The older brother: just as lost and needing to be found

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Sept. 11, 2016
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Mercy, in touching his wounds

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2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy), Year C:
April 3, 2016

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Shame, two sons, and the sacrament of joy

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4th Sunday of Lent, Year C: March 6, 2016
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Not to dominate, but to give life

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29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 18, 2015
Isa 53:10-11; Ps 33; Heb 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45

What do you truly need? And what does the world really need? These questions seem to be implicit in Jesus’ question to James and John—“What do you wish me to do for you?”—and in their response, their belief about what they and the world really need. Which is: for them to be in charge.

St. Mark relates to us that this conversation takes place as Jesus and his disciples are making a journey to Jerusalem and getting close to their destination. (more…)

Let Jesus make your marriage beautiful

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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Oct. 4, 2015
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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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Step out in joy and freedom

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B: Sept. 6, 2015
Isa 35:4-7; Ps 146; James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

In about two weeks, our Holy Father Pope Francis is going to arrive here in the U.S.—indeed, here in the Washington, D.C., area—to visit us. We know that he has gained a great deal of attention by many people since he was elected as Pope, and that many people find him a fascinating and attractive person. One of the aspects for which Pope Francis is famous is his concern for the poor, and his readiness to reach out and embrace people who are poor or who live with difficult physical or life circumstances.

And surely we can imagine Pope Francis giving us the same admonition that we heard from St. James in our second reading today. (more…)

Changed by the Babe in the manger

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas): Dec. 25, 2013
Mass at Dawn
Isa 62:11-12; Ps 97; Tit 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20

Last night, at Midnight Mass, we heard some of the central events of that first Christmas Night.

  • How the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of a government census; and there was no room for them in the inn; and so Mary gave birth to Jesus and laid him in a manger.
  • And how, not far from there, some shepherds were keeping the night watch over their flock. And then they were surprised by the appearance of an angel, who declared to them the news: (more…)

Give what you cannot keep, to gain what you cannot lose!

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C: Sept. 22, 2013
Amos 8:4-7; Ps 113; 1 Tim 2:1-8; Luke 16:1-13

Today we hear our Lord Jesus tell the parable that is often known as the “dishonest steward.” And this is a parable that often puzzles people. We might wonder: Why does the steward’s master commend him for changing the promissory notes of the debtors? Is Jesus telling us that we should act like the steward; and, if so, how?

It seems that Jesus is shifting between different details of his parable, and different analogies, in a way that can be confusing. But if we dig into this a bit, I think we discover a single, basic message that he is trying to convey to us. (more…)