Mother Teresa, and the cost and glory of following Christ

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Sept. 4, 2016
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Jesus asks the impossible—and then enables us to do it

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: June 26, 2016
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Responding to that stirring in your heart

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26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 27, 2015
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Disciples, all the way to the roots

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 20, 2015
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In spite of suffering, I have not turned back

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 13, 2015
Isa 50:5-9; Ps 116; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35

Our Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel reading, poses a question to his disciples that is very important: “Who do you say that I am?” “I, Jesus of Nazareth, who you have been following—who am I?” And when we find the true answer to that question, we find that, in a way, it is the central question we have to answer, because so much else follows from who he is. (more…)

To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Aug. 23, 2015
Josh 24:1-2, 15-17, 18; Ps 34; Eph 5:2, 25-32; John 6:51-58

Have you ever thought about one of the teachings of the Catholic Church: “That teaching is hard! It doesn’t seem right. It seems impossible. It seems shocking or offensive!” Maybe you have thought this sometime in the past; maybe you are thinking this right now, as you are here at Mass. I’m sure you have known others who have thought this.

Well, if you have had this reaction, you are in good company— (more…)

Christ is born! Now what?

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2014
Mass at Dawn

Isa 62:11-12; Ps 97; Tit 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20 (more…)

Matrimonio y familia hoy: la crisis, la vocación

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La Sagrada Familia, Año A: 29 Diciembre 2013
Sir 3, 2-6.12-14; Sal 127; Col 3, 12-17; Mt 2, 13-15.19-23 (more…)

Marriage and family today: the crisis, the calling

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Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Year A:
Dec. 29, 2013
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128; Col 3:12-17; Matt 2:13-15, 19-23

Three years ago, I had the privilege to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a group of other priests. Of course, one of the places we went was Nazareth. There, we visited the large church called the Basilica of the Annunciation—marking the spot where the angel Gabriel visited Mary and invited her to become the Mother of God; where she said yes; and thus the very spot, marked, where the Word was made flesh.

But there on the same property is a smaller church, the Church of St. Joseph. It was there that we celebrated Mass. This church contains artwork not only of St. Joseph himself, but of the Holy Family: (more…)

When Jesus came into St. Joseph’s life

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4th Sunday of Advent, Year A: Dec. 22, 2013
Isa 7:10-14; Ps 24; Rom 1:1-7; Matt 1:18-24

St. Joseph was a righteous man. He knew the Law that the Lord God had given to his People, and he wanted to follow it: to do what was right and just, toward God and toward other people; to do what was good; to do what was holy. And he was betrothed—formally contracted to marry—a very good and holy young woman named Mary.

St. Joseph may have been a young man, somewhere around 20 years old, energetic and just getting started in life. Or he may have been an older man, a widower, with some number of sons and daughters who would be known as the brothers and sisters of Jesus. (more…)