John Bergsma. "Biblemas!" The Sacred Page. January 21, 2023 On September 30, 2019, the Feast of St. Jerome, Pope Francis designated the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time as the “Sunday of the Word of God,” to be observed in parishes throughout the world with rituals or activities that highlight the centrality of God’s Word in the lives of Christian faithful. So I like to call this Holy Day, “Biblemas.”
Mary Ortwein. "Word of God" A Catholic Moment. January 21, 2023 I am part of a team who teach a “Catholic Class” at a local residential program for mentally challenged adults, Stewart Home School. Since the beginning of Advent, we have been studying the infancy narratives of Jesus. This week we will talk about the fifth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple.
Dan Moriarty. "Prepare your heart to turn towards peace" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. December 4, 2022 As we prepare the way for the Lord, John the Baptist challenges us to face the most difficult realities in our lives and in our world.
Mary Ortwein. "Love, the Guest" A Catholic Moment. December 3, 2022 The traditional Advent hymn, “People Look East,” has been running through my head. It comes to mind because it captures the mood and images of today’s readings.
John Bergsma. "Making Things Right" The Sacred Page. October 29, 2022 We are drawing close to November, the month that constitutes its own unofficial liturgical season, focused on the Last Things. We begin the month with All Saints and round it out with the Feast of Christ the King. This Sunday’s Readings introduce themes that will be developed throughout the finale of the liturgical year: repentance, the Kingdom of God, and final judgment.
Fr. Peter Harries. "Surprisingly Wide Mercy" Torch. September 7, 2022 In today’s gospel passage, Jesus tells us three parables which teach us that God is a God of mercy, a surprisingly wide mercy, because God welcomes repentant sinners. Jesus here is teaching a mixed group of people. The Pharisees and the scribes might be thought of as the conventional goodies, the ones who followed the law, who did what God wanted, as they understood it. But there were plenty of baddies listening avidly to Jesus as well.
John Bergsma. "Prodigal Son-day" The Sacred Page. September 6, 2022 This upcoming Sunday marks one of only two times in the main Lectionary cycle that we hear the Parable of the Prodigal Son proclaimed (the other being the 4th Sunday of Lent [C]). The Readings are marked by the theme of repentance and forgiveness.
Fr. Gregory Murphy. "How to be Happy" Torch. July 28, 2022 Is the author of our first reading a pessimist or a realist? ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity’ might suggest the former: that all our efforts are in the end unstable and futile – a breath of wind blowing dust around. The title he gives himself is anonymous: either a person who calls or convokes an assembly (hence the name ‘Ecclesiasticus’ from the Greek version), or perhaps one who assembles sayings (a harmless drudge).
John Bergsma. "Oh, Vanity!" The Sacred Page. July 27, 2022 In the Readings for this Sunday, texts from the Old and New Testaments remind us that human happiness is not to be found in the accumulation of material goods. Riches are fleeting and empty. We are called instead to “store up treasure in heaven, where neither rust nor moth destroy, where thieves cannot break in and steal.”
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. "Third Sunday of Lent" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. March 20, 2022 In the Gospel for this third Sunday of Lent, Jesus speaks of the need for all people to repent of their sins. He tells a parable of a person who owns a fig tree that does not produce fruit for three years. When the man tries to cut it down, his gardener tells him to leave it for another year and carefully cultivate the soil as a final test to see if it can bear fruit.
Fr. John O’Connor. "Hope of the Innocents" Torch. March 15, 2022 Sitting at a desk in a safe place, I am painfully aware that from where I live a mere two and a half hours away by aeroplane, in Ukraine, many innocent people are suffering grievously. Today’s Gospel passage, in which Jesus raises the difficult question of why bad things happen to innocent people, makes especially challenging reading at times like these.
John Bergsma. "The Name of God" The Sacred Page. March 13, 2022 In this third week of our spiritual journey through Lent, the Scripture readings remind us of what we might call the “Moses stage” of salvation history, and also drive home the theme of repentance during this holy season.
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon. "Come One, Come All" Torch. February 28, 2022 There are two days in the year when I rarely preach. These are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days I let the liturgy speak for itself and allow the signs of the ashes or the cross to speak for themselves. Receiving ashes or venerating the cross are two moments in the liturgy of the church which are truly open to everyone.
