Tag Archives: Jesus

Mary and Joseph Go to a Fish Fry

It’s a Friday in Lent and two Catholics go to a local Fish Fry. We’ll call one Mary and the other Joseph. At first glance, the two don’t seem very different. Both were baptized as infants; both attended 12 years of Catholic schooling. The difference is that Mary attends Mass each weekend; Joseph attends infrequently. A recent study (see Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples, especially pp. 43-44) indicates that the most significant predictor of whether a Catholic attends Mass each weekend or not depends on how the person answers this one question: Do you believe …

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Soul Satisfaction

Luke 9:24-25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?   What are you living your life for? What is the purpose? If it is to satisfy your ego…it is to satisfy your “false self.” As I have said in the past, “ego” stands for: “Edge God Out.” The false self will never be satisfied. It subsists on a program for “happiness” set up in childhood in which every whim and …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

January 19, 2014: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel: John 1:29-34 John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from …

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Placing Ourselves in the Nativity Scene

One of the cherished Christmas gifts from my childhood is a simple, plastic nativity set. My grandparents gave it to me when I was eight or nine. It has traveled from my room when I was growing up to my college dorm and to now my office at the seminary. Each year I enjoy getting it out in Advent and arranging the figures. And each year I am confronted with two questions: Do I put the baby Jesus out before Christmas? And, do I put the three wise men out before the Epiphany? Recently, I …

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Magi or Shepherd?

If you were given your choice as to which part you would play in the pageantry of the Christmas story, would you rather be a magi (king, wise man) or a shepherd? Before you read on, answer that question for yourself and ponder why you chose what you chose. The magi and the shepherds have some things in common. Both came to believe that Jesus was the Savior. Both found him in the manger. How they got there – how they came to that conclusion and how they came to that place – was quite …

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All Shall Be Well

I saw a wonderful little movie a few weeks ago, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  It’s about a group of Brits who decide to “outsource their retirement” and move to a resort in India.  Well, the “resort” turns out to be anything but, and everyone must learn to adapt.  Suffice it to say that some succeed better than others, and those who do learn to embrace their situation find a joy and peace they could not have imagined.  But it’s not the plot or the characters that has stuck with me – it’s a line …

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The Night Jesus Went Missing

A few years ago when I was at my previous assignment in Dayton, at about 10 o’clock at night a young woman came to the rectory door. She was very upset – almost to tears. She had gone over to the chapel adjacent to the church (which is available 24 hours a day for prayer and adoration) and was distraught to find that the tabernacle was missing! My first thought was that someone had gained access to the chapel and taken the tabernacle to see what they could get from a scrap yard. One of …

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Ten Minutes That Will Change Your Life

When I was a college student, I met a young Jesuit who challenged me to pray every day for ten minutes. He said that if I did that, it would change my life. I accepted his challenge, but I thought in the back of my mind – “Ten minutes, that’s no big deal, how could those few minutes transform anyone’s life?” But I began praying anyway, making the short walk to the campus chapel each afternoon.  When I prayed, I did not pray the rosary or any other kind of devotion, but simply had a …

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Playing with Fire

There are some Gospel passages you never hear in Sunday school or religion class.  Yesterday’s passage from Luke is one of them.  We like stories about miracles and healings.  We like parables about mustard seeds and prodigal sons.  We tell kids about how Jesus was a cute little baby in a manger, about how he died and rose from the dead.  We tell them that Jesus loves them very much.  But I’ll wager we don’t share these words with our 5 year olds too often: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and …

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Christ at the Center: Home Edition

July 21, 2013: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel: Luke 10:38-42 Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of …

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