Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year A: Encountering the Profound and Holy

April 7, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

This Sunday we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his Way of the Cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. These days are indeed profound and holy. There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 27:11–54), we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who […]

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A: Hope in the Resurrection

March 31, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

The scene described at Bethany (John 11:1–45 ) is a sad one. Martha meets Jesus, weeping, and says that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. Yet she remains confident that God will do whatever Jesus asks. Martha affirms her belief that there will be a resurrection of the dead in the last days. Then Martha’s sister, Mary, comes to Jesus with the same confidence, saying that Jesus could have cured Lazarus. […]

Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A: Coming Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

March 24, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

As in last week’s Gospel about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, this Sunday’s Gospel reading (John 9:1–41) has many allusions to Baptism. The washing of the man in the pool of Siloam is a prototype for Christian Baptism. Through the man’s encounter with Jesus, the man born blind is healed, his sight is restored, and his conversion to discipleship begins. The man born blind gradually comes to a greater understanding about who Jesus is […]

Third Sunday of Lent, Year A: Mercy Without Limits

March 17, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

In this Sunday’s Gospel (John 4:5–42), the dialogue between Jesus and a woman from Samaria is among the most lengthy and most theological found in Scripture. The most startling aspect of the conversation is that it happens at all. Jesus, an observant Jew of that time, was expected to avoid conversation with women in public. The animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans should have prevented the conversation as well. The woman herself alludes to […]

Second Sunday of Lent, Year A: The Promise of Glory

March 10, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

When you get down to it, each of us is walking around with a vision of a hoped-for reality—an alternate reality—for ourselves, for those we love, for our community, for our world. We imagine a world that exists somewhere beyond what our eyes can presently see. We have a choice: we can either approach life as a problem to be solved, a contest to be won, or as a mystery to be entered into more […]

Tapestry

March 7, 2017 Special Contributor 0

A reflection on Matthew 17:1–9 Light and dark woven together colors blend together to provide an image threads of our lives intertwined to create each unique life Only God and I can see my tapestry Not even my closest companion not even my soul-mate can know the full tapestry that is me. Even I cannot see, at times. The image changes shifts blurs My eyes tune out the colors I do not wish to see […]

First Sunday of Lent, Year A: Confident in God’s Protection and Faithfulness

March 3, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

What’s your security blanket? For young children, security blankets and other such comfort objects are healthy things. They are “transitional objects” to ease the trauma of separating from their mothers. However, we all must eventually cut the apron strings and leave our security blankets behind. Unfortunately, we tend to replace our plush toys with more sophisticated security blankets, not to ease the anxiety of our separation from our mothers, but to ease what we sense as […]

Four Ways to Connect to the Sunday Gospel

January 26, 2017 Joyce Donahue 0

This is the fourth article in a series about liturgical catechesis. Here is the reality: a 2015 study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) revealed that despite our best efforts, only 22% of Catholic parents take their kids to Sunday Mass. That means proclaiming the Gospel in the classroom may be the only way the story of Jesus Christ and his message reaches more than three-fourths of children in religious education. […]

Nothing Beats the Personal Touch When Recruiting Catechists

January 20, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 4:12–23) is a reminder to us that nothing beats the personal touch when it comes to inviting people into ministry. And this time of the year—late winter—is a good time to start your catechist recruitment efforts for next year. Jesus did not put up posters or distribute literature inviting people to follow him; he used the personal approach. He asked people what they were looking for and then he invited them to […]

The End Times: Urgency, Not Fear (And a Thought About the Election)

November 11, 2016 Joe Paprocki 1

My best friend Joe is a real handyman, and he has a keen eye for spotting problems that might need some repair. He often says something like, “It may look OK now, but if you don’t deal with this soon, and if you don’t do it right, you could have some real problems on your hand.” His advice creates a sense of urgency, but not alarm. Joe is a realist, not an alarmist. In the […]

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