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The Evangelist
Thursday, February 2, 2023

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  • Jesus — Architect, Artisan and Scientist
    The older I get the more I am amazed at the depth and simplicity of the discourses of Jesus.
  • Home mission
    Mom was right. Charity begins at home. Such sound advice that we grew up with is something that can continue to inspire and motivate us as we seek practical ways to raise our children well in the light of our Gospel mission.
  • Let’s have brunch
    Do your friends a favor. Invite them to brunch. There’s no mistaking about it. Brunch has become a stable fixture in our cultural landscape, especially on Sundays. 
  • Inspiriting culture
    Any student of history will quickly discover that conflicts between popes and emperors are as legendary as they are commonplace and predictable. 
  • Pope Benedict XVI: A call to prayer
    Pastors, like all parents, know that raising children and keeping family together is often like the proverbial herding of cats. Joseph Ratzinger, even before he became pastor of pastors, knew and understood that.
  • Whatever became of Christmas?
    Something that might in future years help us take fuller advantage of a more creative and enjoyable observation of the Advent and Christmas seasons, is to seize the various opportunities to pause every few days throughout the feast days that many national traditions observe during these two months.
  • Clear vision
    In last Sunday’s Gospel, John the Baptist sends some of his disciples to Jesus to question him about his true identity. Are you the one who is to come?
  • Why was Jesus baptized?
    A very good question you may have never asked: Why would Jesus Christ, who from conception to death was free of sin, accept being baptized by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan River? 
  • Dance into the fire!
    No one will be lost who comes to the fire of this divine Love that burns away all that is deceiving us,
  • We look forward
    As we move together into the holiday (and Holy Day) season, it’s only human that our minds and hearts drift into reveries of Thanksgivings, Christmases and New Years past, memories of “the way we were.” 
  • Our faith prevails: Time to give thanks
    Fear is one of the most primitive — and paralyzing — of reactions to perceived danger. 
  • Who is worthy?
    Who is worthy of Jesus Christ? Who is worthy to receive him in Holy Communion?
  • Creation renewed
    Blame these days seems to be the name of the game. With the intensity of the political season reaching its climax in a few days, we can imagine any number of fingers gesticulating to express assorted angers and displeasures, but none perhaps so prominently as the index finger, the one favored for pointing and accusing: “it’s all YOUR (his, her, their) fault.”
  • Friending God
    God desires our hearts, desires our friendship, desires our love. God wants to be our friend. As much as we need God’s friendship, God desperately seems to want ours.
  • Jesus, our Healer
    The Church, to remain true to its divine commission, must seek out the lost, abandoned and abused.
  • Mission! A Christian identity thing
    To be a disciple of Christ is to be on mission. It is what is known as “the Great Commission.”
  • Faith or fear?
    Rejected! One of the most traumatizing verdicts in the English language. Who has not feared or felt it? I didn’t make the team. They put me on the waiting list. I got fired. My spouse is divorcing me. No one calls. It happens to everyone. 
  • Whose Church?
    When you think of “the” Church, what image comes to mind? A place you go to pray in? Where you go — or used to go — to Mass? 
  • Questions of identity
    The pain and suffering of people, and their friends and families, who experience forms of depression and dysphoria can become a burden so overwhelming that life itself seems unlivable.
  • The courage to think
    None of us likes being told that certain things we would like to do we cannot do — typically because they are illegal, immoral or just bad nutrition.
  • Saints alive!
    As most residents of Albany know, we do have many Saints among us
  • The closeness of Mary
    We can always be sure that in coming to Mary we will reach Jesus.
  • Who’s mad at who?
    Pardon my grammar. I am just making a point. I choose not to add the objective “m” at the end of my question. It is “me” who decides who I am – or even whether I am. End conversation. 
  • Family meal
    My parents must have been cruel. Or so it seemed. They made us eat liver.
  • Jesus our treasure
    Gospel readings in recent days have focused on a recurrent biblical theme: what do we treasure. 
  • Screen time
    Jesus wants to come to us in a way so much more intimately and personally than we can ever find with some image on a screen. 
  • Lourdes: Where prayer and care become one
    Karen Dutkowsky, a very dear friend of mine who accompanied malades (French, for people who are ailing) to Lourdes, would say, “In Lourdes I can only pray with my hands.” 
  • The Church as haven
    Yes, I did say “haven,” not “heaven,” God knows. But the two words are related. 
  • Facing Jerusalem
    Jerusalem is much more than a special city, albeit so for very sound historical, religious and even political reasons.
  • Being present: What true friends do
    Give until it hurts — that is the message — exactly what our best friend forever, Jesus Christ, does.
  • My 40th anniversary = July 31
    Father Kane shares his “Top 10” Ecumenical/Interfaith events during these 40 years as director for the ministry
  • 'I'm good'
    When asked perfunctorily, “how are you?” it is usual to respond, “I’m good!” Grammarians will correct their pupils on this, reminding them that “goodness” is a state of virtue, whereas “wellness” is a state of health.
