Christ calls us to abundant life. Yet, it's a life that comes through following him into death. Fr. Tony Cutcher reflects on the implications of the Christian call. He says: "So often when we preachers get up and we preach about God's forgiveness, we neglect to remind everybody that God's forgiveness is dependent upon our repentance, that we must repent of our sins...it's the cost of discipleship."
If Christ was heralded as The Prince of Peace, why would he say that he came not to bring peace but division? Fr. Ambrose Dobrozsi tackles this tough question. He says: "We need to see the face of Christ both in those who are downtrodden and oppressed but also in those that we disagree with. And this is where, I think, the peace of Christ can overcome division in our lives concretely."
It's hard to reconcile Jesus' way with man's tendency towards comfort. Fr. Joseph Kindel reflects on this in light of Christ's message that he has come not to bring peace but division. He says: "Jesus' words, his whole gospel, can be either threatening or consoling depending on how comfortable we are with the way life is right now...If life now is good, comfortable, and yet there's people all around who are in misery...that's a problem."
Why does the Catholic Church place such a strong emphasis on celebrating Mary, Christ's mother? On the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, Fr. Tony Cutcher reflects on the significance of Mary's grace-filled life and "Yes" to God. He says: "Mary was the first tabernacle. Mary was the first place where God took up residence, where He became flesh and dwelt among us."
On the Solemnity of the Assumption, Fr. Ambrose Dobrozsi contemplates how the virgin Mary is the new Ark of the covenant. He says: "Just like the high point of the Old Testament was the Ark of the Covenant being brought up into the Temple, so now Mary has been brought into the eternal Temple — the Ark of the new covenant in the place where God is worshipped for all of eternity in heaven."
Scripture tells us that where your treasure lies, there will your heart be also. Reflecting on this reality, Fr. Ambrose Dobrozsi emphasizes the importance of examining our consciences daily. He says: "If we truly seek to make the Lord the center of our lives, he will be pleased to give us the Kingdom."
There seems to be an ever-present tension between trust and doubt, fear and faith. How do we handle this tension as we move through life? Fr. Joseph Kindel reflects on this. He says: "Fear is what keeps us locked up...It's faith that God actually cares for you and provides for you and loves you. It's that faith, that trust in God that frees us to stop worrying about ourselves and to be concerned for others."
Addressing the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Fr. Ambrose Dobrozsi delivers a sobering but hopeful reflection. He says: "It is not just for good times that Christ came to the world. If it does not also mean something for the worst times, for the most tragic of times, then the gospel is meaningless. And so, precisely now is when we have to turn to the Lord."
How do you measure success? Are you richer in money than you are in love? Fr. Tony Cutcher asks the necessary questions, saying: "We judge our success by God's standards: Is the world a better place because we're in it? Is there more love in the world because we're in it? Is there more Christ in the world because we're in it? This is the mark of success."
It's easy to sit back and judge the world around us. But Fr. Ambrose Dobrozsi proposes a different way to see: "In each case where we see bad news, where we see someone who's done something awful, we see the opportunity for God's mercy. We see a person who Jesus Christ has suffered and died for..."