John 1: 29-34

Illustrated New Resources

  • Looking

    by Kathy Donley
    When Michael May was three years old, he lost his sight in a chemical explosion. He lost one eye entirely and the other was completely blind. But then, 40 years later, with advances in medical technology, he agreed to an experimental procedure to try to restore sight to his remaining eye. It worked. He could see the color of flowers. He could see the mountains where he had learned to ski without using his eyes. But what he couldn’t do was recognize complex shapes and objects, like the faces of his children, his wife and friends. He described a cube as a square with extra lines. He could not translate a picture on paper into an object with 3-dimensions. The neuroscientists that treated him concluded that vision is something that has to be learned. Vision is more than sight, because what is seen has to be interpreted before it makes sense. Discussing his own amazing recovery, Michael May said, “I will never be fluent visually, but I get better the more I work at it.” [2] I suggest that when Jesus invited people to “come and see”, he was inviting them to learn visual fluency...
  • Sermon Starters (Epiphany 2A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    no single field has an array of awards like the entertainment industry: the Golden Globe Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the New York Film Critics Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Cannes Film Festival Awards, the Tony Awards, the Grammy Awards, the American Film Institute Awards, the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and of course the Academy Awards. You are probably familiar with what often happens before these ceremonies begin. Outside the theater hosting the show, they literally roll out the red carpet. Velvet ropes cordon off the walkway leading to the entrance, and sometimes a few tiers of bleachers are erected for spectators. Hours, and sometimes even days, before the show begins, crowds gather hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars. Then, as the limos begin pulling up and depositing their precious celebrity cargo, cheers and screams emanate from the spectators as the likes of Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep begin their high-profile trek down the red carpet, stopping frequently to speak into the microphones being shoved their way by eager reporters. It’s amazing how much excitement can be generated by having the right kind of person simply walk past you. That’s why there is a kind of delicious contrast provided by John 1...
  • Restoring the Fall

    by John Kavanaugh, SJ
    Albert Camus wrote, I believe, the most incisive account of what our “fallen nature” would be without the Lamb of God that John the Baptist announced. The Fall is a monologue-novel narrated by one Jean-Baptiste Clamence ruminating in an Amsterdam bar about a civilization of empty silhouettes interested only in fornication and entertainment. Clamence is a fictional John the Baptist, “clamoring” in a wilderness stripped of love and hope. “When all is said and done, that’s really what I am ... an empty prophet for a shabby time, an Elijah without a Messiah.”...
  • Which Is Translated...

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Kehinde Wiley translates famous historical paintings into contemporary language. New people are introduced to these classics, and those who know the classics are invited to ask new questions about them. Below, Wiley translates Jacques Louis David's "Napoleon Crossing the Alps." The older painting is about power and leadership, about dynamism and masculinity, which is translated...Sometimes, though, you come to understand that the "original" is actually a translation. David's painting shows Napoleon pointing to the top of the Alps as the Army crosses the Saint- Bernard Pass. Around him, his cloak and his horse's mane and tail are whipped by the wind. At the feet of his rearing horse are three stones with names carved in them: Karolus Magnus (Charlemagne), Hannibal and Bonaparte. Bonaparte's name is highest on the path and carved in larger, deeper letters...
  • Come and See What Found Me

    by Kevin Strickland
    When I was a senior in high school, I volunteered with the mentally handicapped class and became very close with my fellow classmates who were not always accepted by others. Out of all the kids in the class, the one that I became closest to was Chris. Chris had multiple developmental and mental handicaps, but that did not stop him from being a warm and exciting presence no matter what room he walked into. No matter how many times I would walk into the west-wing classroom, Chris would come flying out of his chair knocking it over, would come running over to me with his 5-foot-one self, weighing in at 180 lbs. He would grab me and squeeze me, and then would take my hand saying loudly, "Come and see, Kelvin! Come and see what found me!" Every time, even if it were for the fifth time in an hour, I would say, "Chris, show me what found you!"...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

{Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • Illustration on Baptism

    from the Archives
  • Watch! Seek! Behold! See! Witness!

