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Religion

  • Seeing the unseen

    Today’s readings: Malachi 3,1-4; Hebrews 2,14-18; Luke 2,22-32. What is most remarkable in today’s gospel narrative is how the fragility of the child Jesus being presented in the temple triggers through the eyes of Simeon a very deep revelation of...

  • Church and State

    Church and State

    The relationship between Church and State has always been problematic. Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV did penance in 1077, standing three days bare-headed in the snow, in order to reverse his excommunication by Pope Gregory VII. Nobody wants those...

  • Quotes and news

    Speaking to judges and other officials of the Roman Rota, which is the highest court of appeal of the Vatican, Pope Francis urged them: “Do not forget that you are pastors.” Describing the judges’ work as “a service peculiar to the God of Love”,...

  • Letting the people grow

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 8, 23-9:3; 1 Cor. 1, 10-13.17; Matthew 4, 12-13. Karl Rahner described the history of the Church in a threefold scheme: the epoch of Jewish Christianity, relatively short but fundamental for the origin of the Church’s...

  • Noah’s contemporaries and the ‘scorpioni’

    Noah’s contemporaries and the ‘scorpioni’

    Most of us must have heard of Noah, his contemporaries and the deluge; fewer have heard about the ‘Scorpioni’. Noah’s contemporaries and the ‘Scorpioni’ had one thing in common: they were too sure of themselves, and hence unable to see a threat,...

  • Quotes and news

    Business leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, have been challenged by Pope Francis to adopt a “re­newed, profound and broadened sense of responsibility” towards the “most frail, weak and vulnerable” of society, such...

  • The true Jesus

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 49, 3.5-6; 1 Corinthians 1, 1-3; John 1, 29-34. The relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist was a lifetime one. Theologically, the gospels take us back even before their birth. John was meant not simply to prepare...

  • The culture of encounter

    The culture of encounter

    The thrust of Pope Francis’ first message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is being celebrated today, is that the reality of migration, given its new dimensions in our age of globalisation, needs to be approached and managed in a...

  • Quotes and news

    In a pastoral letter, the bishops of Panama said: “The Church does not seek any political influence. It simply aims at presenting the truth with all its moral strength and its experience in humanity. Our task is to form consciences, to defend...

  • How much is that halo?

    How much is that halo?

    Even ‘poor’ saints will benefit from Pope Francis’s drive to control costs and introduce a sense of sobriety and accounting transparency in the Vatican. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said that the Holy See department that oversees...

  • Becoming who we are

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 42, 1-4.6-7; Acts 10, 34-38; Matthew 3, 13-17. Far from being the usually romanticised celebration of a newborn baby, the baptism of the Lord in the River Jordan is the initiation of a commission to bring true justice on...

  • Christened to ‘be’ for the coming of God’s Kingdom

    Christened to ‘be’ for the coming of God’s Kingdom

    At Christ’s baptism, which is celebrated liturgically today, as Jesus came up for the baptism of penance for sins, John the Baptist exclaimed: “it is I who need baptism from you, yet you come to me”! Jesus insisted, implying that God’s will for...

  • Quotes and news

    “If Nigeria falls to Islamic extremists, all Africa will be at risk” was the stern warning given by Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, administrator of Bomadi, during an interview with the agency Aid to the Church in Need. He added that the terrorist group...

  • The challenge ahead

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 60, 1-6; Ephesians 3, 2-3.5-6; Matt. 2, 1-12. St Mathew’s narrative today of wise men coming to Jerusalem from the east is mainly catechetical and is meant to complete the narrative of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem. God made...

  • Meeting God in schools

    Meeting God in schools

    Our schools (State, Church and independent) may still, in many ways, be considered to be Catholic. Teaching of the Catholic religion is obligatory. Religious activities, such as Masses, religious celebrations, Lenten talks and retreats are common...

  • Quotes and news

    More quotes from Pope Francis’s message for the 47th World Day of Peace, which was celebrated on Wednesday. The message’s theme was: Fraternity as the foundation of peace and as the pathway to peace. Politics and economy “The necessary realism...

  • Time to listen

    Today’s readings: Eccl. 3, 2-6.12-14; Col. 3, 12-21; Matt. 2, 13-15.19-23. In the face of deep social, cultural, and political changes that have been radically transforming the physiognomy of the family and the patterns of family life, the...

  • Saints come from unusual quarters

    Saints come from unusual quarters

    This year which is coming to a close is special in a particular way. A few weeks ago we commemorated President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. A few months before that, Pope John XXIII had died of cancer. The lives of these two men were...

  • Quotes and news

    The following are extracts from Pope Francis’s first message for the World Day of Peace, which is celebrated every year on January 1. Its theme is ‘Fraternity as the foundation of peace and as the pathway to peace’. Fraternity is...

  • God is able

    Today’s readings: Isaiah 7, 10-14; Romans 1, 1-7; Matthew 1, 18-25 In their long desert journey, God’s people very often fell prey to the temptation of idolatry or even atheism. A recurring question was: Is God with us? This same question returned...

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