Category Archives: “Speak to Me Lord”

Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 30, 2018: Rage

There it is, right in the middle of today’s Gospel — the statement we might consider God’s particular word to the church in our time: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (Mk 9:42). Continue reading

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Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 23, 2018: Imitate Jesus in times of pain and confusion

Every saint faces times of trial and persecution, from within or from outside the church. Countless saints ended their lives with a crown of martyrdom, often at the hands of cruel, vicious persecutors.

      And some saints who founded religious orders were eventually rejected by their own communities, enduring envy, false accusations and isolation among the very people they gathered together and served. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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