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis
  • Jesus Calls Apostles

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("A woman came across some boys hitting and throwing rocks at another boy. She stepped into the group and said, 'Stop that. If you want someone to hit, then hit me, throw rocks at me.' The group became suddenly quiet..." and other illustrations)
  • The Lamb of God

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Our baptism in the Spirit calls us to embrace all others as brothers and sisters. A young American missionary in the Philippines eloquently recalls what such a bond is like. She visited a sick child who had been running a high fever for days. She ascended to the third floor of the apartment building where the child's family lived..." and other illustrations)
  • Go Light the World

    by Sil Galvan
    On January 8, 2011, we were all stunned by the senseless shootings in Arizona. One of the wounded was Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. We struggle to make sense out of these tragedies but there are no easy answers to the questions we always ask in these circumstances: "why did it have to happen?", "why couldn't God have stopped it?", "why do bad things always seem to happen to good people?". The answers probably won't be there until we ask our Maker directly in the next life. For now, we have to settle on knowing that God is there, not in the tragedies themselves, which he is powerless to prevent since he gave us free will to do either good or evil, but in our responses to the evil deeds.
  • You Are My Servant

    by Sil Galvan
    Robert Fulghum, a Unitarian minister, was attending a seminar one day in Greece. On the last day of the conference, the discussion leader walked over to the bright light of an open window and looked out. Then he asked if there were any questions. Fulghum laughingly asked him what was the meaning of life. Everyone in attendance laughed and stirred to leave. However, the leader held up his hand to ask for silence and then responded "I will answer your question." He took his wallet out of his pocket and removed a small round mirror about the size of a quarter. Then he explained "When I was a small child during World War II, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place. I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept the largest piece.
  • On Service and the Soul

    by Terrance Klein
    Day by day, year by year, Father Tim gave himself over to something greater than himself, and that’s the deepest meaning of what it means to be a human. We can’t be ourselves, be what God intended, without going out of ourselves in service to others. A man or woman, who simply sucks the world into his or her own self, shrivels the soul, no matter how much of the world it swallows. It is when the self is poured out that it grows. Our deepest identities are found in our call to service. We serve the Lord by serving others, and, in doing so, we find ourselves.
  • Epiphany 2 (AB)(John 1:29-42)

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Exegetical Notes

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2017 to 2019

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Baptism

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Call

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard
  • Work, Identity and God's Beloved

    by Mihee Kim-Kort
    “Domestic work is the work that makes all other work possible.” These are the words that are found on the front page of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), and “the nation’s leading voice or dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States, most of whom are women.”
  • Timely Matters

    by Karoline Lewis
    “It was about four o'clock in the afternoon.” What is up with that? This is a tough one if you know anything about John. The importance of light and darkness, what light and dark represent. But four o'clock in the afternoon? Is it still light? Getting dark? What time of the year is this again? If the meaning isn’t something about being in the light or being in the dark, believing or not believing, why mention the time of day when these first disciples get to hang out with Jesus?
  • Brothers (John)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    I was reminded of another set of brothers: Vincent and Theo van Gogh. Most people, even those with a minimal knowledge of art history, are familiar with Vincent's name. His paintings, a couple of events in his life. People know that. Many have never heard of Theo van Gogh. But without Theo, the world probably would not know Vincent.
  • Nicknaming

    by Nancy Rockwell
    And all of this makes me think of the Wizard of Oz, in that scene where Dorothy pulls back the curtain and unmasks him as an ordinary man using smoke and mirrors to make something big of himself. Remember that? And Dorothy cries out in alarm: You are a very bad man! And the wizard cries out, No, I am a very good man, but I am a very bad wizard! And then the Wizard-No-More proves he is a good man by tending to the needs of the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man. Despondent, they grieve the loss of their magic healing.
  • I Pledge Allegiance

    by Timothy Ross
    These days our problems in the US seem endemic and intractable: the scars of war, trillions of dollars in deficits, violence in our cities, struggling schools, families falling apart, looming environmental catastrophe. But, like clockwork, every four years, The Great One comes to us like a gift from heaven. Next week we inaugurate a new president.
  • Come and See...An Extremist?

    by Dennis Sepper
    in 1963 Martin Luther King was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama for leading a non-violent protest against the direct order of city officials. While in jail, King learned that many people, including pastors, had labeled him an “extremist” for defying the authority of government representatives. In response to that label, on April 16, 1963, King wrote a letter to those pastors and the quote below became famous. Dr. King wrote: But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2011 to 2016

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Seek and You Shall...

    by John Jay Alvaro
    ("This week we will let Paul David Hewson (aka Bono) be our exegete. Bono, the frontman for the Dublin-based band U2, wrote two songs that intersect with today's lectionary passages. Our texts for this reflection will be Psalm 40 and John 1:29-42, and alongside the Biblical text will be 40 (How Long) and 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'...")
  • Learning to Be in Christ

