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Friday, Sep 23, 2022
Scripture makes Billboard's Top 10

We don’t often see Bible songs hit the pop music charts. But a song by singer-songwriter and social activist Pete Seeger did just that. Written in the late 1950s, the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” would explode to international popularity in 1965 when recorded by the Byrds. Not bad for lyrics written well over 2,000 years ago! The song is based on the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Not every popular use of the Bible turns out well, but Seeger’s did, perhaps because he left the verses largely intact. Consider other scripture passages that are music to your ears.

TODAY'S READINGS: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11; Luke 9:18-22 (453). “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every thing under the heavens.”

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022
The clock is ticking

The Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno is quoted as having said the entire gospel came down to this phrase: “Wake up!” That’s something we can all keep in mind and take to heart when we find ourselves simply going through the motions, sleepwalking through the day. The Benedictines put it another way: “Keep death ever before you.” Now that’s a wake-up call if there ever was one! Do something good, kind, generous—and do it today, while there is still time!

TODAY'S READINGS: Ecclesiastes 11:9—12:8; Luke 9:43b-45 (454). “Pay attention to what I am telling you.”

Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
Blessed are the wanderers

Biblical prophets warn the comfortable not to overlook the suffering of those less fortunate. Today on World Day of Migrants and Refugees, we support the church's solidarity with uprooted people since the Second World War. A mass exodus to the West of Soviet bloc refugees prompted Pope Pius XII, future Pope Paul VI, and layman James Norris to form the International Catholic Migration Commission. The ICMC continued its response to the "boat people" of Vietnam, Bosnian Muslims, Afghani refugees, and more. Their efforts restore dignity, inspire change, and companion the displaced. Welcome the stranger.

TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
TODAY'S READINGS: Amos 6:1a, 4-7; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31 (138). “Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion!”

Monday, Sep 26, 2022
Give them a healer’s welcome

Believed to have been twin brothers, Cosmas and Damian were third-century Christian Syrian physicians who accepted no payment for caring for the sick—and made many converts as a result of their selfless service. They were eventually martyred by the Romans. Many of us know “saints” in the healthcare profession who work physically and emotionally demanding jobs, make personal sacrifices (including endangering their own health during the pandemic), and have a seemingly endless supply of compassion despite it all. The next time you or someone you love needs medical help, ask Cosmas and Damian to support the professionals coming to your aid.

MEMORIAL OF COSMAS AND DAMIAN, MARTYRS
TODAY'S READINGS: Job 1:6-22; Luke 9:46-50 (455). “Whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
Enrich the faith of others

Before co-founding the Daughters of Charity—serving the “poorest of the poor”—Saint Vincent de Paul began the Congregation of the Mission in 1625. Priests who joined had three requirements: to live in imitation of Christ, to take the gospel to the rural poor, and to educate fellow priests in the practical matters of being a priest. When he realized peasants knew so little about the faith and that local priests were poorly trained in administering the sacrament of Penance, Vincent preached such a stirring parish mission that priests from a nearby town had to be called in to help him hear confessions. How can you help others practice their faith?

MEMORIAL OF VINCENT DE PAUL, PRIEST, FOUNDER
TODAY'S READINGS: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23; Luke 9:51-56 (456). “He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.”

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022
Carry on the work of the dead among the living

At the time of Jesus, the Jewish custom was to bury a person in the family burial cave the same day they died. The body was left for a year while the family mourned, the first seven days in shivah, followed by a less intense 30-day period of shloshim. The burial rite was not complete, however, as the family would return to the cave a year later for the “second burial,” the collection of remains to be placed with the bones of other ancestors in the family ossuary. It is theorized that when Jesus commented, “Let the dead bury their dead,” he may have been referring to this second burial, suggesting to his disciples that there was more urgent work to be done among the living. Pray for the dead but serve the living!

TODAY'S READINGS: Job 9:1-12, 14-16; Luke 9:57-62 (457). "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."

Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
Angels watching over us

Today we honor the only three angels in scripture who have names. Michael is cited in the books of Daniel and Revelation and is known for being a protector. Gabriel is most famously a messenger, having relayed information to Daniel, but best known for giving Mary the news that she would be mother to our Savior. Raphael is associated with healing and appears in a series of adventures in the Book of Tobit, including his cure of Tobit’s blindness. At various times, each of us needs protection, a message from God, or healing. May these three archangels lift our prayers when we and our communities most need these things.

