Category Archives: “Speak to Me Lord”

Sunday Scripture readings, June 24, 2018: Happy birthday, John!

Among the saints, John the Baptist is one of the great ones. On the Catholic calendar, only three people have a birthday celebration: Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist. In the icon tradition of Eastern Christianity, Jesus is often shown seated on his heavenly throne, with Mary on one side and John on the other, appealing to him on behalf of the needs of the world.

      Yet John accomplished little. “He was in the desert” is about all we know of most of his life (Lk 1:80). He spent years being quiet and waiting. When God directed him to preach, large crowds gathered and his call to repentance had an impact on some people. But after a while, the crowds melted away. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Sunday Scripture readings, June 17, 2018: The fruit of walking by faith

Faith works wonders. To walk by faith, and not by sight, is one of the greatest challenges and joys of the spiritual life. This is the invitation to all in this Sunday’s Scripture readings.

      The saints show us how to grow in faith in the daily circumstances of life. Holy men and women, known and hidden, have over the centuries witnessed to the power of walking by faith. Take the life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, whose feast day the church celebrates this coming week. Continue reading

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Sunday Scripture readings, June 10, 2018: A little picture of the church

Today’s Gospel begins with one of those quietly astonishing statements that you find here and there in the Gospels: “Jesus came home with his disciples” (Mk 3:20).

It’s like you said, “Sarah picked up Justin at child care and went home.” Or “Ben got home just in time to read the children their bedtime story.” Nothing could be more ordinary — except that it was Jesus who went home. Continue reading

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Sunday Scripture readings, June 3, 2018: Living in eucharistic amazement

The Eucharist is the source and the summit of the Christian life. This teaching of the Second Vatican Council has come to life for countless generations of ordinary men and women of faith, particularly those who suffer persecution and martyrdom for believing in Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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Sunday Scripture readings, May 27, 2018: Are you in on this mystery?

If you ever watched “Wait Until Dark,” it’s hard to forget the scene in which thuggish, knife-wielding Alan Arkin suddenly springs toward blind, alone-in-her-kitchen-at-night Audrey Hepburn. What a moment! One reviewer called it “a terrific jolt.” For the way it reliably induces screams in the audience, my wife deems it the perfect preteen girls’ sleepover movie.

      The scene comes to mind when I hear today’s Gospel. On Easter evening, the disciples were in a room, talking. All at once, “while they were still speaking,” Jesus “stood in their midst.” They were “terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.” St. Luke doesn’t say they screamed, but I bet they did. Continue reading

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Sunday Scripture readings, May 20, 2018: Overcoming fear with faith

Friendship with God and neighbor is the whole purpose of the Christian life from beginning to end. God creates each one of us out of love, to love one another. Our creation is an eternal and unique act of divine friendship for which no one, however holy, ever returns a sufficient response of thanks to God. Continue reading

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Sunday Scripture readings, May 13, 2018: A prayer for the Ascension

St. Mark takes us to the core meaning of Jesus’ ascension: “The Lord Jesus … was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God” (Mk 16:19).

      At the conclusion of his appearances to his disciples after his resurrection, Jesus was seen to ascend. It was not into the heavens in the sense of the sky that Jesus went; his going up symbolized his entry into the heavens in the sense of God’s presence. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns