The Word is Life

The challenge of the gospel

In today’s gospel, Jesus’ confirmation of his mission in Nazareth’s synagogue causes great joy. Already impressed by stories of his deeds elsewhere, his neighbors expect much of him. Delight becomes rage, however, when he insists that his gifts are not...

We ourselves are holy ground

We learn from her mystical writings that St. Teresa of Ávila sat and spoke with Jesus as one would speak with a best friend. One evening, Jesus asked Teresa her name, and she replied using her religious name, saying, “I...

We are God’s beloved

Why was Jesus baptized? Surely, not for the forgiveness of sins. Rather, by his baptism, Jesus identifies with us; he takes on our shortcomings. Through his baptism we identify with Jesus: the words spoken by God about Jesus—“You are my...

The Lord is with us!

In today’s gospel, Elizabeth sees and celebrates the presence of the Lord. It sounds so simple, really, but this recognition and rejoicing elude many of us. The Lord is present right here in our midst, and yet we miss him....

There’s hope for us all!

It is sometimes difficult to understand the appeal of someone like John the Baptist. Who would want to go into the wilderness to hear some religious fanatic tell us to repent so that our sins might be forgiven? In our own...

Jesus comes to the rescue

We seem fascinated with calamities and disasters on a grand scale. We’ve only to look at recent box office successes at the movies. Attracted to these end-of-the-world plots, we are also deeply terrorized, praying these graphic images on the screen...

In your poverty, what do you still have?

A poor widow puts two small coins into the collection plate. Not much of an event, not much of a donation. However, Jesus immediately sees her real identity. Jesus loves her, in her poverty and in her radiance. Though neither materially...

Fall in love with God!

The Great Commandment is at the heart of today’s readings. We hear it in Deuteronomy and then quoted by Jesus in Mark’s gospel. This declaration of God’s unity and call to love God with all our being and to love...

Jesus calls us to discipleship

In today’s gospel, we encounter Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, sitting at the side of the road as Jesus makes his way to Jerusalem. The road is crowded with people hoping to get close to Jesus. Bartimaeus, hearing that Jesus is...