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Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings, by Tom and April Hoopes.
BY Tom & April Hoopes
Oct. 5, 2008
(Year A, Cycle II) is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. It is also Respect Life
Sunday. On Oct. 5 at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Pope
Benedict XVI opens the Synod of Bishops, which will last throughout the month.
Oct. 7 is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
pro-life resources for parishes. For Respect Life Sunday materials, click
“Homilies,” then “Observe Respect Life Sunday.”
To help parishes observe Respect
Life Sunday, Priests for Life provides liturgical resources and suggested
1. General intercessions.
2. Homily ideas on “Love them both”
(the mother and child) and other pro-life topics.
3. Pro-life prayers, including
“Commissioning of Your Parish Respect Life Group,” which can be done
appropriately on Respect Life Sunday.
4. Bulletin inserts, short and long,
on pro-life themes.
5. Action items for your parish for
today and throughout the year.
NCRegister.com is the Register’s
website. Find editorials under the “Opinion” tab.
See Tim Drake’s article in this
issue for voting guides that stress pro-life themes.
Also, at the Register’s website,
find the editorial “McCain and Obama on ‘Catholic’ Issues,” which simply
compares the voting records of both candidates. Feel free to print and
distribute or e-mail this editorial.
If you’re not in the habit of saying
a daily family (or personal) Rosary, this year’s feast of Our Lady of the
Rosary is a good time to start. The U.S. election can be motivation — Pope John
Paul II asked each of us to pray a daily Rosary for peace and for the family,
and Pope Benedict XVI has urgently repeated the request.
We have found several ways of making
the family Rosary enjoyable for the kids. Here are a few:
1. Diorama Rosary. Depict the
mysteries with religious statuettes or figurines.
2. Sketchpad Rosary. Kids draw each
mystery as they say the prayers.
3. House Rosary. Say a different
mystery in each room.
4. Mixed-up Rosary. Put each of the
20 mysteries on a separate piece of paper, and pick five at random from a hat.
For a movie with a surprising
pro-Rosary message, see the Hitchcock film The Wrong Man,
starring Henry Fonda.
Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalms 80:9, 12-16,
19-20; Philippians 4:6-9; Matthew 21:33-43
EPriest.com offers free homily
packs for priests.
Today’s Gospel delivers a stinging
challenge, yet offers a tremendous hope.
Jesus told the parable about the
owner of the vineyard whose servants are mistreated by the workers, and then
his son is killed.
He was referring to a vast tradition
of imagery where God compares his chosen people to a vineyard. In today’s first
reading, God abandons his vineyard. The Jewish audience understood that Christ
was warning them. By rejecting him, they could very well lose God’s favor.
Catholics should feel an even
greater challenge. God will never abandon his Church. But Catholics can betray
Christ as much as anybody else and fall out of his favor. This has happened
many times with many groups in the history of the Church; during the
Reformation, in the dissolution of religious communities, and in the current
crisis of faith in Europe.
But the Gospel also carries a
tremendous hope. The parable also tells how the owner of the vineyard overcame
his workers, even if they killed his son.
If it ever seems like God’s side
loses every battle, we can take hope: God has always won the war — even after
losing many battles.