One day, Jesus also appeared among the sinners. He came from Galilee, the region inhabited by Israelites believed to be semi-pagans by the religious aristocracy of Jerusalem. He went down into the water along with the sinners to show his desire to share their condition. He was beside them accompanying them in their exodus from slavery to freedom.
«The Word of God became flesh». God isn’t mute. God hasn’t stayed silent, enclosed forever in Mystery. God has desired to communicate Self with us. God wants to speak with us, tell us of God’s love, explain God’s project. Jesus is simply the Project of God made flesh.
The council taught us to look upon Mary as a “figure” of the Church, that is, as the Church’s perfect exemplar, as the first fruits of the Church. But can Mary be a model of the Church even as “Mother of God,” the title with which she is honored this day? Can we become mothers of Christ?
There would have been tears, I think. If Simeon had waited all those years for the Lord, if Anna were a widow and so advanced in age, they would have shed tears when the saw the Infant King, certainly when they were allowed to hold him.
May the joy of the angels, the humility of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wisemen, and the love of the Christ child be among God’s gifts to you this Christmas.
An ancient custom for the feast of Christmas foresees three Masses, called respectively “at night,” “at dawn,” “during the day.” In each Mass, through readings that vary, a different aspect of the mystery is presented, in such a way that we get, so to speak, a three-dimensional vision.
This past year brought on special challenges as Pope Francis provided global moral leadership through the coronavirus pandemic. Yet amid the restrictions and upheaval, the pope continued his efforts to reform the church and strengthen its missionary zeal. Here is a look back at the seven ways Pope Francis steered the Catholic Church in 2020.
God is love and hence humility! Love creates dependence on the person you love, and that kind of dependence does not humiliate but uplifts. The two claims ‘God is love’ and ‘God is humility’ are like two sides of the same coin.
With her “fiat” (yes), Mary conceived Jesus under her heart. With our fiat we conceive Him in our hearts. Mary teaches us to say the great word “Yes, fiat, O Lord, thy will be done.”
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated each year on December 12. This feast commemorates the great events that took place from December 9-12, 1531, when Juan Diego, a 55 year-old native Mexican, received four apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary
Faith in eternal life is one of the conditions that make evangelization possible. As saint Paul the Apostle writes: ‘If Christ has not been raised, then empty [too] is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. […] If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all.’
Five years of intensive research on archaeological data has consolidated evidence that a 1st-century house in Nazareth belonged to the Holy Family, a British researcher has concluded.
Opening the Word: Rejoice always.
We cannot yet see the Lord, but we celebrate the fact that union with him is our eternal destiny
Mary made her life beautiful. Not appearances, not what is fleeting, but the heart directed toward God makes life beautiful. Today let us look joyfully at her, full of grace. Let us ask her to help us to remain youthful, by saying ‘no’ to sin, and to live a beautiful life, by saying ‘yes’ to God.
The Preacher to the Papal Household, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, delivers his first Advent Sermon to Pope Francis and the Roman Curia, and reflects on the meaning of death, which forms a bridge to eternal life
We wait for him, yet we go out into the wilderness to find him. We wait for him but we prepare the way for him. We can do nothing to force him to come, yet we must do everything to make ready for him.
To be alert and to keep watch are the keywords of this passage from the Gospel of St Mark. They are repeated with an almost excessive insistence: “Be alert and watch!” (v. 33), “he orders the doorkeeper to stay awake” (v. 34), “so stay awake” (v. 35), “I say to all: stay awake!” (v. 37).
I’ve learned a lot from President Donald Trump in none of the ways I wanted to. From where I stand, through it all I learned that the complacency of “it can’t happen here” has died here these past four years. Just as it did in Munich in 1939
Shortly before His Passion Jesus exclaimed with joy, “In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world!” (Jn 6. 33). This is the language well-suited to a King reassuring His followers that He’s so confident that already He has triumphed!
