From the Editor

An encounter with mercy

When someone asks me, “Why should I go to a priest to confess my sins?” I respond by asking, “Why be baptized?” “Why should you receive any of the sacraments?”

We need to experience God’s presence to us in our humanity. We need to experience his tender and loving forgiveness. When we hurt someone, we don’t feel at peace unless and until we ask forgiveness from the one we have offended. We need to experience God’s forgiveness in our own human and personal way when we receive his sacrament of forgiveness.

Look for Jesus, Mary and Jospeh in the faces of today's refugees

In his Gospel account, St. Matthew tells us that just after the Magi gave their gifts to the child Jesus, Joseph was told to take the child and his mother, Mary, and flee to Egypt. As Matthew puts it: “… behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you. Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him. Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod” (2:13-15).

Pope Francis: The Bridge-Builder

There are many names or titles which we ascribe to Pope Francis.

The first is “pope.” It comes from “papa,” and is a reminder that in his role as chief shepherd of the Church, Pope Francis is like a tender-hearted father to us. We also call Pope Francis the Holy Father for the same reason, although, my sense is that many of us love to see him more as a loving grandpa. 

Spend some time comforting others

Have you felt “uncomfortable” when in your heart you feel called to comfort the afflicted? We all have had that feeling, and for a number of reasons, such as “I don’t know what to say,” or “I don’t know how or what to do,” or “I’ll get to it later.” And let’s face it, deep down we envision our own fate and face fears about our own future when we are with someone who is afflicted.

Growing as Disciples

As Jesus begins his ministry in St. Luke’s Gospel, he starts by teaching and preaching as he makes his way along the shore of the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee). There, he encounters Simon Peter, James and John, who, as fishermen, have been working hard all night and day. They have not met with much success. Jesus climbs into Simon Peter’s boat and encourages him to set out a bit from shore so that Jesus might better address and teach the crowd who has followed him. Up to that moment, Simon Peter and his co-workers, James and John, have been going about their business as fishermen.

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