26 Video Reflections

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11 Audio Reflections

Coming Home

From Australian Women Preach
By Melissa Dwyer FdCC
March 27, 2022

Sr Mel Dwyer FdCC made her Religious Profession as a Canossian Daughter of Charity on the 23rd of April 2005. Prior to entering religious life, she was a national level javelin thrower with a dream of representing Australia at the Olympics. A volunteer mission experience in Africa helped her to discover that God’s dream for her was to leave the sporting arena and serve Him radically as a consecrated woman. Having finished her degree in...

"as individuals and as a church we need to get in touch within ourselves of a God who is more merciful, more healing and more loving than we can ever understand."

Third Sunday of Lent

From Australian Women Preach
By Veronica Lawson, RSM
March 20, 2022

Veronica Lawson RSM is a Sister of Mercy and a biblical scholar based in Ballarat. She is probably best known for her weekly gospel reflections which have a global circulation and for her 2015 publication The Blessing of Mercy: Bible Perspectives and Ecological Challenges which proved to be a valuable resource for the Year of Mercy. She was the first woman to be elected President of the Australian Catholic Biblical Association.

"To repent is to see the big picture"

Third Sunday in Advent

From Australian Women Preach
By Trish Hindmarsh
December 12, 2021

Trish is a retired teacher and educational leader who worked in Catholic Education in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania. She has a lively interest in justice, peace and ecology and is a member of the Catholic Earthcare Australia Advisory Committee. She spent six years as a senior consultant working with groups of schools within the Sydney Catholic Education Office and five years as Director of Catholic Education in Tasmania. Her doctoral studies...

Second Sunday in Advent

From Australian Women Preach
By Emily Hayes
December 5, 2021

Rev. Emily Hayes, minister at the Alice Springs Uniting Church (ASUC).The ASUC is a welcoming, growing and diverse community of people involved in many areas including prison ministry, youth services and hosting “spirit journeys” for visitors to come and listen and learn from first nations people and experience this extraordinary country Emily is currently in the final year of her Master of Theology at the Adelaide College of Divinity. She has lived in Mparntwe (Alice...

The Primacy of Message over Messenger

From Center for Action and Contemplation
By Richard Rohr
September 9, 2012

What Should We Do?

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
December 17, 2006

Our Gospel for today centers around a question that is bracing in its directness and simplicity. A group of people come to the Baptist and ask “what should we do?” The spiritual life is about a set of behaviors and practices, focused, as John the Baptist specifies, around the work of justice.

Resurrection and Metanoia

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
April 26, 2009

The readings for today effect a correlation between the resurrection of Jesus and conversion. The biblical word for conversion is “metanoia” which has the sense of “going beyond the mind that you have.” What would it be like to move from a death-haunted consciousness to resurrection-haunted one? It would involve a conversion.

Be Ready!

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
December 6, 2009

The prophecy of Baruch finds its fulfillment in the revelation of Christ, who brings the troubled history of God’s people to its fulfillment and reveals God’s eternal purpose for Jerusalem, the Temple, the Messiah and for Israel itself.

The Twelve and the New Israel

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
July 15, 2012

This week, Mark relays the story of Jesus giving the Twelve Apostles their “marching orders,” the instructions on how they would go out and spread the word to the world. Notably, he tells them to go “two by two,” laying the foundation for the communal nature of the Church. They are to bring nothing but the simple tools to keep them moving forward, and they are be resolute in fighting the demons of the world-injustice,...

The Strangeness of the Resurrection

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
April 19, 2015

Authentic Christianity does not present Jesus as a ghost, an abstraction, or a disembodied soul. It presents him as risen from the dead, glorified and resurrected at every level. This good news of Easter was strange and unnerving 2,000 years ago and remains so today.

The Prodigal Son Returns

From Word on Fire
By Bishop Robert Barron
March 6, 2016

Today we hear the greatest of Jesus’ parable, indeed what many people call the greatest story ever told: the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Even after hearing it 1,000 times, it continues to beguile us and draw us in. What’s the main spiritual lesson? We’re meant to receive the divine life as a gift, but then give it back.

34 Written Reflections

The Name of God

From The Sacred Page
By John Bergsma
March 13, 2022

In this third week of our spiritual journey through Lent, the Scripture readings remind us of what we might call the “Moses stage” of salvation history, and also drive home the theme of repentance during this holy season.

"Our practices of self-denial and mortification are ways by which we “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires,” so that we can truly be free to live out those virtues that Scripture identifies as the fruit of the Holy Spirit"

Sunday of the Word of God!

