Article for Easter

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

June 4, 2022

  I have to admit that sometimes I get angry because I want to be angry. In certain cases, it is to control an otherwise chaotic situation, while in others, it is to distract from where my anger ought to be directed: at my own sinfulness. St. Peter tried to show righteous anger by getting…

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Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, martyrs

June 3, 2022

  Where I went to school in Oregon, there was a perfect view of Mount Hood and the Cascades. I say that, but that was only on days when it was not overcast. In Oregon, you had to believe that there were mountains behind the clouds even when you did not always see them. Knowing…

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Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

June 2, 2022

  The reading from Acts tells how St. Paul knowingly pits different factions of Judaism against the other. He sides with the Pharisees, who believe in the resurrection of the body, against the Sadducees who do not. He plays on this disunity to give himself a shot at bringing the gospel right to the halls…

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Memorial of St. Justin, martyr

June 1, 2022

  Christian morality is other-centered: to be self-forgetful, to sacrifice for ourselves, and to serve rather than be served. So it might surprise us that Paul’s tells the clergy at Miletus they must be firstly vigilant over their own lives. Service is, of course, implied. However, just as on an airplane you are told to…

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Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31, 2022

  The prophet Zephaniah uses a well-known trope: Daughter Zion. It is the holy city personified. Now, when most people personify a concept—like Lady Liberty—it is an idealized portrait. For the Hebrews, it was nothing of the sort! It was warts and all, the kind of woman who goes astray, even gets dismissed by her…

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Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 30, 2022

  When I was made pastor of two small, rural parishes, it took me a bit to learn to preach in a way that didn’t fly right over their heads. It’s a challenge to both speak plainly, while not devaluing the mysteries proclaimed. Yet, when you really can connect the dots for people they start…

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The Ascension of the Lord

May 29, 2022

  Once while I was working at The Printery House, a religious sister wrote in to complain about our greeting cards referring to “heaven above.” She quite rightly noted that Pope John Paul II had pointed out that heaven was not a place but a state of being. In other words, we will not go…

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Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 28, 2022

  “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” (Jn 16:23b) We are to ask the Father in Jesus’ name. We ask for what we need in his holy name. What’s in a name, you ask? Power! To name something is to claim it. Jesus…

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Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 27, 2022

  The Lord said to Paul in a vision, at night: Do not be afraid. Go on speaking. Do not be silent. I am with you. (see Acts 18:9) These are the words every preacher, teacher, catechist, and missionary wants to hear: encouragement and affirmation! Paul was out on a limb. He had seen a…

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Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 26, 2022

  Ascension Thursday (observed in some US dioceses, traditional day) Today is the fortieth day since Easter Sunday inclusive. After forty days of appearing to and instructing his Apostles, Christ the King ascends his throne in Heaven, as it is written, “He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing…

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Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 25, 2022

  “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” (Jn 16:12, NAB) The truth can be too much to handle sometimes. I think of the line from Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!” The truth can be a hard pill to swallow. But it’s…

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Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 24, 2022

  Torture. Humiliation. Imprisonment. “After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison….” (Acts 16:23) In the innermost cell, their feet were tied to a stake. How are they going to get out of this one? “About midnight…” St. Luke writes a gripping story. What happens? Paul and Silas are up. They’re not…

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Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 23, 2022

  Today’s Collect (opening prayer) is asking that we may “experience…the fruits,” the effects of doing all this serving and praying and trying to follow Him. That we may experience…. What does observing the paschal mysteries feel like? We are, after all, both body and spirit. Catholics are known for involving all the senses in…

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 22, 2022

  Proclaim! (from Isaiah 48:20) Celebrate! (from the Collect) This is how the Sixth Sunday of Easter begins. We are still basking in the rays of the Risen Lord. However, this is the last week before he leaves us for the Father. But he will not leave us orphans; he will send the Advocate, the…

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Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 21, 2022

  “If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” In today’s Gospel, we are given what looks like, at first glance, a grim forecast for the life of a…

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Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 20, 2022

  In our first reading, we see the compassion and concern of the Apostles for the people of God. When some people went out and taught without the mandate of the Apostles, upsetting the followers of Christ in the area with their teachings, the Apostles responded by choosing leaders to help them to come to…

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Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 19, 2022

  In today’s first reading from the Act of the Apostles, we see the question arise; what is it that saves us? Peter says about the Gentiles, who were not observing the law, “God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction…

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Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 18, 2022

  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit.” In today’s Gospel, we come to understand that we are not isolated in our journey of faith. No, we have been grafted into the true vine that is Christ. Through…

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Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 17, 2022

  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” This peace that Jesus leaves with us is more than the peace of the world for it is the peace of Christ that dwells within our hearts and therefore cannot be taken from…

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Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 16, 2022

  In today’s Gospel, we see a continuation of the themes from Sunday. Jesus tells us, “whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.” I am intrigued by the fact that he first says whoever “has” my commandments, not just whoever “knows” them. We hear in the book of Hebrews,…

