• During the long Gospel reading on Sunday, we heard about Jesus and Barabbas, and the choice that Pilate outsources to the angry crowd. It's a dramatic scene; and it reinforces the cruelty and cowardice that conspire to destroy Jesus. But like all of scripture, the episode becomes even more powerful once you dig into the layers of meaning embedded in the context, the language, the history, and the names. To that end, I want to share the following excerpt from the first volume of Pope Benedict...

  • On Thursday evening, in a familiar reprise of an ancient rite, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., will wash the feet of 12 men, all seminarians — a re-creation of Jesus’ action at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples and, according to Catholic doctrine, formally instituted the priesthood.

  • NPR notes that 80 percent of federal tax forms are now filed electronically, killing “the annual Tax Day frenzy at the local post office.” The New York Times’s City Room blog also...

  • As my fiance and I advance closer to our December wedding, family and friends continue to offer advice concerning marriage and marriage preparation. One of the most helpful thoughts we've received came from one of my fiance's relatives, who told us (and I paraphrase): Each of you has a movie playing in your head that reflects your intentions and expectations. Often your movies fit seamlessly, but sometimes they fail to connect. The narratives don't tie together. From time to time, he said,...

  • In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus utters his agonizing prayer, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”

    At this grave moment in the life of Christ, when he struggles to discern the will of the Father, we are invited to learn more about Jesus of Nazareth, about God, and about ourselves.

    Who among us hasn’t found ourselves in a situation where the inevitable seems impossible? Where the unavoidable seems...

  • At this morning's White House Easter prayer breakfast, President Obama talked of yesterday's shooting incidents in Kansas City, this sudden example of the ferocity of anti-Semtitism and the necessity of Americans to be free of fear of such gun violence, particulalry in places of worhsip. He also discussed his recent visit with Pope Francis in Rome and the inspiration he drew from that Vatican introduction.

  • The New York Times suggests that President Barack Obama’s popularity with younger Americans is not enough to inspire a new generation of candidates for public office.  Jason Horowitz reports that 70 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds consider community service to be “honorable,” but only 35 percent say the same about running for office.

  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born scholar, writer, and activist, was scheduled to receive an honorary degree from Brandeis University at its graduation next month. After students and others protested Ali's selection, citing her persistent and vigorous criticism of Islam, Brandeis disinvited her, issuing this statement on April 8, 2014:

  • Behold, your king comes to you meek
    and riding on an ass
    (Matt 21:5; Zec 9:9)  
  • Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, remains skeptical of Pope Francis on the question of episcopal accountability for sex abuse crimes.