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Fr. Rodney Kissinger, S.J. who is 104 years young, has been a Jesuit for over 77 years and a priest for over 66 years. His seasoned spirituality is the fruit of more than 61 years of making and giving the Spiritual Exercises in all of its formats to priests, religious and laity. It is presented not in the jargon of academia but in a language that everyone can understand. He is neither “old breed” nor “new breed,” he is just “half breed.” Having studied both the old theology and the new theology he is convinced that the continuity is so great that you cannot understand the new until you have mastered the old.


This week's feature is Fr. Rodney's Booklet, Sunday Mass - The Sabbath

Sunday Mass is rooted in the Jewish Sabbath. To understand the importance of Sunday Mass you have to understand the importance of the Sabbath observance to the Jews. Christianity is not a completely new religion. It begins with Abraham, our Father in faith. Luke’s Gospel begins in the Temple with Zachariah a priest of the Old Covenant. It begins with the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist the last of the prophets and the link between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament implies an Old Testament. Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill. Jesus is the glory of Israel. (Jer. 31:31-34)

The Temple in Jerusalem was the center of the Jewish religion from the time of Solomon to its destruction by the Romans in 70 AD. This was the one and only place where Sacrifices and certain other rituals were performed. It was partially destroyed at the time of the Babylonian Exile and rebuilt. The rebuilt Temple was known as the Second Temple. The famous Wailing Wall is the western retaining wall of the Second Temple and is as close to site of the original Sanctuary as Jews can go today. The site of the Temple is currently occupied by a Muslim Mosque, the Dome of the Rock.

There was only one Temple but there were many Synagogues. According to the law wherever there were ten Jewish families there must be a Synagogue. The Synagogue is primarily a teaching institution. The service consisted of three things: prayer, reading of the Scripture and explanation of the Scripture. There was no music, singing or sacrifice.

The Scribes were scholars, experts in the law. The title of Rabbi was given to the greatest of them. They would never give an independent judgment, a decision on their own. They would simply quote the authorities. The people were astonished at Jesus because he spoke with authority, his own personal authority. He spoke as if he needed no authority beyond himself. “You have heard it said of those of old, “Love your neighbor, hate your enemy.” But I say to you, “Love your enemy.” (Matt. 5:43-44)

Jesus had a high regard for the Sabbath. He was very faithful in the observance of the Sabbath law. He not only attended the synagogue on the Sabbath, he also participated in the liturgy by reading and preaching. (Luke 4: 16-21) He said he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it.

The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday and ends at the end of twilight on Saturday. The Sabbath celebrates Creation. It is a celebration of the Creator of the universe acknowledging Him as the one and only Lord. It is the answer to the first and recurring temptation to divinize man and the world. “You will be like God.” (Gen. 3:5) CLICK HERE to read the entire chapter.



Did you know that Fr. Rodney Kissinger, S.J. has a number of Podcasts? CLICK HERE for Fr. Rodney Kissinger Podcasts of his Booklets, Essays, and Homilies

 Fr. Rodney now has three Kindle EBooks available

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God's Sense of Humor and Sixty Other Homilies is a collection of homilies that have been delivered by Fr. Rodney Kissinger, S.J. over the years to address many of the issues faced by Christians in contemporary society. This document is available as a Kindle EBook that can be purchased at the Kindle store for $2.99.

CLICK HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store









Fr. Rodney has spent most of his priestly life giving the Spiritual Exercises, as a preached retreat, a guided retreat, the personally directed retreat, the 19th annotation retreat and the email retreat. The Joy of the Spiritual Exercises is the fruit of these retreats condensed into a single EBook. As Fr. Rodney states, "Pope Francis exhorts us to proclaim “The Joy of the Gospel.” The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a proclamation of the joy of the Gospel." This document is available as a Kindle EBook that can be purchased at the Kindle store for $2.99.

CLICK HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store








A compilation of many of his booklets in a single document named Divine Simplicity. This document is available as a Kindle EBook that can be purchased at the Kindle store for $2.99.

CLICK HERE to purchase the EBook at the Amazon Kindle Store










© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Fr Rodney Kissinger, S.J. all rights reserved