FEAST OF MICHAEL, GABRIEL, AND RAPHAEL, ARCHANGELS
TODAY'S READINGS: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Revelation 12:7-12a; John 1:47-51 (647). “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Friday, Sep 30, 2022
Get to know the word

If you are a fan of scripture, then right next to your Bible should be The Jerome Biblical Commentary. The 2,000-plus-page book is a treasure trove of insight about the Bible written by Roman Catholic scholars from across the globe. It is a great resource for helping people to engage more deeply with scripture through study and reflection. The book is named after Saint Jerome, who is best known for his biblical commentaries and translations. Jerome believed that "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ." It's never too late to increase your knowledge. What would be the first scripture passage you’d look up if you had the book in hand? Why?

MEMORIAL OF JEROME, PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
TODAY'S READINGS: Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5; Luke 10:13-16 (459). “Whoever listens to you listens to me.”

Saturday, Oct 01, 2022
In loving color
Though she only lived 24 brief years, Thérèse of Lisieux, the “little flower,” was so spiritually mature she was asked to guide novices who were entering her Carmelite order. She used vivid metaphors, comparing the Trinity to a kaleidoscope because the three mirrors transform simple images into colorful designs. She wrote: "As long as our actions, even the smallest, do not fall away from the focus of Divine Love, the Holy Trinity, symbolized by the three mirrors, allows them to reflect wonderful beauty. Jesus . . . always sees beauty in everything we do.”
MEMORIAL OF THÉRÈSE OF THE CHILD JESUS, CARMELITE NUN, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
TODAY'S READINGS: Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17; Luke 10:17-24 (460). “Turning to the disciples in private he said, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.’”

Sunday, Oct 02, 2022
Your wild and precious life

Today bears many names: Respect Life Sunday. Gandhi's birthday. International Day of Non-Violence. World Habitat Day. This cluster points to one precious idea: that all people bear the divine image and their welfare matters. We honor the whole fabric of life issues protecting each person from conception to death. The United Nations recognizes Gandhi's birthday with a call for nations to abandon aggression and embrace peace. This year's "Urban October" extends the work of Habitat Day in achieving a carbon-free world by focusing on cities, where 70 percent of emissions are generated. Respect life with every decision.

TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
TODAY'S READINGS: Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10 (141). “For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”

Monday, Oct 03, 2022
Trust God’s farsighted vision

If you ever doubt what God has called you to do, then Mother Theodore Guerin is a saint for you. When this French sister immigrated, with hesitation, to Indiana in 1840, she opened what would become Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the first chartered school of higher education for women in the state. Guerin wrote, “It is astonishing that this remote solitude has been chosen for a novitiate and especially for an academy. All appearances are against it.” It became the first women's college to offer journalism courses and degree work in secondary education, and was a pioneer in distance education, offering independent study in 1973 (talk about prescient!). Trust God’s vision and your role in plans longer-term than anyone can imagine.

TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 1:6-12; Luke 10:25-37 (461). “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”

Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Francis

Pope Francis chose his papal name to honor Francis of Assisi. Two of the pontiff’s encyclicals pay further homage. Both Laudato Si’ (Italian for “Praise be to you”) and Fratelli Tutti (Italian for “All brothers and sisters”) take their names from the words of Saint Francis. “Praise be to you” echoes the famous Canticle of Creation, apt for an encyclical on the care of creation. “All brothers and sisters” comes from the Admonitions of Saint Francis, the saint’s entreaty to embrace a life of fraternal love. Read the opening of one of these texts today to honor “this saint of fraternal love, simplicity and joy.”

MEMORIAL OF FRANCIS OF ASSISI, FOUNDER
TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 1:13-24; Luke 10:38-42 (462). “They glorified God because of me.”

Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022
“Go where I send thee”

Today we celebrate the feast of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, a German Redemptorist missionary who gave his life serving sick immigrants in New Orleans during the late 19th century. Born in Bavaria in 1809, Seelos volunteered for foreign missions, arrived to the United States in 1843, and several decades later in 1866 found himself in New Orleans. Until his untimely death from yellow fever the following year, he pastored St. Mary’s Assumption Church—where his national shrine remains to this day. As we face a double pandemic of ethnophobic division and COVID-19 in America, may we look to today’s saint as a faithful model of ardent charity amidst strife and division.

