Holy Mass

Gratitude for John 6

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

For a few weeks during Year B, the Sunday lectionary takes a break from the Gospel of Mark to bring us the Bread of Life discourse from the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. Beginning with the multiplication of the loaves and fish, the narrative brings us to the next day, when Jesus is back at his home base in […]

Elijah and the Lord—Lessons for Living!

"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

Here’s a quick test for you!  You didn’t know there was going to be a pop quiz, did you?  I thought one might be in order to celebrate the start of the coming school year. Yes?  No? Seriously!  Here’s the question… “Who was the famous prophet in today’s first reading?” The prophet is none other than Elijah!  In his ministry, he […]

Food That Endures For Eternal Life

Photograph Copyright © by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff

Today’s Gospel is taken from St. John and continues our short five-week break from Mark’s Gospel that we’ve been hearing during this liturgical year. The focus of the passages during these five weeks is the Eucharist and the Lord’s abundant love for each of us. So much power and promise are contained in the sixth chapter of John’s gospel, that […]

The Eucharist in John’s Gospel

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

During this Liturgical Year (Year B), the gospel readings at Mass on Sundays are taken primarily from the Gospel of Mark. However, beginning this weekend, we will spend five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John and the focus will be on the Eucharist. To set the scene, we need to look back to last […]

Jesus Christ Truly Present

Photograph Copyright © by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff

The Mass readings for the Solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ (Year B) are: Exodus 24:3-8; Psalms 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26. Use the player to listen to listen to the homily or download the mp3 audio file. The Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Covenant The passage from Exodus used for today’s first reading recounts the […]

Daily Quote — from St. John Vianney

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

“When we leave the holy banquet, we are as happy as the Wise Men would have been, if they could have carried away the Infant Jesus.” (St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars) The Memorial of St. John Mary Vianney, Priest (1786 – 1859) is August 4. Please share on social media. Print this entry

By Dint of Little Things

I want to be holy. I want to be a saint. That’s all that matters in this life… that someday we all get to heaven. I know that it’s only possible with God’s grace, and I know I have to cooperate with that grace to grow in holiness. But often those thoughts become detached from my every day experience. Priests […]

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Are You Living Well?

"Moses Breaking the Tablets" (detail) by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Liberation from Slavery Are you living well? Are you living in Christ? Or perhaps you have lost your way… become enslaved to sin. We must never take life in Christ for granted. The Book of Exodus, from which today’s first reading is taken, is the story of how God liberated the people of Israel from Egypt. In a deeper, more […]

How am I to understand suffering?

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads […]