Optimism is not the same as hope

The Sunday Gospel Dark November will soon be past, and in the Church’s calendar, today is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new liturgical year. Advent means coming and it has three dimensions: the past coming of Christ at the first Christmas; the future coming of Christ at the end of life;…

Jesus Christ, the universal king

The Sunday Gospel Today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year is when we celebrate Jesus Christ, the Universal King. The end of the liturgical year anticipates the end of time when “the kingdom of God will come in all its fulness. Then the just will reign with Jesus Christ for ever, glorified in body…

Purgatory: therapy of divine love

The Sunday Gospel Purgation is a process of purification. Purgatory is not specifically mentioned in the Bible but the doctrine of purgatory is a beautiful development which holds in unity two ideas which might seem to be contradictory. Firstly, the doctrine of God’s holiness reminds us of God’s unique otherness, glory and blinding light, far…

How the saints put flesh on theology

The Sunday Gospel Normally, our weekly reflection is based on the Gospel of Sunday, but this week we will consider two days to Tuesday, November 1, the Feast of All Saints. In the northern hemisphere, November is the darkest month. The poet, Thomas Hood, captured the mood. “No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,…

Humble prayer will pierce the clouds

The Sunday Gospel The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14) was addressed to people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else. In the traditional list of the roots of sin, known as the seven deadly sins, the first in the list is pride, and rightly so, because pride…

Gratitude is the heart of prayer

The Sunday Gospel Luke, more than the other writers, is the evangelist of prayer. This Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 17:11-19), the story of the healing of 10 lepers, instructs us on having trust in our prayer of petition and returning to God in thanksgiving. Asking and thanking. “Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.” They had to…

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus

The Sunday Gospel Luke, more than the other evangelists, portrays Jesus as being on the side of the poor. In last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus referred to money as tainted with temptation. Today’s Gospel (Luke 16:19-23) is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Although he is commonly called Dives, the rich man is not actually named in…