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Friday, August 14, 2015

Preparation: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings for the 20h Sunday in Ordinary Time can be found here.

As we prepare for this weekend's Liturgy of the Word, what comes to your mind when you think of the Eucharist?  When you consider the magnificent experience of actually partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, it is truly a transformative experience.  

The first reading, from Proverbs, invites us to watch the table being set and ends with the words "Forsake foolishness that you may live."  What foolishness do you find in your life?  Do you see this as blocking the way to your eternal life?

In the Psalm, we sing together "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord."  How good the Lord is!  How wonderful it is to praise God together!  What are the ways that you celebrate the goodness of all the Lord gives to your family, together with your family?  Do you take time to glorify God as a family unit?  Have you focused on building your domestic church and, if not, what are some ways that you make your domestic church a priority?

Once again, foolishness and ignorance make an appearance in the readings, this time in the second reading from the book of Ephesians.  We are told to watch how we live and to seek to understand God's will.  In addition, the reading cautions us against debauchery and encouraging us to praise God together in song through the Psalms.  Are their vices in your life that are impeding your ability to praise God?  Are you putting vices before your family?  Are you seeking out God's will in your life, giving thanks even during the rough spots?

The Gospel, from the book of John, is the quintessential reading that points us to the Eucharist.  "I am the living bread that came down from heaven," says Jesus.  He also implores us to partake of this divine gift.  "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."  Each day, we have the unique opportunity to experience Christ in the Eucharistic Feast.  The Church offers us guidance on receiving the Sacred Body and Blood of Jesus.   To receive Holy Communion worthily it is necessary to be free from mortal sin, to have a right intention and to obey the Church's laws on the fast required before Holy Communion out of reverence for the body and blood of Our Divine Lord.  Venial sin does not make us unworthy of receiving Holy Communion; but it does prevent us from receiving the more abundant graces and blessings which we would otherwise receive from Holy Communion. After Holy Communion we should spend some time adoring Our Lord, thanking Him, renewing our promises of love and of obedience to Him, and asking Him for blessings for ourselves and others.  Are you allowing yourself the graces available by reconciling yourself to Jesus regularly and by participating in the Eucharistic table?  Are you encouraging holiness in your home by taking your children to do the same? 

Questions to consider from the Gospel:  How is Jesus your living bread?  In what ways can you deepen your faith and your connection to the Trinity through the Eucharist?  How can you keep the beauty of Holy Communion in your home and family?

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