21 Video Reflections

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8 Audio Reflections


From St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church
By Fr. Addisalem Mekonnen
October 31, 2021

The Wedding of Heaven and Earth

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
January 14, 2001

When Jesus appears at the Wedding Feast of Cana, he signals the marriage of heaven and earth. When God moves into our experience, he transfigures humanity, elevating art, philosophy, science and politics into bearers of the sacred. He changes the water of earth into the wine of heaven.

Surely This Man Was the Son of God!

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
April 13, 2003

Another homily from Fr. Robert Barron and Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

A Ransom for the Many

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
October 19, 2003

What does it mean to say that Jesus died for our sins? How precisely does his cross save us? The first Christians saw sin as a sort of imprisonment, like being held for ransom, and in the dying and rising of Jesus, they experienced freedom. What freed them was God’s solidarity with them in their fear, even their fear of death. How do you experience the power of Jesus’ death on the cross? How does...

Feast of Christ the King

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
November 23, 2003

The final Sunday of the Liturgical year is dedicated to Christ the King. One of the earliest forms of Christian proclamation was “Jesus is Lord.” This was meant to be provocative, since Caesar was customarily described as Lord of the world. The first Christians were saying that Jesus is the one who must in every sense command, direct, and order our lives. Is Jesus truly the King of your life? That’s the hard question which...

The Cross is Our Peace

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
July 23, 2006

We continue our reading of Paul’s extraordinary letter to the Ephesians. We hear that the cross of Jesus has broken down the wall of enmity which divided Jews and Gentiles. At the very center of Christianity is the conviction that the death of Jesus on the cross represented God’s victory over all the dark forces that divide us. What looked like ultimate defeat was in fact God’s triumph over the power of division.

The Voice of Ambition

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
October 22, 2006

James and John want to sit at Jesus’ right and left when the Lord comes into his glory. What they don’t realize is that his glory is the moment of his crucifixion. To be at his right and his left at his enthronement is, therefore, to be crucified with him, to be willing to give oneself totally away. Be careful what you ask for!

Breaking, Singing, Pulling Away

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
March 28, 2021

Friends, one of the best known stories in Western culture is the narrative of Christ’s Passion and death. However, this very familiarity can block our understanding of the account. What I want to do in this homily is to draw your attention to three odd details of Mark’s Gospel, each of which packs a punch spiritually.

28 Written Reflections

Good Friday

From The Sacred Page
By John Bergsma
April 14, 2022

Every year on Good Friday, we read St. John’s account of the Passion from John 18-19, together with Isaiah 52-53 and Psalm 31. One of the themes that runs through these reading is the Priesthood of Christ.

"Why is the cross a glorification? Because it is the extreme expression of love; only a God most truly worthy of love and worship would and could undergo such radical self-sacrifice for our sakes."

Luke’s Story of the Passion

From A Catholic Moment
By Mary Ortwein
April 9, 2022

“Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel…” So begins a traditional prayer of the Catholic Church, the “Prayer Before a Crucifix.” What is the image of Jesus you see when you kneel before a crucifix? Is it a simple, bare bones image of Christ in his pain? Or a gentler image that evokes tenderness with tears? Or is there an element of the glory to come in...

"Enter into the mystery of a God who loves us so much, that he gives his life to both pay the price of our sins and to demonstrate for us HOW to make good overcome evil. Go to church. Pray. Ponder. Love."

By Way of the Cross

From Torch
By Fr. Robert Ombres
September 6, 2021

Today’s gospel is demanding. It is demanding because it makes us think about ourselves at a deep level, and because it makes demands on us. As Christians we are disciples of Christ, we take our most fundamental identity from being in him. Baptism, we believe, can never be undone and it changes us at a level so fundamental that it can be described as ontological. By baptism we die to our former selves and enter...

"could we not have the resurrection without the suffering and the dying?Evasion is not a way to salvation."

Looking Through

From Torch
By Fr. Oliver Keenan
March 9, 2021

The Gospel points back to the time of the Great Exodus, when the Israelites were instructed to seek salvation from the pestilence of fiery serpents by raising their eyes to a bronze serpent, fashioned by Moses. Investing hope in works of art is a perilous business, as the Israelites would have remembered well from the incident with a golden calf. It was, after all, Moses himself who discovered this outbreak of idolatry as he returned...

