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The Immediacy of Discipleship

We live in a world driven by immediacy. With smartphones and WiFi, 24-hour-news channels and social media, Amazon Prime and streaming television, there is almost nothing that is outside the grasp of our insatiable desire for immediate gratification. In many ways this has led to problems: the difficulty of concentration, the accommodation of sound-bite news, […]

On Not Being a Stumbling Block to Others

Scandal. That’s what the translation should actually say in today’s Gospel (Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48). Why the lectionary renders the Greek Skandalon as “sin” in this translation is unclear, but what is clear is that in the original Greek, Jesus is making it plain to his followers that those who — by their actions or words — become […]

Into the Woods: The Gospel According to Mark

I have loved the work of the great composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim for years. This is in large part thanks to my college roommate and best friend Andrew who, in addition to also studying theology, had two minors: accounting and theatre. The latter field of study was a passion of his and it was over the […]

Fr. James Martin’s Book on Jesus: A Great Read

The book has already hit two bestseller marks on Amazon.com: it’s a #1 in the categories of ‘Catholicism’ and ‘Jesus, Gospel, and Acts.’ And the book hasn’t yet been released. It is scheduled for March 11, but I was fortunate enough to get an advance copy to read just in time for the first week […]

Fulfilling the Law: Bottom Lines and ‘Pieces of Flair’

The reading from the Gospel according to Matthew this Sunday (Matt 5:17-20) is, in addition to being one of those lengthy pericopes that lead to the young and old alike grumbling about “when will this Gospel end so I can sit down,” a very important text that is also oftentimes misread and misunderstood. The key […]

Authority, Authenticity, and Leadership

The combination of recent reports of Pope Francis’s decisions in addressing Vatican leadership crises at the curia and today’s Gospel taken from Mark 1:21-28 about Jesus’s ability to speak as one “with authority,” has me thinking about what it means to be a Christian today and to do so with authority. Today’s Gospel begins: Jesus […]