January 23, 2017Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), Jan. 29, 2017
The beatitudes are promises that God has made to humanity. Some of these promises are fulfilled in every age; mourners are comforted each day. Others will only find fulfillment in the fullness of God’s kingdom: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”
The beatitudes are eschatological, describing life in God’s kingdom. There will be no mourning, no want, no lack of mercy; grace will abound; and God’s own peace will bring injustice to an end. This was a message of hope...
January 2, 2017Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), Jan. 15, 2017
Some words take on expanded meanings over time. It wasn’t long ago, for example, that only birds tweeted. Other words develop narrower meanings. Consider the word business , for example, which today primarily means “commercial dealings.” Earlier in history, the word meant any kind of “busy-ness” to which one attended—a sense that lives on in the expression “mind your business.”
The Gospel today has several words...
January 2, 2017Epiphany, Jan. 8, 2017
In today’s Gospel, Matthew introduces us to two types of characters: those who seek Jesus but do not know where to look and those who know where to find Jesus but fail to seek.
No one knows if the story of the magi is historically accurate, but Matthew’s narrative has inspired Christian imagination from earliest days. Lavish Byzantine frescoes in Jerusalem and Ravenna depict them as high-ranking Persian dignitaries...
January 2, 2017
As long as I have lived here, almost 30 years now, a mockingbird has arrived every spring and stayed until the approach of winter. Year after year his instinct tells him this place is home. Having read that the females rarely sing in summer, I think this bird is a male. And since the oldest known mockingbird lived only to age 14, I realize that the same bird has not been stopping by for decades. Still, I like to think of the current songbird as the...
No quiero ni imaginarme el corazón de José al conocer la noticia del embarazo de María en el que él, su prometido, no había tenido nada que ver. Mucho podemos imaginar y decir sobre José y sus sentimientos. A lo largo de la historia, muchos autores nos han contado lo que pensó, lo que sintió, lo que imagino antes de actuar.
Yo no seré uno de esos porque lo que pasó por la mente y el corazón de José sólo él lo sabe. Eso de aventurarme a inventar no me va mucho....
In his homily today, Pope Francis warned pastors of the dangers of becoming “intellectuals of religion.”
The poor and humble people who have faith in the Lord are the victims of the “intellectuals of religion,” and those who are “seduced by clericalism.”
The pope directed his attention to Jesus, who in the day’s Gospel turns to the chief priests and the elders of the people, and focuses precisely on their role. “They had juridical, moral, religious authority,” he said. “They...
Siempre me ha enternecido esta escena del Evangelio. ¿Se imaginan? Juan en la cárcel, sabiendo que a su cabeza le quedan pocos días, quizás horas solamente, seguro de que aquel a quien preparó los caminos es quien él cree que es, preparado para ver la gloria de Dios. Pero está encarcelado, su final se acerca y Jesús no mueve ficha.Impaciencia o tentación, Juan envía a algunos discípulos a preguntar a Jesús: “¿Eres tú el que ha de venir o tenemos que esperar a otro?” (Mt 11:3). Pudo ser...
Editors' note: Today we mark the 75th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attacks on Pearl Harbor. This editorial appeared in the Dec. 5, 1942, issue of America.
No national celebration of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor will be observed, if we follow the President's counsel. Japan's act of treachery is a hateful thing to be recalled, not a joyful matter to be commemorated.
But a nation-wide retrospect is in order as to the country's first year of this renewed experience. What...
December 19-26, 2016Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, Jan. 1, 2017
The church has found many reasons to mark the importance of today’s feast. Aside from marking the calendar’s turn to the new year, an appropriate time for prayer and thanksgiving, this day is also the eighth day after the birth of Christ. Older Catholics can probably remember a time when this feast celebrated Jesus’ circumcision, which according to Jewish law took place on the eighth day after his birth. At various times in history, today’s feast...
December 19-26, 2016The Nativity of the Lord, Mass during the night, Dec. 25, 2016
The right word at the right moment can transform a person, for good or for ill. Hollywood knows the dramatic value of these moments. In the movie “Jerry Maguire,” Dorothy sums up falling in love with “You had me at ‘hello.’” In “As Good as it Gets,” Melvin’s rambling apology for insulting Carol’s dress ends with the emphatic “You make me want to be a better man.” The words strike Carol like lightning, and her heart softens toward him. In “Good Will...