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 15, 2019

At present we do not see “all things subject to him,” but we do see Jesus “crowned with glory and honor” because he suffered death, he who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone (Heb 2:8-9). In the coming weeks, […]

January 14, 2019

Today’s gospel recounts the vocation story of four ordinary men: Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, and John. Two brothers “left their nets” and the other brothers “left their father Zebedee in the boat” to follow Jesus. Most of us ordinary people do not leave family or give up our possessions to follow Jesus in the same […]

January 13, 2019

The Baptism of the Lord Today, the Church shifts its focus from the infant Jesus to the adult Jesus. For 30 years Jesus was patiently preparing for the day when he would leave his parents and native village of Nazareth, travel to Jerusalem and to the Jordan River, be baptized by his desert-living cousin John, […]

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 11, 2019

Today’s gospel (Lk 5:12-16) relates the story of an encounter between Jesus and “a man full of leprosy.” A person with leprosy in the time of Jesus was both physically and socially isolated, rejected by family and community and confined to remote areas. The belief that disease was punishment from God further enhanced this isolation. The man […]

January 10, 2019

In the first reading for today, St. John challenges us with a reality check: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar.” He goes on to emphasize that “whoever loves God must also love his brother.” There is no room here for excuses. We must love our brothers and […]

January 9, 2019

In the 1990s there was a great proliferation of “Dummies Books.” There was Motorcycle Repair for Dummies, Wine for Dummies, Algebra I for Dummies, and so many others. They apparently were very well-received and quite helpful! I would like to propose that today’s First Reading from John’s Letter could rightfully be called Catholicism for Dummies […]

January 8, 2019

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. (1 Jn 4:10) Throughout the Christmas season, our thoughts naturally turn to the birth of Jesus and the tender images of his coming in the gospels of Matthew and Luke and […]

January 7, 2019

Today’s gospel from St. Matthew marks the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. It follows the story of John the Baptist in Chapter 3. Once John is in prison, Jesus went throughout Galilee “proclaiming the Gospel (“good news”) of the kingdom” (Mt 4:23). Every disease and illness is cured; the possessed, lunatics, and paralytics are cured. […]