"He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two." This Sunday we read the first sending of the Apostles to preach, teach, and heal. For many of us, it can be easy to think we "just don't have enough" to be disciples and evangelists ourselves. We don't have enough education and training. We don't have enough experience talking to people about Jesus. We don't pray enough. We don't have enough faith.READ MORE
If you have been closely following the Sunday readings, today's gospel could sound a bit like a broken record. Four weeks ago, the Gospel told of Jesus visiting his home of Nazareth and being poorly received by his family members. Jesus had attracted a large crowd as he preached, and his concerned relatives came to bring him home. Jesus, they thought, was out of his league.READ MORE
Tiny fingers and toes. A little yawn. A loud cry. An infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. "What will this child be?" It is a question every parent asks time and time again. As first steps are taken, as personalities emerge, as a child shows interest in reading or drawing or climbing, the question is on our lips. "What will this child be?" This question is asked as John the Baptist is born. Will he be a priest like his father? Does his strange, unexpected name signal a departure from that inheritance? Could Elizabeth and Zechariah ever have predicted what would be?READ MORE
"This is how it is with the kingdom of God." What is a kingdom? Is it the brick and mortar that build up the castle? Is it the expanse of land a king can reasonably defend? Our notions of kingdoms may be romanticized in the modern era, but for the Israelites, a kingdom held deep historical meaning. Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, the Israelites had asked God for a king. After the reigns of David and Solomon, the united kingdom dissolved into factions, and the land was conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and, finally, Romans. For the Israelites, a kingdom was something to build, both structurally and civilly. While this had ended in ruin for their ancestors, many of Jesus' contemporaries longed for the restoration of an earthly kingdom.READ MORE
Have you ever felt judged by your family? St. John Paul II noted that the family "is the cradle of life and love" (On the Lay Members of Christ's Faithful, 40). Yet unmet expectations and divergent priorities can cause tension in even the most loving family situations. This is true for us, and it was true for Jesus!READ MORE
In our modern times, symbols can seem to have lost its value. The most recognizable "signs" are ones we see on the road or the branding in advertisements. The logos for major companies don't do much more than perk our interest or disdain. They surely don't deliver on their promises for our lives to be happier, healthier, and easier.
On this feast of Corpus Christi, we hear the account of the Last Supper. This was Passover, an ancient sign of the covenant of Moses. The Hebrew people celebrated God's providential care for His people. To the listening disciples, Jesus makes a very bold claim. "This is my blood of the covenant." At the time of the first Passover -- the redemption of the Hebrew people from slavery to the Egyptians -- the blood of the sacrificial lamb was spread on the lintels of the doorpost. Tomorrow, some of the disciples would witness the blood of the new covenant spread across the wood of the cross.READ MORE