The Spirit comes

This coming Sunday marks the 6th Sunday of Easter (Year C). You can read a complete commentary on this gospel here.

Our passage is taken from the “Farewell Discourse” of Jesus contained in five chapters of John (13:1-17:56). In other words, we have but a few verses which are an integral part of a much larger passage. Accordingly, the Discourse can be outlined in a number of ways, though three main parts are fairly clear: Continue reading

Last words, first things

If you knew this was your last week, your last day on earth, what would you tell the people you love? Would it be advice? Your hopes for them? Would it be the dreams you have? Perhaps, the gratitude and love in your heart?  What would be your last words to the ones you love? Beyond the fact we’d really not like to think about it, even if we were ready to do so, this is something difficult, daunting, and delicate. Continue reading

A fraternity in mission

Occasionally, people will ask me “What order are you?” and other questions that eventually lead to the inquiry, “Where are y’all from?” I have noticed that people not native to the South have picked up that Southern expression. But it leaves me in a dilemma. I wonder if the one I am speaking with understands there is a difference between “y’all” and “all y’all”. So, I am not sure if they are asking where I am from (y’all having, in some cases, a singular use) or they are asking where all we friars are from (all y’all would have been clearer in use and intention). The answer to the question “Where are all y’all from?” might well be “Holy Name Province.” Continue reading

Love one another

This coming Sunday marks the 5th Sunday of Easter (Year C). You can read a complete commentary on this gospel here.

Perhaps we should place this short gospel passage in context. The public ministry of Jesus has drawn to a close with Chapter 12.  Here in Chapter 13 begins the “private ministry” of Jesus preparing his disciples for his impending death.  John13:1-17:26 is characterized by Jesus’ being alone with his disciples before his betrayal and arrest. While there may have been others present, such as those who were serving the meal, the focus is on the Twelve (so also Mt 26:20; Mk 14:17; Lk 22:14). The section begins with an account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and the prediction of Judas’ betrayal (13:1-30). Then there is a lengthy section known as the farewell discourse, which consists of teachings (13:31–16:33) and a concluding prayer by Jesus (17:1-26). Continue reading

Marian Apparitions

A part of our Catholic tradition includes appearances (apparitions) of the Blessed Virgin Mother, most famous of the many are Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fátima, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, to name a few. These appearances can be approved as “worthy of belief” by the local bishop or by the Vatican. The Church does not require belief in any apparition or other private revelation. However, she does exercise her maternal judgment for the protection of the faithful in declaring some apparitions to be inauthentic, others to be “worthy of belief.” Investigations into alleged apparitions are rigorous, and not done lightly. Continue reading

A name spoken

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

In many ways the stories of the Bible highlight people hearing God call their names and they respond by following. Noah heard his name called, built an ark, and saved lives. Abraham and Sarah heard their names called, traveled to a land not their own, and became our parents in faith. Moses heard his name and set his people free. The prophet Samuel heard his name called and responded, “Here I am Lord. Your servant is listening.” Hosea, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and all the prophets heard their names called and followed. Continue reading

Mother’s Day

Fr George recently asked me if I wanted to write an article about Mother’s Day for his column in the bulletin. I thought I could just tweak the article that I had written a few years ago. But as I reread the article from 2016, I came to the realization that I had to rewrite it. Although it was only a few years ago, my daughters have transitioned from being teenagers into 20-somethings. Continue reading

I am the living bread

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51-58) Continue reading

…that you believe: the bread come down

bread-of-life-tabernacle41 The Jews murmured about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,” 42 and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:41-51) Continue reading