the practice of Eucharistic adoration.

Mother Teresa once said, "Perpetual adoration is the most beautiful thing you could ever think of doing." Adoration is a practice that draws us closer to God through a profound expression of reverence for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. When we take the time to worship God in this way, we open our hearts to understand more fully His miraculous hand in the workings of our everyday lives. And this is why Christ instituted the Eucharist, because He wanted us to grow close to Him and to have Him present in all we do. This is a tremendous gift! Resolve never to let anything stand in the way of your closeness to Christ in the Eucharist, and you will follow in the footsteps of the saints who found strength to persevere in all circumstances of life.

This essay is a recent "Light One Candle" column by Father Ed Dougherty, M.M., The Christophers' Board of Directors ; it is one of a series of weekly columns that deal with a variety of topics and current events.

Background information:

The Christophers

Reflection Starter from Ephesians

"[G]race was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift." - Ephesians 4:7

26 October 2018

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major

It's time for some classical music. This is a presentation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto in A major", as played by the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Cornelius Meister, with Arngunnur Árnadóttir on clarinet:

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Tomorrow (Saturday, 27, October) the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is again coordinating a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies (including many agencies throughout New England) to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from medicine cabinets. The free event will be held from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. These sites include (as of this writing) 61 in Connecticut, 154 in Maine, 186 in Massachusetts, 127 in New Hampshire, 36 in Rhode Island, and 66 in Vermont.

This Sixteenth National Take-Back Day is designed to provide an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and are considered an unacceptable risk to public health and safety.

This one-day effort is designed to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse. The program is anonymous, and it focuses on prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications (i.e., tablets and capsules). Intravenous solutions, injectables, and needles will not be accepted. In addition, illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.

To view a list of collection sites in a specific state, please click on the following:

US DEA: National Take Back Initiative Collection Site Search

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of the Resurrection and all that it means.

Mary Rezac on Why Christians Believe in Resurrection, not Reincarnation

"Every time Christians recite the Apostles' Creed, they affirm their belief in what will happen to them after death: 'I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.'

"The belief in the resurrection of one's physical body at the end of time is central to Christian theology, and finds its basis in the resurrection of Christ, who rose in body and soul three days after his passion and death.

"But according to a new Pew survey, 29 percent of Christians in the US hold the New Age belief of reincarnation - the belief that when one's body dies, one's soul lives on in a new and different body, unrelated to the first.

"The percentage of Catholics in the US who said they believe in reincarnation was even higher - 36 percent; just shy of the 38 percent of religiously unaffiliated people who said they believe the same.
However, according to Catholic teaching, belief in anything other than the resurrection of the body is completely incompatible with a Christian theology and anthropology of the human person."

In a recent commentary, writer Mary Rezac reflected on where the belief in resurrection came from, what this belief means for Christians, and why Christians should reject reincarnation.

To access Ms. Rezac's complete essay, please visit:

Orange County Catholic: Why Christians Believe in Resurrection, not Reincarnation (24 OCT 18)

Reflection Starter from T. S. Eliot

"The very existence of libraries affords the best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man." – T. S. Eliot

25 October 2018

Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill: "How Great Thou Art"

As we continue to live this week, I offer this version of Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill presenting "How Great Thou Art":

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of the saints through whom You have worked in Your Church, in this world.

Fr. Rutler on the Lasting Influence of Saints

"There are those who would not let facts get in the way of theory, and such was the English philosopher Herbert Spencer who promoted the 'survival of the fittest.' This 'Social Darwinism' theorized that the weak and poor would gradually die out to make way for an inevitable social progress. He was idolized by Andrew Carnegie, even though that richest man in the world was generous in philanthropies that Spencer disdained. Carnegie prevailed upon his mentor to visit Pittsburgh, whose Bessemer mills were supposed to be a model of social progress. Spencer confessed: 'Six months' residence here would justify suicide.'

"Spencer's theory that people are shaped by culture rather than shaping it, opposed the 'great man' theory of the historian Thomas Carlyle, for whom culture is shaped by individuals of 'Godly inspiration and personality.' But Carlyle did acknowledge the influence of cultural conditions and, moreover, warned that personal influence could be benign or evil.

"The greatest figures in history have been the saints, for their spiritual influence is more long-lasting than even their political impact. Consider two saints that the Church celebrates this week."

In a recent commentary, Father George Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, New York, NY, reflected on the lasting influence of Saints John of Capistrano and Pope John Paul II.

