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Word on Fire Sermon Podcast: Episodes

Hope is not this-worldly optimism. In fact, from a purely natural perspective, pessimism is the right attitude. Hope is that supernatural virtue which orders our desire toward heaven and the things of heaven. What Isaiah talks about in our first reading is not an expectation that will be realized here ...
The first step in the spiritual life is simple: you must see your life not as your own project but as a vehicle for God's purposes. However, we are all absorbed in our own lives, forgetting that the road to God is one of self-forgetfulness. This disposition helps us to focus on Christ and his mission. ...
Thomas Merton once wrote, "Man is not at peace with his fellow man because he is not at peace with himself. And he is not at peace with himself because he is not at peace with God." Only when we are in communion with God will we be in communion with ourselves and our fellowman. This simple ...
Our first reading for Mass this Sunday is taken from the opening chapter of Paul's letter to the Colossians. There is no stronger statement of the absolute primacy, centrality, and importance of Jesus Christ in the entire New Testament. Jesus, Paul tells us, is the beginning and the end, the icon of ...
All things pass away. Political and religious institutions, the family, bodily health; nothing lasts. Everything dies. So often we seek our fulfillment and salvation in these things. But Christ is telling us not to. He is telling us to seek the one thing that will last: Himself. So long as we cling to ...
Today's Gospel reading tells us about the Sadducees trying to lead Jesus into a ridiculous conclusion. To them the Jewish teaching on marriage seems irrational. However, Jesus shows us that not everything that appears cloudy to our intellect is sub-rational. Rather, some times it may be supra-rational ...
Zacchaeus is a man who has wandered far from God. But, often enough, people like Zacchaeus come back, again and again, to God because they cannot eliminate their hunger for Him. Once they open themselves to Christ he places himself in the most intimate parts of themselves, living there. Christ does not ...
Religion serves a unitive purpose. In uniting the person to God, religion unites people together. However, many religious people forget religion's purpose. They like to puff up their egos, reveling in their ability to live according to the Law. Seeing themselves as better than the rest, they forget that ...
The church militant is the church at war with all the destructive powers that want to undermine its unity. The Israelites battle the people of Amalek, a battle that symbolizes the spiritual warfare that each of us, as members of the church, personally undergoes. There is no escaping this reality, and ...
From the worldly perspective, the worst thing a powerful person can do is admit his/her weaknesses to others. If done so, the person loses his/her position of power. Naaman the Syrian, a man of power, is an example of humility. He does not let embarrassment stand in the way of admitting to his weakness. ...
The prophet Habbakuk expresses what most of us feel at some point in our lives: how can God be so indifferent to suffering? Listen carefully to the answer he receives from the Lord.
Most of us find the homeless to be unnerving and annoying, telling ourselves not to give them money because they might use it for drinks or drugs. But think of the story of Lazarus and the rich man, and did they have different fates! Lazarus was carried to Abraham's bosom and the rich man to the nether ...
Most of us spur into action when we believe that our financial state is in dire straits. Why don't we act in the same way in regards to our spiritual state? Today people need the same spiritual concern that people had in the past. They need to want to establish a relationship with God, that which is ...
The God Jesus describes does not operate according to the same logic we do. In fact, He seems to be crazy. If God is supposed to be like the Shepherd who abandons the ninety-nine to find the lost one and the woman who diligently searches her whole house for a penny, then he must be crazy. But that is ...
Let's move beyond playing with religion and take up the tough work of following Christ. He desires disciples who are completely devoted to God's kingdom. This entails living in the way of non-violence, forgiveness, self-gift, and other-orientation. This way is counter to the way of the world and will ...
The Letter to the Hebrews is a sustained reflection on the Mass as the source and summit of the Christian life and the pivot around which history turns. Writing from a developed understanding the Temple, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews shows how Christ's sacrifice on the Cross is the sacrifice ...
To gain eternal life is to participate to the fullest degree possible in the very life of God. It is to walk the path of love, surrendering to grace and allowing this grace to flow through you to the wider world. Is this an easy task? No. The Gospel of Luke tells reminds us that the gate is narrow precisely ...
In contrast to our conventional view of the Virgin Mary as a shrinking violet, the book of Revelation presents her as a warrior who has brought into the world a new way of dealing with worldly power: Christ (i.e. Love itself). If we do not approach the world as a battlefield between love and violence, ...
In the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Christ assures us not to be afraid. Fear is a spiritual state that causes us not to trust in the lordship of God and to play master of our lives. However, with the awareness that God has given all to us, we'll realize that we are basically a gift. Gifts are ...
Maturity comes in facing the reality of death and the transient nature of the world. In this regard, the Book of Ecclesiastes is full of wisdom: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity"; Everyone who thinks they are going to find their happiness in possessing the goods of the world will eventually have to ...
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