How Do We Implement These Changes?
- Gain approval from the Magisterium to produce an Ordinary Sunday catechetical lectionary.
- The Scripture references are based on the Compendium and the Catechism, which are broken down into 78 (26 x 3) sections based on 26 Ordinary Sundays on a three-year cycle.
- Every priest prepares for his catechetical homily using the catechetical lectionary
- Result: Catholics are taught their faith directly from the Compendium and the Catechism.
A simple solution: Be sure to put the horse before the cart!
There are 34 Ordinary Sundays in the Church’s calendar. A major feast occurs on about eight of them, leaving 26 Ordinary Sundays in each of the Cycles A, B, and C. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a series of questions and answers which correspond to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which itself contains a much fuller explanations to the brief answers found in the Compendium. The priest would start with the Compendium which would already be divided into 78 (26 x 3) sections (for more on the book format and implementation, see below). The Catechism is already divided into three major sections: The Creed; the Mass and Sacraments; and Life in Christ and Christian Prayer. These three major sections of the Catechism can be divided into 78 (26 x 3) sections as well. This way the priest can first look to the Compendium for several questions and answers and then to the Catechism. The Catechism is also loaded with scriptures passages which support each section. Instead of taking the readings straight from Matthew, Mark, and Luke and forcing a priest to make up a homily, for 26 Ordinary Sundays of the Liturgical Year, the Scripture readings would be determined by the sections from the Compendium and the Catechism. In this way the sermon is a reflection on the Scriptures and is called a catechetical homily.
The perfect text book + the perfect classroom = more enriched and fulfilled Body of Christ
Every three years the priest and people would systematically go through the whole Compendium and Catechism. The entire Compendium and Catechism would be covered at least three times each decade. As the priest systematically goes through the Compendium and the corresponding sections of the Catechism, the people praising God in the Liturgy would grow in a deeper and deeper knowledge of their faith and would be inflamed to share their faith with others. What does it require? Simply to change the Scripture readings on 26 out of 365 days. The benefit would be enormous. The priest would become again a teacher.
The people would be informed in advance what sections in the Catechism the priest would be using as the basis for his upcoming Sunday catechetical homily. This would be accomplished via the parish bulletin, the parish website, smart phone apps, etc. The people could read the sections before Mass on Sunday and/or attend a study group in the parish later that week which would cover the same sections in more depth. All the areas of Church teaching would be covered every three years. No longer would people be able to say I never heard a homily on such and such a matter. Moreover the priest on Monday would know what he is to talk about for the following Sunday and he could spend the week preparing for it rather than still trying to figure out on Saturday what to speak about tomorrow.
The change is simple but it will be a blessing to the Universal Church. On these Ordinary Sundays the section to be taught from the catechism dictates the scriptures to be used at the Mass rather than the scriptures dictating the sections from the catechism. Any loss occurring from not following systematically the Scriptures from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke on those Ordinary Sundays would easily be overcompensated for by a people worshiping God with a deeper knowledge of their Faith.
How exactly to implement it?
The Pope Emeritus has made it easy for priests! As previously mentioned, the Compendium would first be divided into 78 (26 x 3) sections, each may include 6-7 questions and answers. The priest would start to answer the questions in the Compendium and obtain a fuller answer from the sections in the Catechism. The Catechism would be divided into a corresponding 78 (26 x 3) sections as well. The people could read the Compendium and/or the Catechism to prepare for the catechetical homily before Mass. To implement this change a Supplementary Sunday Lectionary would be published containing the catechetical homily readings to be used on the Ordinary Sundays of Cycles A, B, and C. The Lectionary would have three sections, A, B, C, each having 26 catechetical homily readings, numbered 1 to 26. The readings would be used on the Ordinary Sundays of Cycles of A.B.C that are not replaced that year by a major Feast, such as Corpus Christi, Trinity Sunday etc. On the Ordinary Sundays not replaced by a Feast in that year, the Ordo could indicate the readings to be used in a manner such as this: CHR 1A, CHR 2A, or CHR 1B, CHR 2B, or CHR 1C, CHR 2C etc. namely, Catechetical Homily Readings #1 Year A, Catechetical Homily Reading #2 A, Catechetical Homily Reading #1 B etc.
Actually this request is not new for the precedent has already been established in the new Lectionary for Weekday Masses recently published. For example, on the Feast of Ignatius of Antioch the readings at the Mass were clearly chosen because of St. Ignatius and his life. Speaking about the scriptures and St. Ignatius in the homily at Mass is an easy and enjoyable task. Too often in the past one had to speak either about the Saint or the scripture readings since little had to do with either. This does not have to happen, if we put the horse before the cart as was done on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Let us make the teaching of the new Catechism to the people coming to Mass on Sundays an easy, an enjoyable task for the priest by implementing as soon as possible the above proposal on the Supplementary Sunday Lectionary. A well-informed Catholic Community joyfully participating in praising God in the Sunday Liturgy will be impelled to share the Good News with others. This renewed evangelical spirit will be a source of countless blessings to the Church and the modern world that desperately is in need of the light of the Christ.