Each week read what our curated authors have to say about the Sunday readings

'Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit'

Fr. John Thornhill, SM EMMAUS SERIES
After his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus set out on his great mission. Throughout this year, we follow the course of his mission in readings from the gospel of Mark. The gospel readings of this Sunday (from John) and next Sunday (from Mark) invite us to set out on this journey of discovery as disciples of the Lord. Just as he called the first disciples, the Saviour has a personal call for each one of us to become his ‘disciple’.

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Jesus gave us a Church with authority, meaning “what the Church has commanded, the Church can abrogate,” writes Father Hawkswell. This includes decisions on attending Mass, receiving Communion in the hand, and getting vaccinated. (CNS photo/Matthew Bodnarek, Grandin Media)


2B Ordinary Time

When you’re more right than the Church, it’s time for humility

Fr. Vincent Hawkswell

The Church links Christ’s baptism with two other “manifestations”: the visit of the wise men and his first public miracle. When Pope St. John Paul II gave the Church the five new “mysteries of light” to meditate on as we say the Rosary, he included both these events. Each is a “revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very Person of Christ,” he said. In the first, “as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became sin for our sake, the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son, while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out.” (2021)

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It’s about Jesus…

Fr. Austin Fleming

The steps were very simple: Someone who’s already a believer tells someone else something about Jesus (“He’s the Lamb of God!”) and leads that person to him. The rest is the work of Jesus who meets everyone who comes to him in faith. The process is not at all complicated. It doesn’t cost a cent. You don’t need a degree in theology to do this. And this process has a name – which I hesitate to share with you because if I do, it might turn you off or scare you away. The process is called…. “evangelization.” Don’t run! Hang in there with me for a bit more! (2015)

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What are you looking for?

Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr

We are back in the ordinary time of the year, but beware! It may not be as ordinary as you may think, and neither does it mean slackness. Perhaps, you need to be more alert because out of the ordinary may hatch something extraordinary, marking the rest of your life. Let’s find out then what this Sunday of ordinary time has for us. The readings for this Sunday are marked by the turning points in the lives of certain persons, thanks to their guides: Samuel, by an old priest, Eli, learns to recognise the voice of God; two disciples, by their master John the Baptist, encounter the messiah; and Peter meets Jesus, thanks to his brother Andrew. From these experiences, we can rest assured, new life can beginning no matter our age or the situation we are in now. (2018)

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Temples of God

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino

A number of years ago, I came upon three very disappointed young ladies in our Life Teen Program. They were just freshmen and had been looking forward to the Homecoming Dance, their first big high school dance. Well, the dance was not what they expected. They were crowded into a room that was hot and sweaty. And they were shocked at the way that some of the other girls were dancing. Let us just say that the dancing was suggestive to the point of being immoral. I was going to talk to them about their upset, when I heard one of the girl’s say, “I don’t dance like that. My body is a Temple of God. I don’t treat my body like that.” I kept moving on. The young lady, now in her 20’s had a firm hold of what it means to be a follower of Christ. She also understood today’s second reading from Paul’s First Letter to Corinth. (2021)

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How willing are you to accept God’s call?

Jamie Waters

The United States approaches an important moment, the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president of the United States. This is a moment to pray for these leaders to succeed in their commitment to governing on behalf of all Americans and working to heal a damaged and divided nation. At this juncture, today’s readings offer wisdom on the importance of new beginnings and answering a call to service. (2021)

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Not an answer, but an invitation

Fr. George Smiga

We come to God with questions. God gives us invitations. The questions are many and can be drawn from a number of different circumstances. Why do the innocent suffer? Why is our world so violent? Why is someone that I love sick? Why can’t I find a job? Why do our political and religious leaders fail us? How can I protect my family? Why am I so depressed and lonely? Where can I look for hope? Questions, real questions, that we place before God. But God doesn’t answer them. God simply says, “Come and see; come follow me.” (2003)