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("The Pimpernel is a wealthy English aristocrat who rescues those sentenced to death by guillotine in revolutionary France. The Pimpernel is a master of disguise, and when not being the rescuing hero, allows himself to be seen as something of a foppish dim-wit. Every time he completes a rescue, this formidable fighter leaves behind him a small card with a picture of the tiny scarlet pimpernel flower on it...")
  • Epiphany 2A (2014)

    by Brendan Byrne
    ("Although this is a Baptism narrative, no actual Baptism of Jesus by John occurs. Why? The answer is that part of the point of today's reading is to continue the narrative of John the Baptist as witness to Jesus[3]. Having already told the crowds and the Temple authorities that he is neither the Messiah nor one of the prophets returned, John is given the task in today's reading of pointing out Jesus to other people...")
  • Beholding the Mystery

    by Jim Chern
    ("It must have been in fourth grade. My friend Lee Cohen had called me on a Saturday afternoon to say his father was going to Burger King and wanted to know if I could come with them because they needed my help. Couldn't imagine at first what was so daunting of a task about going to Burger King that they would need my help - but I don't think I asked any further questions as I was already screaming 'Mom can I go with Lee and his Dad to Burger King?'...")
  • Epiphany 2A (2014)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("To find and be found, we all need a John the Baptist, an Andrew, a preacher, a teacher, a friend, a brother or sister; maybe all of the above and more – to point us in the right direction and to keep us on the trail. And when we find and are found, we will be changed, transformed, renamed in recognition of the fact that our true nature has been revealed – not only to us but to the world...")
  • Coming Back for More: Why Go to Church?

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("Here's Annie Dillard in her essay An Expedition to the Pole: 'Week after week I was moved by the pitiableness of the bare linoleum-floored sacristy which no flowers could cheer or soften, by the terrible singing I so loved, by the fatigued Bible readings, the lagging emptiness and dilution of the liturgy, the horrifying vacuity of the sermon, and by the fog of dreary senselessness pervading the whole...")
  • Knowing Ourselves Inside and Out

    by Tom Cox
    ("Many things divide us one from another: language, race, gender, social background, politics, religion, personal history, temperament, private wounds, how we operate in life. But these are only the 'habit', the outward part of ourselves. The Spirit of God lives and breathes in our inner core. Our deeper inner garment, our real substance, identity and capacity is that we have all come from God...")
  • A Dove-Like Experience

    by Anne Emry
    ("I was a chaplain intern at the VA hospital in Sacramento, California. It was the very first time I went to visit someone in a hospital room. The man in the room had just gotten a very serious diagnosis. I identified myself and he said: 'Well, I did ask for you to come, but I have to tell you I don't believe in God. I'm not a religious person at all. I don't want to offend you, or waste your time, but I need to be honest with you'...")
  • The Lamb of God

    by Vince Gerhardy
    (includes good discussion of qualities of sheep)
  • The Lamb of God

    by Denis Hanly, MM
    Dostoyevsky is probably, at least in my understanding is, the best novel writer that the world has ever known in any language. But one of his favourite and best books is, “The Brothers Karamazov” about three brothers. And the third brother was Father Zosima’s favourite, Alyosha. And Alyosha is sort of the saintly brother. in the first chapter, Father Zosima, this sacred, sacred Russian priest and mystic, was dying, and Alyosha was by him and waiting for his final words. What is the holy man going to say at the end of his life? And he looks into Alyosha’s eyes, and he loves Alyosha, and he says to Alyosha, “All are responsible to all for all.” All of us are responsible to each other for everything. Father Zosima uses an example. He says if you take a little pebble and you’re standing by the side of a limpid pool and you throw that pebble into the centre of the pool, the waves that that stone begins, as it sinks into the pool, the waves reach further and further and further until they reach the end of the pool itself. This is a very important concept because it means, as Zosima says to Alyosha, “Everything you say, everything you do, everything you think is not yours alone. It’s throwing pebbles into a pool and they form their rings and have their effect until the very end of the pool is finished.”...
  • Ordinary 2A (2014)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("The folks in Hollywood love to shower themselves with awards. There are, of course, awards presented in other fields: journalism and literature have the Pulitzer, the sciences and related fields have the Nobel Prize, and even religious folks get in on the action through things like Christianity Today's Book of the Year Award and the lucrative Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion....")
  • Come and See