To access Mr. Stagnaro's complete post, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Fr. George Rutler: Armies Collapse and Empires Crumble at the Feet of the Saints (25 OCT 18)

Reflection Starter from Wayne Dyer

"Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe." - Wayne Dyer

24 October 2018

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of patterns of frost.

Angelo Stagnaro on Humility and Finding God

"Christians familiar with St. Francis of Assisi's Fioretti, or 'Little Flowers' will know of the mesmerizing and humbling story of Francis' conversation with Brother Leo, his secretary, as they walked from Perugia to Our Lady of the Angels Church outside of Assisi - also known as the Portiuncula.

"Francis explains in his own words what would be 'perfect joy' to him. He dismisses many things that would make any of the rest of us poor slobs jump with joy but not 'Il Poverino.'

"Even if all of his friars were to give 'a great example of holiness and edification' to all nations, this would be nice but not perfectly joyous to Francis.

"Even if all of the friars were to be given the power to perform miracles at will and even exorcise the most powerful demons, this would not produce perfect joy in him.

"Francis wouldn't be overjoyed even if all of his friars were given the gift of prophecy and the discernment of souls. Nor even if they could all converse with angels or become masters of all the sciences or were able to convert all non-believers to Christ."

In a recent commentary, writer Angelo Stagnaro reflected on humility as the key to finding God.

To access Mr. Stagnaro's complete post, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Blogs: Angelo Stagnaro: 43 Signs That You Need More Humility, According to St. Francis and St. Josemaría (31 AUG 18)

Reflection Starter from Fulton Sheen

"Books are the most wonderful friends in the world. When you meet them and pick them up, they are always ready to give you a few ideas. When you put them down, they never get mad; when you take them up again, they seem to enrich you all the more." - Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

23 October 2018

National Friends of Libraries Week

This week, the week of 21-27 October, is being observed as National Friends of Libraries Week. The observance is designed to be an opportunity to celebrate Friends (including promoting the local group in the community, increasing membership, and giving libraries and boards of trustees the opportunity to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library).

For more information about this observance, please visit:

United for Libraries: National Friends of Libraries Week

Facebook: National Friends of Libraries Week

Background information:

United for Libraries

American Library Association

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the inspirational messages from Pope Saint John Paul II.

Reflection Starter from Marcus Garvey

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

Br. Charles Marie Rooney, O.P., on St. John Paul II's Call to Open Wide the Doors for Christ

"Forty years ago today, a clarion call rang from the celebrant's chair in Saint Peter's Square: 'Do not be afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ!' With those resounding words - so familiar now to myriad Catholics across the globe - Pope Saint John Paul II initiated a pontificate that for nearly 27 years would penetrate to the depths of the human heart and call all mankind to the greatness that is rightly his. For at the core of Saint John Paul's very being, forged by a lifetime of grave suffering, was a profound reverence for the cosmic drama of the human condition and an unyielding confidence in Jesus Christ, who alone knows what is in man (cf. Jn 2:25)."

In a recent commentary, Brother Charles Marie Rooney, O.P., reflected on this call of Pope John Paul II.

To access Br. Charles Marie's complete post, please visit:

Dominicana: Open Wide Those Doors (22 OCT 18)

22 October 2018

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for calling us to be an Easter people.

Matthew Schmitz on Mary Among Evangelicals

"When I was three years old, I asked my pregnant mother whether Jesus could come into me as my baby brother had come into her. It was my inept way of saying that I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart as my personal lord and savior, an idea to which my Evangelical church had already introduced me. But it was also my first moment, however unwitting, of Marian piety. In that moment I took Mary as my model in faith. I asked to become a God-bearer as she was, to be made pregnant with Christ.

"Eighteen years later, I was received into the Catholic Church. As I wrestled with Catholic claims, nothing caused me more difficulty than the issue of Mary. ­Newman confessed that Mary had been his 'great crux as regards Catholicism,' and so it was for me.

"Growing up as an Evangelical, I was trained to mistrust all Marian devotion. Like Calvin, I declined to call Mary the Mother of God (though I could not really deny her the title). I rejected her Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, and Assumption. When my Catholic friends asked for Mary's intercession, I charged them with idolatry. I believed that anyone who showed love for the ­Mother harbored contempt for the Son.

"Yet something in my upbringing gave me an inchoate attraction to Mary. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Matthew Schmitz, senior editor of First Things, reflected on his experience considering Mary as the model of Christian faith and on journey into the Catholic Church.

