Fr. Timothy Radcliffe. "The Face of God" Torch. December 27, 2022 Today’s Feast seems an impossibility. How can a human being be the mother of God? Yet the Council of Ephesus in 431 declared that Mary was the Theotokos, the God-bearer. This is more than a biological fact, that her child was truly human and truly divine. Being a mother implies more than just the physical act of giving birth. She raised and formed a child who was divine.
Mary Ortwein. "Perceptions and Perspectives" A Catholic Moment. December 10, 2022 In a communication skills training I often do, there is an activity we call “The Perspective Exercise.” Last week, in describing the activity, I used both the words “perception” and “perspective.” A student asked me, “What is the difference in the meaning of the words perception and perspective?”
Fr. Euan Marley. "Seeing and Saying" Torch. December 6, 2022 Seeing and speaking may seem quite different actions, but not for God. In the book of Genesis, God says ‘let there be light’. Then he saw that the light was good. Many have discussed whom God is addressing in his speech, but the Trinity is an eternal speech, the speaking of the eternal and perfect Word of God in the breath of the Holy Spirit, the Father expressing his whole being in the Son.
Sr. Janet Hockman, MM. "Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. October 30, 2022 I was always enthralled by stories of the Marshallese sea-faring sailors who used only their knowledge of known ocean swells and stars to guide them. The attunement to nature so keen. I, myself, never tired of watching moon phases, bright planets and visible constellations from the majestically yielding and vast darkness.
Mary Ortwein. "Looking Over God’s Shoulder" A Catholic Moment. February 26, 2022 Preparation for Lent in 2010 was a watershed moment for me. My faith had been loosey-goosey for several years. In fact, for quite a while I had stopped saying St Ignatius’ Suscipe prayer (which you see above) every morning—a habit I have generally kept through my adult life.
Fr. Ken Thesing, MM. "Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. October 24, 2021 The followers of Jesus – the disciples as they came to be called – went through a long process of formation as they struggled to understand who Jesus was. They perceived Jesus as clearly human like them, but yet more. Attracted by his teaching and actions among them they felt called to “come and see,” and to follow him. They were constantly called to “see” beyond the human, to grasp what God was doing in their midst.
Fr. Lawrence Obilor. "The God of Restoration" A Catholic Moment. October 24, 2021 The ancient Israelites suffered in exile as a result of their spiritual blindness and deaf ear to the oracles of the Yahweh. Bartimaeus in the gospel represents all human condition of wretchedness and desolation. Deprived of sight to perceive our God as a result of our sins, we are called today to beg for his mercy as he makes his way towards our path of misery and abandonment. It is a call to a renewal of our spiritual odyssey. We may have been held hostage by our pride, fear, or any other obstacle that keeps depriving us of the intervention of Jesus (like the crowd telling Bartimaeus to keep quiet), but with Bartimaeus, let us open our ears to hear the voice of Jesus asking, “what do you want me to do for you?” And let us pray for both freedom from spiritual blindness and growth in faith, saying, “Lord, I want to see.”
John Bergsma. "20/20 Vision" The Sacred Page. October 23, 2021 My vision is terrible. Uncorrected, it’s probably much worse than 20/200. My glasses prescription is about -8.5 diopters, for those of you who know what that means. Without my glasses, the whole world looks like a poorly-executed Impressionist painting. I’ve often wondered if Monet had bad eyesight, too. Bad vision usually isn’t too much of an inconvenience these days. High index lenses have taken the bulk out of the old “coke bottles.” For sports, I can slip in a pair of contacts.
Fr. Gregory Pearson. "Seeing the Need for Salvation" Torch. October 20, 2021 Brother Vincent, a much loved brother of our Order who died a few years ago, was born with very limited vision, and his sight deteriorated in the course of his life so that, by the time most of today’s friars knew him, he had been completely blind for many years. When he first joined the Order, though, he could still make out some distinction between light and shade, and he used to tell the story of the moment when he realised the last of his ability to see had gone. He was in the kitchen one evening washing up after dinner, and another brother came into the room and said, “Vincent, what are you doing in here in the dark?”