MEMORIAL OF FRANCIS XAVIER SEELOS, REDEMPTORIST PRIEST
TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14; Luke 11:1-4 (463).  “Praise the LORD, all you nations, glorify him, all you peoples! Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.”

Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
Baby steps can take you far

The theme of small beginnings that led to great things echoes throughout Christianity, starting with Jesus and his 12 apostles. Most religious communities started out with a handful of underfunded but faith-filled individuals. Blessed Marie Rose Durocher fits the pattern. In spite of her poor health, Durocher teamed up with two friends to run a boarding school for 13 girls near Montreal. That was the humble beginning of today’s international Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Have you ever taken a chance on a bootstrap endeavor? Could God be calling you to do so now?

MEMORIAL OF MARIE ROSE DUROCHER, SISTER, FOUNDRESS
TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 3:1-5; Luke 11:5-13 (464). “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Friday, Oct 07, 2022
The mother of all prayers

In his 2002 Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary, Pope John Paul II described the Rosary as a prayer that was from its inception “destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness.” Though ostensibly a prayer calling on Mary’s aide, it is ultimately centered on Christ and the eternal mystery of the Word made flesh. Regularly contemplating the mysteries of Christ’s life—his Incarnation and early days (joyful); his revelatory love (luminous); his suffering and sacrifice (sorrowful); his saving grace (glorious)—is an exercise designed to bring peace, deepen our sense of faith, hope, and love, and, above all, help conform us “ever more closely to Christ until we attain true holiness.”

MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY
TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 3:7-14; Luke 11:15-26 (465). “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

Saturday, Oct 08, 2022
Listen up, as Mary did

Mary is the Queen of Heaven and preeminent among the saints. She holds the singular distinction of being at the same time both virgin and mother. Owing to her giving birth to the Son of God, she holds the exalted title Mother of God. Yet it is none of these things that make her blessed. Jesus ramps up Mary’s blessedness a notch by recognizing that she’s blessed because she hears the word of God and does it. That means we can join Mary in joy and fulfillment by doing the same.

OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 3:22-29; Luke 11:27-28 (466). “He replied, ‘Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.’ ”

Sunday, Oct 09, 2022
The price we're willing to pay

He failed at many things: marriage, business, sobriety. He was involved in dark dealings: espionage, black market trading, opulent living, the Nazi party. Yet we know Oskar Schindler mostly for his mantel of protection over some thousand Jewish workers in his enamelware factory. Schindler originally hired Jews because they were cheap labor. In the long run those cheap workers cost him a fortune. What changed an amoral businessman into a celebrated humanitarian? Schindler saw through the lie of his culture and it repulsed him. As his grateful beneficiaries put it: “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire."

TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
TODAY'S READINGS: 2 Kings 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19 (144). “But the word of God is not chained.”

Monday, Oct 10, 2022
Help foster sound minds

Today, on World Mental Health Day, we can look to Catholic teaching on mental health for help in raising awareness of mental health issues, eliminating stigmas surrounding it, and supporting those who need help. Pope Saint John Paul II said, “Christ took all human suffering on himself, even mental illness,” and “it is everyone’s duty to make an active response” of charity to those who suffer from mental illness. Pope Benedict called for better medical treatment for the mentally ill as people made in the image and likeness of God. Want to start a mental health ministry in your parish? Visit the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers at catholicmhm.org for guidance.

TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31—5:1; Luke 11:29-32 (467). “Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.”

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2022
Happy birthday, Vatican II

Sixty years ago today, Pope Saint John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council—that watershed gathering that gave us Mass celebrated in our own languages, a deeper respect for other religions, and the epiphany that laypeople are as vital to the church as its most lauded saints and clerics. In the words of Saint John XXIII, the church “allow[s] all who are enlightened by the light of Christ to understand well” their “lofty dignity and their purpose.” But also, she “spreads everywhere the fullness of Christian charity . . . promoting concord, just peace, and the brotherly unity of all.” Ask Saint John’s intercession for our church, still in the midst of growing pains.

TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 5:1-6; Luke 11:37-41 (468). “In Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2022
Always move on faith

On this day in 1932, Xavier University of Louisiana—founded seven years prior as the nation’s first black Catholic university by Saint Katharine Drexel—moved to its current location in the Gert Town neighborhood of New Orleans. Facing similar racist scrutiny as when she and her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament originally established the school, Saint Katharine purchased the new property through an agent to avoid detection. Today the campus boasts a main building, convent, and library complex listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and an administration building that is a city of New Orleans landmark. May we all display such holy boldness in our work for justice.

TODAY'S READINGS: Galatians 5:18-25; Luke 11:42-46 (469). “For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.”

Thursday, Oct 13, 2022
Forgive us our trespasses

It has now been a few months since Pope Francis apologized in Canada for the church’s role in running boarding schools that profoundly hurt indigenous people. His message was both embraced for its acknowledgement of wrong and criticized for not being enough. Papal apologies are relatively new, beginning with Pope John Paul II apologizing in the 1980s for the church’s role in the slave trade. Since then, popes have asked forgiveness for sexual abuse, treatment of Jews, and inaction during the Holocaust. An apology is a first step toward repairing a wrong. Reflecting on your own life, have you taken that step when needed?

TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 1:1-10; Luke 11:47-54 (470). “Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge.”

Friday, Oct 14, 2022
Hints of heaven

On crisp fall days, walking through a path of fallen leaves, looking up at a bright blue sky, many a wayfarer has contemplated what heaven will be like. “Will I be reunited with loved ones? Will I feel joy? Will I receive justice? Will all my questions be answered? Will I meet the heroes of history and understand the mysteries of the universe? Will I see the face of God?” Of course, the specifics aren’t clear, but what we do know is that Jesus promises us peace (John 14:27) and rest (Matt. 11:28); has prepared a place for us (John 14:2) that is filled with rewards (Matt. 5:12); and has assured us that “there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed.” Sounds like the right place to be. Keep up the good work and you are well on your way!

MEMORIAL OF CALLISTUS I, POPE, MARTYR
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 1:11-14; Luke 12:1-7 (471). “Whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light.”

Saturday, Oct 15, 2022
Two saints for two centuries

It’s not hard to confuse the two Carmelite saints who have similar names. There is Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, a doctor of the church, who lived in the 19th century. Also known as Thérèse of Lisieux or, affectionately, as the Little Flower, she was a French Discalced Carmelite nun. Then there is today’s saint, Teresa of Jesus, a Spanish Carmelite nun and influential mystic, known as Teresa of Ávila, who lived in the 16th century and is also a doctor of the church. She was instrumental in the reform of the Carmelite order, which eventually resulted in the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites, to which the Little Flower belonged some 300 years later. They both would be happy to hear from you in prayer today.

MEMORIAL OF TERESA OF JESUS, CARMELITE NUN, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 12:8-12 (472). “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.”

 

Yes, there's a day for that

Mealtime arrives three times daily. Most of us are glad to sit down and dig in. Yet for 800 million people worldwide, there isn't enough to eat. Nearly 40 percent of the world community can only afford nutrient-poor diets. The medical costs associated with unhealthy diets will soon exceed $1.3 trillion annually. The problem isn't growing enough food. Fourteen percent of each harvest is lost to bad handling, storage, and transit methods. Another 17 percent is lost at the consumer end; it simply goes bad or gets thrown away. World hunger is solvable. Find out more at World Food Day.

TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
TODAY'S READINGS: Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14—4:2; Luke 18:1-8 (147). “Proclaim the word . . . convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”

Monday, Oct 17, 2022
Follow the lead of those in need

The United Nations, which declared today Poverty Eradication Day, proposed that the world work to “build forward,” which “means not only that no one is left behind, but that people living in poverty are actively encouraged and supported to be in the front.” The Catholic Church has a very similar teaching called the “preferential option for the poor.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere.” Do your part to create a society where the needs of the poor are always considered first.

