Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Jan. 23 (Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21)

The task facing Ezra and Nehemiah was enormous. The people of Israel had returned to the ruins of Jerusalem after 50 years of exile in Babylon. But there was a problem: their way of life and their understanding of their religion had become a dim and fading memory rather than a vibrant reality. They had to rebuild the political and religious structures of the nation as well as the temple. But most of all, they had to remember and rekindle their religious understanding.

God's Word on Sunday: Words of hope pave way to new reality

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 16 (Year C) Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 96; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-12

Spoken words can cause great hurt and long-lasting damage.

God's Word on Sunday: Baptism sets us on life-long path of love, service

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Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 9 (Year C) Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 104; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

What if the lead story on the evening news were one of great joy and life-changing significance? Can we even imagine what it would be? And could we even handle it, conditioned as we are to bleak and depressing news? We might ask what the catch is, or even label it “fake news.”

God's Word on Sunday: God’s prophecies as relevant as ever

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Epiphany of the Lord, Jan. 2 (Year C) Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12

In many respects, darkness has indeed covered the Earth during the last year. It has not been a pleasant or uplifting existence for many.

Mary Marrocco: How long O Lord?

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This New Year, perhaps more than most, stirs up awareness of time and its strange ways. Through the unsettling days of 2020 and 2021, some have found the time long and heavy, waiting for the lonely burdensome time to pass so they can regain their lives. For others, time has come to an end as effects of the coronavirus or other painful happenings claimed their lives. Still others have found time opening up for them, enabling them to do or explore new things. Some have spent more time in prayer.

God's Word on Sunday: Great love and trust part of divine plan

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Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Dec. 26 (Year C) 1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28; Psalm 84; John 3:1-2, 21-24; Luke 2:41-52

Why would Hannah hand over her baby to Eli the prophet? She had no other children, and she had hoped and prayed for many years for the infant Samuel. He had barely been weaned and yet she was letting go of him forever to fulfil the vow she had made to the Lord.

God's Word on Sunday: God-inspired prophecies never depleted

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Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 19 (Year C) Micah 5:2-5a; Psalm 80; Hebrews 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-45

The Scriptures describe the word of God as alive and active, always on the move and unceasing in activity.

Fr. Yaw Acheampong: Rejoice in the joy-filled light of Christmas

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How have you been preparing yourself to celebrate Christmas this year?

God's Word on Sunday: Joy flows from seeking God in our midst

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Third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 12 (Year C) Zephaniah 3:14-18a; Psalm 12; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

Joy is an essential and vital element in our religious faith and relationship with God. And yet it often seems to be lacking, for what is written on our faces sometimes belies the words that come from our mouths.

Mary Marrocco: Gentleness is a power of its own

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I remember once hearing a speaker marvelling at the “gentleness of God.” My reaction was incredulity. Gentleness? Many in that very room were experiencing great anguish, while around us swirled life’s turbulence and trouble. Of all things one could assert about God, this one seemed the most indefensible. What good could gentleness do, anyway, in a harsh and chaotic world? What is needed is strength and power to assist people whose lives and dilemmas are anything but gentle.

God's Word on Sunday: The power of God’s word never fades

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Second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 5 (Year C) Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126; Philippians 1:3-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6

The beautiful and soaring imagery of many prophecies usually collides with cold, hard reality. The utopian promises rarely seem to materialize, for our spiritual journey takes place on the earthly plane with its own laws and customs.