30 July 2015

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of religious art and for the many ways it can remind us of You and Your call to us.

Br. Joseph Martin Hagan, O.P., on the Irony of Church Tours

"'What a beautiful church!' 'Look at the arches!' 'What saint is that?' 'What does that inscription say?'

"I have been spoiled with beautiful churches. From my home parish, to the Basilica at Notre Dame, to the chapel at our House of Studies in DC, and even this summer at St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City, I have enjoyed breath-taking churches for most of my life.

"As a consequence, I have been around church tours: receiving them, giving them, and sometimes accidetally interrupting them. These church tours serve an important purpose, giving voice to what the architecture and artwork have to say about God and our worship of Him. All the same, I find a recurring irony in these tours.."

In a recent commentary, Brother Joseph Martin Hagan, O.P., reflected on the irony in which people focus on architecture and artwork in the churches while Jesus is "awaiting each guest in the Eucharist." ("For a brief period of time, we get more excited about the wrapping paper than the gift.")

To access Brother Joseph Martin's complete post, please visit:

Dominicana: The Irony of Church Tours (30 JUL 15)

Reflection Starter from Joseph Addison

"What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable." - Joseph Addison

28 July 2015

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways You call us to You.

Kevin Lowry on Evangelization

"Conversion is hard.

"It also takes a long time. How many people do you know who have just woken up one day and decided to change their religion, political affiliation, or even favorite football team? I can’t think of anyone. These changes do happen sometimes, but they usually result from a long process. Heck, my conversion to Catholicism took the better part of ten years, and that was relatively quick – my parents took around thirty."

"If you think about it, conversion involves dealing with some of the most important questions of life – and involves examining our very identities, who we are and how we fit into this world of ours. It’s a fascinating topic, so much that it will be the focus of my second book that I’m working on right now. How we answer these questions, and how in particular we respond to the gospel – that calls us to conversion – changes everything. About ourselves.

"And that’s hard."

In a recent commentary, writer Kevin Lowry offered a reflection on the evangelization process.

To access Kevin's complete post, please visit:

Grateful Convert: Evangelize – or Proselytize? (19 JUL 15)

Reflection Starter from Mahatma Gandhi

“The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi

26 July 2015

"Let All Things Now Living"

As our Sunday celebrations, I offer this version of the Lebanon County Youth Chorus presenting Katherine Davis' "Let All Things Now Living":

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The assigned readings are 2 Kings 4:42-22, Ephesians 4:1-6, and John 6:1-15. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 145 (Psalm 145:10-11, 15-18).

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 145 Praise to the Goodness and Greatness of God

The Gospel reading is as follows:

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near.

When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little."

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"

Jesus said, "Have the people recline."

Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.

When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted." So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.

When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."

Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 26, 2015)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflection: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 26, 2015)

Community in Mission: What Are Your Five Loaves and Two Fishes? A Homily for the 17th Sunday of the Year (25 JUL 15)

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: The Eucharist vs. Junk Food - You Are What You Eat!

The Deacon's Bench: Homily for July 26, 2015: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (26 JUL 15)

Word on Fire: The Mystery of the Mass (Cycle B * Ordinary Time * Week 17)

St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology: Bread Left Over: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (20 JUL 15)

The CWR Blog: The feeding of the five thousand was just the beginning (25 JUL 15)

Spirituality of the Readings: The Call (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Let the Scriptures Speak: The Prophet-King Shepherds His People (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

The Word Embodied: The Bread of Life (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Historical Cultural Context: A Need to Know (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Augustine (17th Sunday of Ordinary Time B)

Word to Life Radio Broadcast: Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (24 JUL 15)