The church remains faithful if she keeps her eyes fixed on Jesus, but she becomes lukewarm and mediocre if she seeks comfort in worldly things. That was Pope Francis’ message on Monday as he reflected on the Gospel reading at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta.
Pope Francis noted that the reading from St. Luke’s Gospel tells the story of the widow who puts her two coins in the temple treasury box, while other wealthy worshippers make a great show of the money they're putting in. Jesus says...
Pope Francis said that the church must not be obsessed by money or power, nor worship “holy bribes.” Instead her strength and joy should come from the words of Christ. He was speaking at the morning mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday.
The Holy Father reflected on the reading from Maccabees, which tells of the people’s joy following the reconsecration of the Holy Temple, which had been destroyed by pagans and those obsessed by worldliness. The people of God celebrated, they rejoiced...
November 30, 2015Second Sunday of Advent (C), Dec. 6, 2015
Preparation for the coming of the Lord is not simply an individual task, though it incorporates personal holiness and love, but there is most prominently an ecclesial dimension, in which the whole people of God await Christ’s parousia so that they might return home to the Promised Land, the kingdom of God. To prepare, we wait for what God will do for us and we act to make God known to the world around us.
The text of Baruch,...
November 30, 2015
In the decade after Vatican II inculturation became a buzzword. Although popes have used the word only with caution, they have said on journeys to Asia and Africa that the Catholic Church in those continents ought not to be a slavish copy of the European church. As a consequence American Catholics began to conclude that Catholicism in this country should develop its own distinctive traits. In the past it had been a mosaic of importations from various “Old...
November 30, 2015
Maria and Manuel had shrunk. As bodies usually do, theirs diminished with the passing years. Maria stood rod straight, just smaller, while Manuel stooped, first over a cane, then a walker. His once-tall frame was pulled down by gravity stronger than his spine. The only evidence of his previous height could be seen when he was stretched out in his blue recliner, as he frequently was. There he relaxed and napped, especially during soap operas, his daytime...
“The whole world is at war,” and the rejection of the “path of peace” means that God himself, that Jesus himself, weeps. This was the message of Pope Francis to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass on Thursday morning in the Casa Santa Marta.
“Jesus wept.” These were the words with which the Holy Father’s remarks following the readings of the day began on Thursday in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican, echoing the words of St. Luke the Evangelist...
The single thought, humanism that takes the place of Jesus, destroys the Christian identity. We don't put that identity card up for auction. Those were the words of Pope Francis on Monday during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
The first reading of the day from the first Book of the Maccabees, tells of "a root of evil" that arose in those days: the Hellenistic King Antiochus Epiphanes imposes pagan customs in Israel, to the "chosen people," that is, the “church of that time." Pope...
Pope Francis said God is the greatest glory and warned believers against the temptation to deify earthly things and even to idolize our habits. Instead, he said, we should be looking beyond these things to the transcendent, to God the creator, whose glory never fades. The pope’s words came during his homily at his Mass on Friday (November 13) celebrated at the Santa Marta residence.
Pope Francis reflected in his homily on God’s eternal glory and said there are two dangers that...
November 23, 2015First Sunday of Advent (C), Nov. 29, 2015
While the season of Advent is imbued with remembering, recalling Christ’s first coming as an infant, when divinity became incarnate, it is also a time of anticipation, as we reflect on and await Christ’s second coming. But Advent is not only a celebration of the past and an eager expectation of the future; it is a season that asks us to meditate on the present and delight in Christ’s presence with us now. It is this very season that concentrates our hearts,...
November 23, 2015
‘Chris, I brought you some of the material. I thought you might want to....”
“No,” I said, cutting off my sister, Liz. “I don’t want to pre-read any of the material. It’s my weekend—I’m not working.”
She asked me again a few days later: “Chris?”
“Ugh—” My grunt of negation was meant to be pre-emptive. She addressed me by name only when she was going to ask me...