Fr. Richard Conrad. "Looking Harder" Torch. August 17, 2021 Most Christians, most preachers, who reflect on this Chapter reflect on the Holy Eucharist. They are right; John wants us to do so. All the same, we might ask why John doesn’t tell us plainly about the Eucharist in his account of the Last Supper. Perhaps it’s because he was writing for a non-Christian audience – he tells us towards the end that he wants his readers to come to faith in Jesus. Maybe he felt that people who haven’t come to faith can’t grasp something so strange and precious as the Eucharist.
Fr. Euan Marley. "Sometimes it is all about you" Torch. June 30, 2021 I have seen with my own eyes two people who have now been declared saints. One was Pope John Paul II in his popemobile in Glasgow, where he was taken round the crowds, who were in separate rectangular areas, rather like the crowd in the first multiplication of loaves and fishes in the Gospel of St Mark (6:39-40). So we all had a good view of him. The other was Mother Theresa who came to Glasgow to speak on behalf of pro-life issues.
Joseph LaCombe. "Seeing the Big Picture" A Catholic Moment. March 30, 2019 As a father, I’m often talking with my son and instructing him on this or that. He’ll then sometimes ask “why?”, or he’ll dismiss what I am saying. I will then respond with, “well, you don’t see the big picture like I do…”, and then we’ll go on.
Fr. Martin Ganeri. "Rabbuni!" Torch. October 24, 2018 This Sunday’s Gospel passage tells us of the physical healing of a blind man. The gift of sight. Yet it also sets out for us a journey of insight which the man undergoes as he comes into contact with Christ and which leads not just to his being healed of a bodily handicap, but to his becoming a full disciple of Christ, to his following Jesus ‘on the way,’ that ancient phrase for being a Christian. It is as a story of insight that what happens to the man born blind becomes a model for all of us as we seek to understand what it means for us to be ‘on the way’ to and with Christ.
Joseph LaCombe. "The Longest Night" A Catholic Moment. December 18, 2016 He was going to divorce her. She’s pregnant, but he didn’t know how. They had not had relations. She must have been with another man, he thought. But he’s a good man, he doesn’t want her to suffer the shame and consequences that would befall a woman in that day.
Joseph LaCombe. "See the Forest" A Catholic Moment. January 31, 2016 Do you ever have something, and not realize it? Do you ever take something for granted? Do you ever misunderstand your calling, even if it is spelled out in front of you? Welcome to the human experience.
Kathy McNeely. "Epiphany" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. January 3, 2016 “Arise, shine; for your light has come,” proclaims Isaiah, referring to a time when people who had once been dispersed gather again. It’s the dawn of a new age, a new time in history where things are radically different from the past.
Maggie Fogarty. "Christmas Day" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. December 25, 2015 My husband and I and our two young children had been living in Amachuma, Bolivia for about two years when I had an experience that enabled me to recognize what it truly means to be in mission. It was Christmas time, and a local church had organized a Nativity play for the children in our village. Everyone was thrilled. There would be costumes and hot chocolate and the whole village would be there to watch the play.
Fr. Lawrence Lew. "Why Stand Looking into Heaven?" Torch. May 12, 2015 A man in white, the astronaut Yuri Gagarin, reportedly said: “I went up to space, but I didn't encounter God”. But had he listened to the two men in white who spoke to the men of Galilee, he could have saved himself the trouble of seeking God up in space. “Why do you stand looking [up] into heaven?” (Acts 1:11). As another man in white said forty days earlier on Easter morning, “he is not here” (Mk 16:6). For neither down in the grave nor up in the skies will we find our God. Where, then, is Jesus? How might Man encounter God?
