Discerning God’s Voice

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

“Ephphatha! Be opened!” Those are the words of command Jesus speaks to restore hearing to the deaf man in this Sunday’s gospel (Mk 7:31-37). And like all of Jesus’ miraculous healings, there is a deeper meaning than what we see on the surface. 

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Be Doers of the Word

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

The Epistle of James was written to Hebrew Christians in exile, giving practical wisdom on how to live a good Christian life. One of its most well known passages deals with the relationship between faith and works — a point of debate during the Protestant Reformation. James writes, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (Jas 2:24). James points out that “faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (Jas 2:17). It is not enough to believe. James says, “even the demons believe — and shudder” (Jas 2:19). We must not only believe correctly, but our belief must be put into action if it is to do us any good.

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Choosing Love

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

When we talk about man being made in the image and likeness of God, we don’t mean that we look like God in any physical way. We mean rather that we share in certain divine attributes. Specifically, God has a rational intellect and a free will. So do we. In this we are like God. 

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Shining Like Stars in the Midst of Depravity

What I told my students about the clergy abuse scandal

I really don’t like talking about unpleasant things. Perhaps to a fault. It’s not that I’m afraid to engage in difficult topics; I am not. But my natural inclination is to avoid these topics. So when someone asked me a few days ago what I was going to tell my students about the damning news coming out of PA about the clergy sex abuse crisis, I honestly had no idea. To be completely honest, I was hoping my students wouldn’t bring it up so I could avoid the topic.

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Stop Murmuring!

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

If you recall last Sunday’s readings, the Hebrews were in the desert complaining to God that they didn’t have enough to eat. This Sunday, our first reading tells of the prophet Elijah complaining to God. At the limits of exhaustion, frustrated with the task God has called him to do, he basically gives up. He lies down in the desert and prays for death, saying, “This is enough, O Lord!”

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