Exploring the Word

28 Feb 2021

Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

It’s good to be here!

What’s so good about going to church? One would like to believe that for the tens of millions of Catholics in this country who define themselves as “practicing” their faith, engaging the identity of church has been a positive and powerful experience.

21 Feb 2021

First Sunday of Lent, Cycle B

Between beasts and angels

Animal stories in the Bible have tremendous appeal. They are the first scripture stories to which we are introduced as children, in part because illustrators find them very enticing subjects.

14 Feb 2021

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Back inside the camp

Why are we human beings generally so uncomfortable in our own lives? Why is our existence such a poor fit, despite everything we do to make ourselves at home in this world?

7 Feb 2021

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Jesus the physician

What’s the main topic of the Bible? Pose this question, and you’ll get a variety of answers: sin, salvation, love, law, morality, or meaning. Few will suggest that the Bible is mostly about healing and wholeness. Yet some scripture scholars and not a few Christian doctors have made that argument persuasively.

31 Jan 2021

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Teaching with authority

One of my favorite teachings from the epistles is almost a throwaway line from Colossians 3:21: “Fathers, do not nag your children, lest they lose heart.” That’s the old ICEL translation from the breviary, anyway.

24 Jan 2021

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Making a U-turn

Discipleship requires a certain amount of flexibility. Actually, a better term would be acrobatics. I’m thinking of something along the lines of what the performance group Cirque du Soleil does. Discipleship is easier when you have no bones to break in the process.

17 Jan 2021

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Come and see

Isn’t it great to be noticed, appreciated, and wanted? Don’t we all love to be included in the adventures unfolding around us? Even if we decline an invitation when it comes, we usually prefer to be asked.

10 Jan 2021

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Cycle B

Who’s who?

How important are appearances in revealing someone’s true identity? We’re familiar with the story of the prince and the pauper, distinguishable only by the clothes they wore. Once the pauper was in regal attire, he learned to value himself as a person of significance. Once the prince was in rags, he learned how fragile and vulnerable human life can be.

3 Jan 2021

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Cycle B

One shining season

The day for dismantling the Christmas tree was always the saddest day of winter vacation. Our spruce or pine, once a glorious symbol of the season, was gradually transfigured into a fire hazard as it dropped needles liberally on the carpet.

27 Dec 2020

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

Destination: Contradiction

Most of us like to keep things simple. In life we draw up a plan and then step-by-step try to put it into action. Get an education, get a job, start a family, build up savings, then retire. It sounds so easy and straightforward, doesn’t it?