One interesting feature of today’s reading is the phrase: “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness.” The New American Bible is the only version which translates the phrase this way. I have two other English translations and four different foreign language versions that read: “Prayer with fasting and…

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Basilica of Saint Peter

In today’s first reading we hear about the first great controversy in the Church. It dealt with the relationship of the Jewish law to the Christian faith. It sounds odd to us today, but Jesus lived as a Jew, all the apostles lived as Jews, and Jesus even said that His mission was to the…

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We’ve made it! We prepared ourselves by forty days of prayer and fasting, and now we celebrate the great resurrection of our Lord. We celebrate Easter in a special way all week, and in each gospel reading we’ll hear and meditate on a certain appearance of our risen Lord to different disciples. We then keep…

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Heavenly home

In this first half of Lent, we hear in the Mass readings especially about virtue and vice and how we should choose virtue. Today’s first reading shows us a particularly nasty act. In my eyes, it is one of the worst deeds described in the Bible, since it involves the betrayal of a brother. Most…

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When King Herod heard John the Baptist speak, “he was very much disturbed; yet he felt the attraction of his words.” On the other hand, “Herodias harbored a grudge” against John and “wanted to kill him.” Here we see the difference between sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit. Herod clearly suffers from…

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The first week of the year is a glorious time for North America, in that we celebrate three feast days in a row. Yesterday we feted St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first U.S.-born person to be canonized. Tomorrow we remember St. Andre Bessett, the great Canadian Holy Cross brother. Today is St. John Neumann’s day.…

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Alexander the Great was an invincible general. At the age of 20 he inherited a united (mostly) Greece and the best army in the world from his father Philip. He proceeded to conquer Persia, Egypt, Palestine, parts of central Asia and even portions of India. He was enormously intelligent and never lost a battle. Before…

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A friend of mine who was prone to losing things once complained to me that it seemed to him that he only found things in the very last place he looked. I replied to him: “Of course you do: once you find it, you stop looking.” God is so good to us.  He truly wants us…

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