The Scandal of Closeness

We have just come through one of the two peak seasons in the Church, the Christmas season, and probably feel we are coming down the mountain into a quieter, less-intense time. In seven weeks, we will begin another ascent toward that other peak season–the Season of Easter. What always remains, throughout the entire liturgical year, peak season or not, is the closeness of ...

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Jesus’ Baptism / My Baptism – Are They So Different?

Throughout my life I have had many friends and acquaintances who have been loyal members of evangelical churches.  These people are faith filled and extremely committed to the teachings of their individual churches.  We have had many conversations over the years on the “taboo” topic of religion, and I have been blessed and enriched to learn of the faith principles that guide their ...

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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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The Holy Family

For most of my life I have associated the Feast of the Holy Family with homilies that emphasize the value of the traditional nuclear family in today’s changing world. For this reason, I approached today’s scripture passages with the assumption that I would be writing about the importance of celebrating the gift of family as ...

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See. I have come to do your will, O God

No matter how often Scripture tells us that “God’s ways” are not the ways of humanity, many of us still see our relationship with God in terms of our human social values. Each of today’s three readings reminds us how God often acts in unexpected ways.

“You, O Bethlehem… one of the little clans of Judea, from you ...

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Peace Beyond Understanding

Last spring, I received a text from a dear niece requesting prayers for a good friend who had a few months previously been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  Two weeks ago, this young lady died.  She was 23.  A last Facebook post, presumably written by her family, states: I’ve been battling cancer for over a year now, it was one mighty battle and I went further than any of ...

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Are You Woke?

Perspective is important. I recently had the experience of visiting Masada National Park in the Judaean Desert looking out over the Dead Sea. Masada is an ancient fortress built by King Herod the Great around 35 BC, and when you are standing at the top of the mountain looking down at the desert and water below, there is a sense you are really rather high in the sky.  In fact, the ...

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1st Sunday of Advent

Happy New Year everyone! Today we celebrate the beginning of a new year in our liturgical calendar. It is the beginning of a new cycle of prayers and scripture readings. We start this new year with the next four weeks preparing for the season of Christmas. This preparation time is termed the Season of Advent. What does the word “advent” mean? The word ...

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Hail the King!

The Church did not celebrate Christmas, at least not liturgically, until the 4th century. The same is true of the great feast of Pentecost. No Marian feast was celebrated by the Church until the 5th century. The martyrs, who willingly laid down their lives for the faith, were not honored with formal celebrations until the 7th century. And the Solemnity of Christ the ...

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Faith – Belief …. Any Difference?

As we head toward the end of our liturgical year, our readings focus on the “end times”.  In today’s gospel, Jesus sets the stage for what we can expect to see when the time for his second coming is upon us.  “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light.”  This, to me, sounds like utter darkness; and pretty scary too.  When we think about “the end“, ...

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