Articles for Lent

Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

October 26, 2020

  As a former pastor of two rural parishes, I was hesitant to talk too much about working on Sundays. Sometimes it just meant the livelihood of farmers if it was the only dry day to cut hay or it was calving season in spring. However, there were plenty who made it known that the…

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 25, 2020

  Many find the Hebrew Scriptures problematic because of the violence – specifically eradicating peoples in order for the Israelites to take possession of the Promised Land. For all of the violence, there is certainly as much call for the protection of the alien, the stranger, and many others of God’s little ones whom the…

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Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

October 24, 2020

  Today is Saturday! This is one of my favorite days of the week — not just because it is MIZZOU football season, but because all year round we celebrate Our Blessed Mother on Saturdays if there isn’t a memorial of any particular saint. To end this week I have a quote from St. Maximilian…

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Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

October 23, 2020

  My great grandfather was a judge in Kansas City, Missouri. I remember reading in his obituary a couple of years ago that on the bench, Judge Joe McQueen would tell those who were being under trial “why don’t you plead guilty so your sentence would be less troublesome and light.” But if people didn’t…

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Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

October 22, 2020

  Yesterday I talked about the responsorial psalm, which said “You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation,” and about how we receive from this spring, the Lord’s strength, courage, and most importantly his love and joy. Today the Lord says to us in the Gospel, “I have come to set the earth…

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Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

October 21, 2020

  I must admit that this Gospel passage frightens me a little when Jesus says, “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely, and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of…

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Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary

October 20, 2020

  “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.” When I read this passage of St. Paul to the Ephesians, I am…

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Memorial of Sts John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

October 19, 2020

  In our Gospel passage today, we read about the rich man who had a bountiful harvest and tore down his barns to build larger ones, to store his harvest and other goods. We should feel very blessed to know that the barns of heaven are very large! What does this mean you might ask?…

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Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 18, 2020

  I remember on several occasions in school, both when I was younger and more recently in seminary, that I wasn’t smart enough and that I couldn’t accomplish a task that was ahead of me. As I have mentioned in a previous reflection, having ADHD has been my cross to carry since I was little.…

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Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr

October 17, 2020

  The Letter to the Ephesians introduces today a body-image, in order to help us understand the central place which the Church occupies in the History of Salvation. St. Paul wishes to highlight, in a graphic way, the bond that brings together, into one relationship, Christ the Redeemer and all his deemed people. We know…

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Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 16, 2020

  We have, as the first reading today, a few lines from Chapter I of St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, wherein he says: “In [Christ] we also were chosen, we were destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). At…

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Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

October 15, 2020

A person who penetrated deep into the Mystery of Christ was St. Teresa of Jesus, also known as Teresa of Avila. Born in 1515, she lived to the age of 67 – which, in the sixteenth century, was a pretty full life. She entered a house of the Carmelite Order when she was twenty, and,…

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Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 14, 2020

  “Woe to you Pharisees! … and the very same to you, Scribes of the law!” Reproaches such as these – and with the same ominous tone as we heard in the Gospel yesterday – are continued in Luke’s firsthand account today. Judging solely by external standards, the lives of the Pharisees could be judged…

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Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 13, 2020

  The subject of tour Gospel today is ritual cleansing. One day, Jesus exclaimed loud enough to be heard: “You Pharisees! You are so diligent about cleansing the outside, but on the inside, you are full of rapaciousness! Did he who made the outside not make the inside as well?” Jesus was addressing that Pharisee…

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Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 12, 2020

  Every generation seeks a sign that God is present, and every generation receives the same recurring sign: who is Jesus Christ, our Savior, who was crucified and rose again from the dead. By his own testimony, Jesus is a sign greater than the prophet Jonah. We can understand this sign as not only his…

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Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 11, 2020

  As you reflect on the Gospel reading for this Sunday in the 28th week, you may find yourself a bit puzzled. And if puzzled, it means that you are thinking! Why does the king dismiss a guest for not being dressed properly when, just a few verses earlier, he had ordered the servants to…

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Saturday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

October 10, 2020

  This one is for my mother. She asked me if I would write one that was more…personal—one that drew upon my life’s experience. Out of love for her, I suppose I’ll try. This past week I’ve tried enough to make an exposé of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians or explain the meaning of…

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Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

October 9, 2020

  In today’s passage from Galatians, Paul is presenting an intricate thread of evidence from scripture (the Old Testament) to prove that justification (being accepted by God) comes through faith and not by observing the Law of Moses. The Galatians were seeking to be justified (to be accepted by God) by observing certain precepts of…

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Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

October 8, 2020

  Let’s pick up the Church’s lectio continua (continuous reading) of Galatians. Today’s passage, scholars say, is the nutshell of Paul’s argument against the addition of the Mosaic Law to the Gospel of the Crucified Christ. It consists of five rhetorical questions—the first two cover the basic point—with an attention grabber at the beginning: “O…

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Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7, 2020

  I admit that I do not pray the Rosary regularly. I would like to, especially considering all the praise and devotion it receives. As a monk, though, I feel I already have a devotion to something like the Holy Rosary, namely, the recitation of the Divine Office. In fact, it is said that the…

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Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

