The National Catholic Review

Faith

  • January 5-12, 2015
    Baptism of the Lord (B), Jan. 11, 2015

    In a number of Servant Songs in Isaiah, a mysterious individual appears who sometimes represents the nation of Israel, though later Christians understood him to represent Jesus. In Isaiah 42, this person is designated “my servant” (ebed in Hebrew), while in the Septuagint “my child” (Greek pais) is identified with the nation of Israel. But whether we see the servant, God’s child, as the nation of Israel or as a prefiguring of Jesus Christ, God’s...

  • January 5-12, 2015
    Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (B), Jan. 18, 2015

    How do relationships begin? There is naturally not just one way, one place or one word needed to start a relationship. But is there a common process by which friendship is built from nothing to the point that neither party can imagine life without the other? Some friendships begin in childhood, their origins hazy with time, while others start late in life; but some factors, it seems, are essential to every friendship.

  • January 5-12, 2015

    I know a Jesuit whose father worked at the same company for 56 years. A friend and mentor just retired after 35 years at the same company, and my father has only recently begun to decelerate after practicing orthopedic surgery for almost 40 years.

  • January 5-12, 2015

    When I arrived at Fordham University in the fall of 1951, I automatically signed up for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. That I would eventually go into the United States Army had been long understood. The Korean War was raging. Since I felt I would inevitably be drafted, I wanted to enter on my own terms and to be an officer, and the program would take me through college before sending me abroad. Besides, the army was in my blood.

  • December 22-29, 2014
    Epiphany (B), Jan. 4, 2015

    A summer ago my family set off on a cross-country car trip from Minnesota to Vancouver, B.C., in part to pick up a wooden bench that my great-grandfather had made when my family immigrated to Canada. It was the first thing he built when he arrived. As an old man, he was too old to work in the fields, so he took care of his grandchildren as they played outside and he needed a bench to sit on.

  • December 22-29, 2014
    Holy Family (B), Dec. 28, 2014

    The truth of the supposedly clichéd phrase “every child is a miracle” hits home for most people when a child is born to them or an adopted child is welcomed into the family. The instantaneous recognition of the child never before seen is a spiritual experience made tactile as a mother takes the newborn in her arms and a father gazes at an infant who evokes on sight the deepest of loves.

  • December 22-29, 2014

    I am the son of a florist, so I was reared to accept that there are no tin flowers. And even the least of them are like rainbows or sunsets: worthwhile natural deities. I worked side-by-side with my dad for 25 of the 50 years he spent in his tiny flower shop in a tiny Philadelphia neighborhood called Paradise. When my pop was in his shop taking care of his customers, he was truly in paradise. He taught me that flowers speak to the verities of the heart and...

  • December 8-15, 2014
    Third Sunday in Advent (B), Dec. 14, 2014

    Christians read the Old Testament today, understandably, in light of Christ’s fulfillment of the promises and prophecies found there. It is a simple thing to do, since the early church read the Old Testament in the context of Jesus’ incarnation and teaching and the experience of Easter and then formalized these readings and understandings in the texts of the New Testament.

  • December 8-15, 2014
    Fourth Sunday in Advent (B), Dec. 21, 2014

    The fulfillment of hope, especially divine hope, fundamental hope, does not rest on intricately calculated human plans, in which we chart the future according to algorithms that never vary and on the basis of mathematical certainty await the fulfillment of our calculations. Perhaps this works for 401k plans, but Messianic hope is far more significant than investment strategies.

  • December 8-15, 2014

    In late December 2009, on a sunny Florida afternoon, my 81-year-old mother stepped across my sister’s kitchen, caught her foot on the hem of her pink bathrobe and fell onto the ceramic tile floor. She landed with sufficient force to break her right hip instantly, the hip opposite the one she had broken 10 years earlier and that had been successfully repaired.