Great Expectations: The Feast of the Baptism of the LORD

“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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Listen and Obey

Listen Carefully to the Command In 1854, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote a poem commemorating “The Light Brigade”, a British cavalry unit which fought a battle against the Russians during the Crimean War. Because of poor intelligence and poorly communicated orders, half of the brigade’s six hundred men were killed, wounded, or captured. The original order…

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MEMORIAL OF ST. PETER CLAVER, APOSTLE TO AFRICANS

During the 17th century CE, Cartagena, Columbia was one of the major centers of African slavery in the Spanish colonies. One thousand slaves a month survived the voyage to land in the slave pens and be sold, to help extract the gold of the New World. For forty years, between 1610 and 1654, a Spanish…

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Wonderous Things

A boat on the sandy shore

“Grandpa, please tell me another fishing tale like the one-time Jesus got into your boat to preach and then commanded you to launch out and cast your nets after you had been fishing all night.”     Peter hugged his granddaughter and said, “Gladly sweetheart.  We caught so many fish, without the nets breaking, that we filled…

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Salvation Comes from the LORD

A statue of Christ on the Cross

“The salvation of the just comes from the LORD.” (Ps 37:39). The antiphon of today’s Responsorial Psalm summarizes the truths of the readings for today’s Mass. In order to understand the poignant embrace of Israel by his favorite son, Joseph, one must be familiar with Genesis 28-45. Joseph is now the vizier of Egypt. He…

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Walk in the Light

A necklace with a cross illuminated by the sun

“For if what was going to fade was glorious, how much more will what endures be glorious?” (2 Cor 3:11) The Scripture readings for today’s Mass point to the glory and light of the old and the new covenants. At Mt. Sinai, God spoke to Moses from out of fire and lightning, and with his…

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No Greater Love

Love for the Word

Today’s Scripture readings are bathed in LOVE.  Jesus told us in John 15:13 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  But on Calvary, He poured out his blood for all of us…friends and enemies.  Or as St. John told us in 1John 4:10, “In this is love,…

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Come and Dine

The Holy Eucharist

Today’s Gospel reading from St. John reminds me of a song my family used to sing as grace before meals, “Come and Dine” by CB Widmeyer. Here are the words:  “Come and dine,” the Master calleth, “Come and dine. He who fed the multitudes, turned the waters into wine, to the hungry ones calleth now,…

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