A Feast for Watchful Servants

“A Feast for Watchful Servants”
A reflection on Luke 12:35-38
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.

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Loaves of the Trinity

“Loaves of the Trinity”
A reflection on Luke 11:5-8
Sunday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed.

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I Have Called You By Name

“I Have Called You By Name”
Isaiah 43:1
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

The seventy[-two] returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold,

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Anointed Feet

“Anointed Feet”
A reflection on Matthew 9:16-17 and Isaiah 52:7
Saturday of the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

“No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.

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Before the Foundation of the World

“Before the Foundation of the World”
A reflection on John 17:20-26 and Ephesians 1:3-6
Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And

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The New Jerusalem

“The New Jerusalem”
A reflection on Revelation 21:23
Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Yerushalaim is the transliteration of Jerusalem. Click phonetics for the pronunciation of Yerushalaim.


He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It

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The New Heaven and the New Earth

“The New Heaven and the New Earth”
Revelation 21:5a from the Second Reading at Mass
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I

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Lamps in the Light

Fourth Week of Lent, Thursday

Exodus 32:7-14; John 5:31-47 

He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me… For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.

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Love Never Fails

“Love Never Fails”
A reflection on 1 Corinthians 13
Sunday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©2022 by Gloria M. Chang

Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

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The Baptism of the Lord

“The Baptism of the Lord”
A reflection on Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming.

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The Cross and the Beatitudes

10th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday (Year I)

2 Corinthians 1:1-7; Matthew 5:1-12

A single teardrop from God could wash away the sins of the world, but the Father gave his only-begotten Son to the last drop of blood.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.

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Word and Eternal Life

Andrei Rublev, Icon of the Most Holy Trinity

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.

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Cosmic Cure

Christ feeding the multitude (Coptic icon)

Friday After Ash Wednesday

Isaiah 58:1-9a; Matthew 9:14-15

The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

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God Made All Things Good

Peter’s vision of a sheet with animals, from Acts 10; illustration from Henry Davenport Northrop, “Treasures of the Bible,” published 1894.

5th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year I)

Genesis 1:20—2:4a; Mark 7:1-13

Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal.

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Pigs and the Resurrection

Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac

4th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday (Year I)

Hebrews 11:32-40; Mark 5:1-20

What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders.

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Seeds of the Logos

Vincent van Gogh, Sower, 1888

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time (Year I)

Hebrews 10:32-39; Mark 4:26-34

The Word through whom the world came to be knew his creation intimately (John 1:3). Earth, air, soil, and water that composed his own body were fashioned in the beginning by the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2).… Read the rest

From Melchizedek to Adam

Replica of the Temple menorah, made by the Temple Institute, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem.

The Lord has sworn and will not waver:
“You are a priest forever in the manner of Melchizedek.”

Psalm 110:4

The dreamlike quality of the mysterious Melchizedek defies logical analysis and reasoning.… Read the rest

Restoration of the Heart

Russian icon, The Mystical Supper (early 14th century). Fresco in Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos.

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (Year I)

Hebrews 3:7-14

Therefore, as the holy Spirit says: “Oh, that today you would hear his voice, ‘Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert, where your ancestors tested and tried me and saw my works for forty years.

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No Person is an Island

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word.

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God from God, Light from Light

Christ in Glory (mandorla)

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (Year I)

Hebrews 1:1-6; Psalm 97

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word.

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Untouched by Evil

Fra Angelico, Detail of the Crucifixion (ca.1437-46)

Saturday After Epiphany

1 John 5:14-21

…yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.

Galatians 2:20

We know that no one begotten by God sins; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the evil one cannot touch him.

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Our Eternal Origin

Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator, Cathedral of the Transfiguration, Cefalù, Sicily, 12th century. Licensed by Claire Stracke under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Thursday After Epiphany

1 John 4:19—5:4; Luke 4:14-22a

“…whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.”

1 John 5:4

The origin of the Son and all persons begotten by the Father in the Son transcends the world, time, history, politics, sociology, psychology, beginnings and ends.… Read the rest

From the Magnificat to the Trinity

Mosaic of the Visitation 

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

1 Samuel 1:24-28; 2:1-8; Luke 1:46-56

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

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“Behold, I am coming soon”

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.”

34th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year II)

Revelation 22:1-7; Luke 21:34-36 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.Read the rest

Resurrection and Virginity

Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign”

33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year II) 

Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.

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The Finger of God

Parts of P.Oxy. LII 3679, 3rd century, containing fragments of Plato’s Republic.

27th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday (Year II)

Luke 11:15-26

Suppose there was a perfectly just man. Would he be loved, ignored, or hated?