It is difficult if not impossible for any organization to impartially investigate itself.
Matthew wants to encourage his community to a test. He invited them to ask themselves first if they are aware of the treasure they have in hand, to check if all the “talents” are used for the best or if any gift is hidden underground, if there are neglected aspects of the ecclesial life
“I feel like a millionaire who has lost ten pounds”. These words, spoken by a Spanish journalist in an interview after becoming tetraplegic owing to a traffic accident, made a deep impact on me and raised questions in my mind.
In the new version—the one adapted by Matthew for his community—the ten virgins do not indicate Israel any longer, but the Church that awaits the return of her Lord, her Bridegroom.
November, when the sun is losing its strength, the luminosity is fading, the nights are growing, Nature is losing its vitality… it is the right time to look up to Heaven with Hope!
Let us ask ourselves which side we are on: that of heaven or that of earth? Do we live for the Lord or for ourselves, for eternal happiness or for some immediate gratification? Let us ask ourselves: do we truly want holiness? Or are we content with being Christians without infamy and without praise?
How does the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication work? That is what many are wondering following the lack of response by the Vatican to questions raised regarding what Pope Francis actually said about the need for a law for civil unions this week.
Let’s not mistake God’s patience for inactivity. And let’s remember, in the words of Peter’s friend the Apostle Paul, “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). Even if it takes 70 challenging years.
The rabbis of Jesus’ time, in studying the Bible, had come to discover 613 commandments, 365 (such as days of the year) of which were negative, i.e., forbidden actions, and 248 (like the limbs of the human body) were positive, namely, works to be done.
OGF 10/2020 – Mission according to Francis: Features; talents to develop, temptations, maladies and pitfalls to avoid; recommendations for the Journey
Do not waste time and resources, then, in looking at yourself in a mirror, devising plans centred on internal mechanisms, functionality and the efficiency of your own bureaucracy. Look outside. Do not look at yourselves in the mirror. Break every mirror in the house!
I once attended a series of lectures given by a prominent Polish psychologist, Kazimierz Dabrowski, who had written a number of books around a concept he called “positive disintegration”.
In this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I, send me”
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”.
This sentence is one of the most famous, but also the most enigmatic. It is not easy to establish the meaning, so it is not always mentioned apropos.
“One can love Jesus, love him in himself, in true, genuine, immediate love.” “You’re actually only really dealing with Jesus when you throw your arms around him and realize right down to the bottom of your being that this is something you can still do today.”
“In the afterlife, the Holy One, may He be blessed, will have a dance for the righteous in Gan Eden and will sit in their midst, and each will point to him saying: behold, he is our God, as we expected him, we will enjoy his salvation.”
In new encyclical, Pope Francis envisions ‘renewed hope’ from universal love, open to ‘every man and woman’
“I invite everyone to renewed hope” Pope Francis writes in his new encyclical letter “Fratelli Tutti,” addressed to his “brothers and sisters all” in this “wounded world” brought to its knees …
The happy news which concludes the Gospel (v. 43) is that, despite all the refusals of people, in the end, God always finds the way to achieve his purpose and to obtain the good fruit he wants.
The third child exists, but we are not that child. Only “the Son of God, Jesus Christ—Paul writes—was not ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ but with him, it was simply ‘yes.’ In him, all the promises of God have come to be a ‘yes’”. He is the one who always said: “Yes, Father, this was your gracious will”.
I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud.
So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow,
its tones mellower, its colors richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow.
On January 16, 1973, at Rubaga, in a packed cathedral, the funeral service for Fr. Clement Kiggundu was held. In concluding the homily, the Archbishop of Kampala, E.K. Nsubuga, said: “If you opened the coffin and saw what remains of him, you would be shocked.”
The parable is the clearest and provocative denouncement that can be imagined of the religion of merits taught by the spiritual guides of Israel (and supported by many even today).
