QUESTION and ANSWER
Conducted by Fr. JOHN SYMON
Question — Since the new Mass was introduced, the Sunday homily, as it is calkl, is frequently no more than a vague exortanon based on the Gospel. Do the liturgical reforms really exclude all systemalk. instruction on flu, Faith?
Answer --Far from it
The new system of readings was drawn up so that in the course of our Sunday Masses we should hear the whole of the four Gospels every three years—much more than we ever did in the past.
Granted that these readings are used with imagination. the end-result should be that we will receive a great deal of instruction indeed, and this instruction will he closely based on the New Testament.
Here is how this threeyear period is allocated. Each year the 12 central Sundays, in Lent and Easter-tide, are reserved for a portion of the Fourth Gospel, the one according to St. John. Practically all the other Sundays are allotted in the first year to
St. Matthew, in the second year to St. Mark. and in the third year to St. Luke.
Thus it happens that during I.ent and Easter-tide we hear St. John's special message of how Our Lord died and rose again. how we die and rise again with him, and how this work is carried on through the Sacraments.
In the first year of the cycle when St. Matthew's Gospel is read-1972, for instance — the sermons should concentrate on the Church for that is the main theme of the first Gospel.
The second Gospel, the one according to St. Mark. which we read during 1970,
speaks particularly of Christ as the Son of God and of how Jesus' suffering and death led to the uefeat of the powers of evil.
Finally, in St. Luke, whose Gospel is being read this year and will come round again in 1974, the emphasis is on how the Holy Spirit was at work in the life of Jesus so that through him God's plan for salvation was fulfilled; this Gospel is also in a special way the Gospel of the Sacred Heart, stressing Jesus' love for sinners.