Weekly Gospel Readings

Gospel July 5, 2020

The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah. These verses are chosen for this Sunday because they describe a meek –not easily provoked- and humble Messiah, which Jesus is. Zechariah preached about the great battle that would take place between the forces of God and forces of evil. Rather than the machine of war (chariots and horses), this king of peace will come riding on a donkey, a sign of the reign of peace. This king of peace will reunite the northern kingdom, Israel and the southern kingdom, Judah. The rule of this just king is to extend to all nations, including that of the gentiles.

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Gospel June 28, 2020

The First Reading is from the Second Book of Kings. This reading is about the hospitality scripture par excellence. The woman in today’s reading is incredible. As a wealthy and influential woman from Shunem offers the prophet Elisha the hospitality of meals, a bed, a lamp, and a chair on a regular basis. It seems that the prophet has a special place in the home and heart of this woman since Elijah is a man of God. A man who speaks the Word of God. Hospitality in the scripture is a sacred duty. Therefore, her hospitality to the prophet is rewarded by the promise of a son she and her husband have been longing for.

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Gospel June 21, 2020

The First Reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah who has often been called a “reluctant” prophet. He was always trying to run away from God because he did not want to be a prophet. Once Jeremiah says ‘Yes’ to God’s call, he speaks what he feels God wants him to say. His message is about repentance of infidelity to their covenant with God. His preaching angers the religious and civil leaders and his own people. Therefore, today’s reading is an excerpt from what is called the “Confessions of Jeremiah” – a revelation of the personal anguish the prophet experiences in his soul as he carries out his ministry. “But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.”
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Gospel June 14, 2020

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, which, in years past, was known by its Latin name Corpus Christi. The First Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy is intended as a reminder to the people of Israel of how God fed them in the desert with manna, miraculous food which Catholics would later see as a prefiguration of the Eucharist. In this sermon, Moses seeks to remind his people that they are not to live on bread alone but on every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Therefore, Catholics now must continually depend on the Eucharist and the Word of God.

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Gospel June 7, 2020

In the Readings at Mass for this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we honor all three Persons of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From the Book of Exodus we hear the story of the second giving of the Law (The Ten Commandments) after the people of Israel broke covenant with God by worshiping the golden calf. God also reveals himself to Moses as One who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, rich in kindness and fidelity. Every part of that statement stresses God in relationship to humankind, and it emphasizes especially God’s great love for us. 

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Gospel, May 31, 2020

The first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. On Pentecost (meaning fifty days after the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus by Christians), when the Spirit fills the disciples, it gives them new languages to preach about Jesus. This is the official birthdate of the Church. For this reason, today the entire Church celebrates the great Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the pouring out of His graces and benefits on all the baptized. The Church will be universal in scope. People of every nation will be invited to join this new People of God.

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Gospel May 24, 2020

In the Ascension of the Lord, the First Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Luke describes the last forty days of the Risen Christ on earth, teaching and preparing the apostles for His departure. Jesus instructed the Apostles to remain in Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit, the source of power. Then Jesus was lifted up in the sky and was covered by a cloud covered: The disciples received the angelic message that the ascended Jesus would come back again in glory “in the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven.” Jesus’ Ascension marks the end of his journey on earth and signals the beginning of a new era.  It is through the Holy Spirit that God's Plan of Salvation will continue until the end of time. And the mission of the Church also begins under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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Gospel May 17, 2020

On this sixth Sunday of Easter, the First Reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles. After the martyrdom of Stephen, a severe persecution broke out, and all the followers of Jesus except the Apostles scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. God uses this terrible event to bring the Good News to the people of Samaria, a people despised by Jews. These verses focus on the evangelization ministry of Philip, one of the first Seven Deacons: “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.” 

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Gospel May 10, 2020

 

 

On this fifth Sunday of Easter, the First Reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles. As the Christian community “new Church” grows so rapidly in numbers, there is conflict around the care for poor widows. It seems that widows among the Hellenists -Greek-speaking Gentile Christian or to Jews who spoke only Greek- do not receive the same care as Hebrew widows -Palestinian Jews who spoke Aramaic- living in Jerusalem. This has also caused a problem for the Apostles. In caring for the widows, time set aside for the preaching of the Word has been reduced. The Apostles resolve both problems by having Greek-speaking Jews select seven men to take over the ministry of caring for the widows. The Apostles lay hands on the chosen seven and pray over them. And thus begins a new ordained ministry in the church— the diaconate.

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Gospel May 3, 2020

On this fourth Sunday of Easter, the First Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. At the conclusion of Peter’s first sermon to the Jews assembled in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, he announces that the crucified and risen Jesus who is both Lord and Christ shares divine authority with the Lord God. After Peter proclamation, the audience, convinced of their own sin and of God’s love for them ask “What must we do?” Peter tells them that they must “repent, be baptized, and receive forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, who is given for you and for all who are far off.” In telling believers to repent, Peter calls for conversion of mind, heart, behavior, and relationship to follow the Risen Lord. The final verse in today’s reading notes the increase of believers through the power of the Word and gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Gospel April 26, 2020

 

Today’s reading from the Act of the Apostles is a portion of Peter’s discourse on that day, the first of many in Acts, message to the situation of his audience. At the heart of the speeches is the proclamation about Jesus, telling the gathered people about and how God raised Jesus from death, thus fulfilling the Messianic prophecies about the promised descendant of David. During his speech, Peter refers to Israel’s beloved King David, quoting Hebrew Scriptures, Psalm 16, and asserts that David, “foresaw and spoke of the Resurrection of the Christ.” Even though Jesus is able to work signs and wonders, he is rejected by his own people. In this case, Peter is not accusing his fellow Jews but pointing out God’s plan of salvation. Peter’s speech also develops the Kerigma, the foundation of Christian faith, in the light of the Jewish Scripture.  

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Gospel April 19, 2020

In this second Sunday of Easter or Sunday of Divine Mercy, the First Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. Four characteristics that a community filled with the Spirit should live: the teaching of the apostles, table-fellowship, prayer, and sharing all things in common. The community life of the early Christians expressed their agápe love and mercy by sharing what they had with everyone in need: “All who believed were together and had all things in common.” Some of them even sold their property and entrusted the money to the Church so that the poor might be helped and supported. They were strengthened by their punctual and active participation in the “Breaking of the Bread”– the Eucharistic Liturgy.

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Gospel April 12, 2020

In the celebration of Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord, the first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. In this sermon, we hear about the spread of the Gospel. The story of Jesus’ baptism, his public ministry anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, death and Resurrection has been reported all over the land. Peter lists himself as a witness to all these wondrous events, and he believes that all people who have faith and repent now have access to the salvation that Jesus has come to bring.   

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Gospel April 5, 2020

In the celebration of Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, the First Reading is from the Book of the prophet Isaiah. This is the third of four ‘suffering servant songs’ found in the book of Isaiah. The servant is entrusted with a special mission on behalf of God’s people. The servant is portrayed as a disciple who listens to God. Morning after morning, the Lord ‘opens’ the ear of the servant that he may hear God’s Word. Because of his faithfulness to God, the servant undergoes all kinds of humiliations and sufferings. In the midst of his sufferings, the servant displays great trust in God. As the early Christians read these passages, they see in them images of Jesus, the suffering servant of God.

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