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Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings by Tom and April Hoopes.
BY Tom & April Hoopes
Sunday, Oct. 26, is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary
Time. Pope Benedict will conclude the Synod of Bishops on Scripture with 9:30
a.m. Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.
offers “Best Practices” for parishes.
seen great things from Core Ministries,” says Father Michael Izen, pastor of
St. Timothy’s Church in Maple Lake, Minn. “Marriages have been renewed, people
have been brought back to the Church, and many of the volunteers working in CCD
are associated with the program.”
starts with the 10-week Alpha program (AlphaUSA.org), an ecumenical course on
the basics of Christianity. About 3/4 of the way through the course, the
parishioners attend a weekend retreat that covers topics such as the Holy
Spirit, the Church and the sense of mission. The next stage offers options:
apologetics programs such as Catholicism 201 (a video series), ChristLife
materials, Jeff Cavins’ Bible study program, or Father Raneiro Cantalamessa’s
“Drinking from the Wells of the Church” program. Find more information at the
is offering Faith & Family articles for free for a limited time. Scroll down to the
bottom to find them.
31, of course, is Halloween. Our parish has always had a party for kids with
games and candy that night. The kids dress up as saints, and the priests try to
guess who is who.
year, we have extra help from Faith
& Family magazine. An
article by Susie Lloyd explains how to “sanctify” ordinary costumes. Find it at
Faith & Family Live! Scroll down to the bottom and choose “Calling All
22:20-26; Psalms 18:2-3-4, 47, 51; First Thessalonians 1:5-10; Matthew
free homily packs for priests.
CirclePress.org is the
website of the Register’s sister publisher, Circle Press.
today’s Gospel, Jesus delivers his great summing up of the commandments: “You
shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and
with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second
is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
are some practical tips on how to keep them:
above all things.
Know God better. It’s hard to love God if you don’t know him. The Gospels
(Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are a great introduction. They show Christ
acting in the world and interacting with people. The Better Part, by Legionary Father John Bartunek, available at the Circle Press
website (above), is a great way to get to know God through the Gospels. April
loved the book so much she bought lots of copies (despite the cost) for
Christmas gifts last year. Now, Tom is reading it daily, too.
Spend more time with him. To prove you love him above all things, set apart
time to pray. The Better
Part can be a great help in
meditative prayer. So can the Rosary. We really don’t mean for this to be all
about Circle Press, but we truly love the way the National Catholic Register’s Guide to the Rosary, with its artwork, Scripture and points for
meditation, makes the Rosary come alive.
The service habit. Love isn’t an emotion; the Lord could command it because
it’s something you can choose to do. Find a way to choose God over other things
daily: Offer a sacrifice during meals; listen to spiritual audio books instead
of the radio in the car; give up gossip in your conversations with
neighbor as yourself.
Remember the “as yourself” part. Think of the words “I love you, God, above all
things, and for your sake, I love my neighbor as myself” when you are tempted
to judge those you meet. Emphasize their strengths and downplay their weaknesses
— just as you do with yourself!
Remember the needy. Always include the needs of others in your prayers, and
make a point of doing something for charity every month: Donate time, money or
The service habit. Love others in your daily life, too: Pour coffee; call that
loved one every Wednesday night; bring a treat back for your spouse whenever
you go to the store.