Word Among Us

Unable to get near Jesus. . . , they opened up the roof above him

Saint Anthony, Abbot (Memorial)   Unable to get near Jesus. . . , they opened up the roof above him.   Four men carried their friend to the house where Jesus was preaching.   Foremost in their minds was getting as close as possible.   No matter what the obstacles, they would push through and not give up.   “If we can just get to Jesus,” they told each other.   They weren’t sure what to expect, but all the stories of healing they had heard...

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Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, [and] touched the leper

1st Week in Ordinary Time   Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, [and] touched the leper.    In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera, the title character is marred both physically and emotionally.   This poor soul has suffered a lifetime of rejection and a lack of human intimacy.   In the end, the kiss of the heroine Christine reaches through his self-pity and rage and brings him healing he had never thought possible....

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Speak, for your servant is listening

1st Week in Ordinary Time   Speak, for your servant is listening.    Yesterday, we saw how Eli mistook Hannah’s prayer for a child as the babbling of a drunken woman.   Today, we see Eli mistaking young Samuel’s story of voices in the dark for nothing more than dreams coming from the boy’s vivid imagination.   In both stories, Eli learns a vital lesson about listening—both to other people and, ultimately, to God. In his book How to Speak, How...

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I was only pouring out my troubles to the Lord

1st Week in Ordinary Time   I was only pouring out my troubles to the Lord.   Communication is vital to good relationships, but we don’t tend to think about communication when it comes to our faith.   That’s too bad, because Christianity is all about relationships, beginning with our relationship with God but also including our relationships within our church and among our loved ones. Some saints have been blessed to hear God speaking to them...

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They left their father . . . and followed him

Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial) and First Week in Ordinary Time   They left their father . . . and followed him.    Do you remember your teenage years, when you used to be able to sleep through a blaring alarm clock?   But for those of us who became parents, the slightest noise from our little children made us jump out of bed to check on them.   What made the difference?   Simply this:   at his birth, that...

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We are in the one who is true, . . . Jesus Christ

Christmas Weekday   We are in the one who is true, . . . Jesus Christ.  John was addressing a community that was going through a difficult time.   Some people were getting sidetracked by philosophies that didn’t line up with the gospel, and as a result, they began separating themselves from the larger fellowship.   One of these philosophies was an early form of Docetism, the denial that Jesus is fully human.   Another was Gnosticism, which...

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