Plato proposed a thought experiment around 360 B.C.… Read the rest

Angels of Christ and His Body

St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel

Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Revelation 12:7-12a; Psalm 138

As I watched:
Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire.Read the rest

The Christic Body-Tree

Tree of Christ and the Apostles

23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year II)

Luke 6:43-49

“For every tree is known by its own fruit… A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good… for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:44-45).… Read the rest

My Neighbor is Myself

23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Friday (Year II)

Luke 6:39-42

Divided consciousness sees reality as broken up into pieces. Human individuals are broken fragments of the cosmos endowed with consciousness. Persons transcend individuation and encompass the whole cosmos—divinity and humanity, heaven and earth—through Jesus Christ.… Read the rest

Children of the Father

Mosaic of the Sermon on the Mount (Ravenna, Italy)

23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday (Year II)

Luke 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.”Read the rest

Jesus Christ, a Living Sermon

23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday (Year II)

Luke 6:20-26

The life of Jesus is the epitome of his “Sermon on the Mount” or “Sermon on the Plain,” as it is called in Luke. The living sermon who is Jesus himself continues in his disciples, the Body of Christ.… Read the rest

Mary, Mother of a New Genealogy

Icon of the Theotokos

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Matthew 1:1-16; 18-23

Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!
Happy Birthday, Mother Earth!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

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From Masks to the Trinity and Back Again

Ancient Greek theatrical mask of Zeus, replica. Licensed by Carole Raddato under CC BY-SA 2.0.

21st Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year II)

Matthew 23:23-26

Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.Read the rest

Servant Leadership

Russian icon, Jesus Washing the Feet of the Disciples

20th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year II)

Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.Read the rest

“To the pure all things are pure”

An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Matthew 22:11-14 in the Bowyer Bible, Bolton, England. Photo by Harry Kossuth.

20th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday (Year II)

Matthew 22:1-14

In Jesus Christ, the walls of division have crumbled to the ground.

A primary concern of Matthew’s Gospel was to present Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Covenant, and to widen the vision of Jews and Jewish Christians to the universal scope of the mission entrusted to Abraham and the patriarchs.… Read the rest

Language and Religion

20th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday (Year II)

Matthew 20:1-16

“Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16).

What is the foundation of the concepts “first” and “last”?

“First” is derived from one. One is derived from two.… Read the rest

Through the Eye of a Needle

“What is impossible for human beings is possible for God” (Luke 18:27).

20th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year II)

Matthew 19:23-30 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven.Read the rest

What is Equality? (Part 2)

“Are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit “equal”? (Part 2)”
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

What is Equality?

Equality requires an external standard measure. For example, X is equal to Y in length, taking either X or Y as the standard.… Read the rest

Indivisible Glory

Denarius featuring Marcus Aurelius. Licensed by Raziel Suarez under CC BY-SA 3.0.

18th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday (Year II)

Matthew 16:24-28

For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct (Matthew 16:27).… Read the rest

A Theophany of Communion

Icon of the Transfiguration by Alexander Ainetdinov. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Feast of the Transfiguration (Year A)

Matthew 17:1-9

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother, John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

The Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, the last of the biblical theophanies, unfolded the deepest secret of divinity hidden from Moses on Mount Sinai and Elijah on Mount Horeb. … Read the rest

A Divine Conductor? (Part 2)

“But isn’t God like a divine conductor? (part 2)”
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The Three One has no “internal conductor,” but can the Trinity be conceived as the “conductor” of human persons and the cosmos? 

What is the relationship between persons and the cosmos?… Read the rest

What is harmony? (Part 2)

“Is the Trinity like a musical harmony? (part 2)”
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

In a tonal song, all of the tones relate to a single key. Relativity of tones is at the heart of tonal music. Relativity is built into finitude itself, as form and limit give rise to systems of interrelatedness.… Read the rest

The Kingdom Beyond Four Dimensions

Feast of St. James

Matthew 20:20-28

What does the kingdom of heaven look like? Jesus never described it in precise scientific or geographical terms suited to the spatiotemporal domain, but always with suggestive images. Like the attempts of the Sphere to describe the third dimension to a two-dimensional Square in Edwin Abbott’s novel, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, unimaginable depths are lost in translation when communicating divine realities in 4-D linguistics.… Read the rest

Beyond the Deuce

16th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year II)

Matthew 12:46-50

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” Read the rest

Trinitarian Cosmos

Slavic icon of creation

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Isaiah 55:10-11; Romans 8:18-23; Mattthew 13:1-23

Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.Read the rest

Letting Go

Our Lady of Guadalupe

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Matthew 10:37-42

Jesus said to his apostles: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.Read the rest

Kingdom of the Little Ones

Fra Angelico, Coronazione delle Vergine (1435)

Deuteronomy 7:6-11, 1 John 4:7-16, Matthew 11:25-30

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

“God is Love.”

Like an owl squinting in sunlight, the eyes of humankind open gradually to the truth of who we are as a people and who God is.… Read the rest

Secret Friendship

“Lockdown”
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

11th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday (Year II)

2 Kings 2:1-14, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret.Read the rest

Children of the Heavenly Father

Icon of Desert Fathers and Mothers

11th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year II)

I Kings 21:17-29, Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.Read the rest

Becoming a Person

Icon of Jesus and Pontius Pilate

11th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday (Year II)

I Kings 21:1-16, Matthew 5:38-42

Humans are the oddest creatures on the planet. The account of Naboth’s stoning is odd from beginning to end.  