Gripped by Fear

From Torch
By Fr. David Goodill
April 17, 2019

Christ crucified is the one thing we have to preach, yet this one thing encompasses all. Fr. Matthew (Matty) Rigney O.P. once told me how as a young priest he was terrified to preach his first sermon. One of the older priests in his community helped him to overcome his fears; yes, preaching is terrifying, no one wants to tell people they have to be crucified with Christ. This is what we preach. Only by...

"Christians, like all other people, will suffer and die. Yet we will not do so alone, for the suffering Christ is with us...We can only overcome our fear of death and find healing for our pain if we are united with Christ on the cross."

Cleaving the Darkness

From Torch
By Fr. Aidan Nichols
January 9, 2019

For early Christians, the thought that their Lord had himself undergone baptism was disturbing, embarrassing and even scandalous. Could the Immaculate Lamb, the altogether holy Jesus, really have submitted to an act of ritual purification? Could he have admitted by implication that he too was part of unclean, guilty, sinful, humankind? It says a great deal for their honesty that they did not attempt a cover-up, but left this seemingly controversial episode as it stood...

"At his Baptism, the Saviour chooses to be with us where we are, to enter into solidarity with us, sinners as we are"

Accomplished in Christ

From Torch
By Fr. Richard Conrad
November 14, 2018

Chapter 13 of St Mark’s Gospel begins with Our Lord foretelling the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The disciples ask him when “all these things are to be accomplished”. Instead of giving a straight answer, Jesus warns them against people who will make false claims to divine status. He predicts wars and natural disasters, persecution and betrayal, and the preaching of the Gospel to all nations. He repeats his prediction of the Temple’s desecration...

"In his human mind Jesus could see into the divine mind...Jesus was permitted to draw out from this vision certain things so as to handle them conceptually and teach them...They did include the saving power of his Passion, Death and Resurrection.What will be revealed to each of us at his or her death, and what will be revealed publicly at the end of time, is simply how we stand in relation to Christ’s Cross: are we with those who put him there and mock him, or have we joined him there by mercy and compassion?"

Love's Response

From Torch
By Fr. Peter Hunter
March 29, 2018

I could never be a secular humanist. I have friends who are. I respect them, and can accept that they hold their views after thoughtful consideration but I cannot share their views and particularly their view of human progress.

"the cross doesn’t just show sin for what it is. It also definitively shows God’s response...God’s incompressible response to sin is love."

When I Am Lifted Up

From Torch
By Fr. David Sanders
April 18, 2014

Now today on Good Friday as we venerate the cross in the liturgy we may ask ourselves how in fact is the world redeemed, how are we saved? If Jesus was to heal the broken human world which we experience every day then he had to confront it and take it on at a profound level.

"Today the God of all creation tells us that those who do care for the poor, those who take a stand against injustice, those who seek to bring peace and yet suffer ,those are ones whose lives are acceptable to God."

Facing The Cross

From Torch
By Fr. Euan Marley
April 6, 2012

When the first high rise flats were built in Britain, it soon became apparent that among the many signs of negligence in their design was that the lifts were too small to take coffins. To this day, undertakers often have to stand guard at the base of lifts, while the body is taken out in a body bag and hastily transferred to a coffin at the bottom. I think this was a significant oversight. Not...

"The first stage of overcoming the evil of death is to overcome our fear. This requires courage but the proper remedy for fear, in the Christian disposition, is not courage but hope."

A Disciple

From Torch
By Fr. Duncan Campbell
March 18, 2012

In this Gospel we have Jesus talking in an unusual way to an unusual man. When we hear Jesus speaking, usually to crowds, it is loud and clear, even if he speaks always in parables. These are puzzles, simple stories, that we won't forget, but we have to grow to understand. John must have remembered this conversation with such an important person. The other occasion John remembered was the Last Supper discourse.

The Triumph of the Cross

From Torch
By Fr. David Rocks
April 2, 2010

This is a day of fasting and abstinence. A day of silence and desolation. And when we arrive at its hour of glory, we witness the drama of a coronation.

