5 Ways to Get the Daily Mass Readings


“Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” – St. Jerome

Feasting on the riches of Scripture is a daily must, both at Mass and outside of Mass. But reading the daily Mass readings is a good start and foundation of your day, whether you can get to daily Mass or not.

Here’s a couple ways to make sure you’re getting your daily bread of the Scriptures.*

  1. Old fashioned paper: If you’re paper and binding kind of person, there are several ways to keep up with the daily readings:
  2. USCCB Daily Mass Readings Podcast on iTunes (also available online) -A great service of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Get the daily readings on your mobile device. It’s wonderful to hear them read out loud, and a little fun and interesting to hear the different readers (with different styles and accents).
  3. EWTN: The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) posts the daily readings as well as video of the readings/ homily on their YouTube channel. Downside: the video is usually not available until mid-morning, so if you are an early riser and like to have morning devotions with the daily readings, you might try one of the other options.
  4. Universalis: Free daily readings and liturgy of the hours (uses New Jerusalem Bible translation).
  5. Apps: There are several Catholic apps where you can find the daily readings, some free and some paid, all in English and some with other language options.
    • Laudate (Free on iTunes and Google Play) a fair app. The daily readings are just a web app connection to the USCCB site (and the text is a bit small), but it has a lot of things in one place. You can’t beat the price. English only.
    • Evangelizo (Free on iTunes and Google Play)– Daily readings in 10 languages.
    • Catholic Daily Readings (Free on iTunes, Google Play, and Microsoft Windows) – Super easy to use: open and it loads the readings. Plus it has a share function.
    • iMissal app (iTunes, $4.99, & Google Play, $3.99) – A decent app that has the daily readings (and full missal for Mass in English), as well as daily scriptures, prayers, and Catholic news. The audio readings require a data/ WiFi connection, and the saints feast days they list are sometimes incorrect, but overall of fair to good app experience.
    • Word Among Us – (Free for 14 day trial, $1.99/mo or $23.99/ year on iTunes or Kindle) Mass readings and reflections.

How do you get your daily Mass readings? Do you have a favorite Missal or app we missed?

*Most of these options use the American Mass translation, which uses the New American Bible.


At Last, Some Literal Orientation

Getting situated at the beginning of the year

At the beginning of the school year, this past week has just been one orientation after another. Important people you don’t know tell you important things you won’t remember. And, we hope, everyone sets off in the right direction.

The very word orientation has fundamentally to do with direction. Its Latin root—oriens—refers to the rising sun, and of course, the sun rises in the east. Hence an old word for the far east is the orient.

So after a week full of orientation at Baylor, maybe you seek out the chapel at St. Peter’s for some peace and quiet, something familiar, maybe just like home.

Is Father being rude?

Only, you then notice that Father Daniel is celebrating the Mass—facing away from me? With his back to us?

You might feel a little disoriented, maybe even mildly offended. We even use the phrase “to turn your back on someone” to describe betrayal. Plus, your priest at home probably doesn’t do it this way. Is that even Catholic?

It actually is. And the reason why has everything to do with orientation. When a priest celebrates Mass facing the same direction as the people, he is said to be saying the Mass ad orientem—toward the rising sun, towards the east.

Written in architecture

This orientation is even written in the architecture of churches. Some churches, though not all, were built so that we all face east when at Mass. So it’s been for centuries. The beautiful gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, faces east, as does St. Patrick’s in Manhattan. And St. Stephen’s Cathedral, in the middle of Vienna, Austria, is actually lined up so that the sun rises exactly in front of it on the feast of its patron, St Stephen, on 26 December.

But architecture aside, still the question remains: why? Why face east? What does ad orientem actually mean?

A gift with Jewish roots

It’s actually something early Christians learned from their Jewish elder brethren. Synagogues outside of Jerusalem were built so that worshippers faced the direction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the site of God’s presence on earth.

But when Christ came, he claimed to be the Temple himself. He is the Word made flesh, the incarnate presence of God on earth. (The place to look is John’s gospel, chapter 2.) With his advent, the long night of sin, death, and ignorance was over. The day that the prophets had long foretold had finally come, when God would dwell with his people in a new and decisive way.

Anyone looking for the dawn to come is inevitably going to be looking in one direction: east. As a result, the orientation towards east became associated with Christ himself.

What that means for us Catholic Christians is that the very direction we face at Mass symbolizes and expresses our hope in and love for God. Just as in the west, kneeling embodies humility, and genuflecting expresses respect and honor, even the very direction you face while standing is rich with significance. Even if your parish doesn’t technically face east, still the common orientation ad orientem of everyone at Mass—priests and laypeople alike—can be breathtaking to behold: a whole host of believers gathered, expectant, looking in the same direction, awaiting the coming Lord.

Strange behavior or united in our gaze?

But maybe you find all this ad orientem stuff off-putting or strange just because it seems so impersonal. “With his back to the people!” It’s true, it may look that way. But Father has no more turned his back on you than has everyone else who’s standing in front of you at Mass. The reality is, we’re all just facing the same direction.

Fundamentally, it’s about a common direction of prayer. Father actually will turn and face you from time to time—that’s when you know he’s talking to you. But most of the time when you’re all facing the same direction, that’s Father praying. That’s when we’re all praying. Ad orientem is about a common direction of prayer.

Prayer is a tough thing. If we’re honest, most of us would rather not do it. We’re comfortable with lecture halls, political rallies, and sporting events. We’re comfortable with what’s merely human.

Beholding the Lamb of God, the Bridgegroom

But with prayer, we have to do with God, and Masses celebrated ad orientem remind us of that. We aren’t there to face a priest. We’re there to behold God. We share in the work of the Mass, but Christ is the reason we’re all there. He’s the one we’re waiting for.

Thousands of years ago, the Psalmist likened the tabernacle, the place of God’s presence, to the sun, which, “as a bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber, hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way” (Ps 18.6 [19.6]). Today we all turn to watch the bride walk down the aisle, but back then it was the opposite. It was the glory of the bridegroom to break forth like the dawn and stride towards his bride in marriage.

The Church Fathers saw in that verse the figure of Christ: he is the decisive presence of God with his people. The apostles say that when Christ comes again, it will be like a wedding. Christ the bridegroom will burst forth again like the dawn for his waiting bride. What direction will that bride be facing?

-Adam Myers


Homily – 3rd Sun of Advent (2015)

This recording was made on Dec. 13, 2015 on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, by Fr. Daniel Liu  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.




Homily – 2nd Sun of Advent (2015)

This recording was made on Dec. 6, 2015 on the 2nd Sunday of Advent, by Fr. Daniel Liu  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.




Homily – 1st Sun of Advent (2015)

This recording was made on Nov. 29, 2015 on the 1st Sunday of Advent, by Fr. Daniel Liu  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.




Homily – Christ the King (2015)

This recording was made on Nov. 22, 2015 on the Feast of Christ the King, Fr. Daniel Liu  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.




Homily – 32nd Sun in OT – Giving God your All – Fr. Jonathan Raia

This recording was made on November 8, 2015 by Fr. Jonathan Raia, Vocation Director for the Diocese of Austin.

Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.


To download click here.