John Bergsma. "Sunday of the Word of God!" The Sacred Page. January 15, 2022 The Readings this Sunday focus on the importance of the public proclamation of God’s Word. In the First Reading, we see Ezra, the great priest and scholar of the Law, reading the Law of Moses out loud to the people of Israel after their return from Babylonian exile. In the Gospel, we see Jesus, our great high priest and interpreter of God’s Law, reading the promises of salvation from Isaiah to the Jews in the Synagogue of Nazareth.
Mary Ortwein. "What do we do?" A Catholic Moment. December 11, 2021 Sirens went off about 2:30 am. Lightning was all around. A tornado watch had turned to a tornado warning. One had been sited nearby. Shaken from sleep, I had to think, “What do I do?” I got dressed, lighted candles, gathered essential papers, and prepared to go to the basement quickly if needed…an antiphon from Compline:
Fr. Lawrence Obilor. "Passed from death to a new life" A Catholic Moment. April 18, 2021 The common theme of today’s readings is the challenge to adjust our lives to the living presence of the risen Lord as we grow daily more aware of the presence of His Holy Spirit within us and surrounding us. This awareness should strengthen our hope in His promises, bring us to true repentance for our sins and the renewal of our lives, and lead us to bear witness to Christ by our works of charity. The readings also remind us that the purpose of the suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus was to save us from our sins. Our world needs healing, transformation and salvation. Jesus sends us today.
Gregory Pearson. "Repent, Believe, Preach" Torch. February 18, 2021 On Wednesday, as we began this season of Lent, we might have heard the priest using words from today’s Gospel reading, ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel,’ before sprinkling our heads with ash. They express, as it were, the consequence of the other phrase which might have been used at that point: ‘remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return’ (cf Gen 3:19). It is with this instruction to repent that Jesus begins his preaching ministry in the account we read in St Mark’s Gospel after his forty days in the wilderness, the consequence of his message that the kingdom of God is at hand.
Fr. Lawrence Obilor. "You too follow Me!" A Catholic Moment. January 24, 2021 God’s call to discipleship is as old as creation itself. In every age, in every nation, in every race and langauge God calls and chooses men and women to sow the seed of His kingdom. The process is always God’s own initiative. He comes to man and then the latter is expected to respond by emptying himself through repentance, conversion, and renewal of life. This is the theme of today’s readings. God first calls us to conversion, to reform, to repentance. It is all about a necessary process to becoming new people. Those who truly accept this call and its exigencies are constantly reformed by the Spirit who alone empowers them to follow the path to wherever God leads them. Our three readings today underline this process of absolute necessity of repentance and readiness to respond to God’s call.
John Bergsma. "The Sunday of the Word of God!" The Sacred Page. January 22, 2021 In September of 2019, Pope Francis released an apostolic letter motu proprio “Aperuit Illis” designating the third Sunday of Ordinary Time—the Sunday on which the semi-continuous reading of the Gospel of the year begins—as “The Sunday of the Word of God,” and suggested that local parishes adopt some ceremonies or practices—like the presentation of Bibles to each family or to recently confirmed, etc.—to foster devotion to the Word of God on this day. The whole motu proprio is well worth reading, as it is one of the finest brief statements of the Catholic theology of Scripture to come out of Rome in the modern era, perhaps in the history of the Church. From it’s style, it sounds like Pope Francis may have asked Pope Emeritus Benedict to help in composing it. I plan to use it in the future as a short “catechesis” on the theology of divine revelation for my various Scripture courses.
Fr. Lawrence Obilor. "Stick to your yes" A Catholic Moment. September 27, 2020 Our dealings with God always dangle between Yes and No. God cannot even trust any of our promises because we have always proven unfaithful to his love. But does that stop us from entering in relationship with God? No. God’s faithfulness is always contagious.
Fr. Lawrence Obilor. "The Wounded Shepherd" A Catholic Moment. May 3, 2020 The above statement was attributed to St. Pope John XXIII as part of his night prayers. It is short but profound in meaning because it expresses an attitude of one who understood that he was just an instrument in the hand of the Master; an ambassador to the Eternal Shepherd. Instead of going to bed with a load of worries about the Church, he would simply hand it over to the rightful owner.
Joseph LaCombe. "The State of Your Heart" A Catholic Moment. February 26, 2020 The older I get, the more I notice how fast time goes by. Life get’s so busy, and before we know it, a year has gone by. Also, the older I get, the more and more I think about my own mortality. You see the stories in the news about people being killed, and it makes you think. And then I start to see people my age or not too much older than me passing away, and it starts to hit home. I start thinking more about the inevitable, not in fear, but more along the lines of ‘Am I ready?’