MEMORIAL OF IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, BISHOP, MARTYR
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 2:1-10; Luke 12:13-21 (473). “Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Tuesday, Oct 18, 2022
Paging Dr. Luke

Thanks to scripture scholarship, we know that Saint Luke authored not only the Gospel of Luke, but also the Acts of the Apostles. Thanks to Saint Paul, and later Saint Jerome, we likewise know that Luke was a physician. Little wonder, then, that Luke’s description of Jesus’ life contains more accounts of physical healing than the other New Testament books. Luke’s writing is famous for honoring the full humanity of everyone Jesus encountered. How can you be a person who does the same?

FEAST OF LUKE, EVANGELIST
TODAY'S READINGS: 2 Timothy 4:10-17b; Luke 10:1-9 (661). "Say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2022
Healing past wrongs is a mission of love

Today the church celebrates the feast of the North American Martyrs, a group of eight French Jesuit missionaries killed in the 17th century by members of the Mohawk people in Canada. One of the best-known martyrs is Saint Isaac Jogues, who after originally being ransomed by Dutch colonists—including a Protestant pastor—in 1642, was one of two Jesuits who returned to the Mohawk region in an (unsuccessful) attempt to broker peace. As relations between the church hierarchy and First Nations people remain fraught, and following Pope Francis’ recent visit to Canada to apologize for injustices at the hands of Catholics, may the saints we remember today inspire us to serve without prejudice or fear.

MEMORIAL OF JOHN DE BRÉBEUF AND ISAAC JOGUES, JESUIT PRIESTS, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 3:2-12; Luke 12:39-48 (475). “God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior.”

Thursday, Oct 20, 2022
We all struggle at times

Saint Paul of the Cross became the founder of the Passionists, a worldwide religious community. In his day (the 1700s) he was a famous preacher who drew large crowds. But as a young man still considering his path in life, he was beset with doubts: “The very sound of the church bells became hateful to me,” he wrote about this period. His life reminds us that confusion and doubt have long affected the faithful. If you’ve experienced this kind of anguish, you are not alone. “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief,” (Mark 9:23) is a prayer many turn to.

MEMORIAL OF PAUL OF THE CROSS, PRIEST, FOUNDER
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 3:14-21; Luke 12:49-53 (476). “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”

Friday, Oct 21, 2022
Right relationship

Following Jesus the Christ means living in right relationship—with others, with the Earth and all God’s creatures, and perhaps most important, with your own self. The backbone of right relationships is love. Such love, Saint Thomas Aquinas says, is "willing the good of the other." For Catholics, this idea of right relationship has two key components. First, it means upholding the dignity of all persons, especially when we encounter differences and conflict. Second, it means working for justice. Justice is something we can practice daily in our choices of how we live and how we treat others. It also means being aware of and active in transforming unjust structures and institutions. What helps you nurture right relationships?

TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 4:1-6; Luke 12:54-59 (477). “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”

Saturday, Oct 22, 2022
Loss leads to life

Pope Saint John Paul II, canonized in 2014, was revered for his many accomplishments during his long pontificate. What is less well known about the beloved pontiff is that he experienced tremendous loss early in life. The future pope lost his mother when he was only 9, his eldest brother when he was 12, and his father when he was just 21. Perhaps this is why Saint John Paul II made the “culture of life” a focus on his pontificate: the “church counters the culture of death with the culture of life,” he said as he advocated for all life issues, in statements such as this: “May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” Let loss lead to life.

MEMORIAL OF JOHN PAUL II, POPE
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 4:7-16; Luke 13:1-9 (478). “Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future.”

 

Sunday, Oct 23, 2022
Share some good news

The church isn't stationary but missionary. The word Mass shares the same root as mission: to be sent. We enter the sanctuary weekly to prepare for our mission. This World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis shares his "dream of a completely missionary Church." To embrace this vision is to do three things: Bear witness. Do it everywhere. Trust the Spirit. We remember on this day five Adorers of the Blood of Christ from Illinois who embraced the vision and were martyred in Liberia in 1992. One sister wrote: "We need to move to the call of our mission, not to the call of our comfort.” Venture out of your comfort zone.

THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
TODAY'S READINGS: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14 (150). “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed.”

