November 16, 2021

“By manfully giving up my life now, I will prove myself worthy of my old age, and I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.” The two books of Maccabees give us events that occurred in the second century B.C. when […]

November 9, 2021

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica The Lateran Basilica—not Saint Peter’s—is the pope’s cathedral church. Given to the church by the emperor Constantine, it is the oldest church in Rome, and for a thousand years, was the home of the popes. Our first reading describes a vision of the prophet Ezekiel that took […]

November 2, 2021

Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. There are many readings one can choose from for today’s Mass. However, this excerpt from the book of Wisdom speaks of the fact that there are many people in the hand of […]

October 19, 2021

Memorial of the North American Martyrs Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. This short passage has one basic lesson. It urges us to be faithful to our religious responsibilities 24/7, not just when we think we will be observed. The original statement of Jesus may well have been made […]

October 12, 2021

The Lord said to him, “Oh, you Pharisees!” There are many things that Jesus accused the Pharisees of. Most deal with religious externalism. Ritual ablutions were not required in the Old Testament. But the Pharisees followed an oral tradition that had sprung up and was very concerned about their religious practice’s externals. It should be […]

October 5, 2021

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.” This passage has long been misinterpreted as extolling the contemplative life over the active life or one of service. However, it is not to say that the active life is inferior, only that Martha is fretting about what […]

September 21, 2021

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle [Jesus said,] Go and learn the meaning of the words, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” This exchange followed Jesus’ inviting Matthew to follow him and subsequently enjoying a meal at his home with many other tax collectors. The Pharisees, of course, objected to his “eating with tax collectors and sinners.” […]

September 14, 2021

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” To my mind, this is one of the strangest passages in the New Testament. The incident […]

September 7, 2021

You were buried with [Jesus] in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Our complicated reading today was written to stress the importance of our baptism and spell out the blessings that we receive with this important sacrament — blessings […]