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Reflection

The perils of Christian testimony
Mar. 21, 2017, By Father William Nicholas
If you’ve heard one story of Jesus curing a blind man you’ve pretty much heard them all, whether it be of Jesus smearing mud paste, simply touching the man’s eyes, whether the man cries out to the “Son of David” or first experiences his cure by ...

Remembering your greatest spiritual experiences
Mar. 6, 2017, By Sister Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM
When you go to a spiritual director so you can grow closer to God more consciously, you may be asked about a “peak spiritual experience.” The director invites you to recall a time when you felt God’s presence unforgettably.

Separating the things of this world from the things of eternity
Feb. 20, 2017, By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Today’s Gospel contains one of the most realistic statements in Scripture: “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan?” Jesus tells his disciples how to set their priorities with regard to material possessions, inviting them to learn ...

With God, all things are possible
Feb. 6, 2017, By Father Mark Doherty
Do you ever stop and wonder sometimes why the Mass is organized the way it is, why this or that “part” is situated as it is relative to the other “parts”? I’m thinking now especially of the ‘kiss of peace,’ that moment in the liturgy ...

Jesus shows the way
Jan. 24, 2017, By Father Joseph Previtali
What is morality? Why does God give us commandments? Why should I care about doing good and avoiding evil? Why should I care about right and wrong? Why does it matter what I do or how I act?  

King servant our Lord
Jan. 10, 2017, By Sister Maria Catherine Toon, OP
Typically kings possess an entourage of personal staff that proves to be as functional as it is impressive. But there is always one who races ahead of the pack to broadcast the king’s movements to the people. Even this announcer, his words, and personality give the people ...

Emmanuel, the God who is with us
Dec. 13, 2016, By Father Charles Puthota
One Christmas Eve a man, sitting in his living room, suddenly heard the sound of geese. At the door he saw several geese wandering about in the snow. They were hungry, cold, and dazed. The man went out and tried to get the geese to go into his barn, but they were too frightened ...

Letting go of expectations
Dec. 5, 2016, By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Advent is a time of expectations. Children make their lists for Santa, and we might even as adults pin our hopes on receiving a certain gift as children do, only to be disappointed. Holidays are also a time when we might expect too much from family and friends. Each Advent I ...

Two stories for Advent
Nov. 28, 2016, By Sister Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM
Can we feel both terror and consolation at the same time? How can such completely opposite feelings co-exist? How can we endure Isaiah’s consoling vision of concord, anticipating the peace of the King’s rule, where the wolf lies down with the lamb – and moments ...

Christ the King
Nov. 15, 2016, By Deacon Faiva Po’oi
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year of the church, we focus our attention on Jesus Christ as the king of the universe. What a divine irony there was on Calvary when the cross became his instrument of victory, and a condemned thief was the first to be assured of a place in ...

Citizenship in the City of God
Nov. 1, 2016, By Father Mark Doherty
Election time affords us the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a citizen and what the purpose of a state is. Interestingly enough, this Sunday’s readings provide a helpful guide to understanding how citizenship in the City of God makes us better citizens and ...

God and us
Oct. 17, 2016, By Father Charles Puthota
Two elderly women in the front pew of their church were listening to a fiery preacher. When he condemned the sin of stealing, they cried out: “Amen, brother.” When he condemned the sin of lust, they cried out all the more: “Preach it, Reverend.” 

The necessity of gratitude
Oct. 3, 2016, By Father Joseph Previtali
Jesus often declares that faith has saved those whom He heals. This is His beautiful word of Mercy in our gospel this Sunday to the Samaritan leper, who alone returns to thank Him after being cured of his leprosy. The saving faith of this Samaritan is manifest to us specifically ...

The grace to obediently fulfill Christ’s command
Sep. 26, 2016, By Sister Maria Catherine, OP
Of what use is a mulberry tree planted in the sea? What is the significance of such an arbitrary example? Why doesn’t Jesus say he will give his disciples increased faith? They have asked for it, after all. Jesus’ example of the mulberry tree followed by a story ...

The compassion of dogs
Sep. 19, 2016, By Sister Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM
What was the rich man’s problem? That he didn’t notice Lazarus at his doorstep because the dining room wall blocked his view? That he had fallen into the habit of not noticing people like Lazarus, because there were so many of them? 

A God who does not change
Sep. 12, 2016, By Father William Nicholas
As familiar as they are, the writings of the Old Testament prophets are perhaps the most difficult to read. Always calling the people back to a faithful, authentic observance of the Covenant, calling for proper worship and social behavior, the prophets regularly chastise the ...

Guests at the Lord’s table
Aug. 22, 2016, By Deacon Faiva Po’oi
In today’s readings, our ideas of success, honor and greatness are challenged. In the first reading, the author of Sirach stresses the importance of humility in the spiritual life: the more you humble yourself, the greater you will appear in the eyes of God and others. In ...

Praying: It’s fundamental
Aug. 9, 2016, By Father Mark Doherty
On the whole I think the new Jason Bourne movie is a dud, but there is a theme in the newly released film that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass could have drawn out to greater effect. By naming the prominent tech company portrayed in the action thriller Deep Dream, the lead actor ...