From The Sacred Page
By John Bergsma
January 15, 2022

The Readings this Sunday focus on the importance of the public proclamation of God’s Word. In the First Reading, we see Ezra, the great priest and scholar of the Law, reading the Law of Moses out loud to the people of Israel after their return from Babylonian exile. In the Gospel, we see Jesus, our great high priest and interpreter of God’s Law, reading the promises of salvation from Isaiah to the Jews in the...

"His healing power, and specifically his offer of forgiveness of sin and freedom for those held captive by evil, is still available to us, if we will have faith in Him and in his promises"

What do we do?

From A Catholic Moment
By Mary Ortwein
December 11, 2021

Sirens went off about 2:30 am. Lightning was all around. A tornado watch had turned to a tornado warning. One had been sited nearby. Shaken from sleep, I had to think, “What do I do?” I got dressed, lighted candles, gathered essential papers, and prepared to go to the basement quickly if needed…an antiphon from Compline:

"metanoia is a lifetime process. It is the process by which we are divinized–by which we change by change by change come to be like God in our capacity for Truth, Compassion, Fidelity, and relationship"

Third Sunday of Lent

From Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
By Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
March 20, 2022

In the Gospel for this third Sunday of Lent, Jesus speaks of the need for all people to repent of their sins. He tells a parable of a person who owns a fig tree that does not produce fruit for three years. When the man tries to cut it down, his gardener tells him to leave it for another year and carefully cultivate the soil as a final test to see if it can bear...

"In examining our lives and repenting for our sins and failings during Lent, we help cultivate the soil of our hearts so that the seeds of God’s love can bear fruit in our lives. Our daily practices and choices help us to remain spiritually healthy, otherwise we can become fruitless, like the fig tree."

Ash Wednesday

From Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
By Susan Nagele
March 6, 2019

I was sitting at the lunch table in the Maryknoll house in Nairobi Kenya. This was many years ago while I was working in what is now called South Sudan. The war made our lives miserable and so did the government of Kenya with all its political shenanigans.

"So let us be Ambassadors for Christ. Let us stop blowing our own trumpets and living like hypocrites. Let us put away the gloom and put on our work clothes. Let us put aside ideas of us versus them and start working together. We all belong to one another and we have only one home."

Ash Wednesday

From Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
By Sr. Elizabeth Zwareva, MM
February 14, 2018

God, who is unseen, speaks through the prophets and says to the people, repent, come back to me who am your merciful, compassionate God. Remember and repent!

"The first step towards conversion is becoming conscious of our inordinate desires for transient and perishable things that draw us away from God"

Passed from death to a new life

From A Catholic Moment
By Father Lawrence Obilor
April 18, 2021

The common theme of today’s readings is the challenge to adjust our lives to the living presence of the risen Lord as we grow daily more aware of the presence of His Holy Spirit within us and surrounding us. This awareness should strengthen our hope in His promises, bring us to true repentance for our sins and the renewal of our lives, and lead us to bear witness to Christ by our works of charity....

You too follow Me!

From A Catholic Moment
By Father Lawrence Obilor
January 24, 2021

God’s call to discipleship is as old as creation itself. In every age, in every nation, in every race and langauge God calls and chooses men and women to sow the seed of His kingdom. The process is always God’s own initiative. He comes to man and then the latter is expected to respond by emptying himself through repentance, conversion, and renewal of life. This is the theme of today’s readings. God first calls us...

The Sunday of the Word of God!

From The Sacred Page
By John Bergsma
January 22, 2021

In September of 2019, Pope Francis released an apostolic letter motu proprio “Aperuit Illis” designating the third Sunday of Ordinary Time—the Sunday on which the semi-continuous reading of the Gospel of the year begins—as “The Sunday of the Word of God,” and suggested that local parishes adopt some ceremonies or practices—like the presentation of Bibles to each family or to recently confirmed, etc.—to foster devotion to the Word of God on this day. The whole...

The State of Your Heart

From A Catholic Moment
By Joseph LaCombe
February 26, 2020

The older I get, the more I notice how fast time goes by. Life get’s so busy, and before we know it, a year has gone by. Also, the older I get, the more and more I think about my own mortality. You see the stories in the news about people being killed, and it makes you think. And then I start to see people my age or not too much older than me passing...

"We need to examine our hearts, our conscience, and in true sincerity and sacrifice – return to God"

Jesus Makes Things Right

From A Catholic Moment
By Joseph LaCombe
May 5, 2019

Here we have Peter – who on Good Friday denied knowing our Lord three times. And here is Jesus, following His Resurrection, appearing to the disciples on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias, and giving Peter the chance to profess his love for Jesus – three times.