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I found myself thinking of Pastor Antti Lepisto who was my pastor and mentor and friend. How he allowed me to tag along on all sorts of pastoral errands: those day to day pieces of ministry which most people never see. For it is so that some things can't be explained with words or even fully understood with our minds alone. Sometimes we truly need to see and experience things first hand...")
  • In My Unloveliness

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all...")
  • Behold, the Lamb of God

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("I've printed out a few pictures for us to look at tonight. The first is a detail from Van Eyck's Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. The lamb stands on an altar, with blood gushing from him into a chalice. The second image, of the Lamb and flag, is as familiar on pub signs as it is in churches...")
  • Peter's Brother

    by Rick Miles
    An old Black woman, weary of her rural surroundings, decided to travel overseas to see what the rest of the world was like. One Sunday morning, being a good religious person, she thought she might get a taste of the local church fare. Since she was in London at the time, she naturally headed for St. Paul’s Cathedral. “How splendid this place is!” she thought. It was simply far beyond anything she had ever imagined a church could look like after all those years in her old back-woods wood-frame church at home. She moved as close to the front of the nave as she could, not wanting to miss anything, and planted herself right smack in front of the pulpit. Everything went smoothly enough for her as the service began, so caught up in the wonder of it all as she was; until the sermon started. Now she was used to a style of preaching that allowed for audience participation. You can guess what happened. The sermon was being delivered by the Dean of the Cathedral. Starched and proper as he was, he still managed to say something that sounded right to this woman, so she quite naturally called out loudly, “Amen!” This High Anglican priest had heard many sounds from the congregation before, but this was a new one. He startled, then caught himself and resumed preaching. Soon he said something else that struck this woman right, and she called out even louder than before, “That’s right!” The Dean was so startled this time that he nearly jumped out of the pulpit, but again he regained his composure and with great effort continued on. The old woman, seeing the contorted look on that priest’s face, determined from her experience with such things, that he must be working himself up for a big finish. So she called out as loud as she could, “Preach it, Brother!” The Dean gasped and collapsed as his notes scattered into the air. Heads everywhere turned watching as the usher came down toward the woman. “Madam, you must be quiet,” he said. “But, I have the Spirit!” she said. “Yes Ma’am,” he replied, “but you didn’t get it here!” That’s a lot the way it happened for Peter in our lesson from the Gospel according to John this morning. Peter’s brother, Andrew, excited in his new faith in Jesus, ran to tell Peter what he had found...
  • Called to Shine

    by Fran Ota
    ("In John's text, we find the Greek word - enblepo. It's only used 12 times in the whole New Testament, and only twice in John's gospel, both times in this very text. And John says twice - I myself did not know himIn the NRSV, the word is translated as looked in once instance, and watched in the other instance. But in the Jerusalem Bible, they are both translated as looked hard at...")
  • Lamb Tales

    by Larry Patten
    ("I'll bet it was fifth grade when I renamed a classmate. He was pudgy and shy (so was I, but he was a smidgen more of both than me). We usually did school stuff with the same group of friends. His last name was Repp, which led me to dub him . . . Reptile. Everybody thought it was funny, for a week or two...")
  • Why Follow Jesus?

    by Larry Patten
    ("I have more backpacking stories than you can shake a bent hiking stick at, but here's another one. Two or three days into a hike I had about ten people following me, slouching down a trail, when the path we were on petered out. We looked behind us. Yup, there was the trail we'd been on for miles...")
  • Followers of the Lamb

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("When Martin Luther King, Jr., emerged from the milling crowd around Rosa Parks and stepped out as the teacher and preacher to the US, a population groaning and straining in a river of dark dreams, what unfolded seems so amazing as to have been destined, so unparalleled as to have been a fullness of time. In hindsight, his years among us seem so brief as to be a life well worth studying,....")
  • Ordinary Tme

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("In a marvelous little book entitled The Music of Silence, David Steindl-Rast highlights how each hour of the day has its own special light and its own particular mood and how we are more attentive to the present moment when we recognize and honor these 'special angels' lurking inside each hour. He's right. Every hour of the day and every season of the year have something special to give us, but often times we cannot make ourselves present to meet that gift...")
  • Nice Guys Finish First

    by Robert Stuhlmann
    ("I listened to a broadcast about Baboons. If the chief baboon is to keep his place in the order of things, he has to continually fight off other males for dominance in the group. One day he will lose that position to another. He will either continue to plummet down the chain until he finally has to leave the troop and face probable death or he has to find a way to stay with the group. Those who were brutal in their times of leadership are the ones who are most badly treated once they lose their position...")
  • St. Andrew Christians

