March 19, 2019

Solemnity of St. Joseph “When Joseph awoke [from his dream], he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” This passage, of course, follows the account of his intention to Mary when he noticed that she was pregnant. Too little attention is given to Joseph’s role […]

March 12, 2019

“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.” Jesus follows up this saying by telling us that our Father in heaven knows what we need even before our asking him. I only began to appreciate the import of this saying after seeing the […]

March 5, 2019

“Peter began to say to Jesus, ‘We have given up everything and followed you.’” This bit of bragging came after a would-be disciple left the fellowship when Jesus told him to first sell all his possessions and give to the poor. He had followed that up by saying that it was difficult for a rich […]

February 26, 2019

Three times in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus predicts that he is going to suffer and die. Three times the disciples fail to understand. Today’s gospel passage gives us the second such prediction. Mark seems to go out of the way to stress their incomprehension. Their best friend tells them that he is going to be killed, […]

February 19, 2019

Jesus accuses the disciples of lacking understanding in today’s gospel. What were they not understanding? Two things. The first is when Jesus told them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, and they concluded it was because they had no bread. Jesus then asked them how many baskets full of leftover […]

February 12, 2019

“God created mankind in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). Of everything that God made, mankind was made unique, like himself. We have the capacity to think abstractly, to make choices, to love—unlike plants and animals. We can be good; we can do good […]

February 5, 2019

“Let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of [our] faith.” This exhortation from the Letter to the Hebrews (12:1-2a) reminds us of an essential aspect of our faith. […]

January 26, 2019

“I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have. . .” This letter, purported to be from St. Paul to Timothy, actually ends the above sentence with “through the imposition of my hands.” Paul met Timothy during his second missionary journey, and he became his companion and co-worker along with […]

January 19, 2019

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” What we must understand as we read this question is that in Jesus’ culture, table fellowship signified deep intimacy. To eat with someone was to share in their life and to allow them into yours as well. The Pharisees, who were committed to the highest standards […]

January 12, 2019

“He must increase; I must decrease.” John the Baptist’s words here represent a kind of response that many in that day as well as ours find unintelligible ― namely, abounding joy over oneself getting smaller and someone else (Jesus) getting bigger. John’s disciples say at the end of verse 26 that the Baptist is losing […]