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  • The apostle Thomas is best known for his stubborn refusal, without further empirical evidence, to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps because he is my patron saint, I have always been dismayed--and admittedly, defensive--about the moniker "Doubting Thomas." What follows is a playful midrash, a digging deeper into the text, in order to suggest another way of appreciating the story told in John 20:24-29. This story is so familiar that we can easily gloss over some interesting details...
  • Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" "You know I do!" was Peter’s repeated and heated response. Paul, at the end of his life, wrote that "all I want is to gain Christ, and be found in him." Whatever else Peter and Paul did for the glory of God and the salvation of souls--and their achievements are inestimable--their inner lives of devotion to and love of Jesus are the examples shouted to us all. These two were quite different men, children of different circumstances and experiences...
  • In his book, Things You Get For Free , Michael McGirr tells the story of going on pilgrimage to Rome with his mother. Maureen McGirr had always wanted to see St Peter’s Basilica. Michael records the big day. "One of the features of a visit to St Peter’s is the modesty inspection. This is the kind of examination which most Australians [or Americans] on a visit to Bali would flunk. You aren’t allowed to wear shorts or sleeveless garments. No swimming costumes, either, unless they have long legs...
  • July 1st is the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Daniel Harrington notes that the Gospel reading from Luke marks the start of an important journey for Jesus and his disciples: "The journey moves from northern Galilee to Jerusalem and focuses on two themes: the identity of Jesus (Christology) and what it means to follow him (discipleship). Today’s inaugural reading from Luke 9 suggests that the journey may be long...
  • An RSS feed is now available for "The Good Word." RSS is short for "really simple syndication," and allows you to gather content from a variety of Web sites and deliver it to your browser or favorite home page. By subscribing, you’ll be notified as soon as there is a new post on "The Good Word." To include the "The Good Word" RSS feed on your Google or AOL home page, or other news aggregator sites, visit our new Feedburner page...
  • To celebrate the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J., (1568-1591) the liturgy offers the Eucharistic community the choice of three Gospel readings: Matthew 6, 7-15, Mark 10, 23-31 and John 1, 35-40. The first reading underlines the kind of prayer that pleases God: for content, the Our Father, for manner, "not for show." The second reading centers on the threat riches present to salvation--with the assurance that what a human being cannot overcome, God can. The third reading describes the first...
  • The American political drama "West Wing" has been a huge hit on television in recent seasons. Well-scripted, cleverly cast and finely acted, it dramatizes events around the most powerful office in the world. This is one drama series that does not need to invent stories. With former White House insiders hired as consultants, "West Wing" explores important issues and demonstrates the process by which a public position is adopted. The best aspect of this drama, however, is that it portrays the...
  • Daniel Harrington’s commentary on the Birth of St. John the Baptist can be found here . The feast did not fall on a Sunday in 2004, so there is no commentary from Dianne Bergant. But you can read John H. Donahue’s column from 2001 here .
  • The gospel this week dwells on the theme of hospitality -- that which we offer both to one another and to God, and that which God offers to us. The intimacy and in a sense extravagance with which the sinful woman welcomes Jesus is sharply contrasted with that of Peter the Pharisee, who neither welcomed Jesus properly nor offers hospitality to this woman at his door. And at the same time, the woman’s devotions are indicated to be emblematic of God’s own extravagant hospitality towards her. As...
  • The late Bishop Untener warns homilists not to tell stories just for laughs. I suppose we’ve all done it. We hear a good joke and feel the need to pass it on to others. The Sunday congregation fits that bill nicely. Even if the story somehow dovetails with the readings, it’s probably too colourful or too hilarious. Thus the congregation’s attention remains anchored right there and is unable to move on to more serious ground. The point is well made – dogs should wag tails, not tails dogs; the...