Contributed on Aug 27, 2011
John, and we, need to be prophets to our cultures.
Martyrdom of John the Baptist August 29, 2011 Testimony of the Saints Popular culture almost always gets everything wrong. Thus today’s celebration, which in the pre-Vatican II liturgy was a feast, not a memorial, is totally misinterpreted by pop culture. In the view of the secular ...read more
Contributed on Sep 3, 2011
Like Peter Claver, we can be means of helping others to escape the slavery of sin.
September 5, 2011 Testimony of the Saints Labor Day I sometimes ask my students what occupation God would put on his tax return, if He had to file one. That usually brings puzzled looks until I say 45-2093, farming. God’s original occupation on earth is planting a garden. In it he put ...read more
Contributed on Sep 17, 2011
The martyr-bishop Januarius testifies to the truth of the Gospel, and his alleged blood miracle must get the attention of the unbeliever.
19 September 2011 St. Januarius There is a famous passage in the Acts of the Apostles in which the rabbi Gamaliel advises the Sanhedrin to leave the early Christian community alone, because if it is God’s will, they would not be able to destroy it, and if it is not God’s will, it ...read more
Contributed on Sep 24, 2011
"Mere" laymen can have a long-lasting impact by doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
26 September 2011 Cosmas, Damian, and Lorenzo Ruiz The eighth chapter of the book of Zechariah is the last chapter that scholars attribute to the prophet, rather than one of his disciples. It was written after the Babylonian exiles, when the people of Judah had returned to Jerusalem and were ...read more
Contributed on Oct 1, 2011
Francis stands out as an example of radical following of Christ, and an impulsive drive to rebuild the Church.
Monday of 27th week in Course Testimony of the Saints Saint Francis of Assisi 3 October 2011 (one day early) Tomorrow we celebrate the day of St. Francis of Assisi, and on this note I will take a long break from this series on the Testimony of the Saints, and, God willing, begin next week a ...read more
Contributed on Jul 13, 2012
The life and death of Maria Goretti teaches us something about resisting evil.
July 6, 2012 St. Maria Goretti Mt 5: 38-41 The commandment to not resist the evildoer is one of the most stark and, admittedly, controversial ones in the NT. A few Christian pacifists have interpreted it to mean that we can neither resist evil persons or evil actions in any way. But that is ...read more
Contributed on Jul 5, 2013
Like St. Benedict, we must live simply if we are to successfully share the gospel of Jesus.
The great saints, like St. Benedict whom we celebrate today, bear witness that the words of today’s Gospel are not just for the first century. They are timeless instructions on our work of evangelism. Those who spread the good news are doing so as Jesus did. The effectiveness of the Church ...read more
Contributed on Sep 8, 2018
Preaching and living a lifestyle conditioned by the precepts of the Gospel is not a particularly popular path, and may get you shunned, even exiled.
Thursday of 23rd Week in Course 2018 St. John Chrysostom Today I am celebrating the sixteenth anniversary of the ordination of the diaconate class of 2002, and therefore my own ordination. As a preacher, it’s particularly happy to be ordained on the feast of St. John Chrysostom, who is the patron ...read more
Contributed on Sep 15, 2018
“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion and for my God. It is for Him that I die. "
Thursday of 24th week in Course 2018 Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and Companions Today’s readings from God’s word are a kind of missionary creed. What do all of us have in the Good News that is most needed by this culture of death, this world in pain? The world’s need is for an ...read more
Contributed on Sep 22, 2018
We must find in our heart the vast chasm, the infinite need that only Infinite Goodness and Truth and Beauty can fill.
Thursday of the 24th Week in Course 2018 St. Vincent de Paul The book we call Ecclesiastes is often referred to as Qoheleth, for the Hebrew name of the author, here called “the Preacher.” The first words form one of the major themes of theology, that all things human are perishable, that even what ...read more
Contributed on Sep 29, 2018
St. Francis stands out in the thirteenth century, perhaps the last great Catholic century, and a recovery of his spirit would be a good start toward converting the culture of this twenty-first century.
October 4, 2018 St. Francis of Assisi The saint we celebrate today is probably the most famous one of the second Christian millennium, and I suspect also the one we need most to emulate today. Our modern culture is steeped in materialism and consumerism. I can prove that by asking you to ...read more
Contributed on Oct 13, 2018
Luke’s writings show the mercy and compassion of Jesus.
Feast of St. Luke 2018 St. Paul had a long and fruitful ministry. He is certainly one of the patron saints of the new evangelization, but St. Luke, our day’s patron, is not far behind. Luke was a gentile who joined Paul on the missionary journey in which for the first time he crossed from Asia ...read more
Contributed on Oct 21, 2018
The Spirit empowers, but the Spirit also divides. Because the Holy Spirit causes us to change our lives, and to summon our family and friends to the Christian way of life, conflict often emerges in relationships.
Thursday of the 29th Week in Course 2018 The phrase, “fire that Our Lord came to cast down upon the earth” is reminiscent of an encounter Jesus had in his earthly life with James and John, sons of Zebedee. Some town had refused hospitality to Jesus and the disciples, so those two asked Jesus for ...read more
Contributed on Oct 27, 2018
Saint John tells us we can’t be certain what we’ll be then, but we will be like Our Lord because our eyes will be so mature that we will see Him as He really is. And what a sight that will be!
All Saints’ Day 2018 The divine intent from the beginning was to make human beings in the image and likeness of God, but with a difference. We were meant to be as pure, selfless, single-minded, giving and loving as the Trinity, but to be that incarnation of God in a material world. Satan, whose ...read more
Contributed on Nov 4, 2018
In a real sense, St. Paul was the sheep that was lost, and Jesus left the heavens to seek him out and find him and turn him toward the truth.
