Sunday reading

Reading for pleasure, but if I learn something along the way, that's gravy...

Christ The Teacher: Jesus Scolds His Disciples

Have you sometimes wondered why it took so long for the disciples to understand who Jesus really was?

How, in spite of living with him for months on end, they still didn’t change their assumptions and prejudices?

Have you ever asked yourself why Jesus didn’t lose his temper in dealing with them? Read more »

Church Remembers Saint Valentine Of Rome – Martyr And Patron Of Lovers

Today, we celebrate the memorial of St. Valentine, patron of lovers, young people, and happy marriages.

St. Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived during the third century. During the reign of Emperor Claudius II, he was caught assisting Christians who were being persecuted.

He was asked to renounce his faith but he remained steadfast and strong in his faith. He was arrested and imprisoned. Read more »

Christ The Teacher: Conflict Between Jesus And The Pharisees

Throughout the Gospels, the Pharisees are presented as being antagonistic to Jesus and his message.

We generally think of them as vain and conceited, hypocritical, and the term ‘pharisee’ today has negative connotations.

So it may come as a surprise to know that the Pharisees were actually the ‘good people’ of that day. That they were intelligent, righteous, and observant of the Law in every detail. Read more »

Church Celebrates Apparition Of Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the great feasts of the pre-conciliar Church and an inspiration to millions of Catholics for two centuries.

If the Pieta, the “sorrowful mother”, was the symbol of Mary in medieval European piety, it is the Virgin Mother, immaculate and compassionate, who speaks to our times. Read more »

Gospel Story: The Presentation Of The Lord

Luke’s Gospel begins and ends in the Temple, Jerusalem.

It begins with the apparition of the archangel Gabriel to Zachary and ends with the apostles around Mary, the mother of the Lord, in constant prayer, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The episode of the Presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple – the feast was formerly called the Purification of Our Lady – rounds off Luke’s description of the stories of Jesus’s birth. Read more »

Church Honours Saint John Bosco – Founder, Father And Teacher Of Youth

On Jan. 31, the Roman Catholic Church honors St. John Bosco (or “Don Bosco”), a 19th century Italian priest who reached out to young people to remedy their lack of education, opportunities, and faith.

John Bosco was born in August of 1815 into a family of peasant farmers in Castelnuovo d'Asti – a place which would one day be renamed in the saint's honor as “Castelnuovo Don Bosco.” Read more »

Church Honours Saint Thomas Aquinas - Philosopher, Theologian And Doctor Of The Church

If there is one name synonymous with philosophy and theology in the Church, it is that of Thomas of Aquino, the learned Dominican of the 13th century, whose Summa Theologica dominated Catholic thinking for centuries.

He was born of aristocratic parentage and even as a boy, sent to the Benedictines for his education.

By the time he was 18, he had decided to devote his life to God as a Dominican. Read more »

People In The Consecrated Life 'On The Way' – By Fr. Bevil Bramwell, OMI

Since Jesus called himself the Way to God, those men and women in Consecrated Life, that is those committed by vows or promises to “the evangelical counsels of chastity dedicated to God, poverty and obedience are based upon the words and examples of the Lord” are on the Way through this commitment.

Now, as I have said in other columns here, Catholicism is a Way rather than a collection of religious fascinations that take up our time and treasure, occupy our minds, and twist our morals. Read more »

Blessing Of Lambs A 500 Year Old Tradition, Priest Reveals

Shortly before the blessing of the lambs yesterday in honor of the feast of St. Agnes, the parish priest of the basilica honoring the martyr explained that the tradition has been around since the 16th century.

“Here in (the basilica of) St. Agnes, we have known this tradition for 500 years,” Fr. Franco Bergamin explained to CNA in a Jan. 21 interview shortly before the Mass of the blessing took place. Read more »

Gospel Story: Levi Rose And Followed Him

Here is another set of two stories linked together, one ‘a vocation story’, the other a ‘teaching story’ about inclusiveness as a value in God’s kingdom.

As Jesus passes by the customs-house by the lakeside, he sees an accountant, Levi by name – although in some versions, the man is called Matthew – and calls him to discipleship.

Immediately Levi leaves everything and follows Jesus. Read more »

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