Fr. Lawrence Obilor. "He is our Light" A Catholic Moment. January 26, 2020 The light of God never grows dim. It is the light that has shone to the world and into the darkness of men’s lives. Christ is that light. Today Jesus begins his public preaching of the Word. Base on this, the Holy Father on September 30, 2019 in his Apostolic Letter issued in the form of Motu Proprio “Aperuit illis” dedicated the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time as a day to celebrate the Word of God in a special way.
Joseph LaCombe. "Jesus Makes Things Right" A Catholic Moment. May 5, 2019 Here we have Peter – who on Good Friday denied knowing our Lord three times. And here is Jesus, following His Resurrection, appearing to the disciples on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias, and giving Peter the chance to profess his love for Jesus – three times.
Fr. Peter Harries. "God Is." Torch. March 21, 2019 Bad news travels fast. The tower at Siloam in Jerusalem fell killing people. Shoddy building work? Perhaps? Some disturbance in the temple? Pilate’s solution as colonial ruler was to kill a few people – keep the locals in order by fear. Disasters happen and people, good and bad alike, get killed. We should plan to minimise known risks, although building regulations may be costly to enforce, and adequate policing expensive. The news of the terrorist attack in New Zealand last week horrified us all.
Susan Nagele. "Ash Wednesday" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. March 6, 2019 I was sitting at the lunch table in the Maryknoll house in Nairobi Kenya. This was many years ago while I was working in what is now called South Sudan. The war made our lives miserable and so did the government of Kenya with all its political shenanigans.
Fr. Gregory Murphy. "Hoping to Turn" Torch. March 5, 2019 The first preface of Lent reminds us that by God’s gracious gift, this time is given us so that with minds made pure, more eagerly intent on prayer and the works of charity we may be led to the fulness of the joy God wishes to give us. And it demands a response – the reading from Joel is full of urgency: we are to come back with all our hearts, the community is to be called together, all of them, even small children, even those like bride and bridegroom normally left undisturbed.
Fr. Simon Gaine. "Our return and the return of God" Torch. December 6, 2018 Advent is, among other things, about returning. In our first reading we witnessed the return of exiles to Jerusalem, to God’s city. From east and west, at God’s command, they return, carried back like royalty. God has removed every obstacle to their return, as though he had flattened mountains and hills and filled in the valleys, so Israel can return in safety, saved by the Lord.
Fr. Robert Ombres. "Better to Enter into Life" Torch. September 26, 2018 Much of our modern way of thinking and of our culture wants us to believe, and many people do, in a small world. That kind of world has a shrunken sense of the real, in it life is pursued within limited horizons, and the expectation is of annihilation at death. This helps to explain why the lines from today’s gospel according to St Mark are so challenging.
Sr. Elizabeth Zwareva, MM. "Ash Wednesday" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. February 14, 2018 God, who is unseen, speaks through the prophets and says to the people, repent, come back to me who am your merciful, compassionate God. Remember and repent!
Laura Kazlas. "The People Who Walked in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light" A Catholic Moment. January 22, 2017 In the first reading for mass today, the prophet Isaiah foretold how people would react to Jesus Christ when he came into the world:
Fr. David Goodill. "Dancing for Joy" Torch. December 8, 2015 One of the Dominicans who influenced me and many others, fr. Jonathan Fleetwood, once observed that there is a modern day obsession with turning everything into entertainment. Before entering the Dominicans he had been an engineer and maintained an interest in engineering, but found it irritating when perfectly good and informative television programme on engineering topics were turned into entertainment.
Fr. Benedict Jonak. "Knowing Our Needs" Torch. July 28, 2015 St Thomas Aquinas says in a neat way that there are three things necessary for our salvation: to know what to believe, to know what to desire and to know what to do. Of course he is not the first one to stress the importance of knowledge, whether practical or theoretical. The value of knowledge has been key to many philosophical or religious movements. It is expressed in the familiar “Know thyself” of the Delphic oracle or in the saying of Laozi: “To know others is wise; to know oneself is enlightenment.”
