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Pondering the Parables: The Parable of the Two Sons

Parables were integral to Jesus’ teaching ministry. His stories engaged the minds and hearts of his listeners and revealed the deeper meaning of their lives and God’s power at work in and around them. This parable (Mt 21:28-32), peculiar to Matthew, is rather simple in character and has none of the elements of surprise and […]

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Pondering the Parables: The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard

Parables were integral to Jesus’ teaching ministry. His stories engaged the minds and hearts of his listeners and revealed the deeper meaning of their lives and God’s power at work in and around them. Far from depicting an imaginary situation, the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Mt 20:1-16) describes something that occurred frequently […]

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Pondering the Parables: The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Parables were integral to Jesus’ teaching ministry. His stories engaged the minds and hearts of his listeners and revealed the deeper meaning of their lives and God’s power at work in and around them. As the final parable in Chapter 18 of Matthew’s Gospel, the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Mt 18:21-35) is also the evangelist’s first […]

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Pondering the Parables: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Parables were integral to Jesus’ teaching ministry. His stories engaged the minds and hearts of his listeners and revealed the deeper meaning of their lives and God’s power at work in and around them. The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Mt 18:12-14) has been called the simplest of all the parables of Jesus: a sheep […]

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January 16, 2019

In the first scene of today’s gospel, we are admitted into Simon Peter’s house. The narration of events in this private setting leads us to surmise that it is the description of an eye eyewitness. Scripture scholars tell us that in this scene there is probably more than meets the eye. For example, although our translation […]


January 2, 2019

In today’s gospel reading, John the Baptist identifies his mission as “the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.’” And in these words of John we have what is the Christian’s lifetime program: making way for an always more-lively presence of Christ in one’s life and in […]


December 19, 2018

Through the archangel who appears to Zechariah, God intervenes in an exceptional way in the marriage of Zechariah and Elizabeth. But the message he brings has a much wider reference than to this couple alone. In fact, it has significance for the entire world. The child to be born of this couple will be the […]


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Pondering the Parables: The Parable of the Net

Parables were integral to Jesus’ teaching ministry. His stories engaged the minds and hearts of his listeners and revealed the deeper meaning of their lives and God’s power at work in and around them. The Parable of the Net (Mt 13:47-50), which is peculiar to Matthew, reiterates motifs from the Parable of the Wheat and […]

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December 5, 2018

The names of very few towns hold as much meaning for us as that of Bethlehem. That name for Christians quickly evokes images of the Infant Savior, of Mary, Joseph, shepherds and angels. Bethlehem calls to mind the unfathomable mystery of God giving himself humanly to our world. And so, the word “Bethlehem” evokes the […]


November 21, 2018

Memorial of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary  The tradition shared by the churches of East and West, that our Blessed Lady was presented as a child in the Temple in Jerusalem is not based on any specific Gospel text. The tradition originates from a late second century apocryphal work, the Protoevangelium of James. Today’s Memorial, nonetheless, […]