"That’s all Jesus wants, is our love. He just wants us. He just wants our time. He just wants us to put Him before all else, and He will come back to us as many times as necessary. He comes to us as many times as necessary – to save us, to offer redemption, to make things right."

Hope of the Innocents

From Torch
By Fr. John O’Connor
March 15, 2022

Sitting at a desk in a safe place, I am painfully aware that from where I live a mere two and a half hours away by aeroplane, in Ukraine, many innocent people are suffering grievously. Today’s Gospel passage, in which Jesus raises the difficult question of why bad things happen to innocent people, makes especially challenging reading at times like these.

"God does not forget the innocent victim. Injustice and cruelty will not have the last word."

Come One, Come All

From Torch
By Fr. Malcolm McMahon
February 28, 2022

There are two days in the year when I rarely preach. These are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On these days I let the liturgy speak for itself and allow the signs of the ashes or the cross to speak for themselves. Receiving ashes or venerating the cross are two moments in the liturgy of the church which are truly open to everyone.

"A truth that applies to every person who has ever been born is that they will meet death"

Repent, Believe, Preach

From Torch
By Gregory Pearson
February 18, 2021

On Wednesday, as we began this season of Lent, we might have heard the priest using words from today’s Gospel reading, ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel,’ before sprinkling our heads with ash. They express, as it were, the consequence of the other phrase which might have been used at that point: ‘remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return’ (cf Gen 3:19). It is with this instruction to repent that Jesus...

God Is.

From Torch
By Fr. Peter Harries
March 21, 2019

Bad news travels fast. The tower at Siloam in Jerusalem fell killing people. Shoddy building work? Perhaps? Some disturbance in the temple? Pilate’s solution as colonial ruler was to kill a few people – keep the locals in order by fear. Disasters happen and people, good and bad alike, get killed. We should plan to minimise known risks, although building regulations may be costly to enforce, and adequate policing expensive. The news of the terrorist...

"We are not to gloat over disasters happening to others, thinking ourselves exempt from the possibility of facing imminent judgement. No, we are to repent, to orientate our lives towards God and live out his mercy."

Hoping to Turn

From Torch
By Fr. Gregory Murphy
March 5, 2019

The first preface of Lent reminds us that by God’s gracious gift, this time is given us so that with minds made pure, more eagerly intent on prayer and the works of charity we may be led to the fulness of the joy God wishes to give us. And it demands a response – the reading from Joel is full of urgency: we are to come back with all our hearts, the community is to...

"Following the way of the Lord Jesus is to learn to sit lightly to the things of this world, for all their beauty and goodness, to refuse to be trapped into setting our hearts on anything less than the love of God"

Our return and the return of God

From Torch
By Fr. Simon Gaine
December 6, 2018

Advent is, among other things, about returning. In our first reading we witnessed the return of exiles to Jerusalem, to God’s city. From east and west, at God’s command, they return, carried back like royalty. God has removed every obstacle to their return, as though he had flattened mountains and hills and filled in the valleys, so Israel can return in safety, saved by the Lord.

"Perhaps in Advent we can turn our thoughts first to God’s return to us, that he has returned to us in Christ, that he has begun our return within us, and that we wait for the return of Christ at the end of time and in the celebration of Christmas"

Better to Enter into Life

From Torch
By Fr. Robert Ombres
September 26, 2018

Much of our modern way of thinking and of our culture wants us to believe, and many people do, in a small world. That kind of world has a shrunken sense of the real, in it life is pursued within limited horizons, and the expectation is of annihilation at death. This helps to explain why the lines from today’s gospel according to St Mark are so challenging.

"But to talk of sin is to identify a further depth to wrong and to evil, based on an explicit involvement with God and a turning away from him."

Dancing for Joy

From Torch
By Fr. David Goodill
December 8, 2015

One of the Dominicans who influenced me and many others, fr. Jonathan Fleetwood, once observed that there is a modern day obsession with turning everything into entertainment. Before entering the Dominicans he had been an engineer and maintained an interest in engineering, but found it irritating when perfectly good and informative television programme on engineering topics were turned into entertainment.

"Without Christ we cannot enter into the joy which is the crowning of our salvation"

Knowing Our Needs

From Torch
By Fr. Benedict Jonak
July 28, 2015

St Thomas Aquinas says in a neat way that there are three things necessary for our salvation: to know what to believe, to know what to desire and to know what to do. Of course he is not the first one to stress the importance of knowledge, whether practical or theoretical. The value of knowledge has been key to many philosophical or religious movements. It is expressed in the familiar “Know thyself” of the Delphic...

