Week 325

Baptism of the Lord

Reading I
Is 42:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 29:1-2, 3-4, 3, 9-10
Reading II
Acts 10:34-38
Mt 3:13-17

"Hi, there-- I have another job for you."

"It's S-U-N-D-A-Y and I'm trying to obey the Third Commandment, if you don't mind."

"Come, now, when you hear the task I'm sure you'll agree that it's worth rising early-- and it really isn't all that early, anyway."

"I can think of only one reason you'd be here disturbing my sleep."

"Our friend is trying to get to Mass again."

"I should have known. Why don't you nudge him out of bed earlier instead of me?"

"I was busy helping out the angels we sent to comfort victims of the tsunami and I got delayed."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, the same old story."

"Never mind all that. I need you to hold a Mass for me."

"I'm not doing anything like what you had me do the last time with the baby!"

"This is cleaner. Just set back the clock in the sacristy four minutes. He's fighting his way through narrow, crowded sidewalks, but that will be enough to get him there in time."

"Why didn't you suggest that last time?"

"Maybe if you'd look into that other job I could be a bit easier on you. Our Lady thinks I should be even tougher with you."

"Gabriel, that other job is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E!"

"Well, then meanwhile, go take care of the clock and maybe I can put in a good word for you."

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I set forth this morning a bit late but still early enough to take a shot at a noon Mass not too far from a pair of major bridges leading to a heavily-populated island. I boarded the railroad train at 10:45 AM and exited onto the island at about 11:30 AM. After walking a block to a subway, I caught a train that would take me ten minutes downtown to a parish on the corner of two narrow streets lined with merchants oblivious to the meaning of Sunday. I had to walk another ten minutes or so, and at noon I could see the spire of the church two blocks away but had trouble manuevering through the crowds of shoppers looking at sidewalk displays. Through some miracle I entered a minute or two after noon but the Mass hadn't started yet, so I guess someone was looking after me today.

The building bears a 1923 cornerstone and appears to have changed little since then. Inside

The homily was straightforward. The priest spoke of how Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy and mentioned that peace and justice are not at odds with one another but rather go together in God's kingdom.

We recited the Creed, and the reader went to the ambo and led the recitation of the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful.

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I .

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In Oslo, Norway, Mass is offered at the Monastery of the Annunciation on Øvre Lunden. All across the nation and around the world, you can almost always find a Catholic Mass.

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Same Sunday in 2004
Same Sunday in 2000
Same Sunday in 1999