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 Fr. Posey's Invitation

November 27, 2016

As we begin another liturgical year and dig deeper into the season of Advent, I invite you to participate in our new parish initiative: Light Your Heart with the Word. St. Paul advises each of us to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). But how do we do this?

Every week at Mass, Scripture is proclaimed during the Liturgy of the Word. Often, it is easy to check out during the readings, focusing more on our to-do list or where we are going to eat after Mass. We all fall victim to distractions, sometimes so much so that we cannot even remember what the readings were about. I will never forget the time I was saying Mass for a group of high school students and I stopped to ask them what the reading had been about. None of them were able to tell me. They were sitting in the pews, yes, but none of them had listened. How can we let the word of God illuminate our lives and dwell in us richly if we do not listen when the Scriptures are pronounced?

Light Your Heart with the Word is an initiative designed to help us prepare ourselves to receive the Word when it is proclaimed at Mass. By reading and reflecting on the Sunday readings during the prior week, we can prepare our hearts to receive the Word of God more readily, so that we can truly listen to what is being said during the Mass. When we listen with an open heart, we invite Christ to dwell in us and be our light.

There are many programs to help us start thinking about and praying with the Sunday readings the week before. On the FORMED homepage, video reflections on the Sunday readings are available from Opening the Word. If you log in to FORMED.org, you can also access a weekly prayer journal which includes daily meditation questions, prayers, and weekly resolutions to be lived out. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also has short video reflections on the Scripture readings available on their website, usccb.org. The practice of looking at the readings ahead of time and praying with them before Mass is a wonderful way to open ourselves to Christ and His light.

I also encourage you to look into the many other resources available at FORMED.org. This site has a wide range of Catholic movies, catechetical videos, audios, and books, along with reflections on the Sunday readings. I like to think of it as a Catholic Netflix, designed to help Catholics grow in their faith. Sign up for free at FORMED.org with our parish code: 8D46B7.

God speaks directly to us every week through the Scriptures. At St. James, we have been blessed with countless resources to help us open ourselves to Christ so that He can dwell in us richly through His Word. I encourage all of you to participate in this parish-wide initiative to receive the Word of God in the Mass by preparing ahead of time through prayer and reflection. May God bless you during this Advent season and truly light your heart with His Word.

~Father Posey