Be a Beggar for the Word

Fr. Brian Pierce OP tells the story of a young Dominican friar, Jorge, who was a missionary in the state of Tabasco in Mexico. Every morning while walking to breakfast from the house he slept in to one where he was to eat, he noticed that an old man was seated with a Bible in…

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Trusting in the Father, Whose Eye is on the Sparrow

“Do not be afraid” is the theme of all the Mass readings today. Jesus calls us to trust in the Father, who knows the number of hairs on your scalp and sees the sparrows fall from the sky. Ethel Waters, the great American blues singer and actress, popularized the hymn “His Eye is on the…

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Elijah, A Model Prayer Warrior

The Kind of People Who Encounter Christ

Many Jewish, Christian, and Muslim pilgrims who travel to Israel visit Mt. Carmel, to honor the memory of the greatest Jewish prophet, Elijah, a great prayer warrior. There is a thirty-foot statue of Elijah with his right arm raised holding a sword, with his left foot standing on the neck of a false prophet of…

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Abundant Life Through the Paschal Mystery

One of my favorite Bible illustrations, when I was growing up, was a picture painted by Alford Usher Soord, British painter (1868-1915), of “The Parable of The Lost Sheep.” It depicts a lamb stranded halfway down a steep cliff with the shepherd hanging perilously over the edge. He risking his own life to save it.…

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They Planned to Kill Him

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

Today’s grim gospel conspiracy to put Jesus to death is sandwiched between the beautiful miracle of the raising of Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary of Bethany, and the unforgettable act of love that Mary offered Jesus when she anointed his feet with perfume and wiped them with her hair. In these stories, we see…

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The Sign of Jonah

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

“A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.” Psm 51:17b This refrain from our responsorial psalm was King David’s cry of repentance for his sins of adultery and murder. It is a groan full of remorse, acknowledging his sins against others and his God. Yet it is full of the hope of…

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Hear Me, All of You and Understand

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

Solomon And The Queen of Sheba Our first reading, from 1 Kings, tells us the story of the Queen of Sheba, having “heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD,” coming to Jerusalem to test him with riddles. She came to him with a large caravan of camels bearing spices, gold,…

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Great Expectations: The Feast of the Baptism of the LORD

Gratia Vobis Ministries, Inc.

“The people were filled with expectation.” Luke 3:15 Expectation! Anticipation! The dictionary definition of both words is “a belief that something is going to happen or that something should be a certain way.“ “Great Expectations” is a novel written by Charles Dickens in 1861. It is the story of an orphan, Pip, living with his…

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