"Through the streets, among those to whom he is sent, he carries his cross – the throne of his glory...the power of this King comes not from below, but from above. Jesus is his own master and carries his cross himself, so that his triumph is made known."

'Good' Friday

From Torch
By Fr. Denis Geraghty
April 10, 2009

When the evangelists write about the Passion of Jesus they are quite discreet. They do not go into any detail about the horrors of crucifixion and the terrible sufferings that it brings with it. Nor do they write simply that ‘Jesus died’. They write that he ‘breathed forth his spirit’. Then, at that moment, ‘the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to the bottom’. Not the outer veil but the inner...

"Love is transforming, the source of all change in us. Without it we are dehumanised and can die. Jesus shows us that we are lovable enough to die for."

Keeping Company with the Lord

From Torch
By Fr. Theodore Taylor
March 29, 2009

Jesus is near his end in the gospel of today. The acclamation of Palm Sunday is over and the crowds melt away. Jewish plotting for his arrest is stealthily working. What precipitates his words, 'Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified', is the approach for the first time in his ministry of Greeks (Gentiles) seeking him out. It was 'to gather into one the dispersed children of God' that...

We Beheld His Glory

From Torch
By Fr. Richard Ounsworth
March 22, 2009

One of the most important words in St John's Gospel is 'glory'; right at the beginning we read that 'the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of a father's only son…' Jesus Christ is the revelation of the glory of the Father. And that glory is beheld especially when Christ is 'lifted up' on the cross. The kind of exaltation - of lifting up, of glorification...

The Promise of Eternal Friendship

From Torch
By Fr. Richard Conrad
March 21, 2008

Jesus’s death has saved us. But how? A single, neat explanation cannot exhaust something so awesome. Scientists use several models for an ordinary thing — an electron or an economy — since we cannot understand it through and through. The extraordinary event of God’s death in the flesh must defy comprehension!

"The Bible begins with Adam — The Man — rising up against God in the garden. To counter human pride, the new Adam obediently handed himself over in a garden...He was buried in a garden where, in his resurrection, he would re-fashion human nature in beauty."

Banishing the Shadows

From Torch
By Fr. Peter Hunter
April 6, 2007

Why did Jesus die? That’s a question that arises for us all today of all days. Often I think it gets its charge from a piece of mistaken thinking, as we’ll see in a minute, but there’s a good honest question at the heart of it which faces us with some uncomfortable but ultimately saving truths about ourselves, so let’s see if we can find at least part of the answer.

"People feared Jesus because he didn’t have a shadow side, and that meant he showed up the shadow side of those around him. This is not because Jesus was constantly pointing out people’s faults but because a bright light always makes the shadows sharper and easier to see."

Rulers of the Kings of the Earth

From Torch
By Fr. David Sanders
November 26, 2006

As we come to the end of the Church’s year we are given a vision of Christ as the universal king. He is, as Revelation tells us, ‘The Ruler of the kings of the earth’. But then it adds that we too share in his kingship for he has made us ‘a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father’. So what is the connection between Christ’s kingship and ours? Is there any...

"The pretensions of worldly kingship are mocked but as the crucified Christ reigns from the cross he reveals the self giving love of God and it possesses a power which can draw all men and women into his kingdom"

The Glory of Calvary

From Torch
By Fr. John Farrell
November 19, 2006

The end of the world has happened. The news is good. It is Good News. Christians are accustomed to understanding the history of salvation as a drama in four parts. Act One is from Creation to Jesus; Act Two is the life of Jesus; Act Three is the time of the Church and Act Four is the Glory of Christ and the Victory of God. Christians are less inclined to appreciate that Act Four comes...

"it is the cross which stands as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and is the tree of life"

What Happened on Good Friday?

From Torch
By Fr. Robert Ombres
April 14, 2006

Anyone who has been at a public reading or a dramatization of the Passion of Jesus Christ knows just how many separate parts there are. At the liturgy on Good Friday we will hear the Passion narrative according to St John, and of course the other Gospels give their own accounts of the Passion.

