The All-Powerful God Will Never Fail His People

by Father Christopher O’Connor THERE IS A NEW DC superhero movie coming out called Shazam! I remember watching the Saturday morning TV show with the same name back in the 1970s. Billy Batson, a 14-year-old, is given super powers and all he has to do to call on those powers is to say the name […]

Spiritual Life Is About Climbing Mountains

St. Paul tells us in the second reading that “our citizenship is in heaven.” The goal of every Christian must be to get to heaven. It is promised to us, but not assured if we do not listen to Jesus. All of our work on earth – all of our praying, fasting, almsgiving – is preparation to live as citizens of heaven.

Removing the Beams from Our Eyes

Have you ever seen anyone walk around with a wooden beam in his eye? When I read this Sunday’s Gospel, I picture someone with a huge piece of wood in his eye. I think the Lord Jesus is using absurd imagery here to make a point.

The Power of the Human Will

The most profound example of forgiveness that many of us New Yorkers had the chance to witness up close and personal has to be that of the late NYPD Detective Steven McDonald forgiving the teenager who in 1986 shot him in Central Park and left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Surrendering to Something More

If anything can be two different things at the same time, the Beatitudes, which we deal with this week in the Gospel from Luke, meet the criteria. 

Anything Is Possible With God’s Grace

One beautiful July Saturday three summers ago, some former co-workers and I were enjoying lunch on the Coney Island boardwalk when I put out an invitation for Mass later that evening.

Christ Gives Certain Hope of Victory

Two images on the shelf above my desk keep my focus as I write this column: a crumbling drawing of Jesus salvaged from my childhood home that dates back to the 1960s, and a figurine of St. Michael the Archangel, that my brother Larry gave me.  The drawing of Jesus, so lifelike that His eyes seem to pierce the soul, is disintegrating, tearing, and browning at the edges; the St. Michael figure lost half of its left wing when I dropped it a good while back. These images guide me both for what they depict, and – much like the People of God, the Mystical Body of Christ – how they are damaged, but yet endure. 

Build the Church: Invite Someone to Mass

In a recent meeting with my parish pastoral council, we discussed the declining numbers of people coming to Sunday Mass. There are a number of reasons for that, but I think one of the main reasons why we are not getting new people to come to Mass is because they are not invited.

Ask for the Grace to Listen and Obey

Last Sunday, with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, the Church concluded the Christmas season. I mentioned to my parishioners at Mass that when they come back to Church this Sunday, all of the Christmas trees will be gone, all the pine wreaths, red bows and poinsettias will be out of the sanctuary. We have joyfully celebrated the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Now that the celebration is over, we must conform our lives to Him. That will take some time and some deep spiritual work.