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From the category archives: Columns

Word Made Flesh

Jesus wants to bring healing to our lives

Lydia Cristini
May 30, 2016
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 5, 2016

As someone who is fairly well acquainted with death, stories of Jesus bringing people back to life do not sit well with me. Perhaps it is because of a rash of deaths in the lives of several friends in the last six months. Perhaps it is because I would like to see people I love, again, even though they are long dead. Perhaps it is because they remind me of old hurts in my faith and prayer life when my 21-year-old friend died of cancer, despite a year's worth of prayers from many, many faithful people across our country.

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Those forgiven much can love the deepest

Kathleen Giffin
May 30, 2016
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 12, 2016

Years ago I became friends with a man who had a deep faith. Early in our friendship, he told me how his life had changed from a self-indulgent way of living to a life with the vibrant faith that was now so evident. He had been raised a Christian, but like many of his generation had left his church as a young teenager to follow the ways of his culture and generation. As a young adult, he experienced a spiritual hunger and found himself exploring many spiritual paths, none of which brought any conviction or peace.

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In death, Cecilia showed belief in Trinity

Maria Kozakiewicz
May 16, 2016
Trinity Sunday
May 22, 2016

In an ancient, fifth-century Roman church in Trastevere lies the body of a young woman named Cecilia. Cecilia, a well-born, wealthy woman died because she would not renounce Christ. Her Roman persecutors tried to kill her discreetly, by suffocating her in her bath at home. The young woman survived and, while bearing the torture, sang. Finally, a soldier used his sword to cut her neck, but failed to kill her instantly. Her body was initially buried in the catacombs of St. Calixtus. After a few centuries, she was to be moved to the church in Trastevere.

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Live in God's kingdom by trusting Jesus

John Connelly
May 16, 2016
Body and Blood of Christ
May 29, 2016

I have been thinking lately about what it means to be powerless. If a car is powerless, it cannot move. If the power goes out in my house, I cannot use my appliances. We don't like the idea of not having any power. Money gives us personal power. Our media devices give us power. But Jesus says something amazing in the Gospel of John: "Without me, you can do nothing" (15.5). We should let that soak into the core of our being.

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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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