Debbie Northern. "Second Sunday of Ordinary Time" Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. January 19, 2014 In today´s Gospel, John the Baptist announces to the people gathered at the Jordan River that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. Even though Jesus was right there in front of them, the people needed help to recognize him … and even so, many chose not to believe.
Fr. Euan Marley. "The Servants Knew" Torch. January 20, 2013 Some people have a lot of magic in their lives. Tables are magically set, heating just works, clothes are cleaned and ironed, and the most of the things they need just appear. At Christmas the magic works overtime. All sorts of delightful things spring up as if from nowhere. Where does it all come from? How did these delights get here? There is an easy answer to this and it is in the Gospel of today.
Fr. Peter Hunter. "Seeing in Love" Torch. August 5, 2012 “You can know a thing to death, and be for all purposes completely ignorant of it. A man can know his father, or his son, and there might still be nothing between them but loyalty and love and mutual incomprehension.” So says the old preacher, Ames, to his son in the book Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It seems to me to express a deep, and strange truth.
Fr. Simon Gaine. "Sharing His Vision" Torch. April 29, 2012 Why should Jesus be the one we should follow? Why should we place absolute trust in his voice among all the voices and noise we hear in our world? Why should he be the one equipped to be our Good Shepherd, the one to lead us to pasture? Our second reading proclaimed to us the promise of our ultimate goal. The glory of this final destination is something that escapes us for now. We cannot put this heaven into words that come anywhere near expressing what this renewal of our life will mean for us.
Fr. Vivian Boland. "Hoping to See God" Torch. November 1, 2011 A few days before he died my father said to me ‘I know my sins but still I hope some day to see God’. He said a lot of other things in those days but I treasure these as his last words to me, a kind of legacy. They express succinctly and accurately what Christian hope means. He did not despair and he did not presume.
Fr. Bruno Clifton. "Look!" Torch. December 12, 2010 The Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, with this advice, was trying to get us to consider things as they are in each case and not as we think they should be or as we are used to them. When we inquire into reality, we should not presume we have understood simply through a previous suggestion or by what we expect to be the case.
Fr. Timothy Calvert. "As Easy as Climbing a Tree" Torch. October 31, 2010 There is often something essential about seeing, times when hearing by itself won’t do. When I was a little boy the Queen was driven through our town, and the entirety of the primary school was led down to the high street to welcome her. I was the only child, so my teacher said, who managed to be looking in the wrong direction when the car, at quite some speed to be fair, passed through.
Fr. Dermot Morrin. "Take Heart, He Is Calling You" Torch. October 25, 2009 The character Bartimaeus leaps out from the pages of Mark’s Gospel and stays with us as we go on our way from Sunday to Sunday. He becomes a follower at the eleventh hour, just before Jesus finally enters Jerusalem, at a stage when those who have been disciples all along are beginning to lose heart. His story is told so that we may take heart, not just sitting by the wayside but actually following Jesus in the Way.
Fr. Fergus Kerr. "Wise Men came from the East to Jerusalem" Torch. January 6, 2007 Not the only magi in the New Testament… A certain Simon, who practised ‘magic’, was converted and baptized by Philip; offered the apostles money if they would grant him authority to give people the Holy Spirit; was rebuked and repented (Acts 8:9-24) – yet is remembered mainly for ‘simony’. A certain Elymas Bar-Jesus, a Jewish prophet, is also a magos; court astrologer to the Imperial proconsul, whom he tries to prevent the apostles from converting: Paul stares him down, curses and blinds him (Acts 13:6-12).
Fr. Duncan Campbell. "Believing is Seeing" Torch. October 29, 2006 The Gospel is about a beggar who was blind being instantly healed. It was enough to lift him out of such total destitution as we can hardly imagine today. We can be thankful that we live in such a different world. Society’s natural response today is to provide medical care for the sick and invalids, and support for the destitute. Stories of healing like this may have introduced such concern.