A New Way

From Torch
By Fr. Richard Ounsworth
January 2, 2015

There is a very interesting website called ‘Television Tropes and Idioms’ (tvtropes.org) that lists, quite exhaustively, the plot devices and conventions that script writers use to structure their storytelling. The website points out that these are not simply clichés: a cliché is something stereotyped, trite, dull and uninteresting, whereas these tropes are the vast array of plausible narrative patterns and character-situations by which writers of fiction, skilled and unskilled alike, help their audience to find...

"they had received from Christ infinitely more than they had given him: they had received the faith that brings with it the promise of a heavenly homeland"

Daily Conversion

From Torch
By Fr. Robert Gay
March 3, 2013

The Holy Week liturgies of the passion which we will celebrate in a few weeks time include the reading and singing of the passion narratives. And when we hear those passion stories we get quite an insight into the character of Pontius Pilate. In particular, we see him as the unjust coward, who didn’t have the guts, or perhaps even the inclination, to do the right thing. But other sources from that time show that...

"The reality is that conversion takes time and a lot of grace. It requires us not only to make up our minds that we want to change, but also for us to be willing to work patiently with God’s help to allow the change to happen."

Bearing the Word

From Torch
By Fr. Gregory Murphy
December 9, 2012

Baruch brings a message of reconciliation and hope to the Jewish communities of the Greek-speaking Middle East at a time in which for them exile had become permanent. Even those returning to Jerusalem could not but have been aware that the Land of the Covenant was ruled by pagan Gentiles, first the Greeks, later the Romans. Baruch tells us of the renewal of Jerusalem, when her children will be brought back, overcoming every obstacle, to...

"we are invited just now to step aside, be still, focus on what truly matters. We are to hear and receive the Word that we might bear it. From hearers we are to become doers of the Word, displaying God’s compassion in our lives"

Cutting Out the Cause of Sin

From Torch
By Fr. Robert Verrill
September 29, 2012

Some sayings of Jesus are so difficult to deal with, it is tempting to say He was exaggerating and we shouldn’t take Him too literally. For example, in today’s Gospel, when Jesus says ‘If your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off,’ did He really mean it, or is this just Semitic hyperbole? One possible way to deal with this saying would be to take Jesus a bit more literally: He doesn’t actually...

"In cutting out the causes of sin, we shouldn’t start with other people – we should start with ourselves."

Getting Into The Flow

From Torch
By Fr. John Farrell
February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday. ‘Remember that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.’ Repent! And be quick about it. This could, after all, be your last Lent! Sermon over.

"Are we Christians in name only and not in deed? Do we live out our days in the graced freedom of the children of God? Do we pray as the Spirit guides us? As disciples do we act with courage and hope in our heavenly Father?"

Not Just a Second Chance

From Torch
By Fr. Peter Hunter
December 13, 2009

It’s tempting to think that morality is all about education: if people really knew what the right thing was to do, they would do it. Parents make this mistake a lot, especially in judging themselves negatively – if my children do things wrong, it’s because I’ve been a bad parent and not brought them up properly.

"baptism is much more than a sign of repentance, much more even that a simple forgiveness of sins...the love of God is poured into our hearts."

It's a Scandal

From Torch
By Fr. Francis Gaine
September 27, 2009

Jesus always provokes a response in those who encounter him. It’s true that there are those who want to follow but are afraid and those who are held back by something they don’t want to leave behind. But at bottom there are those who are for him, and those who are against. Jesus himself implies as much:

"When the grace of our baptism is renewed, at Mass, in confession, or by any growth in charity, we drown away the enemy of God in us."

Make Straight the Paths of Joy

From Torch
By Fr. Mark Edney
December 10, 2006

The novelist George Bernanos once asked the question, ‘What is the opposite of a Christian people?’ It is not hard to think of some answers. I can think of a few—like a pagan people, a hypocritical people, a merciless people, etc. The readings for this second Sunday in Advent give a better clue.

"Sadly, I think the penance, the preparation Advent most demands of us Christians these days is to learn anew to be joyful and to learn again to share our joy with others"

Not for Eating

From Torch
By Fr. Peter Clarke
March 1, 2006

It happens to me every year. On Ash Wednesday someone opens his mouth and stretches out his tongue at the very moment I am about to place ashes on his forehead! He is looking to me for the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion. Instead, I smear dirty ashes on his brow!

"The Good News of the Gospel is that although in death we shall return to dust, through Jesus the dust that is ourselves will be raised to share in the glory of his resurrection."

