Young Voices: Mercy, joy and the poor church? Look closer. The trademark pillars of Francis' papacy are fruits borne of a deeper principle.
Column: My podcast feed includes a number of spiritual and religious shows NCR readers might want to check out.
In the sacred texts for today, we are reacquainted with the earliest believers in Jesus. We are invited to see and appreciate the impact of the risen Jesus on their lives. Because of Jesus, as Luke tells us in Acts, the believers were of one heart and mind. They shared all they had; there was no need to which they did not tend. Graced by God, they bore powerful witness to their risen Lord.
The Peace Pulpit: "Go where people need to be encouraged and given hope, and bring that joy of the Gospel into our everyday life."
Soul Seeing: Life shrinks each of us. We find ourselves only when we lose ourselves. It isn't easy.
When asked to describe the mystery of Easter, author Carl Knudsen responded with the following story. Years ago, an old municipal lamplighter, engaged in putting out the street lamps one by one, was met by a reporter who asked him if he ever grew weary of his work. After all, it was a lonely job and the night was cold and damp.
"Never am I cheerless," said the old man, "for there is always a light ahead of me to lead me on."
My Table is Spread: I've had enough of death. I want to spend this season with the opened tomb and Christ's breath-giving life.
The readings have been long, but of course since this is the beginning of the most sacred and holy week of the year, it's important for us to spend just a few moments at least in reflecting on the deep message that God is proclaiming to us through these readings, through the events that are described. And perhaps we can catch the deepest meaning of all of this if we listen very carefully again to the words of St. Paul addressed to the Christian community at Philippi.
Young Voices: My wife and I are expecting our first child in July, and I'm finding new meaning in some of Holy Week's words and symbols.
The statues and crucifixes in our churches this week will be draped with purple sheets. The sparest days of Lent, the church's annual retreat, are upon us.
The sight of these hooded saints feels appropriate to me this year, for rather than giving up some material attachment during Lent, I've tried to let go of some of the old images that have attached themselves, in my mind, to God.