Jesus Wept 2

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

We may wonder sometimes if Jesus knows our grief. We forget that he is just as human as we are. When Martha goes out to meet Jesus, she is meeting with a dear friend. Unsettled, with mixed thoughts and feelings, she tells the Lord, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” It can sound almost as though she is reprimanding him. But her frankness over her frustration really shows how close she is to him, and him to her.  More…

The Gospel of “Whatever!” Who Are You in Today’s Gospel? Reply

Part 1: Let us go and die with him…

"Let us go back to Judea…"

“Let us go back to Judea…”

Today’s Gospel (John 11:1-45) is the longest of the year, after the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. There is so much to consider in this Gospel passage that it would be too much to try and cover it in one post, which is why I decided to divide this reflection in two parts. Today and tomorrow, I invite you to slip your feet in a pair of dusty sandals and place yourself on scene with the other characters in the Gospel. Identify with them, be one of them, and ask yourself, “Who am I in today’s Gospel?” More…

Christ’s Unlikely Messengers 10

Corpus AngleThe Gospels readings for the 3 Sundays leading up to Palm Sunday have something peculiar in common — unlikely emissaries of the Gospel. The Samaritan woman at the well, the man born blind, and this week’s spotlight guest in particular, a dead man, are not the first people we would choose to preach the Good News.

Yet these are the people God chose. Clearly, God can choose anybody he wants to be his messenger.  More…

Married Couples Are an Icon of God’s Love 2

Christian spouses receive a special consecration and a special mission.

Christian spouses receive a special consecration and a special mission.

From the Pope’s General Audience on April 2:

“Married couples carry out this vocation in a full and definitive communion of life. As ‘one flesh,’ they become living icons of God’s love in our world, building up the Church in unity and fidelity.” — Pope Francis

Yesterday, the Pope concluded his Catechesis on the Sacraments with a reflection on marriage as a unique vocation and noble sign of God’s love in the world. Here is the full text available on vatican.vaMore…

Praying When We’re Busy (And We’re All Busy) 10

Fr Jason Smith

Fr Jason Smith

I went to Manhattan yesterday to get a wisdom tooth pulled. Thankfully the dentist was so adroit I was left with an hour or two of leisure to snap pictures of the city and Grand Central as I waited for the train.

As I snapped shots here and there I couldn’t help but observe the energy of the city. I kept thinking to myself, “No wonder it is so hard to stop and pray.” On the train ride home I put down the camera and picked up the pen to jot down a few notes–both to remind myself and to help others–on how to pray amid our busy life. More…

Are People Fundamentally Good? 5

Here’s a good one for April Fool’s Day. How do you answer this question: Are people fundamentally good or are they naturally bad?

Why do we pity the fool?

Why do we pity the fool?

I’m going to play the naïve Rousseauean, instead of the devil’s advocate, and say people are good, society corrupts. You are probably going to disagree with me, but I think there is a case to be made here. I won’t simply embrace the noble savage in the end, because I really don’t think the answer to this question is all black and white. It certainly isn’t as simple as the following video makes it out to be. Or is it? You be the judge… More…

Remove All Obstacles to Find Your Joy 6

"While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

One of the reasons this Sunday’s Gospel reading is my favorite is all the little quirks you find in the original Greek text. This passage is full of them (John chapter 9).

Now people tend to get intimidated and annoyed when I start doing Greek on them, so I’m going to spare you that this time. I’ll just explain a couple of those issues without getting philological (i.e., getting geeky over nitty-gritty language details).

The first quirky Greek thing that strikes me when I read this passage is the repetition of the verb “open.” More…

Laetare Sunday Challenge, Rejoice in Your Brother’s Triumph 8

This Sunday’s Gospel (John Chapter 9), Jesus’ healing of the man born blind, is my favorite passage of the whole Bible. I love the way this scene in Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth captures the story’s full  range of emotions and contrasts the self-absorbed pharisees with the exuberant joy everyone else feels, and should be feeling, over the blind man’s miraculous healing. This scene highlights the essence of Laetare Sunday Joy by juxtaposing it with the type of attitude we must overcome to experience the joy Christ wants for us.  More…

Reflections on Confession and Rembrandt’s “Return of the Prodigal Son” 20

By Fr Jason Smith

A few weeks back I was hearing confessions in an old, cold, and rather uncomfortable confessional, the kind that our forefathers once used with a screen and two wooden doors, one on either side, so that the priest can slide them closed and the person on the right can’t hear what the person on the left is saying, or vice versa. More…