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("In the wasteland of television you can find an oasis of decency and compassion. Take the commercials sponsored by the Foundation for a Better Life. Here is lifted up such radically righteous behavior as, oh, some young kid giving up his bus seat to an elderly woman, or, more shockingly, a taller man kindly reaching up to grab an out-of-reach package for someone who is vertically challenged...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2008 to 2010

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Ordinary 2A (2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there were a group of young men who idolized the quarter back on the local NFL team. He was a great passer, a gutsy runner, he played despite pain...")
  • Agnus Dei

    Poem by Denise Levertov
  • John Testified

    by Erin Martin
    ("In Speaking of Sin, Barbara Brown Taylor laments the loss of the language of sin and salvation within the mainline church. 'Abandoning the language of sin will not make sin go away...")
  • Lamb of God

    by Philip McLarty
    Charlotte Elliott was a just a young woman the night she went to some friends' home for dinner. The year was 1835. The home was in the West End of London. There she met a brash young minister named César Malan. During the course of the meal, he asked her if she were a Christian. She took offense and said she'd rather not discuss the matter. He apologized and the conversation moved on. Three weeks later, their paths crossed again. This time it was she who brought it up. She said ever since he'd asked the question she'd been trying to find the Savior, but to no avail. "So, you tell me," she said, "How does one come to Christ?" He said simply, "Just come to him as you are." That, she did. Not long after, she wrote this hymn: Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidst me come to Thee; O Lamb of God, I come, I come...
  • Ordinary 2A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("When I was at school, there was a boy in my class that none of us liked. He gossiped. He made up stories about people. He sucked up to people who were stronger than him. He bullied people who were weaker. He told tales to the teachers that were mostly untrue and got people into serious trouble that they did not deserve...")
  • What Are You Looking For?

    by Larry Patten
    ["I bet it was the fifth grade when I gave a fellow student a new name. He was overweight and shy (and so was I, but he was a little more of both than me). We usually did school stuff with the same group of friends. As I recall his last name was Repp...."]
  • What Are You Looking For?

    by Catherine Taylor
    ("The poet Kathleen Norris moved to the plains of South Dakota, where her family had lived and had deep roots. One day she had a conversation in a tavern with an old cowboy, who sought her out because she was from 'one of the old families'...")
  • Who Are We and What in the World Are We to Do?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Jack Woodard said that he had been invited to preach on a Sunday in a parish in Long Island. In the 'glad-hand-line' after the service, this young man said to him 'Father Woodard, I'd like to talk to you sometime in the coming week. I have a problem'..." and other quotes)
  • What Are You Looking For?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("In 1755 a young colonel, only 23 years old, was in the midst of running for a seat in the Virginia assembly. Unfortunately he made an insulting remark as part of a campaign speech. The remark was addressed to a hot-tempered man named Payne, who responded by knocking the colonel down with a hickory stick..." and another illustration)
  • Being a Person of Faith

    by Keith Wagner
    ["The great Methodist pastor Charles Allen wrote that when he was in the fourth grade, the superintendent of the school mistreated him. There was no doubt about it. It was a deliberate wrong which the man committed because he had fallen out with Charles' dad...."]
  • Keeping Secrets or Spreading the Word?

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("A friend of mine serves as a missionary in a restricted access country. For many years the government of this country has taught the people that there is no God. My friend had the opportunity to interact on a regular basis with a nonbeliever of that country who is a highly educated professional...")
  • Illustrations (Epiphany 2A)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Nome, Alaska, on the edge of the Bering Sea, is like many villages of the Arctic. The ground on which the community sits is frozen, sponge-like tundra. Burying the dead is a real challenge. Sanitation landfills are unheard of. Garbage trucks do not haul off the kind of refuse we leave curbside in the 'lower 48'..." and several more)

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • And Andrew Brought Simon To Jesus

    by Bob Allred
    ("After his baptism by his cousin John in the Jordan we find him adding the first four Apostles to his membership roll. We could say that these four came to Jesus at the invitation of a: Friend, Relative, Associate or Neighbor. Or, as our simple friendship evangelism process calls them, FRANs...")
  • The Lamb of God

    by Peter Blackburn
    ("What is the difference between a loss and a sacrifice? We use terms so loosely these days! Some big business advertises that they are sacrificing their prices. What do they mean? Are they really running at a loss on those items?...")
  • A Painful Secret

    by Phil Bloom
    ("She was one of the finest Christian writers of the twentieth century, but, for over three decades, Dorothy L. Sayers kept a painful secret. At age 30 she had given birth to an illegitimate son...")
  • Epiphany 2A (2005)

    by Sarah Dylan Breuer
    (includes good discussion of "lamb")
  • Not Just Ordinary

    by Tom Cox
    ("Returning to Ordinary Time in the liturgical year is kind of restful after the happy hubbub of Christmastide. If you check it, the word 'ordinary' comes from the same root as 'order'. Something ordered is supposed to be stable, more-or-less unchanging, orderly, serene...")
  • Rude to Point?

