Catholic Theological Union Learn@CTUCatholics on CallCatholic Common Ground InitiativePeacebuilders Initiative
Follow CTU on Facebook
CTU Twitter feed
CTU on Google+
July 8, 2013
Today's readings offer us two conflicting images: one of abundance and rejoicing; the other of the cross and self-denial. One might think that these two images cannot be harmonized. However, if we look carefully, we can see how they really do fit together. They are, in fact, two sides of the same coin.
June 26, 2013

The great Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a series of reflections on the Sermon on the Mount entitled The Cost of Discipleship. In them he maintained that discipleship requires that we make a fundamental decision to follow Jesus and accept the consequences of that decision. The ultimate 'cost of discipleship' was exacted of Bonhoeffer himself when, on April 9, 1945, he was hanged by the Nazis for his participation in the German resistance and his involvement in attempts to assassinate Hitler. While discipleship might force some people to decide between life and death, few of us will be asked to pay that ultimate price. However, genuine discipleship does call us to live in a way that, at times, may require a certain degree of heroism.

June 21, 2013

Arriving at church a few Sundays ago was a family all bedecked in their very finest, carrying a tiny infant, engulfed in a long white gown, a miniature version of the white robe given to newly baptized adults at the Easter Vigil. The symbolism of the gown was perfect: the child who was "putting on Christ" was completely covered with the flowing fabric. It was even impossible to distinguish whether the child was a boy or a girl.

June 13, 2013

This Sunday's gospel reading is one of the most beautiful and provocative stories found in Luke's Gospel. Luke's story of the anointing of Jesus has echoes of the anointing stories in Matthew, Mark and John which take place in Bethany on the eve of Jesus' death, but this story in Luke has a very different setting and carries its own special impact.

June 5, 2013

One of the prominent themes in Catholic Social Teaching is the preferential option for the poor. The readings we are given to hear on this Sunday reveal God's own care for the poor, in the story of two widows, one in the reading from 1 Kings and one in the Gospel from Luke. These women certainly are among the poor.

May 31, 2013

Recently I visited a friend's mother who is receiving hospice care because of cancer. Although she looked frail and weary, her spirit remained positive and cheerful. I visited her many times in the past and always went away nourished both in body and spirit. This time it was no different. Her generosity overwhelmed me. She literally took whatever she had, blessed it, and gave it to me. Her acts of kindness and generous sharing are truly sacramental manifestations of God's love and generosity. Her actions exemplify the message of today's Scripture readings and the significance of today's celebration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

May 22, 2013
Mi casa es su casa, "My home is your home," is the greeting extended to visitors in many Hispanic households. The hospitality offered is boundless, as hosts outdo themselves in generosity, eager to share with guests everything they have. Most humbling is the way in which communities that have little more than tortillas, rice, and beans as daily fare will find a way to add a bit of meat or other delicacies when guests are present, expending their last resources to ensure the comfort of the visitor.
May 17, 2013
So many stories in the Bible recount the wondrous working of God. In some of them, the events are reported in such unremarkable ways that one wonders whether or not anything exceptional really happened. An example of this might be God's revelation to the prophet Elijah in a tiny whispering voice (1 Kgs 19:12) or Jesus changing the bread and wine into his body and blood (Mark 14:22-24). Other stories are replete with astonishing natural phenomena like the thunder, lightning, and smoke that accompanied the revelation of God at Sinai (Exod 19:16-19), or Jesus transfiguration on the mountain with Elijah and Moses (Luke 9:28-36). The Pentecost event belongs to this second group.
May 8, 2013

When I was a child, I often wondered how far up Jesus had to ascend before he got to heaven. Then as an adult, I was dumbfounded when I read that one of the early astronauts made a comment about not seeing any traces up in space of the ascended Jesus. It is not that I have a clearer understanding of this mystery than I had as a child or than the astronaut seems to have had. I simply ask different questions now. I don't wonder where he went or where is he now. Instead, I wonder what it all means.

May 2, 2013
When people disagree with one another about deeply held convictions, especially those based on religious beliefs, coming to peaceable agreement is no easy task. The vitriolic exchanges and even threats of physical violence that have been voiced in the process of reforming health care in the United States, for example, are quite different from the way the first Christians resolved their differences regarding observance of the Mosaic law in changing circumstances.