Continuing our series on the parts of the Mass, we focus today on the ALLELUIA.
After the 2nd READING on every Sunday except Sundays of Advent and Lent we stand and sing the ALLELUIA. This word of praise may be spelled differently but is pronounced similarly in every language of the world. During the ALLELUIA the deacon or priest processes over to the ambo carrying the book of the gospels. On either side of him are lit candles. The flame reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World and is present to us in a particular way in the Gospel. The flame also symbolizes the Holy Spirit who helps us understand the message our LORD wishes to speak to our hearts.READ MORE
Even though we say that we believe, there is a part of us that doesn’t. There are many times in our lives when we experience death, whether it be the physical death of someone we love, a failed relationship, the loss of a job, or a broken dream. As we are going through these death experiences, we can easily find ourselves reaching out to God to make it better and fix it! We think that the proper order of life is to maintain the things of this world, especially those things that are essential to our sense of wellbeing and security. We do not like change. The grieving that comes from our death experiences can keep us stuck and in despair. If we have lost something or someone of great value, the very meaning and essence of life is lost with them. We need gentle companions to lift us from despair and that is precisely who God desires to be in our life as well.READ MORE
Dear OLPH Faithful, Padre here…peace be with you. What a week! Don't lose hope. In the midst of these uncertainties, it is my prayer that you find the opportunity to be with your family (a good) and are reinforcing your life of prayer (for a greater good). The Lord is always with us.
I want to share with you five important topics:
First of all, I would like to share with you that on Friday March 13th, I went in for surgery (Ouch!) I knew before hand that it will be a complicated surgery but like always, I was placing my life in God's hands so I went with peaceful confidence. The difficulty of the surgery came when I woke up from the anesthesia and found out that the Holy Mass will not be celebrated in public around the entire diocese. Oh no! was my first reaction (as well as probably yours). That is more painful than any surgery. However, in an effort to protect all our parishioners especially those with weak immune systems, the diocesan suspension makes sense. Back to the topic, although the surgery went well, the recovery time as you are aware, is always more difficult than the surgery itself.READ MORE
We continue our series on the parts of the Mass. After the RESPONSORIAL PSALM we are ready to listen to the 2nd Reading. (Note, at daily Mass there is only a 1st reading, Psalm and Gospel most days) The reading, sometimes called an epistle, is from a letter written to people in the early Church by one of the Apostles. Even though these letters were originally written for people in a particular place and time, the Holy Spirit makes the words come alive for us today so we can hear them and understand how to live for Jesus.
Our part is to listen attentively. That means we sit up straight, quiet our bodies, put other thoughts out of our mind and listen and try our best to understand the meaning of the reading. At the end of the reading the lector says, “The Word of the Lord” and we respond in a way that shows we mean it, “Thanks be to God.”READ MORE
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Jesus wants to motivate each one of us to see the truth. After developing a relationship with Jesus, the blind man “sees” as someone very special. The Pharisees, due to the blindness caused by their ignorance, prejudice, and need for self-preservation, still remain blind. Presuppositions, prejudices, assumptions, and our needs can easily blind us to truth. We see what we want or need to see and not what is really there. In addition, our stubbornness continues to convince us that we are right and that our vision is perfect. Only God can complete the picture.READ MORE
So far, we have learned about the PROCESSION, SIGN OF THE CROSS & GREETING, CONFITEOR, GLORIA, COLLECT, and 1ST READING. Today, in this 7th week of our series we focus on the RESPONSORIAL PSALM.
The Psalm, especially the part that the people sing is a response to what we heard in the first reading. In it we speak to God in words chosen by God. When we sing it from our heart, our faith in what we hear ourselves singing grows and we allow the words to shape our thoughts. This prepares us to hear and understand the readings still to come. Imagine yourself being led by the Good Shepherd to the green pastures of the Word he has for you.READ MORE
We give the definition of ourselves over to so many things. We allow our society, friends, family, work, social groups, ethnicity, and even institutions define, classify, and color how we perceive ourselves. When we listen predominantly to the voices of others, we lose touch with what is happening within our own inner voice. If we listen carefully within, we can easily discover that we are in want and need. We know our incompleteness and also know that loneliness, sadness, and self-images can propel us outward in attempts to fill those gaps. We can become not only victims of our own prejudices but can find ourselves overly self-indulgent in things that can only satisfy for a short time, if at all. It is no wonder that money and power are things that are so fervently sought after. As long as we can keep a steady supply going, the illusion of fulfillment and satisfaction can falsely persuade us as craftily as a master magician’s act. We live with illusions not truth.READ MORE
Psychology has taught us a great deal about family dynamics and how we have come to be the person we find ourselves to be. We are comprised of such a mixed bag of blessings and obstacles with their graced moments and sinful ones. Think back on the journey of your life and how the many different and varied choices that you made influenced the direction your life. If you didn’t go on that first date with your spouse, who would be beside you today? If you chose to be in one place rather than another, what would have happened to the course your life has taken? We are on such a wonderful, exciting journey. What is most incredible and awesome is that we are not alone! God is with us. He inspires, heals, opens doors, and calls us every moment of our lives. The very life we have is due only to Him.READ MORE
Last week we focused on the COLLECT, the prayer that gathers God’s people and our intentions. After the COLLECT comes the 1ST READING.
The first reading is usually, but not always, from the Old Testament like this week’s reading.
We already know that we ought to listen attentively to God’s Word. But we may not know what to listen for.
Listen for three things: 1. Which book of the Bible is it from? 2. What part of the story of our salvation is in the reading? 3. How is this reading from the Old Testament related to the today’s Gospel?
If you remember that the Old Testament reading is your family story, it might help you tune in with more interest.READ MORE
Last week we focused on the beautiful GLORIA.
