Coming Closer to the Final Judgment

by Father John P. Cush

Emily Dickinson, in her poem numbered 479, more commonly known by the first line of the work, “Because I could not stop for death,” writes:

Courage to Stand By Our Faith

by Father John P. Cush

In the first reading we proclaim today from the Second Book of Maccabees, a mother encourages her seven sons to remain faithful to the law of the Lord. One of the brothers proclaims: “We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

Lessons From a Tax Collector

by Father John P. Cush

The Gospel we proclaim this Sunday features a rather enigmatic figure, one whom we read about only in this Gospel passage: Zacchaeus. What can we learn from this story of this “short-in-stature” man, a chief tax collector, a man who changes his life, who climbs a sycamore tree because he was “seeking to see who Jesus was”?

The ‘Winners’ Of God’s Mercy

by Father Jean-Pierre Ruiz

As I write these words, Major League Baseball’s postseason is in full swing, so to speak.

Ignorance of Scripture Is Ignorance of Christ

by Father Jean-Pierre Ruiz

This Sunday’s second reading comes from St. Paul’s second letter to his disciple Timothy. Here we see the beginnings of the apostolic tradition, for Paul is concerned with faithfully preserving and handing on what he himself received, namely, the saving words and deeds of Jesus as first witnessed by those who were blessed to hear the Good News with their own ears and to see with their own eyes the life-giving works of God’s Word-made-Flesh. Paul urges Timothy, “Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

Gratitude and Praise

In case you hadn’t already figured it out, the lectionary — the book of readings from Sacred Scripture that is used at Mass — is a very carefully arranged collection of biblical texts. As the Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass explains, harmony and semicontinuous reading are the two guiding principles that govern the order of readings for Sundays and feasts.

Let Go and Let God

by Father Jean-Pierre Ruiz

“Increase our faith!” At first, the request on the part of the disciples with which this Sunday’s reading from Luke’s Gospel begins seems to come out of nowhere. As for Jesus, whose responses to such requests often take off in a very different direction than his listeners expect, he is true to form.

The Ultimate Goal for All of Us

by Msgr. Joseph P. Calise

Gregory Maguire’s book, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” was published in 1995. In 2003, it was presented at the Gershwin Theatre as the musical production, “Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman.

To Squander Wealth Wouldn’t Be Prudent

by Msgr. Joseph P. Calise

A quick reading of the Gospel parable can be irksome. A dishonest steward is reported to his boss for squandering property. When he is told to prepare an account of his work because he was being fired, his response was seemingly to squander even more of the owner’s property.

Searching for a Loving God

No one among us is perfect. It is neither unusual nor wrong to feel that something is missing, that we are somehow lost. Yet, that sense of inadequacy is actually God’s invitation to trust in His love. It is his call for us to bleat, shine or turn back knowing that, even when we cannot see it happening, a loving God is waiting and searching.