King Ahab tried to strike a deal with his neighbor Naboth to acquire his vineyard, which was next to his palace.… Read the rest

Jars of Clay

Icon of Elijah with the Widow and Her Son by an anonymous Russian icon painter (from the Tretyakov Gallery)

10th week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday (Year II)

1 Kings 17:7-16, Psalm 4, Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the light of the world”—a torch lit by the transfiguring Light of the Trinity.… Read the rest

In the Image of the Trinity

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

With the revelation of the Trinity, the totality of reality is bathed in a new light. Every domain of human life is transformed. What does a tri-personal universe look like?

Let us listen to St.… Read the rest

Authentic Personhood

Widow’s Mite: 6th century image

9th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday

Mark 12:38-44

In the course of his teaching Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets.Read the rest

Who is the “Son of David”?

The Psalms scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

9th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday

Mark 12:35-37

Jesus’ discourse in the temple is unintelligible unless we put on the mindset of the people who were listening. Psalm 110:1, a Messianic prophecy, was very familiar to the crowd in which David said, 

The Lord says to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
while I make your enemies your footstool.”

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Mary, the Church, and the Trinity

Icon of the Theotokos

After Christ’s revelation of the thrice holy Trinity, new light is shed upon the entire arc of salvation history, especially the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This meditation sketch explores the thesis that Mary and Mother Church image the Divine Person of the Father in being the font of new persons.… Read the rest

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loves

7th Week of Easter, Saturday

John 21:20-25

A renewed Peter, now confident of being in the Lord’s good graces, swiftly turns his attention to his fellow disciple John and asks, “Lord, what about him?”

Why does Peter suddenly take an interest in John’s particular destiny?… Read the rest

“All mine are thine, and thine are mine”

7th Week of Easter, Tuesday

John 17:1-11a

“…everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.”

Contemplation of divine truths requires deep silence and listening. One does not come before these mysteries expecting to “settle” conundrums or untie knots once and for all.… Read the rest

“I am not alone”

7th Week of Easter, Monday

John 16:29-33

After two thousand years, we are still grappling with the depths of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper. Yet after only a few minutes, the disciples come forth with the glib response, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.… Read the rest

Who is the Father?

Greek icon, The Mystical Supper

7th Week of Easter, Sunday

John 17:1-11a

“Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.”

The word “glory” rings several times in this passage, evoking an unfamiliar and unworldly milieu.… Read the rest

Mysteries Too Deep

Icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev

6th Week of Easter, Saturday

John 16:23-28

“On that day” of rejoicing, Jesus says, “you will not question me about anything.” But on this day, “whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”… Read the rest

Your Hearts will Rejoice

6th Week of Easter, Friday

John 16:20-23

Gaze upon a flower for one minute and observe its movement. It appears to be still, but it is constantly changing, growing or fading. The wind blows and it sways. Light and shadows flicker continuously so that it appears in a slightly different shade every second.… Read the rest

One Day at a Time

6th Week of Easter, Wednesday

John 16:12-15

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.”

With the coming of the Messiah, Israel has been stretched far beyond its comfort zone. What words can express the mystery of God’s hidden, inner communion now being manifested to the chosen people? … Read the rest

The Spirit of Truth

Simon Ushakov, Last Supper, 1685

6th Week of Easter, Monday

John 15:26-16:4a

At the nexus between heaven and earth, the Son and the Spirit orchestrate our grand return to the Origin. From the Father and to the Father, the Holy Spirit conceived the Son in the womb of the Virgin.… Read the rest

What is Friendship?

Russian icon, The Mystical Supper (early 14th century). Fresco in Vatopedi Monastery, Mt. Athos.

5th Week of Easter, Friday

John 15:12-17

“I have called you friends.”

Extraordinary words uttered by Jesus. Pagan philosophers like Aristotle had already proven for centuries that friendship with the gods was impossible.… Read the rest

The Advocate

Andrei Rublev, Icon of the Most Holy Trinity

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

John 14:21-26

As we continue to listen to Jesus at the Last Supper, we are ushered into the precincts of the hidden and manifest, the seen and unseen, heaven and earth. … Read the rest

The Way

Duccio, The Last Supper, Maestá altarpiece (1311)

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 14:1-6

Facing his impending death, Jesus comforted his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”… Read the rest

Whoever Sees Me

Christ Pantocrator, Mosaic from Hagia Sophia

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 12:44-50

Since the time humankind began philosophizing, we have wondered about the nature of ultimate reality. What is it? Earth, air, fire, water? Atoms? Matter? Mind? Spirit?… Read the rest

God’s Beloved Sheep

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

John 10:22-30

Jesus assures us in today’s Gospel reading that no one can take his sheep out of his hand. He knows each of his sheep by name and their unique identity. 

“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.”… Read the rest