Fr. Mike’s Favorite Topics

Fr. Mike’s Favorite Topics


I am excited to make available for you a variety of topics that I taught in Africa to the young men who were entering the Society of Mary (Marianists) and the diocesan seminarians in both Kenya and Zambia.  Even when I headed our programs to the young men and women religious the following topics were found to be the most important and influential in their religious lives!  These are the topics:  Scripture, History of the Eucharist, and History of the Church.  For Marianists and religious I would also add Mariology and Spirituality.  For the lay I would include the above and more.

I have also added a copy of my homily for each week that I will try to post before Sunday.

If we want to deepen our relationship with the Lord, then all other topics should fall under our interests since anything that brings us knowledge of how God works and acts in the world is fair game.  We can not fully and deeply love another person, even God, unless we spent time to get to know the other well.  We can see this with those who fall in love for the first time.  What do they do, they will eventually talk and talk and talk to find out everything they can about one other.  The same is with God, but we will never be able to learn and know enough.

My method is simple enough, to present a topic by a series of short readings leading the reader step by step to a deeper understanding of that topic.  Since all topics are in someway connected to God, a constant reference to how they are connected is important.  I will show this especially in my series called “The Spirituality of Birdwatching!”

Each article in a series on a particular Topic are kept short, no more than two to three typed written pages double spaced.  I hope with a few reflection questions at the end, one may come to a deeper grasp of each topic and apply it to their own lives.

I would like to start with the History of the Eucharist, since that is what we are mainly about each week.  You will find this in one of the boxes on my page.  I would also like to start with one of the prophets, “Jeremiah” since we have been reading from his collections of writing in the first readings, especially the daily readings.  And the title for this series is called, “The Prophet’s Friend – Bruch.”






The Eucharistic Celebration until the 4th Century: MASS IN THE HOME The celebration of the Eucharist, Rites of the Sacraments, Prayer in Common, and the Liturgical Sermon, all go back to the express command of Jesus, or at least based on his example and commendation.  Jesus did not originate these liturgical acts, but took them …

Continue reading Mass In The Home – Ascension to 4th Century





“Baruch!” Jeremiah calls out teasing.  “How is my friend, the One Who Is Blessed?” “You like my name, Yahweh Is Exalted!” Baruch teases back. “You really are blessed, Baruch,” Jeremiah gets serious.  “You were the only one who believed me despite my age.” …

Continue reading THE PROPHET’S FRIEND – BARUCH, Part One: From The North Comes Destruction!



Reflections on:

History of the Eucharist – Ascension to 4th Century

After having read the above section on History of the Eucharist – Ascension to 4th Century, here are the main highlights that I want to focus on.

We know from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that the Mass was celebrated in two parts, Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Meal, and not combined until later in the First Century.  Liturgy of the Meal celebrated by the early Christians on Saturday evening and the Liturgy of the Word celebrated on Sunday morning.  The Jews celebrated their Sabbath Meal Friday evening since that is when their Sabbath Day began, sundown Friday.  To avoid confusion in the future, for the Jews their day began after sundown.  So their Saturday (or Sabbath) began Friday after sundown; “It was evening and morning the First Day” Genesis 1.  For us Westerners, the new day begins at midnight, and in Africa the new day begins at sunrise!  Once the early Christian were kicked out of the synagogues, they celebrated their Liturgy of the Word on Sunday morning at someone’s home.  The Liturgy of the Meal, which was initially celebrated on a Friday evening, since the early Church was still Jewish, was moved to Saturday evening.  However, abuses started to enter into this celebration since those hosting this Liturgy of the Meal would have what was called a ‘Love Feast’ or Agape Meal before hand, and as Paul related in 1 Cor 11:17f, this was getting out of hand and people were getting drunk then going into the Liturgy of the Meal.  He strongly suggested that this Love Feast be dropped.  Shortly after Paul’s suggestion the Saturday evening Liturgy of the Meal was moved to Sunday morning.  Unfortunately, we have the Last Supper being celebrated at breakfast time!

Notice that the Greek language was used at this time, apart from a short preliminary period during which Aramaic was used, the mother tongue of Jesus.  Some parts of Greek still lingered in the liturgy up to Vatican II with the “Kyrie eleison” being an example.  Latin gradually replaced Greek in the West about the middle of the Third Century after Saint Jerome by the request of Pope Damasus translated the New Testament into the common Latin called the Vulgate.