The National Catholic Review

The Word

  • September 14, 2015
    Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Sept. 20, 2015

    It feels good to belong—to one’s family, to a group of friends, to a team—to be part of something bigger than oneself. Belonging creates feelings of comfort, joy, peace and purpose. How good must it have felt to be chosen as one of the Twelve Apostles? And to have an inkling, then the growing certainty that the one who chose you is not just a man but the Son of Man, the Messiah. The one who called you to be among the inner circle, to be at the heart of the...

  • August 31-September 7, 2015
    Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Sept. 6, 2015

    How can people be upset about a lion being killed, even if it was lured out of a protected area and slaughtered? A lion? There are babies being killed throughout the country, the world even, and people are upset about animals? Why is Planned Parenthood not at the top of the news? But what about human lives after conception, do these lives matter at all? Do #BlackLivesMatter? Do the lives of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean matter to anyone?

  • August 31-September 7, 2015
    Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Sept. 13, 2015

    Jesus bluntly rebukes Peter, telling him, “You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” There are two contexts for this rebuke: one is the particular circumstance in which Peter himself rebuked Jesus for revealing his Passion; and the other is the general human reality in which all people struggle to understand the division of human things and divine things.

  • August 17-24, 2015
    Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Aug. 23, 2015

    Ancient Roman society was profoundly hierarchical, and this can grate on readers today when they encounter certain biblical passages. Prime among these are ancient household codes, which delineate the duties and responsibilities of family members to one another. Part of the purpose of these passages in their historical context was to show how Christians fit within ancient Roman society.

  • August 17-24, 2015
    Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Aug. 30, 2015

    The relationship of Christianity with the law has often been conflicted, stemming from the apostle Paul’s complex teachings regarding the Torah and Jesus’ own words, like those from the Gospel of Mark.

  • August 3-10, 2015
    Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Aug. 9, 2015

    As infants, prior to the coming of speech, we communicate with sounds, gestures and facial expressions. Long before we can speak to our mothers, fathers or older siblings, we fall in love with them. It is a tactile love, based upon the senses of touch, hearing, smelling and seeing. What if this is how we fall in love with God?

  • August 3-10, 2015
    Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Aug. 16, 2015

    You are what you eat. There is some truth to this in the physical sense, as the bloated Western diet can lead us to heart disease and obesity, while more nutritious and moderate eating can lead to better health and more energy. Yet every physical food, in moderation, can be transformed into necessary fuel for the body.

  • July 20-27, 2015
    Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Aug. 2, 2015

    There is a fine line between having what we need to sustain our physical existence and feeling we just do not have enough. Or is that line the one where we want more and more? Once we cross that line, as individuals and as societies, to where our most notable identification is as a consumer, it can be difficult to cross back. Once this takes place, the most surprising of things begins to happen: Our own sense of worth and value can be tied up in things we...

  • July 20-27, 2015
    Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), July 26, 2015

  • July 6-13, 2015
    Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), July 19, 2015

    The problem is not a new one among the flocks of the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah sounded a warning over 2,500 years ago, chastening those who would mislead the sheep: “‘Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ says the Lord.” It is also a current problem, as a priest at the parish my family attended for over 10 years was recently jailed for sexual abuse of minor boys. The lack of oversight by the shepherds of the archdiocese was...