The National Catholic Review

The Word

  • 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...

  • July 6-13, 2015
    Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), July 12, 2015

    Jesus sends (apostellô) his messengers (apostoloi) out into the world to share his message and his ministry, but the sending of the apostles is not so much about traveling vast distances as it is about being present for the people around them. Wherever you live, that is the place evangelization occurs.

  • June 22-29, 2015
    Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), June 28, 2015

    God is for us and for life. God, after all, “did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.” Death is our enemy, and God has joined with us to battle against it. The Gospel of Mark invites us to see how God is fighting for us through the stories of a Jewish woman and a Jewish girl on the cusp of maturity.

  • June 22-29, 2015
    Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), July 5, 2015

    If you want to be transformed by the Messiah, the first step is to recognize the Messiah in your midst. This means being ready to encounter the Son of God wherever you are and whatever time it is. This means inclining not just your ear for God’s voice, but your heart for God’s presence.

  • June 8-15, 2015
    Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), June 21, 2015

    Even before Darwin, scientists were studying the origin of species; and though some might think there is a perpetual and permanent war between science and religion, it is simply not the case. St. John Paul II asked in a letter to George V.

  • June 8-15, 2015
    Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), June 14, 2015

    The first sign that the kingdom of God is not what you expect comes not so much in Jesus’ use of parables to describe it but in the content of those parables. Why describe a kingdom by comparing it to the most ordinary of things, like shrubs, seeds and nesting birds? It is a sign that God is not building a kingdom in line with human expectations. Parables about an ordinary kingdom might focus on the beauty of princesses, the power of warriors and authority...

  • May 25-June 1, 2015
    Body and Blood of Christ (B), June 7, 2015

    Sometimes I find myself in a line-up with a bunch of strangers, shuffling down the aisle in church, and I forget that I am standing with my family on the pathway to heaven about to partake of the body and blood of Christ offered once for all time for the salvation of the world. Perhaps you have walked down that aisle with me?

  • May 25-June 1, 2015
    Trinity Sunday (B), May 31, 2015

    God chose the Israelites to be his people, his nation, his children. And so they are his children, a family established through the covenant God ratified with Abraham. At the heart of the covenant was the understanding that Israel “would acknowledge that the Lord is God” and that they would “keep his statutes and his commandments, which I am commanding you today for your own well-being and that of your descendants after you.”

  • May 18, 2015
    Pentecost (B), May 24, 2015

    The Greek word pneuma can be translated “wind, breath or spirit.” So when the sound at the door is “like the rush of a violent wind,” you should answer, and you had better be prepared to have your world turned upside down. Or right-side up. Because according to the Acts of the Apostles, that would be the Holy Spirit announcing its coming; and as Jesus promised in the Gospel of John, the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth,” who “will guide you into all...

  • May 11, 2015
    Ascension (B), May 17, 2015

    Still reeling from the trauma of the crucifixion and then the shattering of all earthly expectations by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, the apostles, trying to make sense of the common Jewish beliefs regarding the Messiah and the apocalyptic establishment of God’s kingdom, pose a simple question to Jesus prior to his ascension: “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”