Welcome to the Word is Life!

We hope that these reflections will help you grow in your spiritual life and deepen your relationship with the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. All comments and feedback are appreciated and most welcome.

  • Standing in the presence of God

    The Transfiguration has many allusions to the Old Testament. It occurs on a mountaintop, as did Moses’ initial encounter with God at Mount Sinai and the subsequent delivery there of the Ten Commandments establishing the covenant between God and Israel.......

  • Remember…and choose!

    In today’s first reading we hear the story of Jacob and his family, who went to Egypt during a famine. Later on, his descendants were perceived to be a threat and were enslaved. Later still, they continually recalled and gave......

  • Understanding and peace

    Today’s gospel calls us to forgive our enemies. As a person passionate about social justice, I hear this Scripture calling me to also consider empathy and dialogue. Can we identify the humanity and the inherent dignity in those who do wrong......

  • 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......

  • Using Art for Prayer and Reflection: The Annunciation (Henry Ossawa Tanner)

    Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) was the first African American artist to achieve international acclaim. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and settled in Paris to continue studying. It was only after he became established as a salon artist......

  • 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......

  • 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......

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