    by Tom Cox
    ("Earthly markers are one thing - living pointers are quite another in the journey that is life. All of us have people who have shown the way for us...")
  • Grand Introductions

    by Lillian Daniel
    ("When members of my family introduce someone, they always give that person an automatic promotion. If she's a doctor, they will exaggerate, introducing her as a brilliant surgeon...")
  • Do I Have a Witness?

    by Ruben Duran
    ("Few things are more irritating than being pulled over by the police for a traffic violation. This happened to me recently. Prior to a busy intersection I entered the lane with an arrow painted on the road which also read 'right turn only'...")
  • God Believes in You

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("There is a story about a man, a prospector who is mining for gold, and suddenly discovers the mother lode - a thick, rich vein of almost pure gold. He digs out a big chunk and cashes it in for thousands and thousands of dollars...")
  • Look, The Lamb of God

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("A tourist visited a church in Germany and was surprised to see the carved figure of a lamb near the top of the church's tower. He asked why it was there and was told that when the church was being built, a workman fell from a high scaffold....")
  • Finding Jesus

    by Art Ferry
    ("Two months before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke to his congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta about his death in what would oddly enough become his eulogy. 'Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral,' Dr. King told his congregation. 'If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral..." and other illustrations)
  • Come and See

    by Frank Fisher
    ("It was a beautiful spring day. At first glance, everything, seemed to be at peace, in Lambston; everything that is with the exception of the monthly meeting of the ministerial association. For the past few months the association meeting had become a bit boisterous. The normally tranquil discussions of prayer and scripture had given way to a subject near to everyone's heart...")
  • Ordinary 2A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("One upon a time there were a group of young men who idolized the quarter back on the local NFL team. He was a great passer, a gutsy runner, he played despite pain, he was modest at media interviews, generous with volunteer work, kind to kids, and signed autographs till all had been accommodated...")
  • Ordinary 2A (2002)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a family moved into a new house. It was a very nice house with a lot more room than in their old house. However, it was also strange and when it came time to go to bed, the three children were very sleepy. They didn't like their rooms because they were unfamiliar...")
  • Behold, the Lamb of God

    by Mark Haverland
    ("Charles Frazier wrote a novel a few years ago called Cold Mountain - A Novel. It's a Civil War story of a man who deserts from the Confederacy and walks back to his home in Cold Mountain, North Carolina..." and another illustration)
  • Hanging Out, Hanging On

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("Despite all the jokes, and they are many, about how churches refuse to change, this is still the most dangerous place you can be if you don’t want God to change you. Here is how Annie Dillard puts it: Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful tourists on a packaged tour of the absolute?..." and another quote)
  • Discovering Who We Are

    by John Jewell
    ("Most of us have had our refrigerators decorated with children's drawings. The really wonderful ones are the family pictures where the sun is shining, mom and dad are twice as big as the house and the family dog 'Rover' has a great big smile on his face...")
  • We Haven't Been Called to be Successful!

    by Beth Johnston
    ("A group of prospectors set out from Bannock Montana in search of gold. They went through many hardships and several of their company died en route. One day they were overtaken by a group of outlaws who took their good horses and they were left with only a few old and limping ponies. ..." and another illustration)
  • What Are You Looking For?

    by Beth Johnston
    A man loaded down with fishing gear was chiselling a small hole in a patch of ice, when he heard a deep, booming voice say, "There are NO fish down there!" He looked around, and seeing no one, went back to his chiselling and chopping. "I told you," the voice boomed again, "there ARE NO FISH down there." The man looked everywhere but couldn't see anyone. Nervously, he moved to another spot on the ice and started chiselling again. "There are no fish THERE, either!" came the voice. By now the man was quite terrified, as he could see no one around, so he scurried off to another spot on the ice and began chiselling again. This time the voice came from right behind him. "I'm not going to tell you again. There ARE NO FISH down there!" The man whirled around to see a huge figure standing over him. "A-are you G-God???" "No. I'm the rink manager."...
  • Come and See

