Category: Catechesis

Peter as Satan
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Peter as Satan

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Truth in advertising–after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned.  Informed consent–before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong.  That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: On Christian Unity

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Unity among Christians is a gift from God. Christians must pray for it.  Pope Francis begins His weekly audience with a call to Unity among all Christians. He states: “We affirm that the Church is one and she is holy. Holy since she is founded by Jesus Christ, enlivened by his Holy Spirit, and filled with His […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 31, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 31, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion(Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalm 63:2-6,8-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27) Developing and Growing in the Spiritual Gift of Discernment Get behind me, Satan! (Matthew 16:23) Amazing! In one moment, Jesus tells Peter that his words “You are the Messiah” had come from God himself (Matthew 16:17). Then, almost immediately afterward, […]

Seven More Books for Catholic College Students
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Seven More Books for Catholic College Students

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The college semester is upon us again, and at most universities the new academic year is either now beginning or has recently begun [1]. For the returning students, this means a return to familiar stomping grounds and reunions with friends before the courses really buckle down into the semester grind. For the new students, it […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Gloria
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Thinking Liturgically: The Gloria

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After the Confetior and a few short prayers (such as the Kyrie), the priest then intones the Gloria by proclaiming the first few words aloud:  Gloria in excelsis Deo, Glory to God in the highest.  We are reminded of the night Christ was born, when the angels proclaimed this very phrase to the world. What we might not […]

Old Testament Roots of Peter and the Keys
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Old Testament Roots of Peter and the Keys

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“More Catholic than the Pope.” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy.  When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peter’s. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 24, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 22:19-23; Psalm 138:1-3,6,8; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20) God’s “Inscrutable” and “Unsearchable” Plan to Establish His Church Upon this rock I will build my church. (Matthew 16:18) For years, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was an object of international acclaim, a celebrity of sorts whom people wanted to […]

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman
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Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

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The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her.  Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor.  This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel.  The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Assumption

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“Do you pray the Rosary every day?,” Pope Francis asked the crowd at Castelgandolfo on the Feast of the Assumption last year.  “But I’m not sure you do, he added, teasingly.  “Yes!,” the crowd yelled back in unison. Pope Francis is traveling in South Korea this week, and thus he did not hold his weekly […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Introit
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Thinking Liturgically: The Introit

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After the Confetior and a series of prayers, the priest ascends the altar and begins to read the Introit.  During High Mass, this is the set of verses that is chanted as Mass begins.  In the Ordinary Form, this is referred to as the “opening verse”, and is actually optional.  The priest might say it […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 17, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 17, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 56:1,6-7; Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Romans 11:13-15,29-32; Matthew 15:21-28) The Power of Persistent Prayer Woman, great is your faith! (Matthew 15:28) Today’s Gospel reading gives us a vivid illustration of Jesus’ teaching that we need to ask, seek, and knock. Only this is not a parable or a […]

Walking on Water
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Walking on Water

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One of the most famous stories of the New Testament is the one about Jesus walking on the water. If there is any gospel story we never tire of hearing, this is it. The lake is rough.Though several of the apostles spent most of their life in a boat, they’re still worried. But when they […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Church and the Beatitudes

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Pope Francis resumed his catechesis on the Church, during his first General Audience since June. He focuses this week’s teaching on how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament by giving a new teaching on mercy in the beatitudes. Key Points: 1.)“John points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion. The new […]

The One-Year Itch
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The One-Year Itch

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About one year after a marriage begins, the married couple enters a period of disillusionment, says Dr. Phil Mango.  That’s when they realize that neither of them is perfect, and one person’s faults are reflected in the other person’s reaction almost daily. The same thing happens to newly ordained priests. After years spent in the seminary immersed […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 10, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 10, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (1 Kings 19:9,11-13; Psalm 85:9-14; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23) Learning to Listen to God’s Voice  The Lord was not in the earthquake. (1 Kings 19:11) How often have you seen a movie where God appears amidst lightning bolts and angelic choirs and then speaks in a terrifying, […]

The Miracle of the Loaves
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The Miracle of the Loaves

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Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels–the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I once heard a homilist give what he said was the real meaning of the story: the people in the crowd took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: Living Out the Eucharist

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As faithful Catholics, how exactly are we living out the Eucharist, both during and outside of Mass? This is the basic question posed by Pope Francis during the second part of his Catechesis on the Eucharist . In the first teaching, the pope reminded us about our real communion with Jesus and his mystery during […]

To Be Led Out of Egypt
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To Be Led Out of Egypt

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This past year, I was privileged to celebrate a Passover seder with some close friends during Holy Week. It was both a reminder of the persistence of the faith of Judaism in its own right and of the roots for the new Passover that Jesus established, through his institution of the Eucharist, and through his […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 3, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, August 3, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145:8-9,15-18; Romans 8:35,37-39; Matthew 14:13-21) Using the Gifts God has Given You Give them some food yourselves. (Matthew 14:16) Tony Melendez was born without any arms. But he was also born with a gift for music, so he developed a unique way to share […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Saints and God's Mercy
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Thinking Liturgically: The Saints and God’s Mercy

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When calling for the reform of the Sacred Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council said the following: The rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions; they should be within the people’s powers of comprehension, and normally should not require much explanation. (Sacrosanctum Concillium 34) When […]

Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament
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Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament

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Once I had dinner with another priest.  As we were eating we talked about the Bible.  “I preach the same homily every weekend,” he said. “Really?” I asked.  “And how are your collections?” While we were at it, he justified himself by declaring that it was no longer necessary to preach on the Old Testament. […]

Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God
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Old vs. New in the Kingdom of God

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“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or […]

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel
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Front Row With Francis: The Eucharist and Renewing Our Hearts

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I do believe, help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24) Trembling and filled with anticipation I repeated this to myself as I walked down the aisle to receive, for the first time, the Eucharist. Pope Francis speaks to those gathered to receive his catechesis about the Eucharist (February 5, 2014) that “From this Sacrament of love, in […]

Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014
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Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52) Knowing We are Treasured by God Out of joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44) Have you ever noticed how much effort some people put into identifying themselves with certain […]

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