In Judging, Start with Yourself

Today’s Gospel contains perhaps the best-known verse in the Bible: “Judge not, that you may not be judged” (Matt. 7:1). For those not inclined to keep the Ten Commandments, and even less to being reproved for violating them—even if done charitably—this is a go-to verse, an attempt to invoke Jesus to shut down his disciples…

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What Matters Most?

Paul and Barnabas had remarkable success in their first missionary journey to the Gentiles. But some of the converted Pharisees start urging that Gentile believers be circumcised and taught to follow Mosaic Law. The Jerusalem Council was convened in A.D 50 to settle these matters. We read in Acts 15:1-2: “But some men.. from Judea…

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“Love Your Enemies”: The Empowering Freedom of Forgiveness

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

David gives us today a great example of merciful love. King Saul had seen the proverbial “writing on the wall” (see I Sam. 18:5–9; Dan. 5:5–9, 24–28). So even though David would become the king’s son-in-law, marrying his daughter Michal, “Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that all Israel loved…

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Word from the Blessed Mother: Come Let Us Adore Him

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

The Blessed Virgin Mary may not seem like a relevant role model to today’s young people, particularly in Western cultures that value “thinking for yourself” and “liberation,” especially of the sexual variety. In addition, Mary’s witness may seem out of reach to many, particularly young women. A Virgin? Who never, ever sinned? For many young…

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What—or Who—Sets Us Free?

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

Sin promises liberation. For example, sexual liberation, with slogans like “Express yourself”; “If it feels good, do it”; and “Make love, not war.” Sin always extracts much more than it promises and fleetingly delivers, however. This reality is expressed in truisms, including “Moral absolutes substantiate themselves absolutely”; “God sometimes punishes us by letting us have…

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Jesus Christ’s Rainbow Coalition

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

Given the rainbow’s distinctive combination of colors, many movements have embraced the symbol to convey their desire to combat racism and promote inclusivity. However, I would argue that the Catholic Church is the original—and baptized—Rainbow Coalition, precisely because her founder, Jesus Christ, is the creator and Savior of all humanity (John 1:1–3; Luke 2:10–11). Consequently,…

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Childlike Father

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

Today is Father’s Day. To excel as a father, whether a natural or spiritual one, you need to first excel as a child of God. So, that you can, in turn, model and lead others to our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ (see Matt. 18:1–4; 19:13–15). When we experience unjust trials, we might…

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Love for Jesus and His Church Must Guide Any Fraternal Correction

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

We continue to celebrate the Easter season, but today’s First Reading reminds us that we must carry our cross until we attain heaven (see Matt. 25:46 CCC 1038). Today, I reflect on love for Jesus and His Church as necessary approach to fraternal correction. There can be no Easter Sunday without first a Good Friday,…

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Reproach and Mercy: Both Part of Lent

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

Tax collectors were reviled among the Jewish people in Jesus’ time, not only because they aided the financial efforts of the occupying Roman force, but also because they associated with ritually unclean Gentiles in doing so, and because some collected more than the law required. Despite that reputation, Levi—also known as Matthew—is more willing to…

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