    by John Manzo
    ("The problem with humility is that some folks just don't get what it really is. Ben Franklin, however, did understand it: He devised a week-by-week plan to improve his character by working on thirteen virtues. Franklin's sharp focus, meticulous record-keeping, and diligent work yielded improvements in the first twelve virtues...")
  • Andrew

    by Edward Markquart
    ("I am thinking of a seventh grade confirmation student and her name is Carley Marchitto. Carley brought these three new friends to confirmation. These three friends did not belong to the church nor did their parents....")
  • Too Light a Thing

    by David Martyn
    ("There was a man who coveted his neighbors' silver lamp. One day he went to them, asked to borrow an earthen mug, and was given it. The next day he returned it with a little mug inside....")
  • We Would See Jesus

    by David Martyn
    Von Passo’s book on the rise of the Third Reich, describes a day when a group of Nazi Brown Shirts captured a rabbi in his study as he was preparing his sabbath sermon. They mocked and humiliated him; they stripped him and they flogged him. As they did they laughed and said, “This lash is for Abraham; this one is for Jacob; this one is for Isaac.” When he was numbed with the whipping, they took out scissors and they sheared his locks and his beard and mocked him, “Say something to us; say something in Hebrew; yes, say something in Hebrew.” Standing there shivering the rabbi said in Hebrew, “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart and mind and soul.” But he didn’t even finish before they interrupted him with more mocking, “You were preparing your sermon, weren’t you? Preach us your sermon. ...Weren’t you preparing your sermon. “Yes,” said the rabbi. “Well then preach it to us; you won’t preach it in your synagogue; we burned your synagogue, preach it to us now.” “Give me my hat,” said the rabbi. “You can’t preach without your hat,” they howled with laughter. “Give him his hat.” They gave him his hat; he put it on and they laughed all the harder…the sight of a naked man wearing a rabbi’s hat. “God created us in the image of God,” said the rabbi “In the image of God we are created. That is the text for my sermon this Sabbath.”...
  • Ordinary 2A

    by Joseph McCaffrey
    ("Robert Fulghum tells a story about a boy named Norman. It seems an elementary school was putting on a play: Cinderella. All the parts were taken very quickly, and there was no part left for little Norman....")
  • What Is Real?

    by William Oldland
    ("The other day I was watching a show about the creation of animation. It began with stick figures flipped on cards to show movement as one of the earliest examples. One of the earliest characters was Mickey Mouse. It was very interesting to se how Mickey changed as time changed...")
  • Jesus Is the Answer

    by Raymond Osborne
    ("I will never forget the story my Uncle Worth tells of his witness to a baptism in the mountains of North Carolina. Now the Brethren church baptized a little differently from us Baptists in that they put the candidate under the water three times. Seems that this young man that my Uncle Worth knew was a bit like I use to be - wanting to eat all the time. ...")
  • PBPWMGIFWMY

    by Raymond Osborne
    ("One day my Grandpa Shepherd and I went for a walk through his fields of tobacco. We walked down through the rows looking at the plants as we went. He point to what we called a “sucker,” which basically is a little plant growing from one of the leaves on the main plant, and he’d reach over and break it off. Grandpa Shepherd didn’t say a great deal, but when he did speak there was something...")
  • Epiphany 2A (2002)

    by Joe Parrish
    ("There have been over fifteen thousand parts found since September 11 from the over twenty eight hundred individuals who lost their lives there that fateful day. Still only six hundred or so individuals have been positively identified to date. But the DNA work is still getting into gear...")
  • Messy Theology

    by John Pavelko
    ("Moses was commanded to build a tabernacle in the desert so that sacrifices could be made. God then ordered an elaborate system of daily, weekly, monthly, annual and occasional offerings. It included five main types of offering - the burnt, cereal, peace, sin and guilt....")
  • The Other "H" Word

    by Mark Ralls
    ("Church bells chime. Two muscle-bound men stand arms-crossed in front of a Gothic cathedral. A gay couple approaches holding hands. 'Step aside, please,' say the muscle-bound guards. They speak similar words to an African-American girl, a Hispanic man, a young man in a wheelchair. Then, just as we realize that the two large men are 'church bouncers'...")
  • Right Under Your Nose

    Adult Drama by Jeeva Sam
    ("Wes is sitting at a desk with a computer, typing on the keyboard. WES--Ah! I got it! I am going to make this campaign a huge success for the church. I’ve got all the data I need. This new program I wrote, it works like a charm...")
  • Continuing Christmas Questions: What Are You Looking For?

