Exploring the Word

31 Jul 2022

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Estate planning

I know a man who rushed to early retirement at 50. His intention was to get out of the rat race as soon as possible, so he spent the first 30 years after college making a small fortune. It wasn’t an easy fortune.

24 Jul 2022

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

How moral is God?

Crime-and-punishment has been a relatively simple equation throughout history. Break a law, and you receive the due consequences.

17 Jul 2022

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

A warm welcome for God

How do you invite the God of All That Is into your home? If you were expecting God later this afternoon, what would you do to prepare?

10 Jul 2022

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Mercy, not scholarship

“Be merciful, as god is merciful.” A brave idea, but who can do it? As pastoral people, we face a great temptation—especially in matters of moral complexity or emotional intensity—to forget that we have a mandate to be compassionate.

3 Jul 2022

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Musings on markings

The Departed (2006) was a movie about how, in the battle between good and evil, the two sides often come to resemble each other. Martin Sheen, perhaps the closest thing to a righteous person in the story, has just made a choice to save someone that will cost him his life. He closes the door, takes a breath, and makes the sign of the cross instinctively and without drama. One door closes; another, we believe, swings wide on eternity.

26 Jun 2022

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Call and response

Called by God. The idea used to make us shiver back in parochial school. As children, we imagined that only rare and special people got that call.

19 Jun 2022

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

Plenty for everyone

Mealtime is the best time for just about everyone. People may prefer Italian to Tex-Mex, vegan to omnivore, big portions to small, or dessert to the entrée, but just about everybody I know considers “time to eat” among the happiest words they hear all day.

12 Jun 2022

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Cycle C

Truth takes time

Like the sacred trust a parent bears in raising a child to the light, the preacher bears the holy responsibility to bring God’s word to the assembly. Those who embrace this ministry know full well the heaviness of the task, as well as its astonishing sweetness.

5 Jun 2022

Solemnity of Pentecost, Cycle C

The password is courage

What’s the main difference between the disciples before and after the Pentecost experience? No, it’s not the flames dancing on their heads, improved communication skills, or that wind-blown look. In a word, it’s courage.

29 May 2022

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Cycle C

The time is at hand!

“Jesus is coming soon.” We’ve seen these words or similar ones on sandwich boards, bumper stickers, and billboards. We hear them in church, too.