Exploring the Word

30 Jun 2024

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

God did not make death

Several years ago, I sat and watched my father die. There’s not much we can do for the people we love in this hour but pray and be present. I recited all the mysteries of the Rosary, all the mysteries of life and love and suffering, during the weeks before his death. But after he was gone, I sat with his body and prayed only the Glorious Mysteries.

23 Jun 2024

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Water, water, everywhere

Interesting things happen when Jesus gets near water. It may turn into wine as it did at Cana, though that was atypical. A voice from heaven could make declarations of his favored status, as occurred near the Jordan. Healings might take place, as at the pools of Bethesda, or disciples could be made, as in Galilee.

16 Jun 2024

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

The seed that wants to be a tree

There may be two main ways to get religion wrong. One is to presume it has nothing to do with the material world. So forget political and social realities, pray harder, and concentrate on the spiritual life because it’s the only forum that counts.

9 Jun 2024

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Trouble in Paradise

I promise if you expose yourself to the news today, you’ll learn the same thing Genesis warns about. There’s trouble in Paradise. Things aren’t as they should be, and someone (or lots of someones) will pay a bitter price for this.

2 Jun 2024

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), Cycle B

What’s it worth to you?

Thirty years ago I spent some time volunteering at Covenant House, a child welfare organization in New York. As you can imagine, the concept of the covenant was a big thing there. “One thing you gotta know about covenants,” our spiritual director used to say. “They’re bloody. They cost something.”

26 May 2024

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle B

Love is here to stay

Forever is a long time. Ask the couple who promises fidelity for only one lifetime! Or the celibate who takes vows for the long haul. Or the parents of a child who will occupy their concerns for the next 18 years and counting.

19 May 2024

Solemnity of Pentecost, Cycle B

What if I’m wrong?

If the riveting movie Doubt taught us nothing else, it’s that there’s always room for being dead wrong. We don’t like to entertain that notion even in the privacy of our midnight thoughts.

12 May 2024

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, Cycle B

On the road again

The narratives about Jesus by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John fit nicely into a classic American genre: the road story.

5 May 2024

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

How can you tell who’s who around here?

Religious claims are a dime a dozen. You think Hindus and Mormons believe some outrageous things? Try Catholics. Virgin Birth, heaven and hell, the resurrection of the dead—none of that has a shred of “evidence” to back it up.

28 Apr 2024

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle B

Living the truth

It’s always instructive to see what the world does with reformed criminals. Saul of Tarsus, formerly waging a zealot’s war against Christianity, seeks to join the ranks of the enemy in whole-souled conversion to Christ. They won’t have him!