Steve’s Columns

4th Sunday of Easter – 22 April 2018

Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 Jn 3:2) God reveals himself through mighty blessings. The first blessing is creation and St. Paul teaches that no one who sincerely observes the intricacies of the world can be ignorant of God (Rom 1:20). The second blessing God gives us is salvation. The Father does this by way of the forgiveness of sins to those who repent and believe in the Gospel …

3rd Sunday of Easter – 15 April 2018

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them  in the breaking of bread. (Lk 24:35) Today’s Gospel reading opens with the conclusion of the narrative known in Christian art and lore as the “Road to Emmaus”. This narrative speaks of how Cleopas and another unnamed disciple of Jesus left Jerusalem and walked about seven miles when they encountered the risen Lord.  Yet, they knew Him not by sight. Jesus spoke of Sacred Scripture, interpreting it for them – and their hearts burned within them (Lk 24:32). Yet, they knew …

2nd Sunday of Easter – 8 April 2018

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20:22-23) “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29) A Sunday catechist, teaching his class how on Easter evening Jesus appeared to his Apostles granting them the power to forgive sins, would probably not incorporate into his lesson the story of the Doubting Thomas. The incredulity of the Apostle Thomas is of course an excellent subject for catechesis; however the subject would not typically arise in a religious instruction about the forgiveness of sins and the institution …

Easter – 1 April 2018

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. (Mk 16:1; 5-6) The Sabbath rest had ended which meant that Jewish law now permitted the disciples of Jesus to attend properly and reverently to his dead body which …

Palm Sunday – 25 March 2018

Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  (Mk  11:8-9) Today, on this solemn day of Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday, we open the Mass with the blessing and procession of palms which signifies the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem by Jesus as he comes to the City of David for the celebration of the Passover which will also be his Last Supper. We …

Of Invitation

The New Evangelization began with a noble purpose.  Bishops, priests, laity were all called to join together in a great project “to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel”. This three step process was well-conceived:  before one goes out to proclaim the Good News, one must first believe fervently in what one is proclaiming; in order to believe fervently in what one proclaims, one must first deepen one’s faith. Since proclaiming and believing depend heartily upon deepening, it is with deepening that this promising project should have started (and remained). The problem …

Of Little Ones

A friend reminded me the other day of how angry I became at a local hospital when my mother was refused a medical procedure which she had spent three days prepping for in a hospital bed.  I won’t recount the unprofessional behavior of some of the staff on hand that led to my fury, but only the look on their faces.  It’s that look medical personnel get just before they call for security.  Honestly, they could have called in a SWAT Team or even an air strike.  It wouldn’t have mattered any more to me because I had already begun …

On What is Truly Natural

I recently read an on-line news article (8 Jan, Fox News) about Bo Derek (1980’s super model) and John Corbet (Sex and the City) who revealed the secret of their lasting relationship. They have been together now for 15 years – a long time by Hollywood standards.   Bo explains that they travel apart frequently yet still find time to be home together, “where the romance is”. John says that they make each other laugh, they hold hands, and have weekly barbecues with friends. They are not married. The article relates that “the couple insisted they don’t need rings to prove …

A Tribute to Tristan

On the day before New Year’s Day I was asked by a friend to accompany her to the vet to euthanize her pet of fifteen years.  She had been caring diligently and humanely for her cat Tristan over the last year who appeared to have cancer and a neurological illness.  A second professional opinion had concluded that to prevent further suffering it would be best to put Tristan to sleep, and so it was done very regretfully, but mercifully. My friend asked me why we are allowed as Catholics to “put down” terminal animals but not humans close to death.  …

Of Delightfulness

“Now therefore, O kings, be wise, be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling… lest he be angry and you perish in the way” (Ps 2:10-11).   I concluded last week’s column with a quotation from the Book of Psalms that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps 111:10). The fear of the Lord is often portrayed wrongly as a fire-and-brimstone mentality which seeks to frighten the populace into belief. However, Catholic doctrine teaches that the fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:2) and …