Fr. John Patrick Kenrick. "Childlike but not Childish" Torch. September 13, 2021 Today’s reading from the book of Wisdom is very appropriate for the times we live in when adherence to faith and to Christian values is often mocked by the secular world and even some Christians can be found apologizing for what many people see as unenlightened attitudes. The mistake made by ‘the godless’ in this reading is all too clear – they think that they have all the necessary evidence to make an informed judgment.
Joseph LaCombe. "Be His Instrument" A Catholic Moment. October 21, 2018 There is so much talk in the Church about family today. Marriages. Husbands. Wives. Children. There is so much focus on the family unit – or lack thereof – and how we as married couples can and need to change and live the Sacrament. And while the family unit is so important, and is a major player, it is not the only player.
Joseph LaCombe. "Now, Fight!" A Catholic Moment. September 23, 2018 I saw a post on social media a while back from a friend who had just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. They mentioned a quote from the end of the book that goes like this:
Ron Rolheiser, OMI. "Of Virtue and Sin" ronrolheiser.com. February 27, 2017 There’s an axiom which says: Nothing feels better than virtue. There’s a deep truth here, but it has an underside. When we do good things we feel good about ourselves. Virtue is indeed its own reward, and that’s good. However, feeling righteous can soon enough turn into feeling self-righteous. Nothing feels better than virtue; but self-righteousness feels pretty good too.
Fr. Allan White. "With Hands Outstretched" Torch. August 24, 2016 Jesus went to a banquet given on the Sabbath to the house of a Pharisee. Jesus was on trial. People were watching him to see what kind of person he was. The irony is, of course, that he was also watching them. They were concerned about who occupied the coveted place of honour. The place of honour is literally, the first couch, at the highest kind of formal meal, a reclining feast. We are watching a social drama.
Fr. David Sanders. "Sharing Possessions Makes You Rich in the Sight of God" Torch. July 26, 2016 Our possessions are in a way an extension of ourselves. What we do with our possessions reveals the kind of people we are. They symbolise our character. In Luke’s Gospel Jesus is constantly warning us about the way we use riches and possessions. When Zacchaeus comes down from his sycamore tree, repents and turns to God his conversion is expressed by giving a half of his possessions to the poor.
Laura Kazlas. "One’s Life Does Not Consist of Money and Possessions" A Catholic Moment. August 4, 2013 Today’s scriptures for mass are something we can all relate to, whether we have a little money or a lot, it is still a spiritual issue that has to be dealt with. The overriding issue in today’s scriptures for mass seems to be about the acquisition of money and how we live our lives. There is a great deal of truth to these words in scripture today. The first reading from the book of Ecclesiastes says that “sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it.
Fr. Fabian Radcliffe. "The Meaning of Life" Torch. August 5, 2001 What is life all about? What’s the meaning of it all? This is the underlying and perennial question for everyone. Even the Monty Python film of this title, for all its black and bawdy humour, wanted to ask the question in its own poignant way. And it is a question raised insistently by the readings for today’s Mass.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Do You Really Want What God Wants?" Word on Fire. October 17, 2021 Friends, power and honor, in and of themselves, are not a bad thing, but we wreak havoc when we ask for them in the wrong spirit. When we beseech the Lord with our desires, let us ask for what God wants for us rather than what our egos have determined to be good.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Hear, O Israel" Word on Fire. November 4, 2018 Our first reading for Mass this week contains the defining prayer of the Jewish tradition: the “Sh’ma.” In the Gospel, when asked which commandment is the greatest, Jesus, a pious Jew, recites this prayer from the book of Deuteronomy. We Christians too claim—or better, are claimed by—this great prayer. But what does it mean?
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Undoing of Original Sin" Word on Fire. September 23, 2018 One of the most important doctrines of the Church is the doctrine of original sin, which asserts that something it off with us. We see the effects of it everywhere, and we also see many attempts to solve the problem of sin o
Richard Rohr. "First Sunday of Lent—The Powerlessness of Not Knowing" Center for Action and Contemplation. March 5, 2017
Bishop Robert Barron. "Humility, Queen of the Virtues" Word on Fire. August 28, 2016 This week’s readings focus on the importance of humility. Humility is the foundation for the whole of spirituality. In order to truly pursue truth and goodness, it is necessary to let go of the ego and realize that everything we have and are is a gift from God.
Richard Rohr. "So they cannot repay you!" Center for Action and Contemplation. August 28, 2016
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Prodigal Son Returns" Word on Fire. March 6, 2016 Today we hear the greatest of Jesus’ parable, indeed what many people call the greatest story ever told: the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Even after hearing it 1,000 times, it continues to beguile us and draw us in. What’s the main spiritual lesson? We’re meant to receive the divine life as a gift, but then give it back.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Real Spiritual Power" Word on Fire. October 18, 2015 When the ego grabs power and honor for itself, things get dangerous and dysfunctional very quickly. The ego will want to use power, not for God’s purposes, but for its own exaltation & defense. In today’s gospel reading, Jesus confronts a misguided desire for power within both James and John so as to direct them to real spiritual power, which offers them — and us — the greatest freedom.
Richard Rohr. "Law and Freedom" Center for Action and Contemplation. June 30, 2013
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Prodigal Son" Word on Fire. March 10, 2013 In this week’s Gospel reading we hear the story of the Prodigal Son. Here, Christ provides a reflection on the nature of love and our relationship with God. God gives us gifts; we must receive them and give them back. Only when we accept grace freely and give it away will we live in a proper relationship with God.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Paul’s Opening Words to the Corinthians" Word on Fire. January 16, 2011 In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he highlights the beauty of baptism and how it sweeps the baptized person into God’s great theo-drama. God calls us out of the world of our narrow egos to partake in his redeeming plan of love of which the Church is the vehicle. Follow Christ, and peace will be given to you.
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Father and the Sons" Word on Fire. March 14, 2010 The parable of the prodigal son is a portrait of God’s gracious love and two negative responses to that love. Both sons, in their own ways, indicate the disposition of the soul in estrangement from God.
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Lessons of Qoheleth" Word on Fire. August 5, 2007 Both our first reading and Gospel function as a slap in the face, cold water, a wake-up call. They show how passing, ephemeral, and unreliable are the goods of this world. The idea is to set our hearts, as Paul says, on the higher things, rooting our lives in God.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Called, Set Apart, Sent" Word on Fire. January 16, 2005 Cultural commentator Robert Bellah has characterized the typical American approach to religion as individualistic and driven by the desire for personal fulfillment. But this type of religiosity is inimical to the Biblical vision. Just listen to the opening line of our reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “Paul, called by God’s will to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.” Paul is not actualizing his own agenda, but rather utterly turning himself over to the higher authority who has called him, claimed him, and sent him.
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Lesson of the Prodigal Son" Word on Fire. March 21, 2004 Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most memorable, carefully crafted, and inspiring stories ever told. In some ways, the whole of the Christian “thing” is summed up in this narrative. We have a God who invites us into the dynamism of his own life, and who relentlessly pursues us even when, in our stupidity and sin, we refuse to respond to the invitation.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Unless You Change and Become Like a Little Child" Word on Fire. September 21, 2003 Children are like plants, rocks, and flowers in this sense: they don’t know how to be something that they are not. They haven’t yet learned to lie, dissemble, pretend, or to seek to be someone they are not meant to be. We are all, right now, being created by God for God’s purposes. Childlike joy returns to us the moment we put aside all our games of self-promotion and self-deception and live in accord with God’s deepest desire for us.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Real Prayer" Word on Fire. October 28, 2001 Irish writer Iris Murdoch says that the rarest and best moments in life occur when the web of our egotism and self-absorption is broken through. This can happen through great art and great compassion. It can also happen through authentic prayer, modelled by the publican in Jesus’ famous parable.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Taking the Lowest Place" Word on Fire. September 2, 2001 One of the greatest obstacles to effective mission is the attachment to honors and fame. This shrinks the soul and distracts from the only thing that matters: walking with Jesus on the path of discipleship.
Romans 2:3 "God Judges, Not I" Are we judging others for their sins and forgetting our own?
Luke 11:16 "Demanding God" Are we ignoring the signs in our lives God is showing us?
Luke 10:40 "Do Not Burden God" Are we letting our problems overcome how we approach Jesus in prayer?
Baruch 1:22 "Sinning in Front of God" Are we aware that by keeping our hearts away from God we begin to offend God?
Matthew 1:20 "Changing for God’s Plan" Are we able to change our life plans for God’s plan for us?
Mark 9:5 "Jesus is Right Here" When God is being revealed in our everyday lives, are we making it about ourselves?
Psalm 81:13 "Choosing God" God gives us the choice to follow Jesus or our desires. Where does our heart lead us?
2 Corinthians 5:15 "Love As We Are Loved" How much does Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross drive our daily lives?
Genesis 50:19 "Reserved for God" Are we able to relinquish our power and leave the judgement to God?
Psalm 33:10 "God’s Will, Not Mine" Are we resisting the will of God with our own intentions and desires?
Ephesians 3:19 "Knowing the Fullness of God" Are we seeking God or seeking knowledge in our lives?