Salvation

Photography © by Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25) But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are […]

"Christ and the Rich Young Ruler" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann / Public domain

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

“In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.” Two days ago we remembered the victims of September 11, 2001 in our prayers as we marked the nineteenth anniversary of that tragic day. That is a day that I pray we never forget. However, our present year, 2020, is one of the darkest in recent memory. In the midst of a […]

Dr. Scott Hahn: To Win Them Back

Dr. Scott Hahn reflects on the Mass readings for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A). Readings:Ezekiel 33:7–9Psalm 95:1–2, 6–9Romans 13:8–10Matthew 18:15–20 As Ezekiel is appointed watchman over the house of Israel in today’s first Reading, so Jesus in the Gospel today establishes His disciples as guardians of the new Israel of God, the Church (see Galatians 6:16). He also puts […]

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

Parables About the Kingdom

Two Sundays ago, we began working our way through the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel and the seven parables that begin with the Parable of the Sower and end with the Parable of the Net. Each of these parables has a particular theme and lesson. The first four parables teach about the proclamation of the Gospel, the difficulties confronting its reception, and its […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

From Suffering to Joy

Many years ago, I taught a fourth grade CCD class for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was […]

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Why Isn’t My Faith Stronger?

We all know in general terms what God requires of us. He requires our love of Him and our love of others. He has given us His Church in which to gather and grow as His family. Through worship at Holy Mass and receiving Him in Holy Communion, we are strengthened in faith, hope and charity. Through our prayer and […]

"The Raising of Lazarus" (detail) by Carl Bloch

The Resurrection and the Life

The Final Journey to Jerusalem Begins The account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus is the seventh of the seven signs in St. John’s Gospel that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is also the […]

"The Transfiguration" (detail) by Raphael - Alvesgaspar / CC BY-SA

Suffering Transfigured by Love

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Genesis 12:1-4; Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22; Second Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9. The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of […]

"The Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Pietro Perugino [Public domain]

A New Start

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Most of us have felt on occasion that things were going so badly that we just wished we could start all over! A second chance! Or maybe your life is not going that well and you realize that you are just not the person you should be. I would bet that most […]