Unusual Conversion Stories Might Happen Every Day Reply

It may be a matter of sheer coincidence, but today’s Gospel reading and the readings for yesterday’s feast, the Conversion of St. Paul, have a lot in common. They are both pretty strange vocation stories.

Very few people have the sort of “knock you off your high-horse” conversions that Paul had (Saul, rather). God does not often reveal himself to people with a blast of blinding light and a voice from heaven telling them exactly what to do.  More…

God’s Power Manifest in the Sacrament of Baptism Reply

I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him -- Jn 1:32

I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him — Jn 1:32

In today’s Gospel reading (John 1:29-34), John the Baptist witnesses an enormous manifestation of God’s power at the moment he baptizes our Lord. As a witness of God’s power, he testifies:

“I did not know him, but … Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

What did John see? More…

Why Did Jesus Have to Be Baptized? 6

It does seem a little odd, doesn’t it?

John’s mission was to announce Christ’s coming, to preach repentance for sins and conversion, to baptize people as a way of cleansing them of their sins and when Jesus appears on the scene, He shows up in line to be baptized.

But Jesus wasn’t a sinner – he never sinned! He didn’t need to repent, so why should he be baptized? More…

3 Essential Virtues of the Magi: What’s in Your Epiphany? 2

They prostrated themselves and did him homage

They prostrated themselves and did him homage

A Gospel Reflection and Meditation on Christ for Today

Today’s Solemnity of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation (or manifestation) of Jesus Christ as the Lord for all peoples. More…

Reflections on the Kingdom for Advent 3

cross silloetteIn the Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Advent, John the Baptist proclaims:

“The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”

Over the next few days, we will offer some reflections on the Kingdom by Fr Martin Connor to help us to “Prepare the way of the Lord.”

What does Kingdom mean?

More…

Who’s Who in Today’s Gospel? 3

I must decrease

I must decrease

Who are you in today’s Gospel?

Three types of person appear on the scene in the Gospel reading for today (Matthew 3:1-12): The one who fearlessly proclaims Christ as Lord; the crowds who go out to see to see this man;  the Pharisees and Sadducees who also go out to see him.

John is a strong and charismatic character, who draws a lot of attention to himself, although he’s fully aware that his mission is to do just the opposite.

He does not desire the attention he gets for himself (as Pharisees and Sadducees do). He identifies with his mission, which is to point us toward someone else far greater than himself.

More…

Celebrating the Season of Hope 7

From the Preface of the Mass

For he assumed at his first coming the lowliness of human flesh,
and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago,
and opened for us the way to eternal salvation,
that, when he comes again in glory and majesty
and all is at last made manifest,
we who watch for that day may inherit the great promise
in which now we dare to hope.

One of my favorite Christmas songs begins: City sidewalks, busy sidewalks…  More…

Dominus Flevit 5

Today, I decided to reblog an old post related to today’s Gospel reading on the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. I added a simple but probably familiar poem at the end for further reflection on the transience of temporal things, which our liturgy invites us to consider this time every year as a perpetual reminder.

Shrine of Dominus Flevit overlooking Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives

“I am waiting for peace.”

“And what is peace?” I asked.

The store owner replied, “When the words of the Prophet in the holy book are fulfilled.”

Of course what he meant was, “When the world is converted to Islam.” More…