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Word on Fire Sermon Podcast: Episodes

One of the greatest obstacles to effective mission is the attachment to honors and fame. This shrinks the soul and distracts from the only thing that matters: walking with Jesus on the path of discipleship
Salvation means being conformed to Christ who is, himself, the narrow gate. We shouldn't worry inordinately about exactly who or how many will be saved; rather we should strive to imitate Jesus, becoming conduits of the divine mercy.
Jesus came in order to light the world on fire with the Holy Spirit. With this fire in our hearts, we can love as God loves, forgive as God forgives, speak the truth as God speaks the truth. This, Jesus warns us, will make us unpopular. Just as he divided people by his bearing of the divine presence, ...
God, from a biblical perspective is a God of adventure and new possibilities. Faith is the response to this adventurous God, and therefore always involves risk. It is a willingness to trust that we are being led even when we cannot see clearly where we are going.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth tells us that nothing here below--money, sex, power, material things, fame--is ultimately valuable, for all of it passes away. This insight shouldn't depress us, it should allow us to live in the truth. Our lives must be directed to the Good that does not pass away, ...
"The Bible seems to indicate that certain ""rules"" ought to govern and inform our prayer. A first is faith: we must passionately believe that God can do what we are asking for. A second is forgiveness: if we want the grace of God to flow to and through us, we must remove the ...
"The philosopher Kierkegaard defined faith as the passion for the impossible. When we stand, like Abraham, at the edge of what we can know or control, we look out into the alluring darkness of what God can do in us and for us. To say ""yes"" to this invitation beyond reason is ...
The Fathers of the Church propose a purely Christological reading of the familiar parable of the Good Samaritan. This outsider who saves the helpless victim is none other than Christ who empties himself so that we, helpless in our sin, might be healed and lifted up.
That God cares for us, even down to the simplest details of our lives, is a basic intuition of the Biblical authors. As Isaiah reminds us, we are, vis-a-vis God, like a child in the lap of a doting mother. This does not mean that our lives are without conflict, but it does mean that we are always under ...
"Freedom" is one of the most ambiguous words in the religious lexicon. It can mean simply the capacity to choose this or that, to say "yes" or "no." But in a deeper spiritual sense, it means the power to follow only the right path, to say only "yes" to what God ...
In the Eucharistic bread and cup, Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present. This presence comes about through the creative power of the word incarnate in Jesus. What God says--is.
In the liturgy, we realize ourselves as the Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. In so doing, we show forth what the whole of human society and culture ought to look like: nonviolence, forgiveness, compassion, the bearing of one another's burdens.
The Trinity is not simply a conundrum for theologians to puzzle over. It names the very heart of the Christian faith. Our God is a community or family of love, and we are invited, through Christ, to share in that love.
Pentecost is the feast that recalls the descent of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples. It also celebrates the ongoing presence of the Spirit among us to this day. The Church of Jesus Christ is still gifted with the charisms of healing, speaking in tongues, visions, words of knowledge, teaching, administration, ...
"After the battles and judgments have passed, a brilliant city descends from the heavens: the new Jerusalem. This is a symbol of a world transformed, a place where God dwells with his people. All of history is nothing but a preparation for this place and this relationship. ""See, I make ...
The book of Revelation features plagues, earthquakes, disasters, famines, and battles both in heaven and on earth. All of this mayhem is meant to signal two very basic spiritual facts: the world is under divine judgment and the church of Jesus Christ will always be opposed by the power of sin. The great ...
"As John looks into the throne room of heaven, he sees a King holding a scroll, which stands for the meaning of history. The only one in heaven or on earth who is able to open it is the ""lamb standing as though slain,"" that is to say, Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the ...
The book of Revelation is, literally, God's last word to us. It is the most populated, most exciting, most bizarre, bloodiest and most mysterious book in the Scriptures. I believe that the best interpretation is the simplest: it reveals that Jesus Christ is the Lord of history and that those who follow ...
At the end of his gospel, St. John presents a beautiful icon of the Church. Peter and his companions are fishing on the Sea of Tiberias. When they look to the risen Christ, they have success, hauling in a catch that symbolizes all the people of the world. This is the Church at its best: illumined by ...
Though we Christians do not know the story of God's providence in all its details, we do know that it is a divine comedy. This is because, in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we know what God intends for his whole creation. Life does indeed triumph over death; hope does indeed conquer despair; ...
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