According to a Pew Research Center study, almost 50% of gay Americans are not religiously affiliated and about a third have felt unwelcome in a house of worship at some point.
Some scholars of the Christian Scriptures insist we’ll never be able to get an accurate picture of the historical Jesus just by reading the four Gospels. They believe the portraits we find in those writings have been so deeply colored by the authors’ faith in him that the “real” Jesus has been permanently lost. Yet when pressed, even they admit there’s at least one thing about the Gospel Jesus that’s historically accurate: he was a friend of sinners. No one in the early church would have dared invent that characteristic.
Two widows are featured in the sacred texts today. The text from Kings tells the plight of a Sidonian woman. With no husband, no inheritance rights and no voice, she was dependent upon her son, the man of the family. So it was with the widow of Nain in the Gospel: Her son, her only son, was her legal protector. When both widows lost their sons to death, they suffered not only the loss of a beloved child but also the loss of their rights -- or, as Bonnie Bowman Thurston has put it, they lost their “social security” (The Widows, Fortress Press, 1989).
From the beginning, believers in Jesus had no doubt as to the wondrousness of the gift they received in Eucharist.
Paul’s faith in this great mystery is clearly evident in today’s second reading. His description of Jesus’ great gift predates those of the evangelists and reflects the growing faith of the early community.
Since the Council of Nicaea’s definition of the Trinity in 325 -- three persons in one God -- isn’t spelled out as such in Scripture, it’s challenging to give a biblical homily on this day. Perhaps we should begin with the commandment: “You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them” (Deuteronomy 5:8).
Peace Pulpit: Each of us is blessed with gifts and then called to service, to minister within the community and, as part of the community, to minister to the world.
Each year 90,000 parents in the U.S. confront the profound suffering that follows the death of a child or adolescent.
Some of those rely on faith to help them through their grief. Others look to psychiatrists, who offer therapy or prescribe antidepressants to help ease their patients’ pain.
On May 18, in a move that could add to the tension between religion and science, the American Psychiatric Association changed a controversial diagnosis regarding how grief relates to mental health.
I was sitting at my prayer desk the other night, two flickering candles in front of me, letting my mind wander as I looked at the small framed icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help that once belonged to my grandmother. It’s an inexpensive framed image, one that she must have had since the 1960s at least, but in the candlelight it shone like pure gold. And as I looked at it – a picture I see every single day -- I noticed something. For the first time, I realized that Mary and Jesus were holding hands.
That moved me.
Between 300 and 400 young adult Catholics attended the Theology on Tap talk, where the cardinal urged them to deepen and share their Catholic faith.
One of Jesus’ favorite lines is “Peace be with you.” He says it again and again in scripture. Actually, this phrase is uttered 14 times by the Lord in the Gospels. We say it every Sunday to one another as we shake, hug or wave across the aisle. What does it mean?