"The goodness of Jesus’s love and sacrifice at Calvary is immense, permanent and efficacious"

The Royal Way

From Torch
By Fr. Isidore Clarke
April 9, 2006

Palm Sunday is a mass of contradictions! It begins with a joyful procession of pilgrims, coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. That feast commemorated God delivering his people from slavery in Egypt. In each annual celebration God renewed his commitment to rescue his people from evil, and they renewed their commitment to him. In one such group of pilgrims the crowd proclaimed Jesus to be the son of David, who had come in the...

The Silent Cross

From Torch
By Fr. Allan White
March 25, 2005

The liturgy of Good Friday is one of the most ancient and the most stark of all of the Church’s ceremonies. Traditionally, there is no homily given on that day. Is that because on this penitential day the patience and ascetic spirit of the people of God is not to be tried by the kerygmatic enthusiasm of the clergy? Or is it rather that there are no words which can frame the mystery we celebrate:...

"The power of the liturgy of Good Friday comes from the silent gaze of him who bore ‘the weight of our sins on the tree.’"

The Whole Story

From Torch
By Fr. Richard Ounsworth
April 9, 2004

One can hardly ignore the existence of Mel Gibson’s film of The Passion, and though it is by no means a perfect film, it does serve to highlight something about the suffering and death of Christ that is easily overlooked: it divides the world in two.

"So we who come to the liturgy on Good Friday believing that this is the story of the death of the Son of God, a death that brings us freedom from death, a Passion that liberates us from sin, we Christians can hardly fail to be moved once again by this great mystery at the heart of our faith"

The Sign of the Star

From Torch
By Fr. Benjamin Earl
January 6, 2004

Our Christmas Crib is now complete: a star has risen in the east, and the magi have followed this sign, until it came to rest over the place where the child Jesus lay. The magi have come and worshipped the one who has been revealed to them as the new-born ‘King of the Jews’. It all makes a very picturesque tableau.

"So the Epiphany, as Matthew presents it to us, is not just about the fact that Jesus came for all peoples, but that Jesus came to die for all peoples: to die for their sins"

Behold, your King!

From Torch
By Fr. Allan White
November 23, 2003

The other day I saw what comes pretty close to the abomination of desolation. It was a singing Christmas tree. I was walking through a respectable department store when I noticed the bow in the middle of a plastic Christmas tree transform itself into a pair of lips and begin to sing Jingle bells in a harsh metallic voice.

"When we hide the image of God, we go on to defile, profane and destroy that same image which lives in the flesh of our brothers and sisters"

The Necessity of the Cross

From Torch
By Fr. David Sanders
April 18, 2003

Today the Church gets rid of the cross for a while. When we come to church the cross is veiled or even removed from the sanctuary.

"In today’s passion John does not see the cross just in terms of suffering but also in terms of the power of God’s love. He sees the cross not only as an instrument of torture but also as a throne on which Christ sits as divine and majestic king"

Parody or Reality?

From Torch
By Fr. Richard Finn
April 13, 2003

The desire to be met with acclaim seemingly runs deep - to be hailed as liberators, the streets of Basra or Baghdad lined with cheering crowds. Across the centuries those who wield power also want the glory. Roman governors and emperors long ago made an art form of their entry into the cities of the empire. You can still see on the arch of Galerius at Thessalonika how the civic notables lined up outside the...

Stand Upright

From Torch
By Fr. Timothy Radcliffe
December 3, 2000

In the last few weeks many people’s lives in England have been disturbed by floods, bringing chaos to their lives. In the time of Jesus ‘the roaring of the sea and the waves’ symbolized the collapse of our ordered world, the unleashing of destruction. Our worlds may collapse for many reasons. Our marriage may breakdown; we may lose our jobs, discover that we have cancer, become estranged from our children. In all of these situations,...

"we will see the Son of Man coming with power and glory. This refers to the end, God’s final triumph over chaos and all that destroys human life. But it also refers to Jesus enthroned on the cross in glory."

Bible Verse Reflections

Harvest Field Grain

Luke 9:44

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

Focusing on Jesus’ Passion

What does Jesus’ passion mean to us and are we praying enough on it?