death, the great silence

As the liturgical year draws to the end and we prepare ourselves for a new one, the Readings presented to us start to get a little uncomfortable. Both the First Reading and the Gospel we hear are considered apocalyptic writings, writings about the end of time—Apocalypse meaning unveiling, seeing things as they truly are. In […]

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to die or not to die

Last week we heard the story of Zacchaeus, which occurred as Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem. This week we hear that Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem, where he finds the authorities are plotting against him. They set traps for him with their questioning. First they try to trick him by asking where his […]

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on lemons, taxes, and christ

A local fitness center was offering $1,000 to anyone that could prove they were stronger than the owner. Here’s how it worked: the muscle man would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a glass, then he would hand the lemon to the next challenger. Anyone who could squeeze out one more drop […]

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paul, first millennial

A few months ago some friends and I drove up to Austin to attend a graduation ceremony. We started talking about commencement speeches, and we noticed that most commencement speeches have two key elements in common. The first element is an emphasis on discovering your passion, talents, and gifts. The second element is a call […]

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the leprosy of ingratitude

Leprosy is a terrible disease. In the modern world we have it more or less under control, but in Biblical times leprosy was an extremely serious matter. Leprosy is a bacteria that infects the body and starts rotting away the extremities; it is very contagious, so much so that in Biblical times it was required […]

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cereal-aisle faith

One of the perks of wearing the roman collar in public is that I get to have the most interesting conversations in the oddest of places, even in the cereal aisle of a supermarket. I was looking at cereals the other day, and from the corner of my eye I saw someone pass by, and […]

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the lost story of christianity

The great author G.K. Chesterton said the following words: The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder. As Christians, we can sometimes fall into the danger of losing our wonder about the story of Christianity. We cease to marvel at the glory of a Father who goes to […]

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one doesn’t “just” follow jesus

Last week we heard about Jesus’ dinner invitation with one of the leading Pharisees; we heard that his popularity has been steadily increasing, and that he is becoming a celebrity of sorts. Today, the Gospel depicts a multitude walking with Jesus: “Great crowds were travelling with Him” (Lk 14:25). I can picture Jesus stopping, looking […]

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if you had HALF my humility!

“I am the most humble man on earth, you really should learn from me.” Only one person who could  in all honesty say that phrase without falling into the temptation of pride, and today in the Gospel acclamation we hear from that person. “Learn from me,” Jesus says, “for I am meek and humble of […]

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meta-olympic fire

Sometimes I think that watching the Olympics should count as exercise. After just ten minutes of watching athletes swim, jog, and run, I feel like I’ve had half an hour at the gym and I’m ready to order a good pizza to compensate for all the exertion! Eight years ago a thirteen year old kid […]

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missing our homeland

We live in society that does not believe in God, or rather, a society that believes in several gods—the god of money, the god of pleasure, the god of fame, the god of popularity, and the god of power; this presents a great challenge to our faith.The Second Reading speaks to this challenge. In this […]

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all is bubbles

We all know the story of King David, recounted in the book of Samuel, and we all know about his son, Solomon, who is believed to have been the author of Ecclesiastes, the First Reading of today. Solomon had it all: riches, lands, wisdom, and fame, and yet he was a searching soul. In Ecclesiastes […]

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