Fr. Richard Ounsworth. "A New Way" Torch. January 2, 2015 There is a very interesting website called ‘Television Tropes and Idioms’ (tvtropes.org) that lists, quite exhaustively, the plot devices and conventions that script writers use to structure their storytelling. The website points out that these are not simply clichés: a cliché is something stereotyped, trite, dull and uninteresting, whereas these tropes are the vast array of plausible narrative patterns and character-situations by which writers of fiction, skilled and unskilled alike, help their audience to find meaning within a story.
Fr. David Rocks. "Show Your Workings" Torch. September 27, 2014 Recently I was listening to a satirical current affairs programme on the radio. One of the participants picked up on a comment that a certain political figure “didn’t have the answers” by quipping that he did have the answers, but he hadn’t shown his workings.
Fr. Colin Carr. "To The Ends of the Earth" Torch. January 26, 2014 “The ends of the earth” can sound rather like “the back end of beyond”, and that’s what the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali were in the eyes of the people of Jerusalem and Judah. And that’s what the disorganised tribes of Israel would have looked like to the Midianite oppressors back in the days of the Judges, before Gideon led a campaign of liberation “on the day of Midian”.
Fr. Thomas Skeats. "Of His Kingdom There Will Be No End" Torch. December 8, 2013 In today’s first reading the prophet Isaiah paints a picture of what the reign of the future descendant of David, Son of Jesse, will look like. Isaiah foresees a time when peace and concord would be established throughout the whole of creation. There would be the restoration of a lost serenity and innocence so that in their relations with one another God’s creatures ‘do no hurt, no harm’.
Fr. Robert Gay. "Daily Conversion" Torch. March 3, 2013 The Holy Week liturgies of the passion which we will celebrate in a few weeks time include the reading and singing of the passion narratives. And when we hear those passion stories we get quite an insight into the character of Pontius Pilate. In particular, we see him as the unjust coward, who didn’t have the guts, or perhaps even the inclination, to do the right thing. But other sources from that time show that he was much more than just a coward. The Jewish historian Josephus portrays him as a man who went out of his way to disturb and offend the Jewish population, especially when it came to their religious practice.
Fr. Gregory Murphy. "Bearing the Word" Torch. December 9, 2012 Baruch brings a message of reconciliation and hope to the Jewish communities of the Greek-speaking Middle East at a time in which for them exile had become permanent. Even those returning to Jerusalem could not but have been aware that the Land of the Covenant was ruled by pagan Gentiles, first the Greeks, later the Romans. Baruch tells us of the renewal of Jerusalem, when her children will be brought back, overcoming every obstacle, to the presence of God on his holy mountain. As for them, so for us.
Fr. Robert Verrill. "Cutting Out the Cause of Sin" Torch. September 29, 2012 Some sayings of Jesus are so difficult to deal with, it is tempting to say He was exaggerating and we shouldn’t take Him too literally. For example, in today’s Gospel, when Jesus says ‘If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off,’ did He really mean it, or is this just Semitic hyperbole? One possible way to deal with this saying would be to take Jesus a bit more literally: He doesn’t actually say our hands cause us to sin.
Fr. John Farrell. "Getting Into The Flow" Torch. February 22, 2012 Ash Wednesday. ‘Remember that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.’ Repent! And be quick about it. This could, after all, be your last Lent! Sermon over.
Fr. Peter Hunter. "Never Too Late" Torch. September 23, 2011 My mother used to say to me, when I forgot for the zillionth time to do some thing she had asked me to do, ‘The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.’ What she meant by that is that we can intend all kinds of good, but it’s no use unless we actually do the good we intend. Perhaps she was thinking of the parable in the Gospel today.
Fr. Peter Clarke. "Me? A Mere Child?" Torch. July 2, 2011 What were these things the Father was hiding from the learned and the clever, the influential stalwarts of society? What were these same things the Father thought fit to reveal to little children – the insignificant ones? Why did Jesus bless the Father for this seemingly quirky discrimination?
Fr. John Patrick Kenrick. "Seize the Day" Torch. November 28, 2010 In Advent, as we prepare for the annual celebration of a past event – Christ’s birth – we are also preparing for a future event – Christ’s return in glory. As the days grow shorter we reflect that earthly time is slipping away, but the day of the Lord advances.
Fr. Peter Hunter. "Not Just a Second Chance" Torch. December 13, 2009 It’s tempting to think that morality is all about education: if people really knew what the right thing was to do, they would do it. Parents make this mistake a lot, especially in judging themselves negatively – if my children do things wrong, it’s because I’ve been a bad parent and not brought them up properly.