Fr. Benjamin Earl. "Seeing the Christ" Torch. April 2, 2006 From time to time, probably, all Christians ask themselves, 'what would it have been like to have been in the gospels, to have seen Christ face to face?' Today we get our question answered. We came to know Jesus not by having met him during his life on earth. Rather we were introduced to him by reputation: those who formed us in the Christian faith told us about him. But just knowing things about Jesus is not what the Christian faith is about. We want to know and love Jesus. Having heard about him and having believed what we have heard, ultimately, we wish to see Jesus.
Ron Rolheiser, OMI. "The Danger of Riches" ronrolheiser.com. May 15, 2005 “Nobody gets to heaven without a letter of reference from the poor!” That’s an axiom attributed to James Forbes, the pastor of Riverside Church in New York City.
Fr. Brendan Slevin. "What would you see up a tree?" Torch. October 31, 2004 I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere in the world but here in sunny Scotland our television news bulletins have daily coverage of a certain presidential election. The pictures are like many election campaigns, crowds of people trying to get close to their candidate or just wanting a glimpse of him.
Ron Rolheiser, OMI. "What Is Religion All About?" ronrolheiser.com. November 1, 1998 There is a Jewish parable, quite famous, that runs something like this: Once upon a time there was a Rabbi who was old, wise, and very holy. One day he gathered his disciples around him and asked them this question:
Margaret Scharf. "Third Sunday of Advent" Australian Women Preach. December 11, 2022 Dr Margaret Scharf is a member of the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Western Australia. She has a teaching and administrative background which was the springboard for other ministries, such as missionary work in the Solomon Islands, and the Dominican Sisters’ Motor Mission based in Morawa WA.
Patricia Gemmell. "Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. September 4, 2022 Patricia is a wife, mother and grandmother, and semi-retired teacher of French, Latin and Italian. Her lifelong interest in theology and spirituality finally led her to formal study and she graduated with a Masters in Theology in 2014. She belongs to the Grail, an international movement and community of women, founded in the Netherlands in 1921 by Jacques van Ginneken SJ.
Lisa Bright. "The Good Samaritan: Looking with fresh eyes" Australian Women Preach. July 10, 2022 Lisa Bright is the co-director of Synodal Consulting working to empower community development and engagement within the Catholic Church and not-for-profit sector.
Kate Englebrecht. "Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. February 27, 2022 Kate (Master of Theology, Bachelor of Theology, DipEd, Bachelor of Arts) is currently serving as a Prison Chaplain for the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst NSW. She lives in central western NSW after several years of pastoral care work in isolated, outback communities. Kate has experience in Church leadership as a Diocesan Chancellor, Director of Mission/Identity as well as years in education, chaplaincy and mission management. Her experience in pastoral care have influenced her thinking and honed her skills to listen and speak what needs to be said.
Sr. Magdalen Mather OSB. "Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. January 30, 2022 Sr Magdalen entered the Benedictine Abbey at Jamberoo, NSW in 1996 and made her Solemn Monastic Profession in 2001. Since entering Sr Magdalen has studied for an MA (Theol.) which she completed in 2006 and has been certified in the formation of Prayer Companions program from Mary McKillop centre in North Sydney (1999). She has guided guests in spiritual direction for the last 21 years and has completed studies with the Global Online Benedictine Spiritual Direction Program
Katy Gilles. "Third Sunday in Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. January 23, 2022 Katy Gilles MA Theology BA DipEd Japanese, Steeped in the Anglican tradition with strong community involved parents, her daily rhythm of reading the scriptures and prayer was encouraged. Studying at University opened her eyes to the myriad of spirituality within other cultures. Fostered by her High School love of languages, and a journey to Japan she began her vocation - teaching High School boys Japanese. Her theological understanding was awakened by her friendship and marriage to John who took her to Mass and together they joined an x Antioch group
Reverend Di Langham. "Feast of Christ the King" Australian Women Preach. November 21, 2021 Reverend Di Langham writes: I have been a priest in the Diocese of Newcastle for the past 21 years. I was the first Aboriginal woman in this Diocese to be ordained. I have been a chaplain in Corrective Services NSW for the past 20 years and prior to that I was a chaplain in Juvenile Justice. I am currently a full time chaplain at Cessnock Correctional Centre which is a male prison with around 650 men incarcerated. Around 38% of these are Aboriginal. I run Aboriginal programs with the men in this centre. I am 72 years of age. I am a Boandik woman living and working in the lands of the Awabakal and Wanaruah. I am married with 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. I like to weave into any of my talks Aboriginal spirituality and talk about my past experiences in any sermons I do. I was a teacher in my past life and taught in both schools and TAFE.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Are You Blinded By Cities of Sin?" Word on Fire. October 24, 2021 Friends, in today’s Gospel, we hear the marvelous story of the healing of blind Bartimaeus—an icon of tremendous power and a sacred picture of the spiritual life and the process of salvation. We all find ourselves, in our need of Christ, in this image, as our own blindness distorts our vision of spiritual reality and the meaning of life.
