A Kingdom of Beauty, Part III

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 7-30-17 Peace be with You, Today we hear the last of three parabolic groupings concerning the Kingdom of God.  To be sure, these parables have told us much, and yet, as we have seen over our discussions the last two Sundays, what they reveal is far exceeded by what remains hidden, for, as we have emphasized elsewhere, the Kingdom of God is ultimately a mystery.  This is important for us to keep in mind, not that we might despair over this mysterious qua...
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Not So Ordinary Time

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 6-25-17 Peace be with You, This Sunday we return to that cycle of readings which belong to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.  However, as we have said in the past, it should in no way be thought that the liturgical seasons which span the time between Christmas and Lent and then again between Easter and Advent as somehow being mundane in nature as compared to those more, in a manner of speaking, intense seasons of devotion.  We can liken the difference...
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Thirst Quenching Life

Third Sunday of Lent: 3-19-17 Peace be with You, The Lenten journey is a difficult one and it is meant to be.  We began with a reminder on Ash Wednesday that, apart from God, we are nothing but dust and ashes.  Then, on the First Sunday of Lent we were confronted with the reality of why someday these dust and ashes, at times so alive with the Spirit of God, will ultimately yield its animation to the sands of time; that reason being that we have been separated from the One who alone is able...
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The School of Happiness-Part 2

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 2-26-17 Peace be with You, Today is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time which we will celebrate prior to beginning the Season of Lent this coming Wednesday with the celebration of Ash Wednesday.  The Season of Lent is traditionally a time of fasting, almsgiving and increased prayer, the aim of which is to provide us with the opportunity to have a more intense encounter with Jesus Christ in order that we might deepen our union with him and thereby make serious s...
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Transforming the World as Salt and Light

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time: 2-5-17 Peace be with You, Two weekends ago we found Jesus beginning his public ministry.  By noting his methodology we found that the work he has come to accomplish is essentially a work of re-unification; symbolized by the starting of his public ministry with two of the northernmost so called “lost tribes” of Israel, i.e. Zebulun and Naphtali.  Admittedly, from both the Jewish historical perspective and our contemporary perspective (though perhaps for differ...
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Mr. Church and Finding the True Self in a Complete Gift of Self (Spoiler Alert)

By Tony Crescio “Henry Joseph Church could’ve been anything he wanted to be, he chose to cook, the key he said, jazz.”  These are the opening lines of the 2016 film, “Mr. Church,” starring Eddie Murphy as the title character.  Mr. Church drops into the lives of Charlotte (Britt Robertson) and Marie Brooks (Natascha McElhone) seemingly out of nowhere.  This choice, Charlotte (Charlie) speaks of as narrator of the film, has just as much to do with Mr. Church’s realization of what it means to be...
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Blood Father & Restoring Innocence (Spoiler Alert)

By Tony Crescio Mel Gibson stars as John Link in the 2016 film, Blood Father, the story of a down-and-out, ex-con father looking for his estranged 17 year old daughter Lydia (Erin Moriarty).  We first join John in a church where he is attending an AA meeting on his birthday.  A happy occasion for most, John has had a rough go of it in life.  He has spent the last several years in prison for his involvement in the activity of a biker gang which he had been a part of in what he will refer to th...
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Anne Rice and the Story of Love

In writing of her approach to the novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Anne Rice describes the challenge of being able “to take the Jesus of the Gospels, and try to get inside him and imagine what he felt.”  In this Rice is similar to any modern reader of the gospels and of modern Christological scholarship in particular.  Moreover, what makes Rice’s challenge in the novel more difficult is that, as opposed to many who undertake the psychological question of Christ, Rice is an orthodox believer...
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The Joy of Prayer

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time: 10-16-16 Peace be with You, Last week, we were exhorted to live with an attitude of gratitude, being always thankful for the gift of life that our God bestows upon us (Acts 17:28).  We found examples of this attitude of gratitude in Naaman the leper in our first reading from the Second Book of Kings and in the Samaritan leper in the gospel story.  This Sunday, we are given some direction as to how it is that we can live with this type of outlook on lif...
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Living the Virtue Within

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: 10-2-16 Peace be with You, Over the last couple of Sundays in the parables of the dishonest steward and the rich man and Lazarus, we have been reminded that it is our responsibility to be charitable to those most in need, as the needy are, in a special way, identified with Christ, the God who made himself poor to be one with us.  We were taught that in giving to the poor, we give to God.  This weekend, the gospel message wants to remind us that to be...
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