Homily for the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

David Oatney Blog: Life at 25 Leave a Comment

Genesis 3:9-15, 20 Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12 Luke 1:26-38 Today, Holy Mother Church commemorates and celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This feast celebrates the Church’s dogmatic teaching that the Blessed Mother was given the gift from God of being conceived without original sin. That is to say, that from the moment …

Keep the Mass in Christmas

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Today is the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord, popularly known as Christmas Eve. Tonight when those of us who do so celebrate Vespers, or Evening Prayer, the Church says that the solemnity of Christmas officially begins. Advent comes to an end as we enter into our celebration of the Nativity of the Lord. Some parishes will celebrate Masses …

It’s “O” Time

David Oatney Blog: Life at 25 1 Comment

Those of us who daily celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours could probably tell that it is getting close to Christmas even if we couldn’t get a look at the calendar, because beginning last Wednesday and continuing through Tuesday evening, December 23rd, before reciting the Magnificat (i.e. “my soul magnifies the Lord”) from Luke 1:46-55, we recite a series of …

Long Ago Prophets Knew…

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On this third Sunday of Advent, we reflect in the first reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (61:1-2, 10-11) in the readings for Mass today. This is a passage seen by both scholars and theologians to be distinctly messianic in nature. In other words, the Jewish people of Jesus’ time would have seen this passage as referring to …

Reflection for Vespers

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This past Friday evening (December 5th) was my turn to lead Evening Prayer for our diaconate formation class. For some time now, we’ve been including a reflection by the candidate leading Morning or Evening Prayer. In sharing one of my reflections before on Life At 25, I said that it was rather like “practice preaching” to prepare us for the …

A Black Friday Reflection

David Oatney Blog: Life at 25 2 Comments

Last year on this day, I did what seems to have become an annual “tradition” for me, rendering my generally not-so-hot opinion of what is otherwise known as “Black Friday,” but which I think is a kind of “national holiday to materialism.” Indeed, a couple of years ago I wrote on my personal blog that “Black Friday” has simply become …

Are We Profitable Servants?

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It is that time of year when we begin to see readings in daily Masses that are clearly eschatological and, some would say, apocalyptic in the Scriptures read at Mass every day. We see this in today’s readings, for example, when John has a vision of the Heavenly Liturgy, and Jesus tells what the headers in the Revised Standard Version …

The Baptism of the Lord and Ordinary Time

David Oatney Catechism, Diocese of Knoxville Leave a Comment

Today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and the Church remembers in a solemn way the day on which Christ humbled himself as an example to us to be baptized in the River Jordan by his forerunner, follower, and cousin John the Baptist. Unlike ourselves, who all had need of baptism as the ordinary means by which …

A Nativity Reflection

David Oatney Catechism, Saints Leave a Comment

Advent comes to an end this afternoon, and the celebration of the Nativity of the Lord begins with the First Vespers of Christmas tonight. Parishes in some places will even have the first Masses of Christmas as early as the liturgical laws of the Church will allow, some at 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. this afternoon, because in many places the …

He Comes To Bring Good Tidings

David Oatney Prayer 4 Comments

With the sun going down on the shortest day of the year, it is now the Vigil of the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The celebration of Our Lord’s Nativity is three days away. Many of us are engaged in those last-minute Christmas preparations. In our home, we are finishing up the candy and cookies, and there are still some gifts …

The Time Is Near

David Oatney Catechism Leave a Comment

This past Sunday began the third week of Advent, and it is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday, or the Sunday of rejoicing. Many priests and deacons wore rose-colored vestments or stoles Sunday. It also means that we will begin to see the daily readings shift from a kind of apocalyptic eschatological focus on the second coming to a centering on the first …

Making Time For the Gospels

David Oatney Diocese of Knoxville, New Evangelization Leave a Comment

As we pointed out in the previous post here at Life At 25, the Church’s New Year of Grace 2014 got underway last weekend with the First Sunday of Advent. A new liturgical year is a great time to make resolutions of the spiritual kind, such as “I will learn much more about my faith,” “I’ll dedicate more time of my …

Slow Down and Have a Holy Advent

David Oatney Pope Francis, Prayer Leave a Comment

This past weekend (the vigil and the Sunday proper) heralded the beginning of Advent. In the Church’s year, it is a new beginning, marking a new Year of Grace, 2014. The Church begins the liturgical cycle by reflecting for four weeks in the daily scripture readings, the text of the Mass, and the antiphons of the Liturgy of the Hours …

The End of Another Year of Grace

David Oatney Year of Faith Leave a Comment

As we enter the closing days of the Liturgical Year 2013, those of you who pay close attention to the daily Mass readings will notice that a distinctly eschatological theme begins to develop in these days leading up to what will ultimately be the Feast of Christ the King and the last week of Ordinary Time. The readings in many …