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From the category archives: Word Made Flesh

Word Made Flesh

Peter overcame revulsion to pagan Rome

Maria Kozakiewicz

June 23, 2014
Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul
June 29, 2014

When you walk the Via Appia, hoping not to twist an ankle on the large, flat stones of this ancient road, it is hard not to think about St. Peter. His sandals must have trod the same stones, his eyes seen the same or similar sights. Both sides of this ancient road were lined with tombs at that time, the more ancient ones closer to the city gates. The huge cylindrical mausoleum of the wealthy aristocratic woman Caecilla Metella must have still gleamed with marble decorations, reliefs of once-sacrificed bulls' heads, and heavy swags of fruit and leaves.

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Root out every source of life in the flesh

Kathleen Giffin

June 23, 2014
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 6, 2014

The last few years I have had a "growing" problem in my garden. I have a larger than usual lot in town, with more flowerbeds than I actually have time to look after properly. There are several beds of perennials further away from the house, on the edge of the property, that don't get the same level of attention as the ones next to the house. The result is that whatever weed issue those beds have tend to get more entrenched every year.

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You become whatever you contemplate

John Connelly

June 9, 2014
Trinity Sunday
June 15, 2014

There is a simple law that governs all human existence. It is a reality that we should think about and ponder daily. St. Augustine stated it this way: "Whatever we contemplate, we become." When we contemplate something, we take it inside us. It becomes part of us and has a profound effect on who we are. The word "contemplate" means to gaze upon something, to allow something to occupy our mind and heart.

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Those who believe in Jesus have eternal life

Ralph Himsl

June 9, 2014
Corpus Christi
June 22, 2014

Today's Gospel Reading from John tells of a time of intense activity on the part of Jesus. His curing of the sick, acts of compassion and mercy in themselves, also offered testimony of a person possessed of remarkable powers. As John puts it, in the verses preceding today's reading, "A great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick." Jesus recognized a need of the crowd and we have the occasion of the feeding of the 5,000 – another convincing sign.

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Rome offers reminders of deepest truths

Maria Kozakiewicz

May 26, 2014
Ascension of the Lord
June 1, 2014

Rome in May smells of roses, flowering vines and jasmine. Roof and balcony gardens overflow with greenery. Oranges shine through thick, dark leaves of trees. Streets of this huge, ancient city resound with noise that dies gradually well past midnight and for two hours only. Rome of the 21st century is constantly on the go, very much like New York, Toronto or any other leading metropolis. What differentiates it, however, from the secular, fast-paced world elsewhere is the visible and tangible presence of Christian faith. Even an atheist cannot avoid this experience. Faith is present in the tolling of 600 church bells every Sunday morning, the habits of nuns and brothers on streets, small shrines of Mary on walls of buildings.

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Suffering is a sign that God is still at work

Kathleen Giffin

May 26, 2014
Pentecost
June 8, 2014

The feast of Pentecost used to carry different significance for me than it does now. Pentecost was the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that expressed the excitement and hope I experienced in my life of faith. The Holy Spirit was the one who came in power, who transformed from uncertainty and bondage to freedom and mission. Life was easy, evidence of God's love abounded as the Spirit opened my eyes and heart to the ways of the Father. Pentecost reminds me of that time in my life, a time which I know many others have also experienced.

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The Lord's promise: 'I make all things new'

John Connelly

May 12, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 18, 2014

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus says, "Behold, I make all things new" (21.5). We should all take comfort in these life-giving words. Jesus takes the old and, through his divine and saving power, makes it new. Yesterday, I was present in the hospital as my father Pat Connelly passed away. It was a dramatic reminder of the need for the saving power and presence of God. As I reflect on Dad's death, I am amazed by how short this life really is.

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Philip shares his faith in dramatic manner

Ralph Himsl

May 12, 2014
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 25, 2014

Almost always I accept the selection of the readings for the Mass without question. The liturgists have a good reason for their choice, I tell myself. But today, while reflecting on the readings for May 25, a question arose: just what guides the choice for the selections for a Sunday, anyway? Not expecting an answer, the mere posing of the question can soothe the restless mind. But should any stirring of curiosity linger, an impertinent response can pop up, "Maybe the Holy Spirit chose them."

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Hope found in the Word, breaking of Bread

Maria Kozakiewicz

April 28, 2014
Third Sunday of Easter
May 4, 2014

Two disciples of Jesus walk away from Jerusalem, sad and disappointed. Their hopes of rebirth of the great kingdom of Israel have been dashed. The great prophet, "mighty in deed and word before God and all the people," has been killed. Jesus walks beside the disciples unrecognized and, at first, just listens to their words, their selfish complaints. They do not pity the Crucified, they pity themselves. "But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel." They are egocentric, like all of us.

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Jesus 'herds' us with his gentle voice

Kathleen Giffin

April 28, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 11, 2014

One of the things I have long appreciated in Roman Catholicism is our valuing of human life in all its dimensions. I'm not referencing "respect for life" but rather the stance that looks out upon all that it is to be human, accepting and embracing and declaring it to be good. We value culture, art, music. We value our bodies, we enjoy the feast with good wine, and we value the simple loaf of bread, fresh baked. Our natural human lives, lived in nature, connected with the seasons and patterns of growth and decay is the context in which we live, and it is a way that God powerfully speaks to us.

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