Article for Easter

Pentecost Sunday

May 23, 2021

  Pentecost is regarded as the “Birthday of the Church.” Gathered in one place together, the Holy Spirit appeared to the disciples as “tongues of fire,” which rested on each of them. The Spirit first enabled them to communicate effectively the Gospel message without language being a barrier: “They were all filled with the Holy…

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Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 22, 2021

  Only Bear Witness Today, Paul is finally in Rome. A chain of events took place to get him here and bear witness to Jesus. Paul has certainly had God’s guiding hand. But amid the number of speeches, imprisonments, twists and turns, it’s easy to get lost in the story. We need a map. I…

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Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 21, 2021

  To Rome In Jerusalem, Paul had defended himself before the Sanhedrin, saying, “I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 23:6) He said this on purpose, knowing that it would cause a division and uproar. Smart move, as he meant to stay in the custody of Roman guards and…

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Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 20, 2021

  The Lord’s Will Be Done We arrived in Jerusalem a few days ago. Some time has passed since we left Miletus and the Ephesian presbyters. We landed at Tyre and stayed with some disciples, who “kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to embark for Jerusalem.” (Acts 21:4) We continued our journey, though, and…

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Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 19, 2021

  What Do We Do? Today, Paul is concluding his final farewell to the Ephesian presbyters, who met up with him here in Miletus. Like a good shepherd himself, Paul leaves them with parting words that are for their good and for the good of all God’s holy church, over which they have been appointed.…

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Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 18, 2021

Where Are We Going? So, I was telling you the story of how we got to Ephesus. Well, today, we are in Miletus, just thirty miles south of Ephesus. But we got here after a long journey around the Aegean Sea. And we won’t be here for long. Paul is heading for Jerusalem. “Compelled by…

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Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 17, 2021

Where Are We? This week, we conclude our journey through the Acts of the Apostles. Literally, throughout Easter, we have worked our way through this Spirit-driven testament of the early church. So, where are we now? Today, we are in Ephesus, a city and port on the western coast of Asia Minor. Sounds nice. But…

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Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

May 16, 2021

Where is Jesus? In these last days of the Easter season, the Church celebrates the Ascension of the Lord. After all his pain and suffering on the Cross, the Lord Jesus ascends to his Throne to rule over heaven and earth. So, where is Jesus? He is in heaven. But how did he get there?…

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Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 15, 2021

  The first reading continues our progress through the Acts of the Apostles. In these last verses of chapter 18, three new individuals are mentioned. They are the somewhat mysterious Apollos and the couple Priscilla and Aquila. Apollos is Jewish, but he was born in Alexandria, Egypt. This city was a lot like Athens, with…

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Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle

May 14, 2021

  On this Friday of the sixth week of the Easter Season, we make a slight break in our routine, by celebrating the Feast of St. Matthias. He is another interesting individual in the life of the early Christians. In the very first chapter of Acts, the early Christians are gathering in the Upper Room.…

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Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 13, 2021

  We continue the readings from the Acts of the Apostles. St Paul left the cultured city of Athens, with its well-educated audience, and proceeded to the seaport of Corinth, notorious as a rough but busy town. As a missionary apostle, Paul is developing a pattern. When he enters a city, he first seeks out…

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Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 12, 2021

We continue our readings from the Acts of the Apostles. We are now in the 17th chapter. St. Paul had proceeded further into Europe. He arrives in Athens, the leading city in the country of Greece. We can picture St. Paul walking through the streets of this famous city, with its beautiful buildings, many magnificent…

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Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

May 11, 2021

  The first reading for today’s Mass is taken from chapter 16 of the Acts of the Apostles. The early Christians are at another critical turning point. Up to now, the Gospel had been preached only in Asia. But the Holy Spirit invites Paul and Silas to enter Europe. They are welcomed in Philippi but…

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Anniversary of Basilica Dedication

May 10, 2021

  Today is a special day at Conception Abbey. We celebrate a significant solemnity. It is the anniversary of the dedication of our church, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. On May 10, 1891, Bishop John Hogan traveled to Conception to dedicate the nearly finished new church. Abbot Frown and the early monks had decided…

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 9, 2021

  During these Sundays after Easter, the readings at Mass often describe the early days of Christianity. We hear how those first disciples of Jesus struggled to understand what it meant that he had been raised from the dead. As one reads the first chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, one gets a picture…

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Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 8, 2021

  Today Jesus tells His disciples, “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” We should have confidence because Jesus also says in Matthew’s gospel “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for…

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Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 7, 2021

  Today’s Gospel message means so much to me that I even had it on my solemn profession souvenir card. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Of course, the one person who I can think of is St. Maximilian Kolbe but also so many others. For…

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Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 6, 2021

  Today in the Gospel, the Lord Jesus says “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” How do we remain in his love? I…

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Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 5, 2021

  In today’s responsorial psalm, we hear “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” I love to research the Titanic, and there were a couple of priests who died on board. One is Fr. Thomas Byles who is also depicted in James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic” on the stern of the ship,…

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Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 4, 2021

  I remember one day, a couple of months ago, after checking in the gifts we received from our donors I was getting ready to put Abbot Benedict’s stationery paper into our copier so he could sign them. The first batch came out of the printer and they were accidentally printed on stationery that said…