To access Mr. Schmitz' complete essay, please visit:

First Things: Mary Among Evangelicals (November 2018)

Reflection Starter from St. John Paul II

"We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery - the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!" - Pope Saint John Paul II, whose memory the Church celebrates today (22 October)

21 October 2018

Shrine for First Responders in Chicago

"A Chicago priest who says police aren't getting the respect they deserve has created a shrine for first responders in his church."

A recent WMAQ-TV News segment reported on this shrine being established in Chicago's St. Florian Parish.

To access the complete report, please visit:

WMAQ-TV: Chicago Priest Makes Shrine For First Responders (28 SEP 18)

Background information:

Saint Florian Parish, Chicago, IL

"Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service"

As our Sunday celebration continues, I offer this version of "Lord, Whose Love Through Humble Service":

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are Isaiah 53:10-11, Hebrews 4:14-16, and Mark 10:35-45. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 33 (Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22). 

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 33 "Lord, let Your mercy be on us; as we place our trust in You"

The Gospel reading is as follows:

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."

He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?"

They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left."

Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"

They said to him, "We can."

Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared."

When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflections: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 21, 2018)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 21, 2018)

Community in Mission: No Cross, No Crown - A Homily for the the 29th Sunday of the Year (20 OCT 18) 

The Sacred Page: His Life as a Ransom for Many: 29th Sunday of OT (18 OCT 18)

The Sacred Page: Did Jesus Die for "Many," or For All? (The Mass Readings Explained) (15 OCT 18)

St. Paul Center: Cup of Salvation: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Word on Fire: Substitutionary Sacrifice (Cycle B * Ordinary Time * Week 29)

Spirituality of the Readings: For the Love of God! (Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

In Exile: Different Kinds of Glory (Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Let the Scriptures Speak: Jesus, Lay High Priest (Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

The Word Encountered: Lording It over the Rest (Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Historical Cultural Context: Acquiring Honor (Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by John Chrysostom (Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of marbles.

Msgr. Pope on Working for the Kingdom Despite Human Failures

"My father had an expression: 'Charlie, people disappoint.' It was his way of saying that even people we think irreproachable, godly, and saintly can let us down, either with sin or simply by being unable to help us in key moments. Something of that comes through in the words of St. Paul from today's first reading (Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist):

"Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Luke is the only one with me. . . . At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! (2 Timothy 4:10-16)

"Here were people that St. Paul had thought friends and champions of the gospel, but now some have left him, some have failed to defend him, and still others are just unavailable."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on God's willing us to work with imperfect people and trusting that "He can supply our needs when others fall short."

To access Msgr. Pope's complete post, please visit:

Community in Mission: Working for the Kingdom Despite Human Failures (18 OCT 18)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"When we listen to the Word of God, we obtain the courage and perseverance to offer the best of ourselves to others." - Pope Francis

20 October 2018

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of the colorful season of autumn.

On the Response of Catholics to Hurricane Michael

"The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee was hit hard by Hurricane Michael, the fourth-strongest hurricane to make landfall in the United States. In addition to the devastating property loss suffered by parishioners, seven parishes and a school sustained severe damage.

One church, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico Beach, was destroyed. As locals try to pick up the pieces, the Catholic community is mobilizing to provide relief.

At least 35 people are known to have died as a result of the Category-4 hurricane, with 25 of the lives lost in Florida. Ten more people died in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

The storm exacted a massive economic cost, as well, with analysts assessing the total economic cost at between $30 and $40 billion, ABC News reported Oct. 19. And Mexico Beach was one of the hardest-hit communities, with many of its homes completely demolished by the windstorm.
Sharmane Adams, the director of communications for the Pensacola-Tallahassee Diocese, told the Register that just days after Hurricane Michael, Bishop William Wack traveled to the affected areas, including Our Lady of Guadalupe. Another diocesan employee, Rob Bennett, the director of construction and properties, described the bishop's reaction to the devastation.

A recent National Catholic Register article reported on the Hurricane Michael's effect on the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and on the response by the diocese and the greater Church.

To access the complete National Catholic Register report, please visit:

National Catholic Register: Hurricane Michael Spurs Catholics to Action (19 OCT 18)

Other media reports:

Catholic News Agency: Florida Catholics rally after Hurricane Michael (17 OCT 18)

Pensacola News Journal: After Hurricane Michael, Pensacola Catholics rally around Panama City church (15 OCT 18)