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, […]

Serving God Alone

With the presidential election season nearing its conclusion, we’ve been hearing the candidates talk a lot about the economy. As we are told of an ever-widening gap between the poor and the rich in this country, the famous question that the late President Ronald Reagan asked in 1980, “Are you better off now than you were […]

Merciful Like the Father

The three Lucan parables of God’s infinite mercy no doubt have tugged at the souls of devout Christians for centuries. Because each parable is densely packed with beauty and waiting to be broken open for God’s people in the Sunday homily and in our lectio divina, allow me to chose the parable of the lost […]

The Wisdom of the Most High

Remember back in school “pulling all-nighters” writing a research paper or “cramming” for an exam for which you did not prepare? Since my ministry finds me working in particular with young adults and college students, I can assure you that this still happens in school as young people work to acquire the discipline of time […]

All Are Welcome

Last Sunday, our readings reminded us that everyone is invited to the Kingdom of God, and that God’s mercy is beyond quantification. The liturgical readings this Sunday continue this theme, reminding us to be attentive to the needs of the least of our brothers and sisters. Following the proverbial wisdom of Sirach, Jesus Christ exhorts his […]

The New Evangelization

Humans have a fascination with numbers. Just look at how much we Americans care about them: poll numbers, baseball statistics, Wall Street averages, forecast high and low temperatures, speed limits, gas prices, etc. Our lives are surrounded by numbers of every stripe, denoting practically everything we say or do. So it is not surprising that numbers are […]

Blessed Be God Who Filled My Soul With Fire

I’m no advertising or marketing expert, but it seems to me that the most successful way to get people to buy a product is to convince them of a need. No car salesman, for example, would ever tell you that if you bought a particular car, it will get you safely to your final destination […]