Thursday of 31st Week in Course At some point in the life of every Catholic theologian, like Saint Paul there comes a time of high clarity. St. Paul’s moment was a time when he realized that all his elevated Jewish theology was just a waste of time. In fact, in the light of Christ’s suffering and ...read more
Contributed on Nov 10, 2018
We should look to Albert the Great for inspiration for scientists to work within the divine plan for the real good of humans.
Thursday of the 32nd Week in Course 2018 St. Albert the Great When is the kingdom of God coming? I’ve always been impressed by the number of Protestant preachers who speculate that we are literally in the last days, that Jesus is coming within the next year, or two years, or five years. It’s like ...read more
Contributed on Nov 25, 2018
We in the Church are under constant assault by politicians, so-called comedians and the mass media. Today we quite easily relate to the readings from the Lectionary. God almighty, come to our aid!
Thursday after Christ the King 2018 There was a time in my on life that Fr. Richard Neuhaus called “the Catholic moment,” a time when being Catholic seemed to be the best thing in the world. We had a Catholic president, a pope, now a saint, who had called a Council at the Vatican with the task of ...read more
Contributed on Dec 2, 2018
Let’s take this story as a challenge to become more compassionate to the destitute, and provide for their education, food and shelter so they may grow spiritually, physically and emotionally in Christ.
Thursday of the First Week of Advent 2018 Beginning any new liturgical season, we try to shake off our slumber and be more present to the Lord whom we worship. We know that we must change so that we can become more like Jesus and Mary, and so we listen to the Word of God with particular attention. ...read more
Contributed on Dec 8, 2018
Our Lord forever is pouring out on us His grace and goodness so that we will learn to do the same thing for Him and for other people.
Feast of St. Lucy 2018 The constant temptation human beings face is to turn God’s intention for man upside down. Instead of us following the plan to be remade into God’s image, we are constantly trying the impossible. We attempt to remake God in our own image–venal and selfish and cruel and ...read more
Contributed on Jan 6, 2019
Whatever our state of life, we are called to live and die in love. We are called to follow Jesus and to become saints ourselves.
January 10, 2019 St. Louis of Toulouse Every day we wake up, we wake up to the understanding that our being able to wake up is a divine gift. Every night when we retire saying our night prayers, we make an act of confidence in God, trusting that if we die that night, we are in the care of the ...read more
Contributed on Jan 13, 2019
Just because we are chosen by God, baptized into Christ, does not mean that we are infallibly going to attain God’s promises. We are always tempted, as Christ was, to follow the allurements of the world, flesh and devil.
Saint Anthony of the Desert 2019 Saint Anthony–the less famous one we call “Anthony of the Desert”–died 1653 years ago today. Since he is also called “Anthony the Great” and “Anthony of Egypt” and several other honorifics, we might want to know more about him, and what he can teach us today. But ...read more
Contributed on Jan 19, 2019
It is the will of God that all humans be saved, which was a crucial teaching of the Church all the way back to St. Paul.
Thursday of 2nd Week in Course 2019 St Francis de Sales Jesus, our Lord, constantly had His mission from the Father in mind during His time on earth. That mission is to teach and heal, and to suffer and die for our salvation. It was the Father’s will that the Son should live as a real human being, ...read more
Contributed on Mar 23, 2019
The culture itches to persecute the Catholic Church, and a small number of renegade priests and bishops who abused their authority have provided the excuse.
Tuesday of the Third Week in Lent 2019 It’s often been said by commentators that the “ten thousand talents” that the Gospel servant owed his master was a sum greater than the gross national product of Palestine in New Testament times. Jesus is clearly exaggerating for effect here, something that ...read more
Contributed on May 4, 2019
Religious argument, we know, is not a bad thing. It can actually lead us forward and help us truly understand how to advance the Gospel.
Tuesday of 3rd Week in Easter 2019 Rosa Venerini Over the years I have been in ministry, first as a layman and now as a deacon, I have known many Christians, Catholics of course, but men and women and teens with various denominations. One thing I am convinced of is that most people loathe ...read more
Contributed on May 18, 2019
“What are the two most important moments in any person’s life?”
Tuesday of the 5th Week in Easter 2019 What are the two most important moments in any person’s life? In your life? In my life? I’ll come back to these questions–really a single question–in a moment. But first I’d like to point out that as Jesus concludes the long sermon at the Last Supper, He is ...read more
Contributed on Feb 1, 2020
Engage all your senses as you walk with Jesus and His other disciples into the town of Capernaum by the big lake.
Tuesday of the 4th Week in Course 2020 Tal'itha cu'mi If, with Ignatius of Loyola, we meditate for a while on the Scripture we hear every day proclaimed at Mass, and do so with our well-honed imaginations fully awake, we see so much more than the words first suggest. It is particularly ...read more
Contributed on Feb 8, 2020
The Scriptures enjoin us not to trust in princes, because God’s word is very clear about human minds and wills. We are weak, and so we sin.
Tuesday of 5th Week in Course 2020 Our Lady of Lourdes This is a grand tableau from the First Book of Kings: Solomon has spent years constructing the Temple of the Lord, and here he is dedicating it to the worship of the God of Israel. But even he knew that the God who had called Moses, used signs ...read more
Contributed on Mar 13, 2020
It is truly time to emulate Our Lord and the great saints, who trusted in God and helped others who were in need or in peril.
Tuesday of the 3rd Week in Lent 2020 St. Patrick and Three Young Men and Trust When you pick up a King James Bible and read this story from the Book of Daniel, of the trust three young prophet-exiles had in their God, and their deliverance from the fiery furnace, you read this passage: “Therefore ...read more