Now that the candidates have committed themselves to deepen their experience of Jesus and prepare for the special coming of the Holy Spirit into their hearts at confirmation, it's important that they, and all of us, try to listen now deeply to the word of God to try to understand what this word of God means today as we celebrate this ceremony that begins the program of preparation for confirmation for these parish members.
Meet the "Post-Seculars" -- the one in five Americans who seem to have gone unnoticed before in endless rounds of debates pitting science vs. religion.
They're more strongly religious than most "Traditionals" (43 percent of Americans) and more scientifically knowledgeable than "Moderns" (36 percent) who stand on science alone, according to two sociologists' findings in a new study.
Soul Seeing: I was standing in a shabby, windowless office, trying to convince Lucia to give up her baby. What right did I have to do this? What was I doing here?
The book of Jonah is one of the Hebrew Scriptures' most significant writings. But since many of us don't recognize its literary genre, we miss the theology the author's trying to convey.
Faith and Justice: The mystery of evil is beyond my comprehension. I have concluded that Jesus came not to explain suffering but to weep and suffer with us.
Young Voices: One of the problems with forgiveness is that all too often, we view it as an act in an instant rather than a way over time.
Simply Spirit: When it comes to life after death, it sure looks like there's a lot more experiential evidence out there than most of us ever realized.
The Peace Pulpit: It is important to reflect on the fact that we have been baptized, to remind ourselves that we accepted a change.
Soul Seeing: God did not create the human body. How can a perfect, loving, all-powerful God create something so fragile, temporary, slow to learn?
Today, the community of believers in Jesus gathers to remember and celebrate his baptism. There at the Jordan, John clarified his role as precursor of Jesus. The baptism given by John was preparatory for the baptism that Jesus would bring: John's was with water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. There at the Jordan, Jesus was identified as "my beloved Son," and from that moment on, he would be the living Word and Wisdom of God. In all his words and in all his works, Jesus would make known to sinners the love and mercy of God.