August 28th is what I like to call the “Feast Day of Hope.” It is actually the feast day of St. Augustine. (And with that, some of you already know where I’m going with this, but stick around anyway.)
Augustine of Hippo had a mom...as you do. Her name was Monica. She was incredibly holy, despite extensive suffering. Her husband was an adulterer with all violent temper. She wept for her son nightly. The young man took up non- Christian beliefs and Monica drove him from her home.
After a vision, she reconciled with her son. This doesn’t mean she approved of his beliefs and she continued her prayerful assault on Heaven on his behalf.READ MORE
With the exception of our little (worthy) detour for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we’ve spent the last several weeks of Sunday Gospels in the Bread of Life Discourse (as found in John 6).
It began with Jesus establishing His own divinity. He does this by echoing the great prophet Elisha’s miracle found in 2 Kings 42-44, but literally multiplying the number fed. (John 6:5-14.) Then, Jesus further establishes his divinity by walking on water. (John 6:16-21)
In John 6:29, Jesus asks his followers to “believe in the one God has sent.” Hilariously, these folks actually ask, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?” JESUS JUST FED 5000 and WALKED ON WATER. It is never enough for us, is it? But they went on, “Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”READ MORE
In this week’s Gospel, we take a break from John 6 to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.
Some people—most of all, our non-Catholic brothers and sisters—struggle with this teaching. And why wouldn’t they?
Many other denominations take the stance that the body is just a cage for a soul of infinite value. If that is the case, why would a bodily assumption of anyone but Jesus (whose very Flesh is divine) even matter? Why hoist a mere “cage” into heaven?READ MORE
The majority of the time, this space focuses on an aspect of Sunday’s Gospel. But this week, a tiny line from Psalm 34 caught my eye: “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall ever be in my mouth.”
I suspect it grabbed my attention because of the tremendous challenge it contains.
It’s tempting to think that blessing the Lord in good times is a breeze. Not so. Reflect on health. What percentage of our days do we lift prayers of gratitude in times of good health? And what percentage of our days of poor health do we pray for healing?READ MORE
I recently attended a funeral for yet another former youth group teen. They are always difficult, but I find some comfort and solace when it is a young person who has given their lives to the Lord.
You’ve probably felt what I often feel when someone passes away: I cannot imagine the grief of people who have no hope of seeing their loved one again. What a bitter, final, and utterly hopeless farewell. How does the heart cope?READ MORE