  • The art of discernment — the way to pray
    It is the role of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and correct us.
  • Happy birthday!
(Don’t blow out the candles!)
    It’s Pentecost this Sunday, the birthday of the Church, therefore our birthday! If you’ve missed someone’s birthday throughout the past year, this is a good time to make up and reconnect. 
  • God’s presence in the present
    The reader might be tempted to pay a backhanded compliment for this title by noting that I have a remarkable grasp of the obvious.
  • The inclusiveness of love
    Because Jesus wishes each of us to have his heart and mind and if we are not there yet, he still wants us to try so that we do not give up on ourselves or others. 
  • If you’re looking to be heard …
    Recently, at a Legatus meeting of local business and professional people, a guest speaker by the name of Dan Celucci (Catholic Leadership Institute or CLI) made an excellent presentation. 
  • Just don’t call me late ... for Mass
    Mornings may not be the wokest time of day for aging teens. Growing up is hard to do and the fallout from dealing all day with raging hormones and the strains of peer pressure in school can leave one exhausted at the end of the week. Just don’t wake me on Sunday — of all mornings!
  • Do you want to be my disciple?
    It’s an amazing thing. Jesus getting down on his hands and knees, begging to wash the feet of his disciples, the night before he died.
  • ‘Come out of the darkness:’ the challenge of the Resurrection
    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is nothing less than explosive and, to use natural imagery, comparable to the discovery of fission, the splitting of the atom. 
  • Hang on to the Cross
    Ever dared to shake your fist at heaven? Honest enough to admit you have ever gotten mad at God? Or maybe just had a few questions you would like to take up when you and God are alone together sometime? In a safe place, of course, when your arms are long enough to still have control of God and to keep God at a certain distance …
  • Jesus is our safe space
    To be true to its mission as a place where salvation happens, the Church must be, first and foremost, a safe space, where our weakest and most vulnerable can find peace and the assurance that they will be protected, nourished and healed.
  • Confirming doubts
    We’ve celebrated Easter Sunday, the observance of the Lord’s Resurrection, as early as March 22. No earlier date is permitted since, ecclesiastically, the vernal equinox is fixed on March 21. Cycles are part of the rhythm of life. Jesus himself observed them. 
  • Raising expectations
    Sometimes rumors are true. The adage has it that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. We certainly can use a lift after the trials and tribulations we have been going through and the state of a world teetering on the brink of endless war. 
  • Who is ‘The Church?’ Reflections on synodality
    I’ll admit it! Talk about “we are the Church” may sound more than a little hypocritical when used by certain hierarchs and theologians, almost as if to deflect accountability for less than stellar leadership and counsel.
  • Seeing Jesus
    To hear saintly people bearing witness to “seeing Jesus” in others had always intrigued me.
    This Ash Wednesday is our reminder to turn away from sin and accept God's mercy.
  • A Lent like none other
    That’s an expression many of us have heard and lived in recent years. Who can forget the great lockdowns of spring 2020, when most of us had to spend the better part of Lent and even the Easter season huddled at home
  • The Beatitude of personal presence
    Regarding the Beatitudes G.K. Chesterton once said, “On first reading it doesn’t make sense, on second reading nothing else makes sense!” 
  • To tell the truth
    “You can’t handle the truth!” If you’ve seen the movie, “A Few Good Men” (1992), you may recall those explosive words by which the self-important Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson) attempts on the witness stand to dismiss the brash Navy prosecutor Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise).
  • The Catholic School Advantage
    How often I have quoted words of wisdom and experience from our renowned Superintendent of Schools, Giovanni Virgiglio. 
  • Enough already?
    “You don’t know; you’re learning.” My paternal grandpa would say, while cutting my hair as a youngster. He had a way of trimming my ego as well.
  • Living, or partly living?
    Throughout the play, “Murder in the Cathedral,” the women of Canterbury, bearing critical, often emotionally wrenching witness to the looming tragedy they feel forced to bear and declare, repeat a portentous motif about how people are “living and partly living.”
  • Renewing the face of the earth
    Most all of us want a world where there is clean water, abundant and accessible, wholesome food and shelter that is safe and secure. For everyone.
  • A pandemic we can do something about
    Mother Teresa of Calcutta believed that loneliness, often accompanied by despair and hopelessness, was the virulent affliction in the West. Yes, she thought of loneliness as a virus.
  • Jesus in our midst
    Patience and watchful waiting are an essential component of our growing in faith and trust in God. Not just in Advent, of course, but that’s one good reason for an Advent before Christmas.
  • The face of God
    Christmas becomes a time to allow Jesus to be born again in our hearts, to re-present him to the world in and through us.
  • Advent giving
    Listening to one soul in need may be the greatest gift one can bring to another.
  • No denying reality
    There is something about being hit with very personal, biological red flags that cannot be mine alone to manage, delegate, tweak or outsource. “This is your life” (or death) suddenly hit home: YOU’VE GOT CANCER!
    Bishop's column: Every human being likes to be thanked. Sometimes we even deserve it. God loves being thanked, too — and ALWAYS deserves it. Why is this so?
