Pop-Up Catechesis: Divine Mercy and Treating People Like One of the Family

One of the most compelling reasons for believing in the Resurrection of Jesus—for me, at least—is the fact that the Gospel writers record no acts of vengeance on the part of the Risen Christ. Think about it: if the Gospel writers were trying to protect or restore their own reputations for backing a failed messiah who was publicly executed in the most humiliating way, they would most likely fabricate a story about his return to […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part IV): Echoes of Mercy

This is the final article in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015–16) was an opportunity for the Catholic Church—and for each one of us—to reflect on the merciful love of God the Father (Luke 6:36). Holy doors were opened in every diocese throughout the world as symbols of hope, healing, and love to announce the mercy of God, “the beating […]

Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are the Merciful

This is the fifth article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:7) Happy are the catechists who support, comfort, and guide young people, for they will witness God’s unfailing love. “God’s love for us is so great,” Pope Francis reminds us in The Church of Mercy. “It is an unfailing love, one that always takes us by the […]

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C

There are few people that we know better than the members of our own family and our closest friends. We know one another’s strengths and abilities, and we also know one another’s limitations and weaknesses. Like the Pharisees in the Gospel for the fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C, we may be tempted to focus on the faults and sins that familiarity with one another can sometimes reveal. As family members and friends, however, we also […]

Third Sunday of Lent, Year C

Turning away from sin is a good thing. However, it is possible to turn away from sin and still not know where you are going! Repentance is concerned not primarily with the act of turning away from sin but with turning toward God. When we run toward God, we will turn our backs on sin, but our focus will not be on our sins but on the loving mercy of God that we seek to […]

What’s in the Heart That You’re Lifting Up to God?

I was reading an Advent devotional recently and one of the reflection questions asked, “What will you do this week to bring hope to others?” My immediate reaction was, “I don’t have time to do anything more than I’m already doing! I’m spending every free moment helping my son Mike and his wife Sarah get their new home ready to move into before the holidays.” Then it occurred to me that I didn’t have to think […]

Let Mercy Flow!

Welcome to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which officially began just a few days ago on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015! Mercy is a concept that is at the heart of Pope Francis’s papacy and is a much-needed reality in today’s world and in our Church. Here are a few resources to support you in your efforts to observe and celebrate this Year of Mercy with those you teach. Loyola […]

Pope Francis on Catechesis Beyond the Scholastic Sphere

Recently, Pope Francis made some very interesting comments about evangelization and catechesis. In particular, he said that catechesis needs to go beyond just the “scholastic sphere” and lead people to an encounter with Christ. I’m thrilled to hear him talk about this because, as important as familiarity with doctrinal concepts is, it means nothing unless we have a relationship with the living Christ. Catechesis needs to speak to both the head and the heart. In […]

Corporal Works of Mercy Movie Trailers

Growing up my family made the corporal works of mercy a common practice. When my siblings and I participated in a food drive at school, my mom would remind us that we were feeding the hungry. When I would gather my too-small clothes to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, I was clothing the naked. Even as an adult my parents would remind me that they were still practicing the corporal works of […]

Sunday of Divine Mercy—Taking Delight in Others

Recently, during one of my many airport experiences, I observed a young girl, maybe four years old, doing a little dance and calling out to her mother: “Mommy! Look! Mommy! Look at me! Mommy! LOOK!” Like every child, this little girl desperately wanted, not only her mother’s attention, but her mother’s approval and admiration. It’s our job as parents to turn our gaze to our children and to express our delight in them. That’s what […]

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