Exploring the Word

24 Feb 2019

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Is it asking too much?

Most of us have no quarrel with Jesus. When he says love one another and welcome little children, and peace I leave with you, we find nothing difficult or objectionable in these sayings. Most of what Jesus has to say sounds like good moral advice or happy and reassuring thoughts.

17 Feb 2019

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Blessings and woes

There are two kinds of people, as the saying usually begins. And scripture tends to bear this out with numerous points of comparisons between the just and the wicked, or the wise person and the fool. Today’s readings cluster around the contrasting of those who are blessed versus those who are cursed.

10 Feb 2019

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

O Lord, I am not worthy

Make a list of all the truly good people you have known. Don’t be shy: Put yourself on the list if you think you have the moral fiber to be there. My list would certainly include my maternal grandmother, the model of every generous impulse I’ve ever had; a loving teacher in high school who took a special interest in me and other struggling students; a friend I made in seminary who didn’t have a prejudiced bone in his body; and my young niece, who is the most compassionate little soul on the planet.

3 Feb 2019

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Fulfilled in our hearing, and in our living

Imagine that every Bible in the world was about to be destroyed, and you only had time to snatch up one page for safekeeping. One page only, to be your moral guidepost and your consolation. One page of scripture to represent the whole message of the gospel!

27 Jan 2019

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

The power of now

Life is complicated. Most of us don’t live our years in a perfectly straight line without a few twists and turns. And sometimes we choose outright departures from the original direction we were headed. Opportunities arise that we had never even considered, and we take the risk to follow them.

20 Jan 2019

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Forsaken or delighted?

“That woman,” a friend observed, nodding to a somber figure across the room, “is followed by a black cloud.” What he meant was that the person in question seemed perpetually haunted, a steadfast messenger of bad news and victim of “unlucky breaks.”

13 Jan 2019

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Cycle C

Looking for the Christ

Seen Jesus lately? Seriously, where would you go to look, if Jesus was the one you were looking for?

6 Jan 2019

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Cycle C

Bearing gifts

Thank God for those three kings! For those of us who can’t bear to see the holidays end and chronically have a hard time taking down the Christmas tree each year, the Feast of the Epiphany supplies one more excuse to keep the holiday spirit going.

1 Jan 2019

Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord; Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, Cycle C

The feast of maternity

Is there another word in the English language more loaded than the word mother? Some people melt at the sound of it; others grow rigid at the thought of it. Behind the word for every hearer is a memory, or the absence of one; a woman, or the outline of where that woman ought to have been; a warm, nurturing, irreplaceable emblem of love or an iceberg of unrequited affection and unmet need.

30 Dec 2018

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Cycle C

Jesus, lost and found

How could you possibly lose Jesus? He’s the boy with the radiant halo and the singular genealogy. Follow the trail of minor miracles and cured childhood colds and there he is. Or so we might imagine. After all, Mary and Joseph had one child. Was it so difficult to keep track of their adolescent?