Columns

From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

Family's struggle a reminder of call to hope

Kathleen Giffin
May 2, 2016
Ascension
May 8, 2016

These last days I have spent a lot of my time thinking about and praying for a young family in our parish who are in great difficulty and uncertainty. Two weeks ago the father of two young children was in an accident which has resulted in a coma that is expected to continue for some time. While many signs point to a good recovery, there is also uncertainty and suffering, especially for his wife as she stays with him, day after day, praying for his healing.

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Love is the universal language of Pentecost

Brett Fawcett
May 2, 2016
Pentecost
May 15, 2016

Pentecost is an important and special time for me. I was raised in the Pentecostal Church, and my parents are both ordained Pentecostal ministers. On top of that, I received the sacrament of Confirmation on Pentecost Sunday. I remember being fascinated to discover that there were charismatic Catholics - people who prayed and worshipped the way that I was used to Evangelicals praying and worshipping, but who also loved Our Lady and the Eucharist.

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God will meet us in the present moment

John Connelly
April 18, 2016
Fifth Sunday of Easter
April 24, 2016

The scriptures constantly point us to life's spiritual dimension. This week's Second Reading from Revelation says, "See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them. "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more for the first things have passed away. And the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.'"

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Following rules can bring life . . . or death

Lydia Cristini
April 18, 2016
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 1, 2016

I have a friend who often gets on my case about all the "rules" of Catholicism: the ins and outs, the loopholes, the technicalities. For whatever reason, I know about a lot of these "rules," and my first reaction is almost always to defend them. They all come from somewhere; there's a reason for all of them. There's a reason we fast an hour before Communion; and what's wrong with knowing that if we have a good reason, we can ask for a dispensation from that fast from a priest? Nothing. There's nothing wrong with knowing that.

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Jesus returns to stir disciples' first love

Brett Fawcett
April 4, 2016
Third Sunday in Easter
April 10, 2016

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection and performs a familiar miracle: he asks them (commands them really, in that gentle way of inviting us to obey him that Jesus does) to throw their fishing nets back into the sea. Of course, once again, the nets fill up with fish, so many that they can't even pull the nets back into their boat. It's just like when Jesus first called his disciples and told them he would make them fishers of men.

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Martyrs' robes washed in blood of the Lamb

Maria Kozakiewicz
April 4, 2016
Fourth Sunday in Easter
April 17, 2016

"These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Who are those "who have survived the time of great distress?" My first thoughts run towards persecuted Christians, especially those of our times. We read about them in the Christian press, rarely in the mass media. Their numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. Some names we know; others are known to God alone.

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Fresh eyes, ears aid in renewal of faith

Lydia Cristini
March 21, 2016
Resurrection of the Lord
March 27, 2016

The resurrection: the most important event in human history. While this is true, it is also true that Christians talk about the resurrection a lot. We talk about it so much, in fact, that for some people, some of the time, it becomes ordinary or routine. "For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures." Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Receiving God's mercy, we pass it to others

Kathleen Giffin
March 21, 2016
Divine Mercy Sunday
April 3, 2016

The Second Sunday of Easter is a special day for all Catholics; in this Jubilee Year of Mercy we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. We have not long had this feast on our Church calendar; in 2000, our most recent year of jubilee, Pope John Paul II proclaimed this to be Divine Mercy Sunday. This jubilee year, it carries a greater significance for we celebrate it in the midst of a year set apart for us to reflect deeply on God's call to mercy and for us to become signs of mercy to the world.

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Feeling of being sinless can surge up within

Maria Kozakiewicz
March 7, 2016
Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 13, 2016

Today's Gospel enriches us with one of the best known - and most misused - messages of Christianity: "Do not judge others. You are not sinless yourself." I have had it thrown in my face in countless discussions on hot moral topics. I must not speak against euthanasia or those who promote it because I am throwing stones at them. I must not speak against abortion and abortion providers because that means I judge them and "Christianity forbids judging." Jesus' words "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" are used as a gag, even by well-meaning people and devout churchgoers.

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Meditate on your death in light of the cross

John Connelly
March 7, 2016
Palm Sunday
March 20, 2016

A great king does not ordinarily ride on the back of a common donkey. So the image of Jesus coming into Jerusalem in this way should cause us to reflect and pray. Jesus is a different kind of king. He is a king who comes with the most profound humility imaginable. He is a king who comes to suffers with us. He is the King of Mercy riding on a donkey into the lives of all who receive him. When I lived on a small farm in Radway, we had a donkey in the yard who would just stand there not doing much. I would go to the fence and talk to him, but he was stubbornly unimpressed and usually would not move.

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