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 15, 2022

  Today’s Gospel picks up just as Judas leaves to betray Jesus, for Satan had entered him. Jesus’ response to this betrayal is profound for he does not expose Judas but has compassion for the rest of the disciples. He tells them that this betrayal, although they do not yet know what is about to…

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Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 14, 2022

  So much about the post-Resurrection Christian community has been lost to history except for those snapshots of situations and responses captured in the collective memory of the early Church. How did the people closest to Jesus deal with the ongoing shock of his death and resurrection? How did they handle their practical questions about…

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Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 13, 2022

  It only takes a few minutes of watching the news to be confronted with some form of bad news or a modern version of someone crying “wolf.” One can wonder if good news is simply rarer these days, or is this simply the proof of the adage in journalism that says, “bad news sells.”…

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Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 12, 2022

  Most of us have heard the expression, “it’s the little things that count.” How often does this prove to be the case, when those extra little efforts of courtesy, kindness, and sensitivity make a big difference for someone going through difficult times? Small acts of kindness speak volumes about what is going on in…

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 11, 2022

  Have you ever wondered how the Good News of the Risen Christ might have spread around the world if modern news media were available? That might sound like useless speculation, but there might be some lessons to be learned. Today’s “breaking news” means we have instant access to whatever is happening. But it’s through…

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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 10, 2022

  Sometimes reflecting on the daily liturgical readings reminds us of the weather. Today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles has all the warmth and enthusiasm of a spring day that is so characteristic of this Easter season. It’s a time for new growth and flowers. How different is the weather in the…

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Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

May 9, 2022

  Gates are wonderful things. As kids, we can probably remember swinging on gates, until an adult came along and spoiled all the fun. Gates are not play things. Jesus certainly understood the essential role of gates. The gatekeeper was responsible to close the gate securely to keep various flocks of livestock safe inside the…

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

May 8, 2022

  If there is one demand that permeates so much of our thought and gut feelings these days, perhaps it’s this phrase: “let’s get real!” If living in a fantasy world of literature and entertainment was the popular “great escape” for people in years past, it seems that “reality shows” (even if carefully edited!) and…

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Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

May 7, 2022

  The Exultet ends by declaring Christ is “the one Morning star who never sets, who, come back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns forever and ever.” Exultet, lines 60-62 This week ends with more snapshots from Jesus’ public ministry and the ministry of the Early Church.…

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Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

May 5, 2022

  “This is the night that even now, throughout the World, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace.” Exultet, lines 28-29 To be a Christian believer means to be set apart. Consecrated entirely for the Lord. We find this in today’s reading from Acts. Philip…

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Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

May 4, 2022

  “These then are the feasts of Passover, in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb, whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers…(by which) once you led our Forebears, Israel’s children from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.” Exultet, lines 23-24 Today we have a difficult reading…

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Feast of Sts. Philip and James, Apostles

May 3, 2022

  “It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heart… to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, His only begotten, Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the Eternal Father and, pouring out his own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of…

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Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

May 2, 2022

  “Rejoice, let Mother Church rejoice, arrayed with the lightning of his glory,..filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.” Exultet, lines 6-7 St. Stephen gives his witness in the Sanhedrin. Since no one could defeat him in debate his rivals used lies to attack him. He held to his confidence in Christ as he…

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Third Sunday of Easter

May 1, 2022

  Forward: Easter is the most festive season of the Liturgical Year. It is a time of both joy and remembrance. It can easily be a time to lose focus as Spring begins things get busy. Just as we are meant to keep a penitential attitude throughout Lent, we are meant to keep a celebratory…

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Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

April 30, 2022

  I always say that Saturdays are reserved for Our Lady. Tradition has it, that “The glorious Virgin Mary who remained unshaken in faith all day Saturday after the death of her Divine Son.” More here. Our Lady knew what was to happen; she knew that Jesus would rise on the third day! Tradition also…

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

April 29, 2022

  Today we hear the miraculous story of the loaves and the fish. They had very little for the crowd, but Jesus’s disciples, being obedient to him, had the crowd recline—all 5,000 of them. Jesus gave thanks and had disciples pick up what was left over—12 wicker baskets full! Today is the feast day of…

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Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

April 28, 2022

  Today is the optional memorial of St. Louis de Montfort, a great apostle of Our Lady! He said “Take advantage of little sufferings even more than of great ones. God considers not so much what we suffer as how we suffer… Turn everything to profit.” In our first reading, the apostles knew how to…

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Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

April 27, 2022

  Today’s responsorial psalm verse stuck out to me the most today. “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.” I am not only thinking of those who are poor in material possessions but poor in spirit. They could be the wealthiest people on the planet, but in spirit, they possess nothing. It makes me…

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Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

April 26, 2022

  In our Alleluia verse today, we hear, “The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” At his Passion, Christ was lifted on the cross to draw the whole world to himself. At Mass, when the priest elevates the host, Christ present in the…

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Feast of St. Mark, evangelist

April 25, 2022

  On this Feast of St. Mark, we hear in our first reading today, “Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your…

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