There are moments when the ground beneath us shakes, and we get a shocking glimpse of our failing in love.

God's Word on Sunday: Need for the Spirit is greater now than ever


Pentecost Sunday (Year A) May 28 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23)

To the first believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit was far more than an idea or a doctrine — it was a living, powerful presence. To encounter the Spirit was to be in for a bumpy and sometimes scary but exciting ride. Of one thing they were sure: Jesus Christ was present and working in their hearts and communities.

Let Pentecost awaken the Holy Spirit’s fire


Jesus said to His disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever” (John 14:15).

God's Word on Sunday: God’s Kingdom dwells within us


Ascension of the Lord (Year A) May 21 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20)

We can only imagine what it would have been like to walk and talk with the risen Jesus for 40 days. What did His followers talk about? What did the Lord teach them? If only someone had taken notes!

God's Word on Sunday: We need to view world via the lens of Christ


Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 14 (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Psalm 66; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21)

The Samaritans fare rather well in the pages of the New Testament. Despite the fact that there was considerable antipathy between the Samaritans and the Judeans, they are often portrayed as eager and open to the words of Jesus. The tension sprang from their questionable ethnicity and theology. In the eyes of the Judeans, the ethnic purity of the Samaritans had been compromised by intermarriage with non-Jews.

God's Word on Sunday: As a chosen race, we are Jesus’ companions


Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 7 (Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12)

Tension and misunderstanding in church communities is nothing new. As the faith continued to spread, more people from disparate backgrounds joined the community, which often gives rise to friction and resentment.

God's Word on Sunday: Jesus suffered to heal, transform humanity


Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A) April 30 (Acts 2:14a, 36b-41; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:20b-25; John 10:1-10)

Many terrible things are done by ordinary, otherwise decent, people. It is easy to demonize a few villains and lay the blame on them, but what about when many have a hand — directly or indirectly — in the crime? Most of the time this is due to ignorance. People are not really aware of the true state of affairs or the consequences of their actions. Reality is refracted through a lens of fear, prejudices and commonly held opinions — usually wrong. Many are easily manipulated by purveyors of misinformation (lies) and demagogues.

Finding holiness in God next door


“Christianity’s holiest site,” a news story said, is Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher, “the place where Christians believe Jesus died and was buried.”

God's Word on Sunday: Jesus’ end on the Cross was just the beginning


Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) April 23 (Acts 2:14, 22b-28; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35)

A rapid survey of the world reveals a very distressing panorama of violence, cruelty and injustice. The question that many shout heavenward is, “Where is God in all this?” But God is many steps ahead of humanity and is far more powerful than the worst that they can do.

God's Word on Sunday: Nothing will break those united in the Lord


Second Sunday of Easter (Year A) April 16 (Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 118; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31)

Unity is a source of great power and strength both for good and for ill. Totalitarian regimes of all types force their people to be as lockstep as possible. There is no room for individuality or independent thinking. We rightly fear this sort of unity, although there has been a disturbing drift in its direction in recent years.

God's Word on Sunday: Divine life awaits those who follow Jesus


Resurrection of the Lord (Year A) April 9 (Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:3-4; John 20:1-18)

There were no elaborate theologies in the preaching of the apostles. They kept their proclamation focused on the main points: who Jesus was, what He did and what He was going to do. Jesus had been baptized by John, then anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. His whole ministry was given to helping and healing people. God had vindicated Him and ratified His deeds and words by raising Him from the dead. He appeared to His followers and talked with them.