Archive for December, 2015

The Corporal Works of Mercy in the Jubilee of Mercy

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

The heart of the Gospel is mercy. Jesus asks us each to show this loving compassion to others in body and in spirit – in the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy. Most would agree that one of the beautifully heartwarming moments of Pope Francis’ visit to Washington unfolded when he […] [Read more]

God’s Loving Mercy in Confession

Monday, December 14th, 2015

It was a great joy for me last week to welcome the Jubilee Year of Mercy by opening the Holy Doors at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle and at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. My hope is that these doors will be a reminder for all of us […] [Read more]

“Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy”

Friday, December 11th, 2015

The Blessed Virgin Mary is a beloved and pervasive figure not only in the Catholic Church, but across the world and throughout history. There are signs of profound devotion to this humble woman from Nazareth everywhere, with a complete symphony of praise for her in poems, litanies and hymns sung in every language. For example, […] [Read more]

The Door of Mercy in the Church is Open to All

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Pope Francis has often discussed how profoundly touched he is by Christ’s calling of Saint Matthew. In the Gospel we read how Jesus went to dine at the house of Matthew, who as a tax collector was reviled by the community. When the Pharisees asked why he ate with tax collectors and sinners, the Lord […] [Read more]

The Second Vatican Council Continues to Bear Fruit After Fifty Years

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Fifty years ago today, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1965, the Second Vatican Council came to a close. On the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council, October 11, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI began the Year of Faith, which was a grace-filled time of spiritual renewal in the Church. Now […] [Read more]

The 50th Anniversary of Gaudium et Spes

Monday, December 7th, 2015

For many of us, what makes this part of year so special is the time that we spend with family. We share many family traditions as simple as gathering to bake Christmas cookies or decorate the Christmas tree, to traveling many miles to the family homestead for a multigenerational celebration. Family gatherings are a most […] [Read more]

The Jubilee Year of Mercy

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Pope Francis has offered a special gift to all of us in the Church and in the world – a Jubilee Year of Mercy which will begin on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and run through November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King. Receiving this gift of God’s loving […] [Read more]

The San Bernardino Shootings

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

News of another violent attack on innocent people, this time leaving 14 people dead and another 17 injured in San Bernardino, California, strikes again at the hearts of us all. Soon after the shootings, Bishop Gerald Barnes of the Diocese of San Bernardino issued a statement, saying, “Please join me in praying for all of […] [Read more]

The Messianic Prophecies

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

The Gospel of Luke describes how Jesus, early in his public ministry, entered the synagogue in Nazareth and read a prophecy from Isaiah describing the Messianic kingdom (Isaiah 61:1-2). Rolling up the scroll, he then announced to the assembly, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16-21). Throughout the history of salvation […] [Read more]