Jo Hart. "Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time" Australian Women Preach. October 24, 2021 Jo is a teacher, educational leader and formation facilitator. She’s a mum, a daughter, a sister, an aunty and a spouse. She completed a MA (Theology) in 2016 focusing on moral and systemic theology in regard to the human person and Church teachings on sexual orientation. She has recently begun her doctoral studies this year exploring, from a critical feminist standpoint, leadership within a global network of Catholic schools committed to social justice. Jo has worked in Catholic secondary education for almost 20 years, the last six of which has been as an Educator Office in a national network of schools. Her work is grounded in a Gospel vision for social justice, that is, a critical education for peace, justice and inclusion that seeks to transform our world. She has taught Religious Education, Media Studies and English in Catholic secondary schools and held the positions of Director of Identity, Service-Learning Coordinator and Religious Education Coordinator. Through her work she has had the opportunity of leading immersion and pilgrimage programs for students and staff to the Tiwi Islands, Kenya, India and Ireland inviting participants to come as guest and be fully present to all they encounter. She is also one of the founders of Sophia Circle, a small group of women who invite other women to join them in exploring contemporary spirituality in our changing times.
Fr. Addisalem Mekonnen. "Homily" St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church. October 24, 2021
Richard Rohr. "The Qualities to Look For" Center for Action and Contemplation. December 14, 2019
Richard Rohr. "Text and Commentary" Center for Action and Contemplation. May 5, 2019
Bishop Robert Barron. "The Danger of Blind Guides" Word on Fire. March 3, 2019 Our Gospel for this weekend comes from the end of the Sermon on the Plain, which is St. Luke’s version, more or less, of the Sermon on the Mount in St. Matthew’s account. Jesus has been operating as the definitive spiritual teacher here, and at the end of his address, he has some strong things to say about false spiritual teachers. Every spiritual teacher and guru is eager to tell you what’s wrong with you. But unless they’ve surrendered to Christ and found salvation in him themselves, they are absolutely in no position to help you.
Richard Rohr. "You must leave “home” to be wise" Center for Action and Contemplation. January 6, 2019
Richard Rohr. "Christ is Bigger and Older than Jesus" Center for Action and Contemplation. November 25, 2018
Bishop Robert Barron. "Coming Home from Exile" Word on Fire. October 28, 2018 Our first reading from the prophet Jeremiah treats of a theme that is basic throughout the Bible: the motif of the return from exile. Like two great hinges on which the Old Testament turns are the stories of Exodus and Exile. Israel finds itself enslaved in Egypt, but God liberates the people; later, the northern tribes are carried off by the Assyrians; and later still, the southern tribes are carried off by the Babylonians. But exile was also a kind of spiritual metaphor, a trope for having wandered far from the Lord.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Tell John What You See and Hear" Word on Fire. December 7, 2016 Our Gospel for this weekend is taken from the eleventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, where John the Baptist has been arrested and wonders from his jail cell whether Jesus “is the one or should we look for another?” When this inquiry is conveyed to Jesus, the Lord does not respond theoretically, but rather by pointing to things that are happening, namely, God’s grace is making people whole again. “Go tell John what you see and hear”.
