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S+L BLOG: Reflections



Perched on the side of a mountain in the central Italian province of Umbria is the historic town of Assisi, best known as the hometown of St. Francis, one of Christianity’s most revered saints. I’ve spoken to many visitors to Assisi over the past few years – especially since Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope and ...read more
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – August 31, 2014 Today’s Gospel from Matthew 16:21-27 presents us with the first prediction of Jesus’ passion. It follows the story told in Mark 8:31-33 and serves as a corrective to the misunderstanding of Jesus’ Messiahship as solely one of glory and triumph. Matthew’s account of the ...read more
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – August 24, 2014 During my graduate studies in Israel in the 1990s, I spent time with the Israeli archaeological team working on the excavations of Caesarea Philippi in northern Israel. Caesarea Philippi is situated about twenty miles north of the Sea of Galilee in the territory that ...read more
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – August 17, 2014 In the pre-conclave meetings of the College of Cardinals prior to the election of the new pope in March 2013, one very memorable and decisive intervention was made by the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires on the morning of March 7, 2013. In his brief, four-minute ...read more
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Friday, August 15, 2014 The Assumption of Mary, Mother of the Lord, into heaven, is a consoling sign of our hope. In looking to her, carried up amid the rejoicing of angels, human life is opened to the perspective of eternal happiness. Our own death is not the ...read more
On Wednesday August 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor. We also remember with gratitude Venerable Pope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) who died this day thirty-six years ago at the age of 80. The Final Years of Pope Paul VI Excerpt from his Apostolic Exhortation “GAUDETE IN DOMINO” ...read more
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – August 10, 2014 Chapter 19 of the First Book of Kings presents us with the aftermath of Elijah’s brilliant victory in the contest with Jezebel and the priests of Baal atop Mount Carmel. Just when Elijah should have been triumphant, he receives a message telling him of ...read more
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – August 3, 2014 The memory of St. Paul in Rome Each time I visit the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, I pause in the main courtyard before the striking statue of Paul the Apostle who seems to be solemnly greeting visitors and pilgrims to ...read more
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – July 27, 2014 Solomon seeks wisdom It is important to know the historical background for today’s first reading from the First Book of Kings 3:5; 7-12. Solomon had just been installed as the third king of Israel. The lot of leadership fell to him, the favored son ...read more
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – July 20, 2014 Once again in this week’s Gospel passage, images of growing trees, shrubs and plants provide us with powerful insights into the quiet and slow ways that God’s Kingdom grows among us and within us. Today’s Gospel story is peculiar to Matthew (13:24-33). Central to ...read more