Now we turn our attention to the COLLECT prayed by the priest. This prayer gathers God’s people, that is each one of us and all of our intentions. This prayer focuses our attention on the mystery we celebrate in this particular Mass.
When the priest is praying, we are not supposed to “tune out.” Instead we remind ourselves that we are in the presence of God. We remember what we want to thank God for or ask him for and we join our prayers to the prayer of the priest when we say “Amen.”
Today is the first Sunday of Lent. The COLLECT summarizes for us the theme of this Sunday’s Mass, helping us see how the readings apply to us today. It reminds us of our weakness, but also that we are not alone. How personal and fitting is this prayer. When we pay attention to the prayer of the COLLECT, we find help to seek God and hope in him. Let’s ponder the words of the COLLECT:READ MORE
“Be Holy for I the Lord am Holy!”
Written by Father Carota and modified by Fr. Reynoso for OLPH Parishioners
The Gospels continue to challenge us to the core. This is especially true in the way our social relationships have developed. Feeling safe and secure in the world are not things that come easily these days. Actually, we may find ourselves feeling more reservation, caution, reluctance, and fear than ever before. In a moment’s notice, life can drastically change. When someone has been intentionally and violently hurt, especially someone we love, we can all too easily find ourselves very attracted to the Old Testament philosophy of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”
Intellectually, we know this is not what Jesus wants us to do. But on some level it just seems to make practical or even political sense. After all, why should we allow someone to get away with a heinously violent act? Yet, Jesus cannot be any clearer than he is with this! Offer no resistance to one who is evil. Turn the other cheek as well. When pressed into service, go two miles. Do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. Love your enemies. Now, take a moment to reflect on all of this. Consider a horrible act of violence committed against someone you love. Listen. Think. Be honest. Can you do as Jesus directs?READ MORE
Here we continue our series on the different parts of the Mass. Last week we discussed the PENITENTIAL ACT and CONFITEOR.
The beautiful GLORIA captures our attention this week.
The GLORIA is an ancient hymn of praise to our God. It begins with the very same words the angels sang when they appeared to the shepherds to announce Christ’s birth.
Can you imagine a whole host or army of heavenly angels singing the GLORIA? That’s exactly what happened when they came to announce Jesus’ birth. It also happens at every Mass!READ MORE
People are not property. We cannot exchange them at will or simply use them for our own designs and purposes. What does the word “commitment” mean to you? We can begin to understand its meaning by looking at some synonyms: dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, and bond. Commitment is primarily about relationship, and Jesus is all about relationships. How our lives affect others, how we treat our brothers and sisters, how we resolve conflict, and how we view the vows of marriage. Jesus’ teachings on obeying the commandments, murder, reconciliation, marriage, divorce, and adultery all stem from the sacredness of commitment. All of this has a God connection.READ MORE
Here we continue our series on the different parts of the Mass. Last week we discussed the SIGN OF THE CROSS and the GREETING. Today we focus on the PENITENTIAL ACT and CONFITEOR.
In the silent pause, we examine our consciences. During this part of the Mass we beat our breast as a sign of humility and true repentance. All our venial sin is forgiven, making us ready to open our hearts to God’s Word and open our mouths to receive the Lord in Holy Communion.
What a perfect way for us sinners to approach the all HOLY GOD! It is only because of God’s love and mercy that we dare to approach him in worship.READ MORE
Here we continue our series on the different parts of the Mass. Last week we discussed our part in the Procession. Today we look at:
The SIGN OF THE CROSS is the most ancient and basic Christian gesture. It sums up the two most important parts of our faith, 1. The Holy Trinity and 2. Jesus’ death on the cross for our salvation. As we make the sign of the cross, we mark ourselves with the sign of Jesus’ love for us and remind ourselves that we belong to the greatest communion of love; the perfect love that flows between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The sign of the cross tells us our deepest identity, a deeper identity than even the names given us by our earthly parents. When we know what the sign of the cross means, tracing it on our bodies is sincere prayer.READ MORE
What does it mean to be salt and light? If we listen carefully to Jesus’ words, we gain some direction. To be salt means to bring taste, zest, and joy to life. We are asked to liven things up a bit by allowing the joy of our faith to spill over into the lives of others. Only a sincere and deep relationship with God can freshen up humanity and set it on proper course. To be light means that our faith must translate into action so that we can be Christ for others and extend the same arm of mercy and compassion that Christ did. Our acts of piety, then, cannot be directed solely at ourselves. Prayer is never about self-benefit but must always be directed toward union with God, deepening our relationships with one another and learning how to be effective stewards of the beautiful universe God has entrusted to our care.READ MORE
In a recent catechist meeting we reviewed the parts of the Mass and how we can pray each part. Our parish catechists’ positive responses encouraged me to offer in this weekly column a series on the different parts of the Mass.
Today we discuss arriving and The Procession. It’s best to arrive a few minutes early. As you leave your car and approach the church, breathe deeply and quiet yourself. Walking slowly helps to prepare our bodies for the silence waiting for us. In the atrium, before crossing the double doors, going towards the nave of the church, we dip one or two fingers in Holy Water and make the sign of the cross remembering to thank God silently for the gift of Baptism. Genuflect with reverence toward the tabernacle before being seated. Once we know where we are sitting, we kneel and thank God for the gift of another Sunday to worship him.READ MORE
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” Very often, having more light is not something we desire as it forces us to confront something we really do not want to see. There can be comfort found in darkness. It has an eerie sense of security to it. We do not have to challenge ourselves or be challenged and can simply exist in some fabricated state of self-fabricated blissfulness. Jesus came to bring light, and it is a light that is resisted by many and hated by some. It is a light that causes us to see things as they really are and not as we would want or need them to be.READ MORE