Pope January Prayer Intention Print E-mail
Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2018 -- 11:50 AM
In 2018, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two.
Pope's January Prayer Intention

Religious Minorities in Asia
That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom.

Could this actually happen? Print E-mail
Sunday scripture column
Tuesday, Jan. 02, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
Kevin Perrotta
Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018

Third Sunday in Ordinary TIme

Jon 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-9
1 Cor 7:29-31
Mk 1:14-20

This weekend's readings seem a bit implausible. In the first, a prophet named Jonah goes to a city called Nineveh -- capital of a ruthless empire -- makes a brief announcement of God's judgment, and just like that, everybody repents of their sins.

The ruins of Nineveh are at modern Mosul in Iraq, a city that the Islamic State terrorist group controlled until recently.

Could you imagine some guy in a village being told by God to go to Mosul in, say, 2016, preaching God's justice on a downtown street -- and every jihadi just putting down his weapons and walking away?

And look at the Gospel story.

Walking along a lakeshore, Jesus sees some men fishing -- men who apparently have never seen him before this moment. He calls them to drop everything and follow him, and again, just like that, they do.

It sounds like a romance in which the whole story consists of a man going up to a perfect stranger in the hardware aisle at Walmart and asking her to marry him -- and she agrees.

Yet there's something appealing about these stories. If only it did happen that a few words from a prophet would bring a nation to repentance.

If only, while I'm at work tomorrow, Jesus in the flesh would walk right into my classroom (warehouse, office, kitchen . . .) and call me to follow him. That I would especially like!

Well, the Jonah story uses some deliberate exaggeration. (If Nineveh really took three days to walk through, it would have been four times the size of Los Angeles.)

But it does so to make a point. God's word can set right not only individuals but whole societies -- if we would receive it.

And Mark is actually well aware that Peter and the other men knew Jesus before the lakeshore encounter.

But he omits that background information to dramatize the life-changing impact Jesus has on them, because that's the impact Jesus can have on us -- if we open our lives to him.

Neither author is suggesting that God's word, even God's Word incarnate, usually has an instantaneous revolutionary effect on us, although that does happen.

But what's important is not how quickly we hear God's word or how long it takes us to come to know Jesus. It's not the pace but the reality that counts.

Kevin Perrotta is the editor and an author of the Six Weeks with the Bible series (Loyola Press), teaches part time at Siena Heights University, and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2017.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Monday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Sunday, May 13
Ascension Thursday
Wednesday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Thursday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Saturday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Tuesday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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