Category: Catechesis

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Doors of Mercy

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Paris dominated the news cycle last week, thanks to the coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS. But, if it weren’t for its utility as a political bargaining chip, who a month from now would remember Paris? Soon enough something new would have displaced Paris in our minds. In our active memory, we hold fast to only […]

Christ the King: From a Crown of Thorns to a Crown of Life
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Christ the King: From a Crown of Thorns to a Crown of Life

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As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King this weekend, it’s worth asking ourselves what kind of kingdom Christ promised us. We know his kingdom is not of this world, and his crown is made of thorns. Will our sacrifices and suffering be worth it? What awaits us after death? The Book of Revelations […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 22, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, November 22, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Daniel 7:13-14 2nd Reading: Revelation 1:5-8 Responsorial: Psalm 93:1-2, 5 Gospel: John 18:33-37 Allowing Jesus Christ, Our King, To Feed Us with His Grace and Power Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of […]

Bl. John Henry Newman, 1880
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Blessed John Henry Newman and the Conscience

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Moral relativism bothers me for numerous reasons, but the greatest annoyance I have is relativism’s consistent use of illogical reasoning and justification. Besides selfishness, relativism’s only consistent attribute is being illogical. I find this frustrating because several friends buy into relativism lock, stock, and barrel without a second thought. By illogical I should say I […]

Hasten the End
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Hasten the End

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B Whenever I lead a trip to the Holy Land, the question inevitably comes, “Will we visit Armageddon?’  This refers, of course, to the battlefield surrounding the ancient city of Megiddo where some think the final confrontation will take place before the end of the world (Rev 16:16).  Catholics […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 15, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, November 15, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Daniel 12:1-3 2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14, 18 Responsorial: Psalm 16:5, 8-11 Gospel: Mark 13:24-32 Reflecting on Jesus’ Second Coming and Our Life in Heaven They will see “the Son of Man coming in the clouds” with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26) Most […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Forgiveness in the Family

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Pope Francis opened his Nov. 4th Wednesday General Address by spotlighting real families who witness daily to the great gift of marriage and family. Essential Christian families revitalize modern life by living out the humanizing values of the Gospel. When Christian families practice forgiveness in their homes, their actions have a ripple effect, reconstituting the […]

The Widow’s Mite
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The Widow’s Mite

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The time lag between the two widows in this Sunday’s readings was considerable.  Lots of things change in 800 years. But one thing their two societies had in common–they didn’t offer social security, welfare, 401K’s, or pension plans.  With no husband to provide for them, both widows were literally at the mercy of those around […]

Reflections for Sunday, November 7, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, November 7, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading 1 Kings 17:10-16 2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:24-28 Responsorial: Psalm 146:7-10 Gospel: Mark 12:38-44 Eagerly Awaiting the Second Coming of Christ Christ … will appear a second time … to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him. (Hebrews 9:28) November marks the final […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Jewish Roots of Christianity

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Reflecting on the 50 anniversary of the historic Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate, Pope Francis lauded the document for proposing to every Christian “the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity.” Speaking in cinematic terms to give ourselves a frame of reference, is Christianity a remake (or re-boot), a sequel, or a spin-off of Judaism?  […]

Just Say These Words and Walk on into Heaven
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Just Say These Words and Walk on into Heaven

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Why aren’t there some words – profound, insightful, loving, deep, meaningful, powerful words– which, when read, heard, or said will immediately and instantaneously make a person perfectly good in this life and remain so until they die, thus enjoying eternal glory in Heaven? Why cannot words such as these be written which, once read, change […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Family and Fidelity

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Pope Francis’s Wednesday General Audience, on October 21, focused on the promise of love and fidelity made between husbands and wives.  The resulting fidelity in turn sets the couple and their family free. A couple’s fidelity to their promise to love is a blessing for the whole world because “no other school can teach the […]

The Blind Man Speaks Up
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The Blind Man Speaks Up

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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time The Blind Man Speaks Up There were hundreds in the crowd that day at Jericho.  No doubt all of them had needs, many of them urgent.  But this Sunday’s gospel tells us that apparently only one of them had the audacity to speak up and ask for help from the […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 25, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, October 25, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Jeremiah 31:7-9 2nd Reading: Hebrews 5:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 126:1-6 Gospel: Mark 10:46-52 Saying Yes to Jesus’ Call Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you. (Mark 10:49) Today’s readings all involve a call from God. In the first reading, the Lord makes a […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: On Scandal

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Key to seeing the Holy Father’s message this week is reading again the opening passage of Matthew 18, read in St. Peter’s Square before the general audience. Distracted by the question of “greatness before God,” the apostles ask Jesus who would be the greatest. Jesus answers the question in a kind of rebuke, saying that […]

John and James
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John and James

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It was time to make their move. Usually it was Peter who took the initiative, but now it was their turn. They cleared their throats and asked the master for the best seats in the house, the places of honor right next to the throne. Of course, in this conversation, recounted in Sunday’s gospel, John […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: How the Family Evangelizes

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What is the best social network for the New Evangelization?  Is it Facebook or Twitter?  Or perhaps Instagram and Pinterest better reflect our modern lives?  Or are you a Snapchat aficionado?  Forget it, Pope Francis just rebooted this conversation.  At his Wednesday General Audience on October 7, 2015, he revealed his social network of choice […]

St. Francis and the Synod on the Family
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St. Francis and the Synod on the Family

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The date that Pope Francis chose to begin the second phase of the Synod on the Family could hardly have been a coincidence. When the Synod opened on October 4, the Church celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. And even more dramatically, the readings for the day celebrated marriage — the marriage of […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 11, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, October 11, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Wisdom 7:7-11 2nd Reading: Hebrews 4:12-13 Responsorial: Psalm 90:12-17 Gospel: Mark 10: 17-30 Being Good and Generous Stewards of Our Money How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! (Mark 10:23) Can a rich person go […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Trip to America, According to Pope Francis

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Pope Francis’s Wednesday General Audience on September 30 focused on his apostolic visit to Cuba and the United States. It was refreshing to hear the pope’s personal reflections on his visit, rather than the opinions of the media. The pope reminded the faithful he had specifically timed his visit to coincided with the 8th World Meeting of […]

Marriage and Family
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Marriage and Family

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The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is love.” This the same point made a few years earlier by an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Gadium et Spes 24, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, says this: God is Trinity, a communion of […]

Reflections for Sunday, October 4, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, October 4, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Genesis 2:18-24 2nd Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11 Responsorial: Psalm 128:1-6 Gospel: Mark 10:2-16 Experiencing the Healing, Transforming Power of God What God has joined together, no human being must separate. (Mark 10:9) Today’s readings could not be more appropriate! This morning, Pope Francis will […]

Does Quantum Mechanics Provide an Analogy for the Trinity?
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Does Quantum Mechanics Provide an Analogy for the Trinity?

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A stumbling block in my conversion process was dealing with the concept of the Holy Trinity–as a Jew, a cornerstone of my minimal religious faith was the Sh’ma Yisrael, that God was One: Sh’ma Yisra’el YHWH Eloheinu YHWH E?ad” Hear O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one. Deut. 6:4-9 The priest who was […]

Reflections for Sunday, September 27, 2015
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Reflections for Sunday, September 27, 2015

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion Mass Readings: 1st Reading Numbers 11:25-2 2nd Reading: James 5:1-6 Responsorial: Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-14 Gospel: Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 Answering God’s Call to Reach Out to Those in Need Whoever is not against us is for us. (Mark 9:40) In the first reading, we see how […]

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