October 6, 2020

  In the monastic world, today is the Memorial of St. Bruno, who died on this day, October 6th, in the year of our Lord 1101. He is the founder of the Carthusian Order, a monastic order, popularly known for its austere way of life. Yet, the austerity is only a means to an end,…

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Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

October 5, 2020

  This week the Church begins a lectio continua, that is, a continuous reading through St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians. A few verses and passages are left out, but this practice of carrying on a liturgical reading of the Scriptures from day to day is actually something that was done in the early church…

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Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 4, 2020

  Today Jesus tells another parable. But what is a parable? Ever wondered? If you consider it, there are many in the Gospels. Some have counted over seventy. They are Jesus’ main mode of preaching. In fact, Scripture says he spoke to the crowds “only in parables.” (Mt 13:34) I have gotten a sense of…

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Saturday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

October 3, 2020

  The epic saga of Job comes to an end today. Job goes onto repent of his questioning of God. He says that he knows God can do all things. Thus, Job is restored by the Lord and receives double the number of all the livestock and resources he lost before. The Book of Job…

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Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

October 2, 2020

  This day we celebrate our “little friends”, our Guardian Angels. We often don’t think about them, but we are surrounded by angels who protect us. God, in His eternal wisdom and great love, grants that every person has an angel assigned to protect them and guard them. Some may find this idea to be…

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Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

October 1, 2020

  Here’s to St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Oh, what an amazing Saint! This Saint came to the Carmelite convent in Lisieux at the age of 15. She, without meaning to set a fire, actually ended up setting a fire to the World. She grew to maturity in the community life in the cloister…

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Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

September 30, 2020

  “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God” (LK 9:62). I’ve thought over these words many times in my life. I heard this Gospel for the first time when I was in Catholic elementary school. It stuck out to…

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Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels

September 29, 2020

  This day is celebrated as a Solemnity at Conception Abbey because the three Archangels are our main patrons after the Virgin Mary. There is an old title for the Feast of the Archangels called Michaelmas, or St. Michael’s Mass. In the Fifth Century, a Basilica was dedicated to St. Michael in Rome on September…

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Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

September 28, 2020

  What a contrast we see between today’s two readings. Job’s character and faith are questioned by the Devil. God permits Job to lose most of his family and his possessions. Yet Job refuses to curse the Lord. “We accept good things from the Lord. Should we not accept evil?” The disciples, on the other…

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Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 27, 2020

  Certain Sundays throughout the liturgical year offer different approaches to a recurring theme. Today’s readings present the theme of mercy for a repentant sinner. Those who are just and turn to wickedness will find a just recompense for their betrayal of justice. It’s not the Lord’s way that is unfair. It is the way…

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Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

September 26, 2020

  Vanity of Vanities – the theme recurs. Qoheleth sets out the joys of youth, contrasted with the inevitable weakness that comes with age. The many references in this passage pose somewhat poetic images to represent the advancing of years. I’ll leave it to your own reflection to draw out those references. Because man goes…

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Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

September 25, 2020

  Every time I encounter these lines from Ecclesiastes, I cannot help but hear the melody of a pop song of the 1960s. Younger readers may not know it: “Turn, Turn, Turn,” by the Byrds. There is an appointed time for everything under the sun. That’s very different than saying there is time for everything.…

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Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

September 24, 2020

  Vanity of vanity, all is vanity and a chasing after wind :: the refrain uttered numerous times in the book of Ecclesiastes :: from the mouth of the teacher, Quoheleth. Whenever we hear the opening lines of the book of Ecclesiastes, with its solemn tone – vanity of vanities – we cannot help but…

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Memorial of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

September 23, 2020

  “They set out and went on their way, traveling from village to village, spreading the good news, and curing diseases.” Ready or not, we might say, Jesus was sending them out to spread the Good News. Jesus sent them out with little training (by modern standards in ministry), and the instructions he gave were…

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Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

September 22, 2020

  Where is wisdom to be found? What is wisdom? The dictionary defines it as accumulated philosophic or scientific learning or knowledge; insight; good sense; sound judgment. It is something acquired over time. It is the good judgment that flows from reflection. The wisdom we seek leads us closer to God. It is an insight…

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Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

September 21, 2020

  “I plead with you… live a life worthy of the calling you have re¬ceived.” These are the words of Paul. The words of John Chrysostom, whose feast we celebrated last week, tell us “I do not think it possible for a person to be saved who has never done anything for the salvation of…

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Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 20, 2020

  There’s a saying that goes something like this: “the ocean of God’s love is bigger than a thimble of the human mind.” Isaiah tells us that God’s “thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” In today’s parable, the vineyard owner proves to be very generous to his workers. Even to…

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Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

September 19, 2020

  1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49; Lk 8:4-15 “As for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” These words, coming at the end of our Gospel today, give us some understanding of…

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Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

September 18, 2020

1 Cor 15:12-20 + Lk 8:1-3 From our Gospel today, I suggest a thought from the very last line: “who provided for them out of their resources.” This undoubtedly refers to their material resources. However, I suggest we think about another resource place – the human heart. The catechism [#2563] describes the heart as the…

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Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

September 17, 2020

  1 Cor 15:1-11 + Lk 7:36-50 Hidden in our Gospel today is a beautiful little lesson in humility. It goes like this: the passage usually rendered, “her many sins are forgiven her because she has shown such great love,” is more accurately to be rendered, as we read in today’s text: “her many sins…

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