Cathy Keirstead

Faith and Doubt

Today’s Gospel according to John is the familiar story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after His death. But Thomas, who was called the Twin, was not with them at the time and doubted that this was indeed true. Hence the term “Doubting Thomas” one of few biblical references that retains instant recognition.
In “The Genesee Diary” Henri Nouwen recalled that Didymus, the name of Thomas, means, “twin” and that the Fathers of the Church had commented that “all of ...

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The Power of Words

Two phrases, one from the first reading by Sirach and the second from the Gospel reading, resonated with me to reflect on today’s readings. The first reading states, ” So a person’s speech discloses the cultivation of the mind. ”  The gospel by Luke reveals, “for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”

It made me recall being told as a child that it is not necessarily what goes into the body that causes sin, but what comes out — notably ...

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Gifts – Both Giving and Receiving

Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. As a child, I referred to this time as “Little Christmas”. I had mixed feelings about the celebration because it meant taking down the Christmas tree and putting away the decorations, etc. for another year, so it made me sad. But I was also pleased because it was ...

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Genuine Gratitude

Today’s Gospel narrative remembers Jesus’ observation and reflection upon the generosity of the little people in His own day. Jesus pointed out the example of a poor widow who contributed to the Temple’s charitable storehouse not from her excess, but from what she had to live on. Her generosity meant that she would have less to eat herself precisely in order ...

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Faith in Action

“What good is it if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?”  In these words James teaches that faith must be demonstrated by works. The basic idea is that what is the good of going to church then walking out and not ‘doing’ anything in between attendance at Mass? In the second reading, James also says, “Someone will say, you have faith and I ...

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The Most Holy Trinity


The gesture of the Sign of the Cross, an outward profession of faith, and the words  “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen” identifies Catholics worldwide. From childhood, we are reminded of the significance of the words, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Most Holy Trinity.” It is also the principle mystery ...

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The Good Shepherd

Today’s gospel on the theme of the Good Shepherd is a familiar one to us all as are the words “I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.” I’ve been told that sheep prefer to be led. You lead sheep and they will not go anywhere that someone else does not go first. They become attached to and trusting ...

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Observing Lent

The readings today mark the first Sunday of Lent. Every lent is a new beginning; sometimes beginnings are welcomed, other times half and half.  We welcome Lent as a time to make our faith fresh, a preparation for and a reinforcement of our ongoing struggles to resist the temptations we face in our lives. We know from other Lents that it’s hard to keep going, and it’s for a long time.

The ...

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Sharing Joy!

Pearl’s daughter. Mary Lou’s husband. Michael’s wife. How many times, and in how many ways, do we define ourselves by who we are? And, like John the Baptist, in today’s gospel, are there times and ways we define ourselves by who we are not? John made it clear that he was not the Christ, not Elijah, and ...

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