While reflecting on the Scriptures for this weekend's homily, I realized that we are coming to the end of the week of prayer for Christian unity, and the beginning of the week of prayer for vocations. And something came back to me from a retreat I attended many years ago.
Installation of Fr. Michael Leclerc as Pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Fr. Raymond LafontaineJanuary 22, 2017
Every year, between January 18 and January 25, Christians around the world celebrate a week of prayer for the unity of all Christians: to reflect on scripture together, to participate in ecumenical services, and to share fellowship. In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Pro
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. Often called “Little Christmas,” Epiphany is in fact no less important: for if Christmas focuses primarily on the birth of Jesus, the visit of the shepherds, the revelation of Jesus as Israel’s long-awaited Messiah, then Epiphany celebrates the
There was once a teacher who assigned an art project to her kindergarten class. Walking past their desks, she saw one little girl working with great intensity and focus. So the teacher asked her: “What are you drawing, dear?” “I’m drawing God!” the little girl answered. The teacher said,
Today we celebrate the feast of Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe , formerly called the Feast of Christ the King. What do we learn from our readings today? What’s the ‘pearl’, the ‘take-home’ message we can apply to our lives? How do we respond to a celebration of Christ’s kingship?
Today's Gospel presents us with a conflict between Jesus and a small but influential sect within first-century Judaism: the Sadducees. In a bizarre attempt to trick Jesus, they spin a story which we might call “One Bride for Seven Brothers.” (The similarly-titled Hollywood musical, 7 brides for 7 brothers, is a lot more fun, with fantastic dancing!) But for the Sadducees, this is no laughing matter. Their whole convoluted story is a legalistic attempt to trick Jesus, to ridicule his belief in the Resurrection.
A contemporary spiritual master, the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello, once told the following story: “A notorious sinner was excommunicated and forbidden from entering the Church. He went to God to complain: "Lord, they won't let me into the Church, because I'm a sinner." The Lord replied, "I know how you feel. They won't let me in either!"
Yes, wouldn't the Church be a wonderful place ... if we could just get rid of all the sinners! We could finally escape from all the messiness associated with human sinfulness and imperfection. The Church could be like an exclusive country club or high-end private school, with high standards for admission to keep out the riff-raff: a gathering-place for the spiritual elite.
A young priest went to the hospital one day to visit an elderly Italian parishioner prior to surgery, wearing his Roman collar. As soon as the woman saw the collar, she said “No, no, Padre! I’m not dying!
When we pray, most of us have no shortage of intentions. It's not at all hard to come up with a list of all the things we need – or at least, think we need. Some of us are more in touch with material needs, others with psychological or emotional needs, yet others with spiritual needs.