Steve’s Columns

6th Sunday of Easter – 6 May 2018

You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. (Jn 15:14-15) How many friends do you think you would keep if you told them today that they could be your friends under the condition that they do what you command? Probably not many which is a shame, because friendship is based on trust, and so the best friend is the one you can command …

5th Sunday of Easter – 29 April 2018

The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers. (Acts 9:31) What Catholic today does not desire a united and peaceful Church? If he does not desire it, he should. After all, Jesus desired it (Jn 14:27 & Jn 17:22-23). In today’s first reading for this 5th Sunday in Easter we get a true sense of the peace and unity of the early Church; for it “was at peace”, “built up in the …

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 …

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