Spiritual richness in poverty of spirit
Jul. 26, 2016, By Father Joseph Previtali
 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods” is surely the most overlooked commandment by practicing Catholics today. In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus makes sure we can’t miss His liberating teaching about our proper relationship to riches. ...

Can you hear me now?
Jul. 12, 2016, By Father Charles Puthota
In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy, seeing a record of Brahms’s Fourth Symphony in Schroeder’s hands, asks him what he is going to do with it. Schroeder says he is going to take it home and listen to it. She asks him if he is going to dance or march to it. “No, ...

Enough for all
Jun. 21, 2016, By Sister Maria Catherine, OP
Once someone asked me about evangelization and I will rephrase the question here: As Christians, doesn’t Jesus call us to cultivate relationships with those who are hostile to the faith so that we might bring them closer to Christ? In some cases, wouldn’t it be a ...

‘An act of mercy … to rule them all’
Jun. 7, 2016, By Father William Nicholas
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, conversing with Gandalf the Wizard about a wretched creature named Gollum, declares it a “pity” that his uncle, Bilbo, had not murdered Gollum at a previous encounter. ...

The body and blood of Christ
May. 24, 2016, By Deacon Faiva Po’oi
The Gospel makes allusions to fish a number of times; some of Jesus’s disciples were fishermen. The letter of the Greek word for fish, “ichthus,” became an acronym for “Jesus, Christ, God, Son, Savior.”

Peace the world cannot give
May. 9, 2016, By Father Mark Doherty
In our observance of the Ascension and Pentecost the Lord asks us: “what is it that you fear?”  

Peace I leave with you, give to you
Apr. 26, 2016, By Sister Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM
I learned early on that the world is fragile and peace is precarious. My first real job, not babysitting, was doing small tasks in a religious goods store up the street from my grade school. For days I kept bumping into stand-alone plexiglass displays in the annex. Several times ...

Living by the commandment of love
Apr. 19, 2016, By Father Charles Puthota
Years ago, while studying theology in Delhi, India, I most enjoyed visiting the Taj Mahal a few times. The magnificent white-marble monument stands majestically on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra. From 1631, over 20,000 workers toiled for 22 years to complete the ...

Pride and humility
Apr. 5, 2016, By Father Joseph Previtali
What was the difference between Peter and Judas? They could have ended up the same. They both committed horrible sins against Our Lord in His Passion: Peter denied Him and Judas betrayed Him. They both saw the horror of their sins after the fact. Yet only one of them is called ...

The burial cloths: Jesus is alive
Mar. 21, 2016, By Sister Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM
The death of Jesus was a chaotic din – a Passover festival in Jerusalem turned into a bloody nightmare of brutality. Roman soldiers and Temple priests, enemies of Jesus, joined forces in a politically expedient collaboration. Jesus was captured and subjected to trials that ...

The seeming triumph of evil
Mar. 14, 2016, By Sister Maria Catherine, OP
In my most recent reading Luke’s account of Christ’s Passion, it’s the Pharisees’ accusations that stand out. This group, so key in the religious and political life of the Jews, cannot make up their mind how to prosecute Christ: “… (he is) ...

St. Augustine has it right
Feb. 29, 2016, By Deacon Faiva Po’oi
There was an unusual auction that took place in Washington, D.C. Thousands of old patent models of unique and unusual inventions were up for sale. Since 1800, thousands of old patent models had accumulated in the U.S. Patent Office. 

Climbing the mountain of prayer
Feb. 15, 2016, By Father Mark Doherty
Often enough it happens that after I’ve given a talk on the topic of spiritual discernment, one or another of those in attendance will approach me and ask for an appointment so that I can begin teaching them the Ignatian (named after St. Ignatius of Loyola) method of the ...

God’s saving grace
Feb. 2, 2016, By Father Charles Puthota
A man dies and goes to heaven. At the Pearly Gates, St. Peter says to him, “We have a point system. You tell me the good things you have done. I’ll assign points to each of those. If you get 100 points, you can make it into heaven.” The man says: “I was ...

Charity means holiness
Jan. 26, 2016, By Father Joseph Previtali
Despite its almost-ubiquitous presence at weddings, the magnificent “Hymn to Charity” of St. Paul in our second reading this Sunday is not about romantic or human love. St. Paul is never a sentimentalist, least of all in his First Letter to the Corinthians! In this ...

The generous and bountiful bridegroom
Jan. 11, 2016, By Sister Maria Catherine, OP
In the second book of Kings, Namaan is an Aramaean general who wants Elijah to cure him from leprosy. When Elijah promises that if he bathes in the Jordan seven times he will be cured, Namaan scoffs at the suggestion. It seems too simple, too provincial. “Are not the ...

Setting us free from our knots
Dec. 15, 2015, By Father Mark Doherty
I tell anyone who asks that the most enjoyable part of my life is the time I get to spend with the elementary school kids at St. Peter and St. Anthony-Immaculate Conception in the Mission District. They’re ceaselessly delightful and full of life. 

Rejoice: He is near
Dec. 8, 2015, By Father Joseph Previtali
This Sunday is “Gaudete Sunday” (“Rejoice”), so named from the first word of the Introit (Entrance Chant) for the Mass for the Third Sunday of Advent, which is taken from St. Paul’s command proclaimed in our Second Reading to the Philippians and to ...






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