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Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles

May 3, 2021

  In the first reading today, St. Paul quotes one of my favorite verses and something that I have been pondering within my own heart, “[After Jesus had been raised from the dead and visited all the disciples] Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.” What St. Paul is saying…

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 2, 2021

  “Jesus said to his disciples ‘whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit because without me you can do nothing.’” This is one of my favorite passages in scripture because it has a missionary calling to it. St. John the Baptist says, “I must decrease, so that he may increase…

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Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 1, 2021

  We all like to have clear directions. When Paul and Barnabas were rejected by their first Jewish audiences they recalled the words of Jesus: “I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.” This became their marching orders, and they…

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Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

April 30, 2021

  The late Paul Harvey, a popular radio newscaster, would often add a final surprising piece of information to his program. He would then end by saying: “And there you have the rest of the story.” This saying comes to mind in reflecting on our liturgical readings today. In the first reading, St. Paul is…

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Memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

April 29, 2021

  Today is the feast of St. Catherine of Sienna, 1347-1880. Hers was one of those voices from the Middle Ages which continues to bring wisdom and virtue to our modern times. She was declared a doctor of the Church in 1970. She became a Dominican tertiary and was a mystic known for her writings…

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

April 28, 2021

  Have you ever thought about the importance of passports? They provide your basic personal identification but also the origin of the passport and a record of the countries you’ve visited. The passport speaks for you in a foreign land. Imagine if there were passports in the time in the time of the early Church.…

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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

April 27, 2021

  As we approach the two liturgical readings for today it feels like two seasons of the year, namely spring and winter. Spring speaks of new life and color with great hopes for the future, while winter sends a very different message of shutting down and the final conclusions for the long haul. The first…

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Monday of the Fourth Week of Easte

April 26, 2021

  Growing up as a kid on an Iowa farm, we always hated hearing those dreaded words: “The cows are out!” It meant the cows and calves found a break in a fence or an open gate, and we had to find them all and then get them back in. Raising livestock can be a…

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

April 25, 2021

  Have you ever wondered what it was like for St. Peter (or any of the apostles) to get up in front of a crowd and address them for the first time? Remember they were not trained as public speakers! They were used to catching fish with nets, not fishing with words! We could imagine…

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Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

April 24, 2021

To whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that you are the holy one of God. Some who were with him were puzzled by everything they were hearing from Jesus. “Whoever eats the flesh of the Son of Man and drinks His blood…

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Friday of the Third Week of Easter

April 23, 2021

  Today we hear the dramatic story of the Conversion of St. Paul. Paul was lucky. His conversion came quickly in a dramatic fashion leaving him with few doubts as to what he should do. It would have been hard for him to miss what the Lord Jesus was trying to tell him. “Why are…

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Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

April 22, 2021

  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; I will raise him up on the last day.” We hear similar words frequently in the Scripture and especially during Lent and at Easter time. A traditional Lenten antiphon: Draw near O Lord and show us your mercy. At the…

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Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

April 21, 2021

  Reading today’s Gospel passage reminds us of other words of Jesus and of prophets of old. In short, Jesus is saying that He is the one who satisfies all their longings. “That everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”…

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Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

April 20, 2021

  Stephen’s bold witness continues today. He had worked signs and wonders of his own which attracted the crowds, but they could not bring themselves to believe or to understand his words. He had explained the unfolding of God’s plan, identifying Jesus as the Righteous One, the awaited Messiah. When Stephen concluded his strong sermon…

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Monday of the Third Week of Easter

April 19, 2021

  Today we encounter Stephen and his bold presentation. Totally taken up with the way of the Lord and filled with grace, Stephen could not contain himself. He preached and worked wonders in the name of Jesus. His hearers only heard what seemed to be the condemnation of their old way. He spoke against their…

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Third Sunday of Easter

April 18, 2021

50 Days of Joy? Some years ago, I saw an article with a question as its title – “50 days of Joy?” It talked about Easter and our experience of it. The writer stated the view that ”A whole season of joy seemed excessive.” The author confessed that he was more comfortable, and more at…

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Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

April 17, 2021

  A great deal can be said about work and labor in life. Work is indeed essential to living a good life and giving of our best selves to the World. There is one caveat to working. It’s not everything. We work to live. We don’t live to work. How often you see people who…

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Friday of the Second Week of Easter

April 16, 2021

  This story from Acts is always an inspiration to me. Gamaliel declares that if the Apostles’ endeavor is from God, it will succeed. If it was simply a human endeavor, it would fail. This is a great reminder that whatever we do God is the one who has the final say. God decides what…

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Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

April 15, 2021

The saga continues in Acts. The chief priests and Temple authorities continue to pressure the Apostles. They hoped to intimidate them into silence. St. Peter wouldn’t be denied. He declared that they must “obey God” rather than any human authority. This angered those in the Temple. The Apostles persevered in telling the truth nonetheless. In…

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Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

April 14, 2021

  If you ever needed a “get out of jail free card,” look no further than today’s first reading. The Apostles were apprehended and thrown into the public jail at the order of the high priest and Temple authorities. Prison life is hard today. I can only imagine how bad prisons were in the time…

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