By: Jennifer Ficcaglia (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9804-2/15/18


Great crowds followed Jesus wherever he went. People loved to hear him preach.


One day, he left the crowds and went up a mountain. He gathered his apostles around him and began to teach.


Jesus talked about many things. He said that being angry with another person is sinful. He assured those who were having hard lives on earth that they would find rest and peace in heaven. He even taught the people that they should love and pray for their enemies instead of hating them.


By: Mike Nelson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9804-2/15/18

Unlike Christmas, Easter and every Sunday of the year, Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation. Maybe that’s part of the draw for some people, who fill their parish churches for Ash Wednesday liturgies as they rarely do at any other time.


“Yes, we get big turnouts for Ash Wednesday,” says Father Dan Rupp, pastor of Mater Dei Church in Sioux City, Iowa. “It seems like many of these folks are people who also come for the blessing of the throats, or anytime there is something different going on than at most Sunday liturgies.”


By: Barbara Fraser
Originally Appeared in : 9803-2/1/18

LIMA, Peru (CNS) --Pope Francis tackled politically charged issues during his weeklong visit to Chile and Peru, decrying human trafficking, environmental destruction, corruption and organized crime in speeches before audiences that included political leaders.


By: Cindy Wooden
Originally Appeared in : 9803-2/1/18

VATICAN CITY (CNS) --People have a responsibility to check the source of what they share on social media to ensure it is not “fake news” designed to further prejudices or increase fear, Pope Francis said.  


By: Cindy Wooden
Originally Appeared in : 9803-2/1/18

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS)--La gente tiene la responsabilidad de verificar la fuente de lo que comparten en las redes sociales para asegurarse de que no se trate de “noticias falsas” diseñadas para fomentar prejuicios o aumentar el temor, dijo el papa Francisco.


By: Jennifer Ficcaglia (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9803-2/1/18


One day, the Israelites came to the prophet Samuel and asked for a king to rule over them. 



Samuel prayed to God, and God appointed a man named Saul to be king. 


Unfortunately, as the years went on, Saul listened to God less and less. God wound up being very unhappy with Saul’s leadership. 


God let Samuel know that he had rejected Saul as king and wanted the prophet to appoint a new leader for the people. 


By: John C. Cavadini (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9803-2/1/18

The sacrament of confirmation is perhaps the most mysterious of all the sacraments. Many Christians find it difficult to understand what benefit it brings. Isn’t the Holy Spirit received at baptism?


Yes, baptism makes us “a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1279). Then why do we need to receive the Holy Spirit again in confirmation?


By: Jennifer Ficcaglia (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9808-1/18/18

After preaching to the people, Jesus boarded a boat with his apostles and crossed the Sea of Galilee to the territory of the Gerasenes.


In this territory, a ragged-looking man lived alone among the tombs. He acted as if he had lost his mind, crying out day and night, and sometimes bruising himself with stones. People tried to put him in chains and shackles, but the man always broke free.


The man saw Jesus and his friends come ashore and rushed up to them.


Jesus immediately knew that the man had an unclean spirit living in him.


By: David Gibson (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9802-1/18/18

Baptism is no mere “formality” in Christian life. “It is an act that touches the depths of our existence,” Pope Francis remarked in January 2014, speaking four days before the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, when contemporary popes customarily baptize babies in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel.


I do not know all the reasons Pope Francis accented the word “formality” in telling what baptism is not. But obviously, to regard baptism as a formality, something like an academic society’s initiation ceremony, would be to misunderstand it entirely. 

By: Paul Senz (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9801-1/4/18

The visit of the Magi to the newborn Jesus is commemorated as the feast of the Epiphany. This places the emphasis on what was revealed to them at this, the culmination of their long journey “from the east” (Mt 2:1).


The Magi remain mysterious figures. There are many theories as to just who these pilgrims were. There is a consensus that they travelled a great distance from the east, compelled as they were to come and do homage to the “newborn king of the Jews” (Mt 2:2).



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