The Ugandan politician Benedict Kagima Mugumba Kiwanuka was one of the early leaders in the independence movement in the country. He was murdered by Idi Amin. His courageous contribution makes him a pioneer of the democracy and human rights in Uganda.
I invite you to read this interesting article of Fr. Antonio Spadaro. An answer to the question: What kind of government does Francis exercise, and how do we interpret it in the light of these seven years?
The obligation to forgive was restricted to the members of the people of Israel and was limited. No more than three times—the rabbis affirmatively agreed—on the fourth, one had to resort to legal remedies.
He was a 28-year-old aid worker who was gunned down in Somalia in 1993. He had worked on missions in Liberia and for the UN in Somalia. A passionate opponent of the illegal arms trade he was killed by bullets from a foreign rifle.
There is a little-known letter written by this diminutive powerhouse that I want to share with you. It’s timely not just because of her approaching feast day, but also because this month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of its writing.
Cardinal Van Thuan was arrested in 1975 and spent 13 years in prison, nine of them in solitary confinement in Hanoi. He used his time not only for personal prayer but also to write a reflection that continues to inspire.
The truth that does not produce love, but causes anxiety, creates dissension, hatred, and resentment is a lie. The truth that kills is evil; it comes from the evil one, “who has been a murderer from the beginning. He is a liar and the father of lies”
“I believe in the force of the truth. I believe in what is called a moral liberating force.” Dom Hélder Càmara, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife was one of the great prophets of the Catholic Church.
For some time we religious have wondered about our life in the Church and the power and attraction of our witness. One does not need extraordinary insight or deep analysis to realize that what we call “religious life” has lost something of its impact in the Church and outside its walls. Where have we gone wrong?
Three imperatives characterize the radicality of a choice that does not admit delays nor second thoughts:“Deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me.” Three imperatives characterize the radicality of a choice that does not admit delays nor second thoughts:“Deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me.”
We are overscheduled, tense, addicted to hurry, frantic, preoccupied, and starved for time. Cramming as much as possible into our Blackberries and to-do lists, we battle to make the best use of every spare minute we have.
Even God is “jealous” because no one more than him is enamored of the human being. A disciple is one who has understood that he is unique, as unique as the person to whom one falls in love, to whom one trusts and for whom one is willing to do anything.
A providential suspension in our daily routine is a valid occasion to relax physically and to nurture the spirit. It can be also an opportune time to cultivate the inalienable demands of spirituality…
After Notre-Dame Cathedral had been saved from the flames, French politicians and architects seemed determined to modernise the structure. So how is it that the authorities have decided to rebuild Notre-Dame as it was before? Agnès Poirier explains what happened behind the scenes – and why the French media are calling it “the building site of the century”.
The evangelist relates the dialogue between Jesus and the woman. He sounds almost delighted to emphasize the increasingly harsh tone of the Master’s responses. In front of the woman’s request for help, he takes a dismissive attitude: not worthy of a look, not addressing her even a word (v. 23). Then the apostles, a little annoyed, intervene…
Shahbaz Bhatti was the Pakistani federal minister for minority affairs. He was shot dead driving from his mother’s Islamabad home. His assassins have never been brought to justice. He was a committed Catholic.
“Come to me now—the Risen Lord repeats to every disciple. Do not be afraid of losing your life. If you hesitate, death will make you afraid. If you trust my word, the waters of death will not scare you, and you will cross over and catch up with me in the resurrection.”
Brazil is the country struck hardest by Covid-19. Comboni Father Saverio Paolillo has sent us some reflections on rethinking our lifestyles.
Jesus asks the disciples to give him what he has, even if it seems little to him. Five loaves and two fish—seven pieces of food—are the symbol of totality. Nothing is held back; the generosity should have no limits.
Cardinal Woelki was almost alone in defending the Vatican document, which other bishops have attacked for “clericalism”.
Henri Nouwen, in his writings, frequently asked this question: “How can we live inside a world marked by fear, hatred, and violence and not be destroyed by it?”