January 18, 2020

I have previously written about the Lord’s Baptism and posted it elsewhere with the title, “Baptism Made Jesus Dirty.” Last Sunday, January 12, was the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, with the Gospel reading taken from Matthew. This Sunday, January 19, the Gospel reading from John also presents the Lord’s Baptism. I’ll speak here below about the third “epiphany.”   In less than one hundred eighty years after the resurrection of Christ, there was already a yearly festival… Read more

January 8, 2020

Hosanna in the highest! Storm into our hearts! Mark 6:44-52 After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they… Read more

January 6, 2020

Ongoing conversion is one of the vows of Benedictine monks, but all persons who are mindful in following Christ also seek their own ongoing conversion. When Christ left the anonymity of Nazareth to start preaching, he began with a call to repentance, conversion, metanoia, a change of mind. The Gospel reading at Mass for today, the Monday after Epiphany, is Matthew 4:12-17,23-25. It tells us: Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”… Read more

January 5, 2020

Epiphany means great revealing, great show or great showing.   The Gospel reading at Mass on the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord is Matthew 2:1-12.   Next Sunday is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the official last day of the Church’s liturgical Christmas season. Today, the solemnity of Epiphany Sunday, the weekdays after it, and the following Sunday of the Lord’s Baptism are all Epiphany days within the season of Christmas. The word “Epiphany” means… Read more

January 4, 2020

Beginning to Encounter Christ   In the Gospel readings at Mass for the first three days of the year, we do not encounter Jesus speaking any words. Then on January 4 we have the reading of John 1:35-42 where Jesus both appears and speaks for the first time in the Holy Gospel according to John. Several persons in the reading have their first encounter with Jesus. John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk… Read more

January 3, 2020

This is the collect (“opening prayer) from the Roman Missal’s “Mass in Time of War or Civil Disturbance.”   O God, merciful and strong, who crush wars and cast down the proud, be pleased to banish violence swiftly from our midst and to wipe away all tears, so that we may deserve to be called your children. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for… Read more

January 3, 2020

SCANDAL Woe to the world because of scandal! Scandals are sure to come, but woe to him through whom they come! [Mt 18:7]   In 2018, the editor of a Patheos blog, “Sick Pilgrim,” asked me to write an article about my perseverance in faith in the face of the scandal of priests who abuse minors sexually and bishops who respond to that irresponsibly or not at all. Now that I have my own Patheos blog (Turn. Love. Repeat.), I am… Read more

January 2, 2020

I am the voice of a man shouting in the desert, “Make the Lord’s road flat and straight!” Help the Lord rush right into your life this year. To that end, build him a flat and straight road. You must accordingly tear down hills and fill up valleys. Therefore, you will need jackhammers, dynamite, bulldozers and steamrollers. In short, that’s the road, the spirituality program, for the whole year. Now then, the doorway of each new year is the Christmas… Read more

December 31, 2019

We fly to thy Patronage, Theotokos, Mother of God January 1, as the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, gives birth to every Year of the Lord. A line in today’s Gospel reading [Lk. 2:16-21] shows us Mary taking in the mysteries of her Son, Christ who is God. “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” We celebrate “these things,” these mysteries, in the liturgy throughout the rest of the year. Hence, we also… Read more

December 31, 2019

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.   On this seventh day of Christmas the first reading at Mass is 1 John 2:18-21, and the Gospel reading is John 1:1-18.   Among earthly men, we look in admiration upon a son who is a credit to his father and a father who is devoted to his son. It moves us even more to learn of a father and son who are men… Read more

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