Category Archives: CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 16, 2018: Angry at God

About a week after my wife Mary died of breast cancer, I took her wedding dress out of the closet where she had kept it and laid it on the bed and looked at it. Rage welled up in me. I stormed at God. “How could you ever have let this happen? How could you do this to me?” Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 9, 2018: Overcoming fear with faith

The deaf man in today’s Gospel must have known fear. For his speech impediment ensured that he was alone and helpless.

      He would have known the pain of isolation on the level of his physical senses of hearing and speaking, and on the social level of not being able to participate fully in the life of his family and community. His physical condition would have led him to fear deeply for his own future and the well-being of his family. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

In light of faith: Vocation equals accompaniment

The approaching synod on “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” next month in Rome is of huge importance to the church. If you had told me the role I would be playing in this task a year ago, I would not have believed you.

      In December 2017, I was notified that I would be selected to be one of three U.S. delegates for the March presynod gathering in Rome. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 2, 2018: Mysterious

As we listen to the Scripture readings at Mass today, the most difficult patch, I think, may be this portion of the second reading:

      “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (Jas 1:17-18). Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 26, 2018: Choosing God

It might surprise us to learn that we live in an age of Christian martyrdom. Some have claimed that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in the first four centuries of the church’s history.

      Around the world Christians are persecuted in subtle and not so subtle forms. And when Christians face the possibility of martyrdom, they are threatened with the choice between renouncing their faith in Jesus Christ or violence and death. The threat of martyrdom forces the ultimate test of courage and witness to Christ as they choose to persevere in faith. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

In light of faith: Young people are protagonists of their faith journeys

This fall, bishops from every corner of the globe will gather in Rome to discuss the church’s ministry to youth and young adults. Pope Francis has called on the leadership of the church not simply to talk about young people but to listen directly to them. From my own ministerial experience, I would highlight three traits that young people desperately crave from the church. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns, focus on millennials

Sunday Scripture readings, Aug. 19, 2018: An unanswered question

The day after Jesus multiplied a few loaves of bread into thousands, a crowd gathered in the synagogue in Capernaum to hear him speak. He told them, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven … my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51).

      Predictably, this claim provoked a question. “The Jews” (the Gospel-writer’s abbreviated way of referring to those Jews who were hostile to Jesus) asked, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (Jn 6:52). Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns