Unwilling to banalize the liturgy by making use of the original ICEL translation and following the example of my mentor, Msgr. Myles M. Bourke, I translated the orations and prefaces for Sunday Masses and have used my own versions for decades. As an example, here are my translations of the Advent orations and prefaces. Advent Orations and Prefaces
November 23, 2011
November 20, 2011
Feast of Christ the King – November 23, 2008 – Blessed Sacrament
For all of its familiarity, the Gospel passage we have just heard retains its power to move and to challenge and to convict.
We are likely, perhaps, to hear this passage as describing the criteria by which we will be judged individually, and that is not wrong of course, which is why at least the first part of the scene is often read at funerals. But Christ gives the scene a larger, grander context. (more…)
Feast of Christ the King – November 20, 2005 – Blessed Sacrament
This feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925–not a long time ago, as the history of feasts go. The circumstances of its creation deserve a moment’s notice. Pope Pius XI, like many other popes of the last two centuries, was convinced that the ills of the modern era were in good part the consequences of the abandonment by modern nations of their Christian faith and practice. For a millennium of European history Christianity had had a formative, indeed a normative role, in society and culture. Ever since the Renaissance and Reformation, this hold had been loosened, and vast areas of human activity–science, philosophy, the economy, politics, education, culture, the press–had declared their independence and done so often in explicitly anti-Christian terms. For Pius XI, the failure of the effort to build a society without Christ was brutally revealed in the First World War, which his predecessor had called “Europe’s suicide.”
The years after that war saw the publication by many people, of all faiths and of no faith, of many books on the crisis of western civilization. (more…)
November 8, 2011
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 13, 2005 – Blessed Sacrament
The parable we have just heard is another one of those stories whose main theme is that of decision and judgment. It fits, then, with the parable we heard last week about the wise and foolish virgins and the one we will hear next week about the separation of the goats and sheep at the Last Judgment. These texts are read as the liturgical year comes to an end, as a kind of reminder that in the end we will all face God’s judgment.
The judgment, of course, will be on what we have done with our lives, with what we have made of our selves. (more…)
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 16, 2008 – Blessed Sacrament
Four weeks ago we had the nice coincidence that the Gospel passage in which Jesus states that we are to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s came before us in the last days before a national election. Today we have another coincidence: that in the midst of a severe economic crisis we hear a Gospel passage about the use of large amounts of money. There is a grasping wealthy man who harvests where he did not plant and gathers what he did not scatter. There are two servants of his who trade with the man’s money and double it and earn the master’s praise and reward, while a third servant is rebuked and punished for simply keeping his master’s money safe but fruitless. It could almost be read as a parable in praise of capitalism!
But, of course, this parable is no more about economics than was the other one about the man who paid those who worked all day the same salary as those who worked a single hour. (more…)
33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – NOVEMBER 17, 2002 – BLESSED SACRAMENT
As our liturgical year nears its end, we hear once again today a parable of judgment, like the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids last week, like the parable of the sheep and goats at the final judgment next week. The parables are meant to recall to us the seriousness of Christian living, and to bring us to take more conscious direction of our lives.
Perhaps in the ministry of Jesus, today’s Gospel of the talents was directed against the scribes and pharisees, who on this interpretation can be seen in the man who buried his master’s money. The Jewish leaders would have buried the wealth of God’s word to Israel under a mass of human traditions and legal requirements. They would be coming under judgment as Jesus appears.
The parable seems to have taken on a different meaning in Matthew’s Gospel. (more…)