Fr. Francis Gaine. "It's a Scandal" Torch. September 27, 2009 Jesus always provokes a response in those who encounter him. It’s true that there are those who want to follow but are afraid and those who are held back by something they don’t want to leave behind. But at bottom there are those who are for him, and those who are against. Jesus himself implies as much:
Fr. Fabian Radcliffe. "The Light of Truth" Torch. December 9, 2007 Advent is a cheerful time. The prospect of Christmas ahead, with all its associations — Midnight Mass, the crib, presents, carols, family gatherings — gives a great lift to the heart.
Fr. Dominic White. "Real Pleasures" Torch. November 4, 2007 I was travelling on the Tube today, and following the great tradition of reading someone else’s newspaper. The words GUILTY PLEASURES, the title of what was obviously a popular series, were emblazoned across the top of the page. It made me think: why do we feel that the most pleasurable things are the ones we should feel guilty about, and why are life’s naughty people so much more attractive than the good who are towing the line?
Fr. Mark Edney. "Make Straight the Paths of Joy" Torch. December 10, 2006 The novelist George Bernanos once asked the question, ‘What is the opposite of a Christian people?’ It is not hard to think of some answers. I can think of a few—like a pagan people, a hypocritical people, a merciless people, etc. The readings for this second Sunday in Advent give a better clue.
Fr. Peter Clarke. "Not for Eating" Torch. March 1, 2006 It happens to me every year. On Ash Wednesday someone opens his mouth and stretches out his tongue at the very moment I am about to place ashes on his forehead! He is looking to me for the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion. Instead, I smear dirty ashes on his brow!
Fr. Dermot Morrin. "A Public Sign" Torch. February 25, 2004 Today Lent begins with the sign of ashes — a communal sign of repentance. All over the world Catholics receive the sign of ashes on their foreheads as a sign that they are ready to do penance.
Fr. Peter Clarke. "Heralding the Reign of God" Torch. December 14, 2003 I was halfway through preaching a parish mission. One of those attending the evening services told me that she liked my sermons, but then complained that I was too mild and gentle. She advised me, “You must give them hell, Father.” Not exactly my idea of preaching, nor, I imagine, was it that of John the Baptist.
Fr. Columba Ryan. "Lent, the discovery of love" Torch. March 9, 2003 With the arrival of Lent people think of giving up little indulgences. It might be better if we thought of taking up new commitments. The commitment we need to make above all is to love. To love our neighbour more, to love God more. Easy words, but what do they mean? We can hardly love 'to order'; it's not like going into a shop to buy a ready-made suit. It's surely more like a mania, even an ecstasy, possessing us from outside?
Fr. Fergus Kerr. "The Sign of Ashes" Torch. March 5, 2003 Ashes are always significant. The remains of a camp fire in the woods; of a picnic; or of a bonfire. Signs of companionship; a family outing; a festive occasion. The remains of a bush fire, destroying many miles of forest, burning many animals to death, devastating many people’s lives. Something even much more terrible: Lower Manhattan after 9/11. Even more terrible still: Auschwitz, Treblinka.
Fr. Clement Paul. "Remember and Move On" Torch. February 28, 2001 The Season of Lent begins on a negative note. On Ash Wednesday, when the ashes are distributed the Celebrant says, ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.’ No wonder Lent for many people is a time of doom and gloom. The very depressing formula sets the tone for the season for many.
Bishop Robert Barron. "How to Proclaim the Faith" Word on Fire. April 30, 2023 Friends, for this fourth Sunday of Easter, we have a magnificent first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. It’s one of Peter’s great kerygmatic speeches—the kerygma means the basic proclamation of the faith—and a master class in evangelization. Christianity has become so commonplace for so many of us; we think being a Christian just means being a nice person. But listen now as this chief of the Apostles, this friend of Jesus, begins to preach with fire. This is the energy that should belong across the ages to Christian evangelical preaching!
Steff Fenton. "Third Sunday of Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. January 22, 2023 This week we are delighted to share our first non-binary preacher, Steff Fenton. Steff (they/them/theirs) is Co-Founder and Co-Pastor of New City Church, an independent church in Sydney’s inner city exploring faith in diverse and inclusive ways. Steff is a writer, speaker and educator, engaging the intersections of being genderqueer, trans and Christian.
