Prepare for Sunday's Mass

By Fr. Mike Boutin

Next Sunday, July 26th, is the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The color for Ordinary Time is green.

Here are the readings for next Sunday: http://www.usccb.org/nab/readings/072609.shtml

Here are a few good sites for exegesis (an explanation of what the biblical texts are trying to say):

Center for Liturgy at St. Louis University http://liturgy.slu.edu/17OrdB072609/main.html

The Text this Week: http://www.textweek.com/yearb/properb12.htm

DailyScripture.net http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/jul26.htm

When I am preparing to preach, my process includes a number of pieces: 1) prayer with the scriptures 2) a weekly Bible study with parishioners on Tuesday morning that forces me to interact with the texts before Friday! 2) looking at a few different "homily helps" -- not in order to use a canned homily (honestly, I've never done that) -- but instead, sometimes to find a different angle, or a starter story, or some particularly useful insight. The sources I use include:

The Preachers' Exchange: http://www.judeop.org/ This is a great website for Catholic preachers, by Jude Siciliano, OP. Well worth adding to your Favorites list.

Celebration: http://www.celebrationpublications.org/ Published by NCR, this is my favorite homily preparation type service, though it describes itself as a "comprehensive worship resource." It is an ecumenical and multi-cultural resource, has very fine scriptural scholarship and homily starters, interesting and useful articles and features, a daily Mass supplement. Overall, a lot of liturgical and preaching bang for your hard-earned buck!

Prepare the Word: http://www.PrepareTheWord.com This is an online resource published by True Quest, whose strongest asset is Alice Camille, one of its writers, but whose weakest link, unfortunately, is customer service and subscriptions.

Connections: www.connections-mediaworks.com Published by Media Works and edited by Jay Cormier, this is a great resource: a couple of short stories, fables, news events that relate (some more, some not quite so much!), but which provide only a springboard for your own preaching.

This Sunday's Scripture: www.23rdpublications.comPublished by Twenty-Third Publications along with Celebration, this is one of my favorites in the realm of homily prep. Good exegesis and pastoral application, and some useful homily starters. This resource is grounded in a prayerful weeklong approach to the Sunday scriptures and preaching.

Here are some good books to have on your liturgy shelf:

Living Liturgy 2009: this is a comprehensive liturgy planning guide, with great homiletic resources and reflections for each of the various liturgical ministries to use throughout the week.

Companion to the Calendar: Mary Ellen Hynes' book on the calendar is the best available. I actually think it may have been written for young people, but it reflects the broadest scholarship, a global sensitivity, and awareness of civic and seasonal calendars as well as the liturgical calendar.

Preaching the Lectionary: Reginald Fuller's work on lectionary preaching is one of the best one-volumes available. Ecumenical, smart, and a quick one page per Sunday read.

Jerome Biblical Commentary: If you want to dig deep into the exegesis of the Sunday scriptures, why look any further? The New JBC is a great investment, and you get a good upper body workout just by carrying it around with you!

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