Road to Emmaus

February 24, 2010
Second Sunday of Lent
By Brian Pizzalato

First Reading – Gn. 15:5-12,17-18
Responsorial Psalm – Ps. 27:1,7-9,13-14
Second Reading – Phil. 3:17-4:1
Gospel Reading – Lk. 9:28b-36

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading Luke recounts the Transfiguration of Jesus, an event that is absolutely packed with meaning.

The new Moses
In the gospel reading, Jesus takes Peter, James and John up a mountain and he is transfigured. In the midst of this, Elijah and Moses appear with Jesus and "were conversing with him" (Lk 9:30).

Moses and Elijah...

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February 17, 2010
First Sunday of Lent
By Brian Pizzalato

First Reading – Dt. 26:4-10
Responsorial Psalm – Ps. 91:1-2, 10-14
Second Reading – Rom. 10:8-13
Gospel Reading – Lk. 4:1-13

Jesus is tempted

Luke’s Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent presents Jesus being tempted in the desert.

We first hear that Jesus “was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days.” (Lk 4:1-2) This occurs right after Jesus has received the Spirit in his Baptism. But, why would the Holy Spirit want him to go into the wilderness?

First, Jesus has just...

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February 10, 2010
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Brian Pizzalato

First Reading – Jer. 17:5-8
Responsorial Psalm – Ps. 1:1-4, 6
Second Reading – 1 Cor. 15:12, 16-20
Gospel Reading – Lk. 6:17, 20-26

The overarching theme in the Old Testament and Gospel readings for this Sunday is that of blessings and curses. In the reading from the Gospel of Luke, the curses are represented by the four “woe” sayings. In that passage, Jesus pronounces four covenant blessings and four covenant curses.

We may be accustomed to the language of blessings, but the...

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January 20, 2010
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Brian Pizzalato

First ReadingNeh. 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

Responsorial PsalmPs. 19:8, 9, 10, 15

Second Reading1 Cor. 12:12:30

Gospel ReadingLk. 1:1-4; 4:14-21 

The Gospel of Luke opens with an address to Theophilus. The name “Theophilus” means “lover of God,” therefore this beautiful Gospel is addressed to all those who love God, “so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received” (Lk 1:4).  

In the second part of this Sunday’s Gospel reading from Luke...

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January 13, 2010
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
By Brian Pizzalato

First ReadingIs. 62:1-5

Responsorial PsalmPs. 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10

Second Reading1 Cor. 12:4-11

Gospel ReadingJn. 2:1-11

Have you ever noticed that Scripture begins and ends with a marital relationship in Genesis and in Revelation? “In the beginning,” after the creation of Eve from the side of Adam, we are told that Adam and Eve were created in a marital relationship: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one...

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January 06, 2010
Baptism of the Lord
By Brian Pizzalato

First ReadingIs 42:1-4, 6-7

Responsorial PsalmPs 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10

Second ReadingActs 10:34-38

Gospel ReadingLk 3:15-16, 21-22


Elijah/John the Baptist and Elisha/Jesus

Let’s dive immediately into the Old Testament background of the Baptism of Jesus, the feast we celebrate this Sunday.

With regard to this entire narrative, Luke wants us to recognize that John the Baptist is the new Elijah. John, the new Elijah, says that after him comes someone mightier than...

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December 28, 2009
Epiphany of the Lord
By Brian Pizzalato

First Reading – Is. 60:1-6
Responsorial Psalm – Ps. 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13
Second Reading – Eph. 3:2-3a, 5-6
Gospel Reading – Mt. 2:1-12
The Gospel reading for the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord has the familiar story about the visit of the Magi. There are two emphases in the account: the inclusion of the Gentiles in salvation; and Christ’s humanity and divinity.
The first emphasis is the fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of the Gentiles. Here the appearance...

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December 23, 2009
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
By Brian Pizzalato

First ReadingSir. 3:2-6, 12-14 or 1 Sam. 1:20-22, 24-28

Responsorial PsalmPs. 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 or Ps. 84:2-3, 5-6, 9-10

Second ReadingCol. 3:12-21 or 1 Jn. 3:1-2, 21-24

Gospel ReadingLk. 2:41-52


Samuel and Jesus

One option for the Old Testament reading for this Sunday comes from 1 Samuel. There are some amazing parallels between the account of Samuel’s birth and early life and the birth and early life of Jesus.

  1. Hannah is barren; Mary is without child (1 Sm...

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December 16, 2009
Fourth Sunday of Advent
By Brian Pizzalato

First Reading – Mic. 5:1-4a
Responsorial Psalm – Ps. 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Second Reading – Heb. 10:5-10
Gospel Reading – Lk. 1:39-45

“Thus says the Lord: You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah…from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; whose origin is from old, from ancient times” (Mi 5:1). Bethlehem was the birthplace of David, a shepherd, who would later become King of Israel. Micah prophesies that the future Messiah-King will also be born in Bethlehem.

In 1 Samuel...

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December 09, 2009
Third Sunday of Advent
By Brian Pizzalato

First ReadingZeph. 3:14-18a

Responsorial PsalmIs. 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

Second ReadingPhil. 4:4-7

Gospel ReadingLk. 3:10-18

In the Gospel reading from last Sunday we learned that John the Baptist is the one prophesied by Isaiah, the “one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord…” (Luke 3:4). This means that the arrival of the Lord is imminent.

The scene is set for us on the banks of the Jordan River. We know that multitudes came to receive this...

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