A Public Sign

From Torch
By Fr. Dermot Morrin
February 25, 2004

Today Lent begins with the sign of ashes — a communal sign of repentance. All over the world Catholics receive the sign of ashes on their foreheads as a sign that they are ready to do penance.

"The sight of so many others wearing this sign of repentance should be an encouragement to us to make a real effort to renew our Christian lives"

Heralding the Reign of God

From Torch
By Fr. Peter Clarke
December 14, 2003

I was halfway through preaching a parish mission. One of those attending the evening services told me that she liked my sermons, but then complained that I was too mild and gentle. She advised me, “You must give them hell, Father.” Not exactly my idea of preaching, nor, I imagine, was it that of John the Baptist.

"can we find the time and inclination to ask Jesus, “What must I do?” by way of a spiritual preparation for his coming into our lives, of our coming into the life of the Kingdom of Jesus?"

Lent, the discovery of love

From Torch
By Fr. Columba Ryan
March 9, 2003

With the arrival of Lent people think of giving up little indulgences. It might be better if we thought of taking up new commitments. The commitment we need to make above all is to love. To love our neighbour more, to love God more. Easy words, but what do they mean? We can hardly love 'to order'; it's not like going into a shop to buy a ready-made suit. It's surely more like a mania,...

The Sign of Ashes

From Torch
By Fr. Fergus Kerr
March 5, 2003

Ashes are always significant. The remains of a camp fire in the woods; of a picnic; or of a bonfire. Signs of companionship; a family outing; a festive occasion. The remains of a bush fire, destroying many miles of forest, burning many animals to death, devastating many people’s lives. Something even much more terrible: Lower Manhattan after 9/11. Even more terrible still: Auschwitz, Treblinka.

"The symbol of repentance rises out of the symbol with which the advent of the Saviour is acclaimed, the beginning of our re-enactment of the mystery of our passing with Christ from death to resurrection"

Remember and Move On

From Torch
By Fr. Clement Paul
February 28, 2001

The Season of Lent begins on a negative note. On Ash Wednesday, when the ashes are distributed the Celebrant says, ‘Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.’ No wonder Lent for many people is a time of doom and gloom. The very depressing formula sets the tone for the season for many.

"I invite us to approach this Lent as time to ‘remember’ who we are in the sight of God rather than what we are"

Bible Verse Reflections

Empty Tomb

Romans 6:23

Image by TC Perch from Pixabay

Choosing Spiritual Life

How much are we thinking about our spiritual life when we sin?

Cross Image

Luke 12:1

Photo by Morteza Khalili on Unsplash

Continue Following Jesus

If church leadership fail to follow Jesus, can we remain vigilant to God’s Word?

Cross Image

Baruch 4:28

Photo by Morteza Khalili on Unsplash

Embracing God Always

Are we aware that we need to constantly repent since we tend to not follow God’s way?

Black and White Cross

Baruch 1:22

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Sinning in Front of God

Are we aware that by keeping our hearts away from God we begin to offend God?

silhouette of woman

Ezra 9:6

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

Ashamed of Sin

Are we really repentful of our sins before we ask God for forgiveness?

Black and White Cross

Colossians 3:17

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

In Jesus’ Name

How different would we be if we did everything in the name of Jesus?

people riding camels

Luke 5:11

Photo by shubham gond on Unsplash

Leaving Everything for Jesus

Are we truly giving up everything to follow Jesus?

silhouette of two person walking on desert

Matthew 22:12

Photo by Jeremy Cai on Unsplash

Changing for God

Are we lying to ourselves that we have no sin and refusing to repent?

silhouette of woman raising her right hand

Matthew 19:21

Photo by William Farlow on Unsplash

Jesus Over Everything

Can we let go of our desires for wealth and riches in order to hold on to God?

Grave Fog Autumn

Psalm 106:20

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Not Giving Up God

Are we keeping God first in our lives or are we prioritizing other things?

Cross Image

2 Corinthians 5:15

Photo by Morteza Khalili on Unsplash

Love As We Are Loved

How much does Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross drive our daily lives?

Beach Dry Crust

Matthew 11:20

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Jesus Reproaches

With all Jesus has done for us, are we still not responding to God's call?

Grave Fog Autumn

Genesis 18:15

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Truth of God

God calls out our lies and things we conceal. Are we open to face the truth?

person hands out

2 Corinthians 5:20

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Reconciled to God

Are we focused on remaining in communion with God at all times?

silhouette of three people on mountain with sun

Mark 12:40

Photo by amalia elmadjid on Unsplash

God Excuses, We Cannot

What sins are we covering up hoping that God does not notice?