  • Our young people want to know Jesus now
    “Jesus must have been a very happy man to be around. He was always attracting children. And children don’t follow a cranky person.”
  • Giving thanks is a way to evangelize
    Gratitude is the most personal, powerful and perfect prayer; in fact, the word “prayer” in this sentence is almost superfluous.
  • Taking God seriously
    Matthew Kelly calls it “The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity” — which is also the title of his book on the subject. He subtitles it with an appeal to our all-too-common experience: “How Modern Culture is Robbing Billions of People of Happiness.”
  • A chance to grow
    “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it.” This adage, attributed to Einstein, but probably a paraphrase of similar remarks made by many others, may serve as a reminder to us all as we begin our journey toward the XVI Ordinary Genera Assembly of Bishops in October 2023 (Vatican City).
  • To rise up, go deep
    The way up is down deep, into the rich humanity of the poorest of the poor.
  • Hope of the Poor
    My heart is full of joy and gratitude to God for a mission in the slums of Mexico City.
  • Dig into Jesus!
    The problem, Jesus suggests, is not that we ask for too much, but rather too little.
  • Reality therapy
    We have witnessed an escalation of violence on so many levels in our lives. Violence always claims innocent lives. It is an expression of disorder within the human soul that explodes into disorder in the community
  • The God factor
    Keep Him in your heart always and you will possess true love.
  • A work in progress
    Bishop Ed looks into our parishes, our mission and how to form deeper bonds of spiritual reunion.
  • “Good” Days and “Bad” Days?
    The sun is always there even if the clouds at times suggest otherwise.
  • The world seen through faith
    Faith is certainly a way of seeing.
  • It’s just us
    In a world where we have experienced so much polarization of “us” versus “them” on so many levels, this was a celebration of our common humanity.
  • Coming clean
    For those who have been wounded by or within the Church, I can only say, blame us — blame me! — but do not blame God. 
  • The blessing and promise of family
    The prime goal of any friendship, any truly loving relationship, is to lead the beloved to God.
  • The Mass unites us
    It would be premature to form conclusions on how the motu proprio issued just a few days ago (Traditionis Custodes, July 16) will be received and implemented. For my part, as a diocesan bishop, always loyal to the Holy See, and now charged with the task of implementation, I also want to accompany my people so that together we may maintain the unity that our Eucharistic faith ensures.
  • Just do it
    Most of us, I suspect, have little idea of the good we do and can do — if that is really what we want to do.
  • Sanctuary
    There is a connection between sanctuary and sanctity.
  • Whatever became of sin?
    Lest I be accused of plagiarism, I must be bold to say that I do not own this title. I certainly own sin — my personal sins — as a step toward my salvation.
  • To mitigate speculation about the draft of a Eucharist proposal by the USCCB, I will tell you what the vote was about and how I voted.
  • The long haul
    If you are married — still married after some, maybe many years — do you remember your wedding day? Was it the highpoint of your married life so far, or only the beginning?
  • Corpus Christi and Catholic identity
    Corpus Christi — or the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ — evokes memories of great joy and pride in Catholic identity for those of us, particularly Americans blessed with strong ethnic traditions. 
  • Re-membering
    At Mass, we remember and re-member, recalling who we are and why we are, to become more ourselves.
  • Sacramental healing
    As one sad narrative unfolds, with rash shootings shattering recovering cityscapes, other kinds of lockdown loom, more stifling than those which pandemic fears fueled.
  • One God, one people
    Though we may pride our nation for its foundational principles of equality among all human beings and a mutual respect for and among all persons so implied — at least in theory — practice and experience show this challenging to achieve.
  • Scales of vision
    Seeing is believing, it is said. We tend naturally to trust and value more what we can perceive personally with our own five senses. Rather than rely on someone else’s perception, on mere hearsay, we want to be the judge of what is or is not real.
  • Family healing
    May is the month of Mary. Mary is the Mother of God — of Jesus, the Church and our Mother. This intimate, family mystery of God’s presence in the heart of Mary flows from the total adherence of our Mother to the loving will of God.
  • And lead us not into … WHAT?
    “And lead us not into temptation ...” This vexing phrase from the Lord’s Prayer — the “Our Father” — is, for many, something of a stumbling block.
  • Trust
    Those Jerusalem Christians in early Acts, what was it that was so vibrant and attractive about them? 
  • Divine Mercy evangelizes the heart
    If someone were to ask me, what is the Divine Mercy all about, I would start by saying it is all about evangelization — or, as I like to call, “gospel-ing.” It’s about spreading the Good News effectively.
  • It has to be love
    In Judaism, I am told, there is an adage: death ends a life, but it doesn’t end a relationship.
  • Mercy killings
    Every parent knows the anguish of watching a child suffer, feeling helpless except to hope in and pray to God, and the people offering care and assistance.
  • Practicing heaven
    The United States Conference of Catholics Bishops (USCCB) is calling for a Eucharistic Revival.
  • Fear less, love more
    One of my fondest memories was the celebration of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.