Contributed on Jun 16, 2017
"To be evangelizers of souls, we need to develop a spiritual taste for being close to people’s lives."
Thursday of 4th Week in Course 2017 Joy of the Gospel This is a solemnity, one of the three or four greatest saints festivals of the year, and it comes on the heels every year of the solemnities of Corpus Christi and the Sacred Heart, and the birth of St. John the Baptist. Today we hear from ...read more
Contributed on Jun 3, 2017
Just as charity covers or eradicates an infinity of sin, so infinite sadness is cured by Christ’s infinite love.
Thursday of 1st Week in Course 2017 Joy of the Gospel “No one dared to ask Him any questions.” I am a teacher on summer break. It’s quite a transition every year for teachers to move into June. We have to have time off, or we’ll burn out prematurely. But we also have to sharpen our pencils, ...read more
Contributed on May 20, 2017
'A spirit-filled evangelization is one guided by the Holy Spirit, for he is the soul of the Church called to proclaim the Gospel.'
Thursday of 6th Week of Easter 2017 Joy of the Gospel Today’s reading from Acts is one of those gems of the Bible that gives evidence for its historicity. Aquila and Priscilla were probably already Christians when they came to Corinth, about AD 49. They were caught up in the dragnet Emperor ...read more
Contributed on May 13, 2017
We must seek to meet those who have no connection to religious tradition but sincerely seek truth, goodness and beauty. Ultimately, Jesus Christ is the what and the whom they seek.
Thursday of 5th Week of Easter 2017 Joy of the Gospel The words of today’s Gospel could be a reflection on the Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Ultimately our food, our clothing, our housing and our health care are not ends in themselves, but rather means to the end of ...read more
Contributed on Aug 16, 2014
The joy of the Gospel and the impediments to enjoying the Gospel.
St. Pius X 2014 Evangelii Gaudium “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.” Last November, Pope ...read more
Contributed on Aug 16, 2015
To prepare to witness to others, we should engage in the practice of lectio divina.
Thursday of 20th week in course 2015 Joy of the Gospel The Book of Judges is not an easy read. The stories of the years between Joshua and the Israelite king Saul are full of blood and gore–mutilations, treachery, and repeated violation of the Law by the people He chose. Here we see ...read more
Contributed on Jan 3, 2016
The practical love we show to the poor is critical for our discipleship.
Thursday after Epiphany 2016 Joy of the Gospel As we celebrate this day after Epiphany, we continue the readings from St. John that ornament our Christmas-Epiphany season. We also continue our review of the Pope’s long letter, the Joy of the Gospel, and we do so in this Holy Year of ...read more
Contributed on Mar 5, 2016
There must be a dialogue between science and faith, but it must also be an unequal dialogue; faith trumps the claims of any science that denies God.
Thursday of Fourth Week in Lent 2016 Joy of the Gospel In this fourth week of Lent, the week of Laetare Sunday–Joy Sunday– it is quite appropriate to continue our series on Pope Francis’s encyclical, the Joy of the Gospel. Let’s be clear that joy and enjoyment are not ...read more
Contributed on Mar 14, 2015
We can learn much from Saint Joseph about the ways to fight acedia and to recover the joy of evangelization.
Feast of St. Joseph 2015 Joy of the Gospel It is humbling to lead this prayer service on a solemnity, especially that of St. Joseph. He is the patron of fathers, of workers, of carpenters, of social justice, and of the universal Church. He has titles such as St. Joseph the Worker and St. ...read more
Contributed on Jul 9, 2016
Please pray for us, to get to the point, stay positive, find a practical application of the Gospel and know when to shut up and get on with the real celebration.
Thursday of 14th Week in Course A few years ago I discovered a lot of he humor in the OT. Most of us missed that growing up because we were being taught how to be accepted in society, and some forms of humor were considered too gross to even recognize, let alone emulate. Here we have one we ...read more
Contributed on May 2, 2015
Lay people in the Church, especially women, serve a vital role in spreading the Gospel and building community.
Thursday of the 5th Week of Easter 2015 Joy of the Gospel Both of our readings today are concerned with what the Catechism calls “The Christian Life,” or the moral and virtuous way of life. Paul and Barnabas were traveling through the lands of what is now Turkey and Greece, going ...read more
Contributed on Dec 25, 2015
Let Christ's transforming spirit make us a community of mercy and love.
New Year’s Eve 2015 Joy of the Gospel The word “mercy” does not appear in either of our two readings today, yet our joy as we end a difficult year and continue the Holy Year of Mercy is to remember and celebrate the loving mercy of God. The “misericordia Dei” is ...read more
Contributed on Feb 21, 2015
Both Christian and secular cultures will benefit by understanding the Joy of the Gospel, but the Church must approach different cultures with respect.
Thursday of the First Week in Lent Joy of the Gospel Today we hear from Jesus a restatement of the Golden Rule: “whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” And this is Torah, this is the prophetic message. We want people to ...read more
Contributed on Jan 17, 2015
The sacrifice of Christ needs to be imitated by the Christian, by loving service and working to put down evil.
Thursday of 2nd Week in Course Joy of the Gospel There is an innate drive in every human, once he has discovered the existence of a transcendent reality, a creative Being who can impact his life, to offer something to that Being. In pagan societies, where the forces of nature, or economics, or ...read more
Contributed on May 7, 2016
In the end, what we are seeking is the glory of the Father
Thursday in 7th Week of Easter 2016 Joy of the Gospel Saint Paul was a lot like me. When he tried to take matters into his own hands, and not just simply trust God, he got into trouble. Here we see St. Paul craftily proclaiming his faith in the Resurrection to a mixed gathering of Sadducees, ...read more
Contributed on Jun 4, 2016
We must stay in the game, even when we are tired or frustrated by results unseen.