Frances Tilly. "Second Sunday of Advent" Australian Women Preach. December 4, 2022 Frances Tilly is a lay woman, married with three adult children. Based in Sydney, she works nationally, as coordinator of mission formation with Jesuit Ignatian Spirituality Australia (JISA), a work of the Australian Jesuits. JISA is a national community of women and men including Jesuits, formed in Ignatian Spirituality working in a variety of geographic locations and online.
Andrea Dean. "Twentyfirst Sunday of Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. August 21, 2022 Andrea Dean lives in Canberra and is the president of WATAC (Women and the Australian Church). After a lifetime of working for Catholic schools, agencies and organisations she is now working in the community sector. Andrea is now (happily) on the fringe of the Catholic Church and is nurturing her spiritual life with advocacy and community. She is also experiencing the joys and challenges of being a pet owner for the first time in her life!
Melissa Dwyer FdCC. "Coming Home" Australian Women Preach. March 27, 2022 Sr Mel Dwyer FdCC made her Religious Profession as a Canossian Daughter of Charity on the 23rd of April 2005. Prior to entering religious life, she was a national level javelin thrower with a dream of representing Australia at the Olympics. A volunteer mission experience in Africa helped her to discover that God’s dream for her was to leave the sporting arena and serve Him radically as a consecrated woman. Having finished her degree in Secondary Physical Education, Sr Melissa returned to Malawi, Africa where she completed 7 years as Principal of a Secondary School.
Veronica Lawson, RSM. "Third Sunday of Lent" Australian Women Preach. March 20, 2022 Veronica Lawson RSM is a Sister of Mercy and a biblical scholar based in Ballarat. She is probably best known for her weekly gospel reflections which have a global circulation and for her 2015 publication The Blessing of Mercy: Bible Perspectives and Ecological Challenges which proved to be a valuable resource for the Year of Mercy. She was the first woman to be elected President of the Australian Catholic Biblical Association.
Trish Hindmarsh. "Third Sunday in Advent" Australian Women Preach. December 12, 2021 Trish is a retired teacher and educational leader who worked in Catholic Education in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania. She has a lively interest in justice, peace and ecology and is a member of the Catholic Earthcare Australia Advisory Committee. She spent six years as a senior consultant working with groups of schools within the Sydney Catholic Education Office and five years as Director of Catholic Education in Tasmania. Her doctoral studies relate to education for ecological sustainability within Catholic school settings.
Emily Hayes. "Second Sunday in Advent" Australian Women Preach. December 5, 2021 Rev. Emily Hayes, minister at the Alice Springs Uniting Church (ASUC).The ASUC is a welcoming, growing and diverse community of people involved in many areas including prison ministry, youth services and hosting “spirit journeys” for visitors to come and listen and learn from first nations people and experience this extraordinary country Emily is currently in the final year of her Master of Theology at the Adelaide College of Divinity. She has lived in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) on the lands of the Arrenrte people for 12 years.
Richard Rohr. "The Mind does not like to Change" Center for Action and Contemplation. January 25, 2020
Richard Rohr. "Family and Job Can Keep us from the Big Picture" Center for Action and Contemplation. January 21, 2017
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. "The Strangeness of the Resurrection" Word on Fire. April 19, 2015 Authentic Christianity does not present Jesus as a ghost, an abstraction, or a disembodied soul. It presents him as risen from the dead, glorified and resurrected at every level. This good news of Easter was strange and unnerving 2,000 years ago and remains so today.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Taking Spiritual Responsibility" Word on Fire. September 28, 2014 Today’s readings show that one can and should stand before God, individually, and assume spiritual responsibility. That responsibility is not collective but personal. It confronts each of us with the question, “Where I do stand in response to God’s invitation?”
Richard Rohr. "The Primacy of Message over Messenger" Center for Action and Contemplation. September 9, 2012
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Twelve and the New Israel" Word on Fire. July 15, 2012 This week, Mark relays the story of Jesus giving the Twelve Apostles their “marching orders,” the instructions on how they would go out and spread the word to the world. Notably, he tells them to go “two by two,” laying the foundation for the communal nature of the Church. They are to bring nothing but the simple tools to keep them moving forward, and they are be resolute in fighting the demons of the world-injustice, corruption and dysfunction. These were as much instructions for the Apostles as they are instructions for us to fulfill the mission of the Church today.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Following the Lord" Word on Fire. January 23, 2011 All of us want to live to the fullest. However, most of us never find the one thing that will inspire us to dedicate our whole lives to it. It is amazing to hear of how the first people who responded to Christ dedicated their whole lives to him. Their encounter with Christ sent them on a path they never dreamed of. Paradoxically, this path was marked by great joy and suffering; but, nevertheless, they lived life to the fullest.
