27 May 2018

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle B

“Proselytism” has as many appealing connotations as “root canal.” It’s not just “evangelism,” sharing the gospel with any and everyone. Proselytism implies dynamiting an existing faith to clear ground for a new one.
—Frederica Mathewes-Green

Above all guard for me this great deposit of faith for which I live and fight, which I want to take with me as a companion, and which makes me bear all evils and despise all pleasures: I mean the profession of faith in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
—Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (329/330-389/390)

Believers, be God’s helpers. When Jesus the son of Mary said to the disciples, “Who will help me on the way to God?” they replied, “We are God’s helpers.”
—Qur’an 61:14

20 May 2018

Solemnity of Pentecost, Cycle B

Come, Holy Spirit. . . . You, Spirit of truth, are the reward of the saints, the refreshment of souls, light in darkness, the riches of the poor, the treasury of lovers, the satisfaction of the hungry, the consolation of the pilgrim church.
—Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (1566-1607)

Without doubt, the Holy Spirit was at work in the world before Christ was glorified. On the day of Pentecost, however, he came down on the disciples so that he might remain with them forever; on that day the church was openly displayed to the crowds, and the spread of the gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun.
—Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, Second Vatican Council, 1965

13 May 2018

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender.
—Saint Peter Chrysologus (406-450)

For the right of another . . . is the expression of God’s love and God’s will.
—Thomas Merton (1915-68)

6 May 2018

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

We, too, should shape our cross in suffering for one another as the Savior taught us; in giving our lives for those very ones who would take it from us, as he so lovingly did; in spending ourselves for our neighbor, not only in agreeable things, but also in those which are painful and disagreeable . . . .
—Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

Whoever wrote First John did indeed provide the best commentary on the identity of the God disclosed in the message of forgiveness and judgment, the ministry of healing, the suffering of the Passion, and the vindication of the Resurrection of this Jesus confessed to be the Christ: God, as God, is manifested as Love in the life and fate of this Jesus the Christ.
—David Tracy, The Living Pulpit, July-September 1992

Let us in all time . . . learn to love as we should, God above all things, and all other things for him.
—Saint Thomas More (1477-1535)

29 Apr 2018

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

Every time the serious business of the life-giving gospel is presented as “business as usual,” what is beyond price becomes nothing more than a low-budget sale item.
Father Ronald Wayne Young, O.M.I., Offering

The passage from the gospel in which the Lord calls himself the vine and his disciples the branches affirms in its own way that, as mediator between God and the human race, the man Christ Jesus is head of the church and we are its members.
—Saint Augustine (354-430)

If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs of the person we love. This is the ground of real love.
—Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, Peace Is Every Step

22 Apr 2018

Fourth Sunday of Easter; Good Shepherd Sunday, Cycle B

I could never finish speaking about [Christ] . . . . He is the bread and the spring of living water to satisfy our hunger and our thirst. He is our shepherd, our guide, our model, our comfort, our brother.
—Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)

Death held sway until Christ died. The grave was bitter, our prison was indestructible, until the shepherd went down and brought to his sheep confined there the good news of their release. His appearance among them gave them a pledge of their resurrection and called them to a new life beyond the grave.
—Basil of Seleucia (c. 459)

Endow me with strength, thou Herdsman of might, guide me aright, guide me in thy strength, O Jesus, in thy strength preserve me.
—Traditional Celtic prayer

15 Apr 2018

Third Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

Just as the sight of the risen Christ helped the disciples to believe in the church that was to follow, so the spectacle of the same church helps to confirm our faith in the Resurrection of Christ.
—Saint Augustine (354-430)

Decide here and now to love things and [people] as Jesus loved them, that is, to the point of self-sacrifice. Do not bother with the bookkeeping of love; love without keeping accounts.   
—Carlo Carreto (1910-1988)

8 Apr 2018

Solemnity of the Second Sunday of Easter; Divine Mercy Sunday, Cycle B

Doubt is the skeleton in the closet of faith, and I know no better way to treat a skeleton than to bring it into the open and expose it for what it is: not something to hide or fear, but a hard structure on which living tissue may grow.
Philip Yancey, Reaching for the Invisible God

Faced with sluggish fundraising, a Bellevue, Washington Lutheran church tried something novel: give away the church’s $17,000 bank account. After a homily, the building committee passed out envelopes containing $20 to $150 in cash, and worshipers were instructed to use their abilities to multiply the money for the church’s benefit. After several months of concerts, food events, handicrafting, recycling drives, and other entrepreneurial activities, the money had nearly tripled.      
—The Lutheran, February 2002

Blessed is everyone who believes the message of the holy apostles who . . . were eyewitnesses of Christ’s actions and ministers of the word. If we desire eternal life and long for a dwelling place in heaven, we must listen to them.
 —Saint Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)

1 Apr 2018

Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Sunday), Cycle B

Before the Resurrection of Jesus, the disciples had not perceived the true significance of their master’s person and work. . . . It could be said that from “disciples” Jesus’ followers became true “believers” through the Easter experience.
—Jacques Dupuis, S.J.

How can people deny the Resurrection and still claim that Christ has come to teach his people himself? The Incarnation and Resurrection make claims about the world without which the New Testament . . . is [merely] a nice story.
—Quaker writer Gusten Lutter, Jr.

25 Mar 2018

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Cycle B

Let us go together to meet Christ on the Mount of Olives. . . . Let us spread before his feet, not garments or . . . olive branches . . . but ourselves, clothed in his grace. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him.
—Andrew of Crete (D. 740)

Dearly beloved . . . the jubilant and triumphant day that ushers in the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion has come. That day for which we have longed so much, and for whose yearly coming the whole world may well look. Shouts of spiritual exaltation are ringing and prevent us from keeping silent.
—Saint Leo the Great (D. 461)