Commentary

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9808-4/12/18

On the day of his resurrection, that first Easter, the Risen Christ accompanied two of his disciples, one of whom was Cleopas, on their way to Emmaus. So, disheartened were they by the gruesome death of Jesus of Nazareth and so baffled were they by reports that “some women from our group” had found his tomb empty and that they “had seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive,” that they simply did not recognize the stranger in their midst.

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9808-4/12/18
By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9807-3/29/18

It’s been noted that the most common command in the Bible is “fear not.” I’ve not counted how many times it appears, but I’m familiar with a few. These come immediately to mind. Mary is cautioned not to fear when she is told she would bear God’s child. Joseph is cautioned not to fear when the angel appears in his dream and tells him to continue with his plan to marry his “disgraced” betrothed. The shepherds are cautioned not to fear when they are guided to the manger.  

 

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9807-3/29/18

On Easter Sunday, Christians glory in the irony that the cross of Christ’s suffering has become a symbol of the everlasting defeat of evil at the hand of goodness, of the triumph of the Gospel of Life over the culture of death. For very early in the morning, on that first Easter Sunday, the first day of the week, when the Sabbath had passed, and while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the hastily improvised tomb of the Master, only to find the stone rolled away and the tomb empty.

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9806-3/15/18

God’s promise through the prophet Jeremiah was a new covenant: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” But there were stipulations to be met by the Chosen People—the commandments, the whole of the Law of Moses, to keep the covenant in force. But God’s people had spectacularly failed to obey them. In particular, they violated the key commandment to place God first in their lives through their various lapses into idolatry. With the disaster of the Babylonian captivity, it seemed as if the covenant had ended, because the people had not kept their part of the bargain.

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9806-3/15/18

Stations of the Cross are regularly prayed this time of year. They are an especially popular devotion.  As with anything that becomes too familiar, we often say the words and note the events of the Passion without registering the depth of meaning and resonance in our time.

 

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9805-3/1/18

The First Commandment

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them. It is written: “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”

 

By: Father Douglas K. Clark
Originally Appeared in : 9805-3/1/18

On the Third Sunday of Lent this year (B in the Lectionary cycle), we will hear that while Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving God’s commandments, the Chosen People inexplicably decided to melt down the gold they had “despoiled” from the Egyptians and made the image of a calf, a baby cow or bull—which they then worshipped as “the God who brought us out of Egypt.” Nothing they ever did would rival this abominable sin, this act of wanton idolatry. Yet their punishment, though severe, was not the end of the covenant.

By: Mary Hood Hart
Originally Appeared in : 9804-2/15/18

The most challenging aspect of writing a column for almost 25 years is coming up with new topics. This challenge is especially daunting when faced with an important liturgical season. Lent, Advent, Easter, and Christmas cannot be ignored, but they cannot always be addressed without my sensing a bit of déjà vu. 

 

By: Father Douglas Clark
Originally Appeared in : 2/15/18

This season of Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday, is an intense spiritual preparation for Easter, the annual celebration of the Lord’s death and resurrection. This period of “more or less 40 days” originated in the early Church as a retreat for those coming into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. They undertook certain practices to purify and enlighten them as they approached the waters of baptism. In the restored rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, this period is officially designated as

 

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