Monday, Oct 24, 2022
The other cheek is forgiveness

Think it’s hard to “turn the other cheek”? What if someone stabbed you in the cheek in an attempt to kill you?! While you imagine what you’d do in that situation, consider what Saint Anthony Mary Claret did when it actually happened to him: He got his would-be assassin’s death sentence commuted. As the archbishop of Santiago, Cuba in the mid-1800s, Claret had made enemies by advocating for the downtrodden and denouncing racism. He’s an example that turning the other cheek is not a passive action, as some might think, because it has two parts: first, not responding in kind, and then, actively giving a second chance to the offender to do the right thing. Such brave love can and has stopped hate in its tracks.

MEMORIAL OF ANTHONY MARY CLARET, BISHOP, FOUNDER
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 4:32—5:8; Luke 13:10-17 (479). “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”

Tuesday, Oct 25, 2022
God blesses the work of human hands

Few Catholics know the significance of French priest Jacques Paul Migne, born this day in 1800. But without Migne’s skills as a journalist and prowess as a publisher, precious few would know anything about the early church fathers. Migne launched a publishing company that produced, at moderate prices, hundreds of volumes of church history and theology whose aim was to better educate Catholic clergy. Even today, his writings on the early church fathers are considered the most complete ever written. Migne’s inventiveness reminds us that we, too, can glorify God with our daily work.

TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 5:21-33; Luke 13:18-21 (480). “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

Wednesday, Oct 26, 2022
Faithful to the end

On this day in 1529, Saint Thomas More became Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII, who soon after began to forcefully agitate for independence from the dictates of the pope. This led to a clash with Thomas—a staunchly orthodox Catholic—who refused to betray his faith and accede to the royal demands. By 1534, he was imprisoned on charges of treason and was executed the next year after Henry declared himself head of an independent Church of England. As Anglicans and Roman Catholics continue to dialogue in view of shared ecumenical goals, let’s remember the faithful witness of Thomas More—a friend to all and a Catholic par excellence.

TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 6:1-9; Luke 13:22-30 (481). “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Thursday, Oct 27, 2022
Watch your attitude

In today’s gos­pel King Herod Antipas (who beheaded John the Baptist) is depicted as a menacing tyrant, like his father, Herod the Great (who ordered the Slaughter of the Innocents). Such sins can seem far removed from ours. But Pope Francis has noted: “We must not think that we imitate Herod only if we become tyrants. No. In reality, it's an attitude to which we can all succumb, every time we try to dispel our fears with arrogance, even if only verbal or made up of small abuses intended to mortify those close to us.” Let’s pray for a world free of powerful tyrants—and free of any tyrannical impulses of our own.

TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 6:10-20; Luke 13:31-35 (482). “Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, ‘Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.’”

Friday, Oct 28, 2022
You can lead from behind, too

Of the 12 apostles, Peter is always front and center—rightfully so, for one called “the rock” (the literal meaning of the Greek name Pétros). Others are recognizable from various gospel stories. But then there’s the zealots Simon and Jude (a.k.a. Thaddeus or “Son of James”). We know virtually nothing about them. Yet, they are remembered to this day because Jesus chose them to help lead the early church. Jesus knew that different kinds of leaders were needed to proclaim the gospel—the headliners like Peter and the “behind the scenes” people like Simon and Jude. What kind of leader are you called to be?

FEAST OF SIMON AND JUDE, APOSTLES
TODAY'S READINGS: Ephesians 2:19-22; Luke 6:12-16 (666). “You are fellow citizens with the holy ones . . . built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets.”

Saturday, Oct 29, 2022
The mother of all virtues

Humility is not much in demand these days, when celebrity status and social media popularity seem all the rage. But precisely because humility challenges all that is near and dear to our ego, it is worth wrestling with, especially if we wish to draw closer to God. Saint Augustine said in one of his letters, “The way to Christ is first through humility, second through humility, third through humility.” He also said, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes [humans] as angels.” Humility has a transformative quality if we understand it not as groveling but rather as knowing our true measure, of keeping our feet firmly on the ground (the Latin for earth—humus—is the word’s root). Perhaps Saint Thomas Aquinas defined it best: “Humility means seeing ourselves as God sees us: knowing every good we have comes from Him as pure gift.”

TODAY'S READINGS: Philippians 1:18b-26; Luke 14:1, 7-11 (484). “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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