EASTER: Urbi Et Orbi Message by Pope Francis

April 6, 2015

From I Ask You to Pray For Me Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter!  Happy Easter! What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen!  I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons. . . . Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil!  Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious!  The mercy of God always triumphs! We, too, like the women who were Jesus’s disciples, who went to the tomb and found it empty, may wonder what this event means.  What does [...]

EASTER SERMON: Easter — Not Magic But Mystery, by J. R. Burkholder

April 5, 2015

We are standing in the darkness before the dawn – facing the tomb.  It is empty.  Where is the light of Christ? From the very first, men and women have been baffled by the claim that Jesus was risen from the dead.  He is not here, for he is risen. Thus the Gospels tell of mixed and contradictory emotions – fear and great joy, – and diverse responses: when the eleven came to Galilee, we are told that some worshiped and some doubted. Luke’s account puts it even more bluntly; the words of the women witnesses “seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.” In John’s Gospel we walk through the struggle of doubting Thomas  – and who doesn’t at some point identify with Thomas?  Why should [...]

ACCEPTANCE: Jesus of Los Angeles, by James Martin

June 12, 2014

From The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything Recently, I made my second thirty-day retreat at a Jesuit house in Los Angeles.  It would be only the second (and maybe the final) time that I would make the full Spiritual Exercises.  Even though I was guarding against too many expectations, I was still worried about “performing” and producing amazing results in prayer, placing upon myself expectations about what I needed to “do” in prayer, rather than leaving it up to [...]

JESUS: Descent Into Hell, by Garry Wills

January 9, 2014

From What Jesus Meant Lazarus Jesus embraced his own death when he gave life to Lazarus.  When he answered the call from Lazarus’s sisters, he was going back into the killing zone, as his followers protested: “Rabbi, just now the Jews were trying to stone you, and you are returning there?” (John 11:8).  When he says he is going anyway, Thomas voices the feelings of the others: “Go we along, then, we too shall die with him.” (John 11:16).  But Jesus did not respond instantly to the request of Lazarus’s sisters.  John’s gospel shows that Jesus waits to act on the Father’s timeline for movement toward his “hour.”  Here at the end of his ministry he acts as he did at its [...]

POETRY: Resurrection, by Margaret Atwood

April 24, 2013

I see now I see now I cannot see earth is a blizzard in my eyes I hear now the rustle of the snow the angels listening above me thistles bright with sleet gathering waiting for the time to reach me up to the pillared sun, the final city or living towers unrisen yet whose dormant stones lie folding their holy fire around me (but the land shifts with frost and those who have become the stone voices of the land shift also to say god is not the voice in the whirlwind god is the whirlwind at the last judgment we will all be [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Fifteenth Station — Jesus Is Raised From The Dead, by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

March 23, 2013

From The Journey to Peace Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you hold fast to it as I preached it to you.  Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  I handed on to you first of all what I myself received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried and, in accordance with the Scriptures, rose on the third day; that he was seen by Cephas, then by the Twelve.  After that he was seen by five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have fallen asleep.  Next he was seen by James; then by all the apostles.  Last of all he was seen by me, as one born [...]

LENT: Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

March 14, 2013

From Show Me The Way How can you believe since you look to each other for glory and are not concerned with the glory that comes from the one God? —John 5:44 I have gradually become aware how central this word glory is in John’s Gospel.  There is God’s glory, the right glory that leads to life.  And there is human glory, the vain glory that leads to death.  All through his Gospel, John shows how we are tempted to prefer vain glory over the glory that comes from God. Human glory is always connected with some form of competition.  Human glory is the result of being considered better, faster, more beautiful, more powerful, or more successful than others.  Glory conferred by people is glory which results from being [...]

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: The Grand Miracle by C. S. Lewis

December 28, 2012

Supposing you had before you a manuscript of some great work, either a symphony or a novel.  There then comes to you a person, saying, “Here is a new bit of the manuscript that I found; it is the central passage of that symphony, or the central chapter of that novel.  The text is incomplete without it.  I have got the missing passage which is really the center of the whole work.” The only thing you could do would be to put this new piece of the manuscript in that central position, and then see how it reflected on the whole of the rest of the work.  If it constantly brought out new meanings from the whole of the rest of the work, if it made you notice things in the rest of the work which you had not noticed before, then I think you [...]

POETRY: Resurrection by Mary Ann Bernard

April 11, 2012

Long, long, long ago; Way before this winter’s snow First fell upon these weathered fields; I used to sit and watch and feel And dream of how the spring would be, When through the winter’s stormy sea She’d raise her green and growing head, Her warmth would resurrect the dead. Long before this winter’s snow I dreamt of this day’s sunny glow And thought somehow my pain would pass With winter’s pain, and peace like grass Would simply grow. The pain’s not gone. It’s still as cold and hard and long As lonely pain has ever been, It cuts so deep and far within. Long before this winter’s snow I ran from pain, looked high and low For some fast way to get around Its hurt and cold.  I’d [...]


April 10, 2012

I’ve always wondered about Lazarus, always wanted to, in some way, to have been there and watched, a fly on the wall, as the event unfolded.  The rush of Jesus to the scene, not understanding what he will find when he walks into that room.  His seeming disorientation when he comes out. Once I made up a supposition that it was a trick of God, well, not really a trick, but an illusion that Jesus followed to the house of Lazarus.  Lazarus wasn’t dead, just ill and needing a pick-me-up.  But he was dead.  What was God doing?  Perhaps, I supposed, he was leading Jesus there to show Jesus that he had the ability to actually bring someone back from the dead. Perhaps Jesus was being taught the mechanics of it so that he could [...]