The Ascension of the Lord

A Commentary by Leo the Great shared by SJV Adult Formation Ministry in today's Liturgy of the Word. The sacred work of our salvation was of such value in the sight of the Creator of the universe that he counted it worth the shedding of his own blood. From the day of his birth until his passion and death this work was carried out in conditions of self-abasement; and although he showed many signs of his divinity even when he bore the form of a slave, yet, strictly speaking, the events of that time were concerned with proving the reality of the...

6th Sunday of Easter

Many years ago I was reminiscing with a married couple who are close friends about how our relationship began. I recalled that they had invited me to dinner after Mass one Sunday at our parish. Their version: I had stopped to talk to them and said we ought to get together. Laughing over our contrasting memories, my friends and I decided to leave the origins of our friendship ambiguous. Who chose whom? Does it really matter? In today’s Gospel, it does matter who’s doing the choosing! At the Last Supper Jesus shares some intimate sentiments with his disciples. “I have called...

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Imagine yourself in the early Jerusalem Christian community gathered for Sunday Eucharist, and in walks Saul, well-known for his persecution of the Church. What would your reaction be?  Saul’s friends must have had a hard time convincing the community that Saul was on their side. Barnabas was his “guardian angel”--nicknamed the “son of encouragement” according to an earlier story in Acts. Not a bad friend to have if you’re Saul and badly in need of credibility. Barnabas must have been convincing since the story says Saul was soon “moving freely” about Jerusalem and preaching boldly. In fact, enemies of the Christian community...

Fourth Sunday of Easter

One of my seminary classmates has always reacted when the story of the Good Shepherd was read. “I don’t like being compared to sheep!” he says. “They’re dumb and smelly, too!”  I grew up in the city so my experience with sheep is limited. But I do know that shepherding was an important part of the life for the people of Biblical times. It’s the relationship between shepherd and sheep that makes Jesus’ comparison work. The shepherds of Jesus’ time herded their flocks through wilderness, ready to defend them from attack by wild animals. In a crowded sheepfold at night, shepherds of several...

Third Sunday of Easter

When new employees join a company it’s common to have an orientation to bring new people “on board.” A new employee needs to understand both the past and the future history of the company. How can they connect with what’s gone before? How can they be part of the company’s mission for the future? In today’s Gospel, Jesus conducts a kind of “Christian orientation” for his startled and frightened disciples–most of whom are encountering him for the first time as the risen Lord. He first reassures them that he–Jesus–is the one they knew before the crucifixion. But there have been a...

Second Sunday of Easter

Divine Mercy Sunday From a Homily by Pope Francis on March 17, 2013 It is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must! "Oh, Father, if you knew my life, you would not say that to me!" "Why, what have you done?" "Oh, I am a great sinner!" "All the better! Go to Jesus: he likes you to tell him these things!" He forgets, he has a very special capacity for forgetting. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you and he simply says to you: "Neither do I condemn you;...

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

Easter Homily by Bishop St. John Chrysostom shared by Fr. Richard Hinkley. Let all pious men and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord; let those who have borne the burden of Lent now receive their pay, and those who have toiled since the first hour, let them now receive their due reward; let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join in the feast, and those who may have come after the sixth, let them not be afraid of being too...

Holy Saturday

From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday shared by Fr. Richard Hinkley. The Lord descends into hell Something strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and Hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit...

Friday of the Passion of the Lord | Good Friday

From the Catecheses by Bishop St. John Chrysostom shared by Fr. Richard Hinkley. The power of Christ's blood If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. Sacrifice a lamb without blemish, commanded Moses, and sprinkle its blood on your doors. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself but in the fact that it is a sign...

Holy Thursday

An Easter homily shared by Fr. Richard Hinkley from Bishop Melito of Sardis. The Lamb that was slain has delivered us from death and given us life There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin's womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he triumphed over the diseases of...