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Bracing Figure of John the Baptist" Word on Fire. December 5, 2010 The first step in the spiritual life is simple: you must see your life not as your own project but as a vehicle for God’s purposes. However, we are all absorbed in our own lives, forgetting that the road to God is one of self-forgetfulness. This disposition helps us to focus on Christ and his mission. But in order for us to do this we must be cleansed of all attachments and baptized in the fiery love of God.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Be Ready!" Word on Fire. December 6, 2009 The prophecy of Baruch finds its fulfillment in the revelation of Christ, who brings the troubled history of God’s people to its fulfillment and reveals God’s eternal purpose for Jerusalem, the Temple, the Messiah and for Israel itself.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Resurrection and Metanoia" Word on Fire. April 26, 2009 The readings for today effect a correlation between the resurrection of Jesus and conversion. The biblical word for conversion is “metanoia” which has the sense of “going beyond the mind that you have.” What would it be like to move from a death-haunted consciousness to resurrection-haunted one? It would involve a conversion.
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Work of the Messiah" Word on Fire. January 27, 2008 Our Gospel passage from the 4th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel tells us, in very short compass, what the work of the Messiah was. Jesus proclaims the kingdom, commences the gathering of the tribes of Israel, and takes on God’s enemies. We who are grafted on to him must do the same.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Repent!" Word on Fire. December 9, 2007 John the Baptist sums up the Advent season. He lives in the desert, the place of no distraction, and he speaks a message of repentance and the confession of sin. Advent is a great time to clear away all that separates us from Christ. It is a time of repentance.
Bishop Robert Barron. "What Should We Do?" Word on Fire. December 17, 2006 Our Gospel for today centers around a question that is bracing in its directness and simplicity. A group of people come to the Baptist and ask “what should we do?” The spiritual life is about a set of behaviors and practices, focused, as John the Baptist specifies, around the work of justice.
Bishop Robert Barron. "They Abandoned Everything" Word on Fire. January 23, 2005 Our Gospel passage for today, taken from the 4th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, recounts the story of the call of the first disciples. When they encounter Jesus, the Capharnaum fishermen drop everything and follow him. This represents the compelling nature of Jesus’ call: nothing is more important than conforming oneself to the Word made flesh.
Bishop Robert Barron. "A Voice in the Desert" Word on Fire. December 9, 2001 John the Baptist is, along with Isaiah and the Virgin Mary, the great figure of Advent. We hear his voice in the desert, summoning us to repentance and readiness. When we have purified our minds and hearts, we are able to receive the one who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit, the fire of God’s very life.
Romans 6:23 "Choosing Spiritual Life" How much are we thinking about our spiritual life when we sin?
Luke 12:1 "Continue Following Jesus" If church leadership fail to follow Jesus, can we remain vigilant to God’s Word?
Baruch 4:28 "Embracing God Always" Are we aware that we need to constantly repent since we tend to not follow God’s way?
Baruch 1:22 "Sinning in Front of God" Are we aware that by keeping our hearts away from God we begin to offend God?
Ezra 9:6 "Ashamed of Sin" Are we really repentful of our sins before we ask God for forgiveness?
Colossians 3:17 "In Jesus’ Name" How different would we be if we did everything in the name of Jesus?
Luke 5:11 "Leaving Everything for Jesus" Are we truly giving up everything to follow Jesus?
Matthew 22:12 "Changing for God" Are we lying to ourselves that we have no sin and refusing to repent?
Matthew 19:21 "Jesus Over Everything" Can we let go of our desires for wealth and riches in order to hold on to God?
Psalm 106:20 "Not Giving Up God" Are we keeping God first in our lives or are we prioritizing other things?
2 Corinthians 5:15 "Love As We Are Loved" How much does Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross drive our daily lives?
Matthew 11:20 "Jesus Reproaches" With all Jesus has done for us, are we still not responding to God's call?
Genesis 18:15 "Truth of God" God calls out our lies and things we conceal. Are we open to face the truth?
2 Corinthians 5:20 "Reconciled to God" Are we focused on remaining in communion with God at all times?
Mark 12:40 "God Excuses, We Cannot" What sins are we covering up hoping that God does not notice?