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 […]


January 5, 2019

Following John the Baptist’s confession of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (1:36), the first words that Jesus speaks in the Gospel of John are “What are you looking for?” (1:38). This question will be responded to throughout the gospel as Jesus is progressively revealed to us as the one we are looking for. Jesus’ […]


December 29, 2018

Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas “When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.” We normally think of the Christmas Story as the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and the coming of the […]


December 22, 2018

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant.” So begins today’s gospel. Many other translations state: He has looked with favor on the humble condition of his slave. The Magnificat, and indeed the entire history of salvation, can be summarized […]


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Scriptural Reflections – Homiletics (January/February 2019)

January 1, 2019 Octave Day of Christmas The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:16-21 One of the ecumenical difficulties that we face today is the devotion to Mary that is characteristic of the Roman Church. Fundamentalists are especially opposed to this and try to […]

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December 15, 2018

Once again the gospel refers to John the Baptist as the one whose role is to prepare us for the One who is to come. Through the prophet Malachi, and the reading from Sirach in today’s liturgy, the Jews’ expectation of the return of Elijah to prepare the way for the promised Messiah, has grown. […]


December 8, 2018

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the feast of the Immaculate Conception is about how God acted in an extraordinary way in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that from even the first moment of her own conception, she was […]


December 1, 2018

“Behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book” (Rev 22:1-7). This passage from our reading today was written long enough after the birth of Christ to tell us that it does not refer to the incarnation of Jesus. It refers mainly to the final coming of […]


November 24, 2018

The gospel passage today features another attempt on the part of Jesus’ enemies to trap him on the question of the possibility of our being able to rise after our deaths. They used a question that surely raised some unwashed laughter on the part of those listening to the conversation. Imagine seven men marrying the […]


November 17, 2018

Luke tells us that Jesus’ teaching today is how to pray always without becoming weary. Jesus uses the example of a widow who continues to badger a crooked judge so he renders a just judgement in her case. The judge finally caves in because of her persistence. That takes care of the persistence part. What […]