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The body sacred

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ

If we ask God to speak to us in Christ, if we wish to abide with him, he simply tells us to follow, to look, and to hear. Should we do so, however, all things will look different. Paul does not let us escape this fact. In the transforming mission of Jesus, even our bodies will look different. If God can inhabit human flesh, it cannot be made for immorality. If our bodies are temples of God, we must not desecrate them. They are, Paul says, the very glory of God. This is difficult for us today. How dare someone tell us “You are not your own”? We pride ourselves on autonomy. Our bodies are our property, there for our use or abuse, our pleasure or management, ours to begin or end at will. (1997)

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Christianity’s hope, power and vision

Fr. Charles Irvin

Our Catholic Faith is one of the largest and most influential in the world and it’s membership is presently over one billion souls. It has built thousands of churches, hospitals, children’s homes, nursing homes, schools, and even universities. It has rites, rituals, ceremonies, and the holy Sacraments of Jesus Christ. It has theologies, philosophies, systems of ethics, moral codes and even a Code of Canon Law abound. It is vast; it is intricate; and it is complex. But it is built on one thing and one thing alone, namely a personal, warm, intimate, and loving friendship with Jesus Christ. From that flows all of Christianity’s hope, power, and vision of the truth about who we are. Jesus was tempted to be a military leader, a dazzling magician, a revolutionary who would construct a new social order, and a universal healer and provider for us in all of our hurts, wants, and needs. But He resisted all of those temptations and asked for only one thing from us – friendship! (2021)

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What are you looking for?

Laura Kazlas

You think back about how God has called you in the past. Looking back, you can see it now, that God was calling you to do something, to make a difference. You couldn’t see it then. It was ordinary, a little whisper that you simply glossed over. But looking back, you see that it was God, providing an opportunity for you. And you passed it by, barely noticing it. You looked the other way. Anyone have occurrences like this? Missed opportunities to do God’s will, times that, in looking back you knew that it was a nudge from God? Looking back at these times, it’s water all under the bridge. You can’t go back. But what is it that you can do today? Because I really think that true growth is when you can see God in the moment – and respond – just as Samuel did in the first reading, and just as Andrew, and then Simon turned Cephas translated to Peter did for Jesus when He called them. (2018)

Life Issue Posts

2B Ordinary Time

Lifeissues.net website  publishes  articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Are you what you can be?

Al Carino

God revealed His grand plan of salvation for each one us in and through His Son Jesus. Having accepted Jesus, have we become the person we can be by living up to His teachings and examples? Have we also become instrumental in bringing another person to meet and accept Jesus in faith?

Speak, Lord

Frank Enderle

Each time that Jesus chose one of the apostles, He asked them to leave everthing behind and follow. And that same thing is what He asks of us. Each of us receives a call from God, a vocation. Even though it seems that each one of us is called to do different things in life, in reality, God asks of all of us one thing: to follow Him with courage and integrity.

Come and See

Antonio P. Pueyo

Recall a first meeting with a person who made a positive difference in your life. To be in the presence of such a person lift us out of the ordinary. We start believing we can be better, we can do more, we are important, we are good, we are loved.

Samuel’s Call and Response

Jeremiah R. Grosse

God’s call is not limited only to a chosen few like Samuel or one of the other prophets. He daily calls us to be of service to others. There may be someone here this morning who has heard the call to become a priest, deacon, or religious. I would encourage you to follow the same advice that Eli gave to Samuel and say, ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening!’

Behold the Lamb of God

Douglas P. McManaman

Life that is lived in the Person of Christ, the Lamb of God who gives his life for us, is to be a life lived in that very sacrifice. That’s the paradox of life in Christ; that our happiness, our well-being, our emotional, mental, spiritual health stems from a life lived in and out of his sacrifice.


Tom Bartolomeo

“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”, said the prophet. Listening should be the better part of our relationship not only with God but with each other. Husbands and wives, listen to each other. Brothers and sisters, listen to each other. Friends and adversaries, listen to each other.

Unexpected Calls

Sermons Proclaim

Over half the calls that Americans now receive are unsolicited messages from spammers and scammers. But such annoyances should not prevent us from answering the call of God.