Richard Rohr. "Seeing is Not Always Recognizing" Center for Action and Contemplation. May 8, 2016
Richard Rohr. "Christmas Mass 2015: The Great Embodiment" Center for Action and Contemplation. December 25, 2015
Bishop Robert Barron. "Master, I Want to See" Word on Fire. October 25, 2015 The story of the healing of blind Bartimaeus is a spiritual icon of enormous power. Bartimaeus is evocative of anyone who, aware of his sin, blindness, and incapacity, hears the summons of Jesus to come into the Church, the place where vision will be restored.
Richard Rohr. "God cannot resist Weakness" Center for Action and Contemplation. October 25, 2015
Richard Rohr. "Every Expectation of Return is a Resentment in the Making" Center for Action and Contemplation. September 1, 2013
Richard Rohr. "The Return to the Ordinary" Center for Action and Contemplation. April 14, 2013
Bishop Robert Barron. "Seeing the World Anew" Word on Fire. October 28, 2012 This Sunday’s Gospel presents the extraordinary story of Christ’s healing Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is blind. Christ gives him not only the ability to see the world, but to see the world anew through the revelation of his Grace. The Christian way of life is best described as a new way of seeing and it is through this vision, illuminated by the light of Christ, that we are invited to know and see the world as God in Christ intends.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Called From Darkness Into His Light" Word on Fire. October 25, 2009 The story of Bartimeaus is a model of the spiritual journey. The desire for Christ engenders in us spiritual healing, which is delivered in a profound illumination of Christ’s identity, the acceptance of which leads us into the Church.
Bishop Robert Barron. "Breaking Open the Coffers of Your Heart" Word on Fire. January 5, 2003 The Three Wise Men see the sign, they move, they overcome opposition, and then they give the new-born King the best they have. Having walked this spiritual itinerary, they then “go back by a different route,” for no one ever comes to Christ and goes back the same way he came.
Luke 4:15 "Praise God at Church" Could we be failing at praising God because we are not appreciating Jesus’ presence?
Psalm 13:4 "Light. Sight. God. " Are we approaching each day by choosing God over earthly things?
Luke 11:31 "Pursuing Wisdom, Pursuing God" Are we aware how close God is to us and are we making the most of it?
Luke 11:16 "Demanding God" Are we ignoring the signs in our lives God is showing us?
John 1:48 "God Knows Us" Are we seeing Jesus as both human and God?
Luke 9:9 "Truly Seeing Jesus" If we don’t approach our Christian faith with sincerity in getting to know Jesus we will never see God.
Colossians 1:15 "Seeing God. Seeing Jesus." Are we getting to know Jesus so we can see God the Father?
Luke 4:20 "God Speaks" Are we focusing on Jesus the right way?
Matthew 23:3 "Attentive to God" Are we following God speaking to us through people or just a person who lacks God?
Matthew 13:58 "Responding to Jesus" Do we have enough faith to respond to God's call to us?
Psalm 19:9 "Seeing With God’s Word" Do we live in God's truth or is our view on life covered by the darkness of lies?
Exodus 14:31 "God’s Power" Are we being moved by the power and might of God or do we ignore God's miracles?
Matthew 11:20 "Jesus Reproaches" With all Jesus has done for us, are we still not responding to God's call?
Genesis 28:16 "Recognizing God" Are we open to see God in our everyday lives through scriptures and others?
Acts 12:11 "God Is With Us" Are we allowing ourselves to fall down into our fears and not be lifted up by God?
Luke 1:66 "The Hand of the Lord" Can we recognize God at work in others just like people recognized John the Baptist?