Thursday of 10th Week in Course I can’t ignore the remarkable juxtaposition of the first reading and psalm with the weather events of the past weeks. The northern kingdom of Israel was the richer of the twin Hebrew nations, rich in agriculture, mining and trade. The kingdom of Judah ...read more
Contributed on Jun 27, 2015
Jesus solves our real problem first--sin.
Thursday of 13th week in course 2015 Joy of the Gospel At the birth of John the Baptist, his father–who had been speechless for nine months or so because of his lack of faith–broke out into song: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel. Toward the end of this prayer, he speaks to ...read more
Contributed on Mar 6, 2015
It is important that those involved in pastoral ministry be focused on their goal, not on their comfort.
Thursday of the third Week in Lent Joy of the Gospel Jesus shares with us today an unforgettable phrase: “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” The image this summons up is of a shepherd and His flock. Jesus came to gather together the ...read more
Contributed on Jan 24, 2015
Our gift to God must be totally disinterested, and focused on evangelization.
Thursday of the 3rd Week in Course 2014 Joy of the Gospel We receive in the same measure with which we give. That is the way in which our light shines before humankind. That is the way we attract others to the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of hope, the Gospel of Life. Jesus Christ, in the ...read more
Contributed on Feb 6, 2016
Christ has made all things one in himself, and we must strive for unity if we are to have peace.
Thursday after Ash Wednesday 2016 Joy of the Gospel There really is only one choice in this life. We either choose to walk in the path set down by Our Lord or we don’t. Psalm 1, which we just prayed, says it very well: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ...read more
Contributed on Apr 18, 2015
Like the eunuch from Ethiopia, we must be open to God's plan in Christ.
Thursday of 3rd Week of Easter 2015 Joy of the Gospel The Father was surely drawing this Ethiopian to Jesus, and–not by luck–deacon Phillip was on the same road as the African’s chariot. The eunuch had been in Jerusalem to pray and study, so he was either a Jew or an admirer ...read more
Contributed on Nov 14, 2015
We will be judged on our service to the poor--but do our social systems make it easy or difficult to do so?
Thursday of 33rd week in course 2015 Joy of the Gospel Two things tie our Scriptures together today. The obvious one is that they are texts written in or about a time of injustice and disaster. In the first reading, the Syrian king Antiochus IV has decreed that all his subjects would act like ...read more
Contributed on Dec 30, 2016
It’s ironic that when dealing with these positive commandments, we don’t ever come to a point when we can say, “I have fulfilled them.”
Thursday before Epiphany 2017 Joy of the Gospel St. John teaches us today in both Epistle and Gospel: “By this we know love, that [Jesus] laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet ...read more
Contributed on Oct 11, 2014
God's plan is truly a surprise, but it is always directed toward our salvation and the spread of the Gospel.
Thursday of the 28th Week in Course 2014 Joy of the Gospel The Holy Father’s letter on the Joy of the Gospel tells us: “God’s word is unpredictable in its power. The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown, grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps (Mk 4:26-29). The Church ...read more
Contributed on Apr 30, 2016
Our mission to others must be underlaid with a foundation of personal devotion to Jesus Christ.
Thursday in 6th Week of Easter 2016 Joy of the Gospel St. Paul’s relationship with the church at Corinth was long, fruitful, and fraught with problems. But it is Corinth that gives us testimony of the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles. “Before AD 50, an area 62 ...read more
Contributed on May 28, 2016
Every person is worthy of our giving.
Thursday of 9th Week in Course St. Marcellinus We see today the convergence of these two readings with the commemoration of Ss. Marcellinus and Peter, who were martyred under Diocletian, but only after they had converted to Christ both their jailer and their executioner. They were considered ...read more
Contributed on Jun 13, 2015
All the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples, but must carefully discern the Truth.
Thursday of 11th week in course 2015 Joy of the Gospel St. Paul was quite successful in his divinely-inspired evangelization work. The Holy Spirit moved him to plant Catholic churches in communities throughout Asia Minor and Greece. But the evil one, even though defeated, refuses to give up ...read more
Contributed on Dec 13, 2014
Christians must discern whether changes in the culture are actually movements of the Spirit, or not.
Thursday of the 3rd Week in Advent 2014 Joy of the Gospel Yesterday we began the second phase of our Advent preparation. We ceased calling on Christ to return in glory, and we began our proximate preparation for the commemoration of the humble birth of the righteous branch who grew up to reign ...read more
Contributed on Sep 3, 2016
The challenge is to engage the listener, but to do so with the clear goal of bringing them closer to the transcending love of Christ.
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2016 The prophecies were quite clear. The Messiah would be born of a virgin. He would be of the line of David, born in Bethlehem, the city associated with David. He would be king, and rule over all the earth. The expectation of the Jewish people was also very ...read more
Contributed on Dec 25, 2016
The church ministered to the poor. If we lose that character, we are no longer the true church.
Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave 2016 Joy of the Gospel St. John the Evangelist is the apostle and evangelist of love, but he can write in very black-and-white manners. In his first epistle his language is stark: if you obey the law to love your brother you are walking as Jesus did. If you say ...read more