Essay: No other nation imprisons its people as we do. Yet, going into jail to listen and help is an act of mercy and love.
"We have an advocate with the Father" (1 John 2:1). What is John telling us? That the reign of God is like a courtroom where we're lucky enough to have Jesus as the lawyer who'll get the divine judge to let us off easy? That's a rough description of one widely held understanding of this reading and a general theory of salvation. But is it the only interpretation?
The Peace Pulpit: "We are the presence of Jesus in the midst of the world ... That calls us to change our lives, to follow the way of Jesus."
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.