There is nothing ordinary about Ordinary Time. This couldn’t be truer today when Zephaniah reminds us of the mysteriousness of God’s way and Jesus lays out his Gospel blueprint in his Sermon on the Mount. God’s ways certainly are mysterious. Those who are first are actually last and those who have the most will end up with the least. There is an ironic twist to God’s wisdom and this is no more evident than in the Beatitudes. Of the Beatitudes, St. Oscar Romero states: “These are the paths along which true Christians travel.” Indeed, the Beatitudes embody the heart of the Gospel and define what it means to be Christian.
There is a tendency, however, to overly spiritualize and individualize the message of the Beatitudes. This keeps them at a safe distance, engaging them merely as interior virtues necessary for personal holiness. Seeing them exclusively as dispositions needed for the salvation of our souls, sidesteps what Jesus intends.READ MORE
The message of Jesus is simple. It can be boiled down to two sentences. “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the good news.”
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus appears in Galilee for the first time preaching the good news. At the Lake of Tiberias, he calls simple fishermen who drop everything to follow him. Their immediate and wholehearted response teaches us what it means to repent and believe in the good news. It means encountering the person of Jesus, following him and leaving everything behind.READ MORE
After Roe was revised last 24 June 2022, ‘Abortion Laws went to the states. June 24 is Feast Day of St. John the Baptist. He leaped with joy in his mother’s womb when his mother St. Elizabeth heard St. Mary’s voice!
As an example of states:
17 states banned abortion as of 22 November 2022. They’re Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, S. Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and W. Virginia.READ MORE
During this time of the National Eucharistic Revival, the faithful should take every opportunity to reflect on the Real and True Presence of Jesus. As John the Baptist urges, don’t miss the Messiah in your midst, “Behold the Lamb of God.” For us living in this particular age, the best way to behold the Lamb is to gaze upon Him in the Blessed Sacrament — Eucharist. To encounter His presence — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — in the Mass or Eucharistic Adoration.READ MORE
St. Mary Kingman is currently working to raise $200,000 to begin renovations on the historic J.B. Wright House and convent.READ MORE
There is a story of an astronomy professor who was enthusiastically discoursing in a planetarium about the marvels of the known universe. Noticing an unpretentious priest who had joined his group of students, the professor asked him, “What do your Scriptures say about cosmic space and its myriad stars?”
Instead of giving a direct answer, the priest, in turn, posed a question, “Tell me, Professor,” he said, “do you think that science will invent still more powerful telescopes to see farther into the universe?”READ MORE
“Today is gonna be a Mommy-and-me day,” my preschool-aged son told me recently. He was perched on the kitchen countertop, his favorite spot in the mornings, where he likes to sit while watching me unload the dishwasher.
“Oh, is it?” I said, my hands full of damp plates. This was news to me. “What does that mean? What are we going to do?”
“We’re gonna read books and put stickers on walls and you’re gonna watch me play,” he told me. “And then at the end of the day you’re gonna make dinner and I’m gonna sit here and watch you, and we’re gonna smile at each other.”READ MORE
We are easily misled. Media stories often leave us wondering what really happened. Faked photos of astounding things go ‘viral’ and many believe they are real. The internet can be a confusing and often misleading place to find what is true. Is what we are seeing or hearing the truth or simply some illusion created by an imaginative or devious mind? We tend to follow the masses and are easily convinced of something’s authenticity when it is seemingly verified by a majority of folks. This is the case for fashion trends, the latest figures of speech, philosophies or social styles. We need a yardstick to measure whether what we are buying into is authentic, trustworthy, and real or just something trendy and illusory. Perhaps we do not need to be too careful about the trustworthiness of matters like fashion and style, but we certainly ought to be when it comes to understanding ourselves as human beings. The World Wide Web may affirm what we want to hear, but it cannot tell us who we really are.READ MORE
"Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." —Matthew 1:20-23
If we have really been following the readings and other texts of the liturgy during the first weeks of Advent, we see that the Church has been inviting us to focus our attention on that day when, in the fullness of time, Christ will return in glory. In the final days of Advent, however, the focus shifts and we recall those prophecies, people, and events that preceded the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem more than two millennia ago. In the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear God making a promise to King Ahaz — through the words of the prophet Isaiah — that virgin shall bear a child and how that promise was fulfilled in Mary, the betrothed of Joseph of Nazareth.READ MORE
What Messiah are we making a way for this Advent Season? Is it one who only fits our limited expectations or the Savior of the World who fulfills the hopes of all peoples?
The question that John’s disciples pose to Jesus in today’s gospel is curious. How can he be unsure whether Jesus is the “One Who is to Come”? Didn’t he see the heavens parted and the Spirit of God come down upon Jesus at his baptism? Didn’t he point out Jesus as the “Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world”? What has changed that he now seems to doubt who Jesus is?READ MORE
“I had gone a-begging from door to door in a village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream, and I wondered who was this King of all Kings! My hopes rose high and me-thought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust. The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last! Then, of a sudden, thou didst hold out thy right hand and say, “What hast thou to give to me?” Ah, what a kingly jest it was to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused, and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave to thee. But how great my surprise when at the day’s end, I emptied my bag on the floor to find the least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had the heart to give thee my all.”
— Rabindranath Tagore
There is an old-fashioned phrase that always charms me when I see it, “a woman whose time has come.”
It describes a pregnant woman whose due date is close at hand, and it is a relic of an era where all references to pregnancy and childbirth in polite society were wrapped in rhetorical cotton. “In a delicate condition,” “In the family way,” “Expecting.”
Part of me is inclined to roll my eyes at these euphemisms, because I really believe that creating a pro-life culture demands that we talk frankly about the experience of being pregnant and giving birth. And yet. And yet. I cannot help but be attracted to these expressions, in all their affected preciousness. There is something so reverent — so deferential — in how they frame the reality of childbirth and all that leads up to it.READ MORE
Above him, there was an inscription that read, “This is the King of the Jews” (Luke 23:38). These words would spark the poignant exchange between Jesus and the two thieves. One is unwilling to consider a need for saving, mocking this innocent man suffering beside him. In contrast, the other receives the promise of paradise through a humble, contrite acknowledgment of his sins and the recognition and proclamation of Jesus as Messiah. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). And Jesus demonstrates God’s great mercy as He promises the good thief, on that very day, entrance into the kingdom.READ MORE