    by Martin Singley
    ("But then, one hot August day in 1963, a prophetic voice rose up in the midst of all this chaos and dared to say 'I have a dream'. But what you may not know is that Dr. King’s speech that August day in 1963 was not just a speech. It was a sermon – a sermon based upon Isaiah 40 – a sermon about the coming of a Messiah who will transform nations and societies...")
  • Called and Chosen

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("I read a story about a woman who went to a pet store to purchase a parrot to keep her company. She picked out a beautiful bird that was supposed to be the smartest type of parrot alive. This parrot was guaranteed to be easy to train to talk. She bought a book on training parrots that claimed the technique taught would have her parrot talking within a week..." and several other illustrations)
  • Come and See

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("In the beginning of the movie Spider-Man, Peter Parker undergoes a transformation. Bitten by a spider that's been subjected to genetic experimentation, Peter develops superpowers and becomes a hero who nightly swings between the skyscrapers, looking for some endangered soul to rescue..." and other illustrations)
  • You Can't Steer a Parked Car

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("I want to start this morning with a poem from Shel Silverstein's book Falling Up. It's entitled HELP!. I walked through the wildwood, and what did I see But a unicorn with his horn stuck in a tree, Cryin', 'Someone please help me before it's too late.'..." and other illustrations)
  • What Are You Looking For?

    by Catherine Taylor
    ("The poet Kathleen Norris moved to the plains of South Dakota, where her family had lived and had deep roots. One day she had a conversation in a tavern with an old cowboy, who sought her out because she was from 'one of the old families'...")
  • Separation

    by Alex Thomas
    ("There was an interesting song on the country charts a few years ago called Out Among the Stars, about a boy who robs a store and he lets the storekeeper escape, and he knows that the police will come with guns ablazing..." and another quote)
  • The Wounded Healer

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Edward Salisbury told me that in the early 1980s, it was his habit to say goodnight to some of the patients who insisted that he not leave before doing so. One woman became very close to him and often questioned him about his belief in forgiveness..." and other quotes)
  • An Invitation That Will Change Your Life

    by Keith Wagner
    ("As a young struggling attorney, Abraham Lincoln got a chance to work with some famous big-city lawyers on a local case. One of the outsiders, upon seeing Lincoln, gasped, "What is that gawky ape doing here? Get him out of here...")
  • An Invitation You Can't Refuse

    by Keith Wagner
    ("In A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, there is a story about a student who was unlike most students. One day in the 11th grade he went into a classroom to wait for a friend. The teacher appeared and asked him to go to the blackboard...")
  • The Green Face of God: Christianity in an Age of Ecocide

    by Mark I. Wallace
    ("At bedtime I sometimes read to my five-year-old daughter the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax. The story takes place in a bucolic setting of heavily fruited Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, and Brown Bear Bar-ba-loots; it is a place where 'from the rippulous pond[s] / comes the comforting sounds / of the Humming-fish humming / while splashing around...")

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

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Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

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Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

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Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

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Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

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Other Resources from 2002 to 2004

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Other Resources from the Archives

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Resources from the Bookstore

Children's Resources

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The Classics

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Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • He Is the Son of God

    by John Donohue, SJ
  • The Greatness of John the Baptist

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
  • Come and See

    by Sarah Buteux
    ("In order to build the boat you still need to gather wood and assign tasks, but in doing so it's important to keep your eyes on your true calling. It's important to be reminded of your true purpose. It's vital that we ask ourselves every now and again if what we are doing is just keeping us busy, or if what we are doing is fostering within each and everyone of us a longing for that endless immensity...")
  • Crossword Puzzle

    from CatholicMom
  • Word Search

    from CatholicMom
  • Ordinary 2

    by Campion P. Gavaler, OSB
  • Domingo 2

    por Joseph Madera, MSpS
  • Discipleship: Following the Lamb of God

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Caught Daydreaming

    by Rick Morley
  • The Tie That Binds

    by Alex Stevenson
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Serminary
  • Amazing Grace

    by Tim Zingale
    ("'A man stood in the outer court of heaven and saw a glorious crowd marching up, singing hymns and bearing banners of victory, they passed by him' through the gates into the courts of heaven. 'Who are these?' he asked. One answered, 'They are the prophets, who are going to see God.' 'Alas, I am not one of them. I cannot enter here..." and another illustration)
  • Come and See

    by Anne Howard
  • No St. Peter?

    by David Risendal