Third Sunday of Easter

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] In this third week of Easter, the implications of the resurrection continue to unfold. In his Pentecost speech at the beginning of Acts, Peter affirms for the startled crowd that Jesus the Nazarene […]


Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy)

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter present us with three images of the fledgling church that emerged after the resurrection. Each reading illumines different aspects of our new life in Christ. […]


The Resurrection of the Lord: The Mass of Easter Day

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] Now in Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ – the vindication of God’s servant and Messiah and the promise of our own resurrection and life in the world the come. Christ is […]


Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] On Passion Sunday, we are confronted with images of profound suffering and degradation. Yet from the midst of the pain and humiliation emerges an image of Christ – and thus the God he […]


Fifth Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] The story of the raising of Lazarus begins with an odd statement: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two […]


Fourth Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] So far this Lent many of the Sunday readings have focused on death and God’s promise of new life. Freedom from bondage to sin, fertility from barrenness, water in a rocky wilderness: these […]


Third Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] This week we find ourselves with Israel in the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has made good on the promise to deliver their children from […]


Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

[excerpted from the January/February 2017 issue; by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA] The gospel instruction for today continues Jesus’ reinterpretation of the law. His pattern of speech testifies to this reinterpretation: “You have heard that it was said. . . . But I say to you. . . .” Today’s teaching focuses on our attitude toward other […]


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[excerpted from the January/February 2017 issue; by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA] Some people wrongly think that the New Testament contains teaching about love, while the Old Testament is primarily concerned with law. Actually, law is found in both Testaments, and it can only be accurately understood as a component of covenant.


Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[excerpted from the January/February 2017 issue; by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA] Light is an elemental cosmic reality, cherished by all peoples. In many cultures, it is also a symbol of divine presence and a characterization of divine blessing. It is with this latter meaning that the image of light is employed in today’s readings. The psalm […]


Time to Say Goodbye!

With this column, it is time for me to say, “Adios!” I have now completed the Breaking the Word column for the entire three year liturgical cycle and am concluding on a note of gratitude. Firstly, I am grateful to our editor, Father Anthony Schueller, SSS, for the opportunity to write in these esteemed pages […]


Today You Will Be With Me in Paradise!

Today we conclude both the liturgical year and the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. As we bring to a fitting conclusion this great jubilee, today’s Gospel summarizes for us the extent of God’s mercy is limitless. While on the Cross, dying for the forgiveness of our sins, Jesus expresses God’s mercy upon the repentant sinner […]


Our Redemption is at Hand

On this penultimate Sunday of the liturgical year, our readings direct our attention to the finality of the world as we know it and the expected return of Jesus Christ, the Sun of Justice. I believe that a little background on apocryphal genre is in order. Apocryphal literature, such as that found in the first […]


The Lord is Faithful

This is the time in our liturgical year that the readings and orations point us towards the culmination of time and the glorious return of our Lord Jesus as judge of the living and the dead. The end times are in vogue in our Sunday celebrations as we near the Solemnity of Christ the King. […]


God the Lover of Souls

Luke 19:1-10 is a story of a curious (and short-statured) chief tax collector eager to meet Jesus. Its message is that salvation is offered to everyone who encounters Jesus as Lord. This encounter, now with the Risen Lord, is efficaciously symbolized in the Church’s acts of mercy on behalf all people. Just as Jesus mercifully encountered Zacchaeus, […]


Beloved Son and Daughters of the Father

What is usually the first question you ask someone when you first meet him or her, besides “What’s your name?” For most of us, our first question is “What do you do for a living,” or something similar. We are most interested in what people do rather than who they truly are. Rarely does someone […]


Our Help is in the Name of the Lord!

As we heard in our last Sunday, the Samaritan leper whom Jesus healed of his leprosy and returned to give thanks, was privileged to hear Jesus’ words, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you,” (Luke 17:19). Today we see that faith which saves in prayerful action. In our first reading, Moses realizes his […]


Persevering in Thanks and Praise

In the Roman Missal, the prefaces to the Eucharistic Prayer usually contain an introductory phrase following the priest-people dialogue that include these or similar words: “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.” That’s […]


The Obedience of Faith

A brother priest and I enjoy watching reruns of Seinfeld. So many wonderful laughs are shared watching the so-called show about nothing, as it was known. One episode I remember watching recently has the character George fall in love with a woman who is an Orthodox Christian. George wants to convert to her faith in order […]


Laying Hold of Eternal Life

We know that in and of itself, money is neither good nor bad but rather it is a tool to be used to navigate our way through life. I mention this at the very beginning because our readings last Sunday and this week might make those who have wealth uncomfortable or ashamed of their success, […]