Mass Readings

Mass Readings

At every Mass, Catholics hear several readings from Sacred Scripture during the Liturgy of the Word.

The readings are important and necessary elements of the liturgy because the Bread of Life that nourishes the faithful at Mass consists of both the Word of God and the Body of Christ. 

Readings and Psalms would have been part of the Passover celebration during the Last Supper, when the Mass was instituted by Jesus.

The readings at today’s Masses are not chosen by the priest but have been carefully collected and organized into cycles in a book called the Lectionary.

Following the Lectionary, every Catholic Church in the world proclaims, hears, and learns from the same readings at Mass each day.

Meant to be heard and explained:

The proclaimed Word of God has wings and can fly:

The pages of the Bible cease to be writings and become living words, spoken by God. It is God, who through the reader, speaks to us and questions us, we who listen with faith. The Spirit “Who has spoken through the prophets” and has inspired the sacred authors makes the Word of God that “we hear outwardly have its effect inwardly”. But in order to listen to the Word of God, we also need our heart to be open to receive the Word in our heart. God speaks and we listen to Him, in order to then put into practice what we have heard. It is very important to listen. At times perhaps we do not fully understand because there are a few somewhat difficult Readings. Yet God speaks to us in another way; [we must be] silent and listen to the Word of God. Do not forget this. During Mass, when the Readings begin, let us listen to the Word of God.

Pope Francis, General Audience, January 31, 2018

Hearing the Word of God at Mass:

Christ present in the Word proclaimed:

Then He said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them the things about Himself in all the Scriptures.

Acts 24: 25-27

Igniting our faith through his Word:

Preparing the faithful for the Eucharist:

The Liturgy of the Word is an integral part of sacramental celebrations. To nourish the faith of believers, the signs which accompany the Word of God should be emphasized: the book of the Word (a Lectionary or a Book of the Gospels), its veneration (procession, incense, candles), the place of its proclamation (lectern or ambo), its audible and intelligible reading, the minister’s homily which extends its proclamation, and the responses of the assembly (acclamations, meditation psalms, litanies, and profession of faith).

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1154

Catholics hear a lot of Scripture at Mass:

The continuous story of God’s love for us:

The same readings are heard in all Catholic Churches at Mass:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Surrendering to God:

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