By Fr. Mike Boutin -- June 29, 2009
Next Sunday, July 5th, is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The color for Ordinary Time is green.
For Americans, however, the celebration of the Fourth of July is more on their minds than the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. How do we reconcile the Church's calendar with the civic calendar? General intercessions for our nation, for peace in the world, for our government and its leaders are always appropriate. Since many people are traveling this weekend, a warm welcome at the beginning of Mass is a good idea, and prayers for travelers are welcome. The Book of Blessings provides an Order for the Blessing of Travelers (Chapter 9) that might be offered to visitors following the weekend liturgies, especially if there is coffee and donuts after one of the weekend Masses.
Musical selections need to be sensitive to liturgical norms and the reality of people's lives. Programming all patriotic music for the weekend of July 4th ignores the liturgical norms, while simply ignoring the reality of July 4th seems out of step with people's lives. A closing hymn like "America the Beautiful" can acknowledge the holiday for people but also situate it within a context of faith. Another particularly good musical choice is "This is My Song" set to the tune FINLANDIA. Its strong text reminds us that "other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine."
Here are the readings for next Sunday: http://www.usccb.org/nab/readings/070509.shtml
Here are a few good sites for exegesis (an explanation of what the biblical texts are trying to say):
Preachers, any good homily starters? How do you prepare to preach each week? Which resources do you rely on? Share them with us, please!
General Liturgical Resources:
cf Living Liturgy 2009 http://www.litpress.org/Detail.aspx?ISBN=9780814627464
Companion to the Calendar: http://www.amazon.com/Companion-Calendar-Mary-Ellen-Hynes/dp/1568540116
General Preaching Links and helpful resources:
Preaching the Lectionary
Jerome Biblical Commentary: http://www.amazon.com/Jerome-Biblical-Commentary-paperback- reprint/dp/0138598363/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245320289&sr=1-1
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology http://www.salvationhistory.com/