Matthew 16: 21-27

Illustrated New Resources

  • Satan's Subtle Seductions

    by Jim Chern
    What’s the big deal if you miss Mass one Sunday – is God going to seriously send you to Hell for missing Mass one week. You go during the week – and if we have to wait for you to go and come back it’s going to completely screw up our plans for the day, can’t you just miss this once.” It sounded so logical and even reasonable. My friends and I were in between our Sophomore and Junior year of college and had gotten down the shore for the weekend. We had summer jobs and had left on Friday after work… they had been awful by the way – I was a telemarketer who was assigned to call farmers to ask them to do a survey on different farming equipment (tractors, back hoes… stuff that I had zero knowledge and interest in). That Friday had been particularly brutal...
  • Sermon Starters (Proper 17A)(2020)

    by Scott Hoezee
    some while ago I became aware of “The Hill of Crosses” in Lithuania. It began in the 19th century. When Lithuanian citizens were murdered by the Russian Czar, the people would memorialize the victims with a cross. Soon many crosses began to go up. The Russians hated them and so tore them down. But the memorial kept building and today there are thousands upon thousands of crosses. What began as a memorial of death became a defiant symbol of hope eventually. Hope emerged from the crosses...

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. Hopefully, members will have the ability to rate all of the resources on a 5-point system soon!! FWIW!!]
  • Discipleship

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • Peter's Fall, Everyone's Call

    by D. Mark Davis
    (includes lots of Greek exegesis!!)
  • Jesus Rebukes Peter

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Dolores was a woman in her late sixties. She had a very painful life and had endured many losses. The pain and deprivation of her early years had taught her that perhaps she did not deserve to be happy. She had dreams and hopes, which she expressed often..." and other illustrations)
  • Take up Your Cross and Follow Me

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("Sr. Helen Prejean is the great advocate of prisoners, especially those on death row. Her book Dead Man Walking was made into a movie with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Her ministry, Sr. Helen says, all started when she was asked once if she would mind writing to some prisoners..." and other illustrations)
  • Walking in His Footsteps

    by Sil Galvan
    ("Back when the Flip Wilson Show was still on television, he used to portray a character named Geraldine. He once did a skit as Geraldine where she came home to her husband after a shopping spree at the local mall. When she gets in the door, her husband asks her 'Did you find anything?' and other illustrations...)
  • The Rock

    by T. Ice & R. Dean
    ("In Matthew 16:23, the Lord not only called Peter 'Satan' but He said to him, 'You are an offence to me'. The Greek word for 'offence' is skandalon. This is the piece of metal on a mousetrap to which a piece of cheese is attached...")
  • Proper 17A

    by Bill Loader
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 16:21-28)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis with numerous quotes)

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2019

  • You Can Do Better (Careful Saying That to Mom)

    by Jim Chern
    One Sunday, about 15 years ago comes to mind. I was a parish priest at the time, and between the four different Masses, I had run up to my room for a few minutes and saw that my answering machine light was blinking. It was my Mom saying "Hi Honey - I just wanted to see if you had nothing going on this afternoon. I'm making lasagna." My ears perked up...Lasagna - really? Wow - I mean, even though I don’t know how to cook, I do know that’s like a really, really big deal. There’s so many intricate steps...
  • Jesus Doesn't Offer a Free Ride

    by Delmer Chilton
    I was listening to the comedian George Carlin one night on HBO. He was talking about how the expression “self-help” is an oxymoron. “Look it up,” he said, “if you did it yourself, you didn’t need any help! Pay attention to the logic of the language people!” Along the same lines, I was thinking about the concept of self-service! Isn’t that a bit of an oxymoron as well? I mean, if you do it for yourself, is it really “self-service?” It would appear to me that the concept of service should involve me doing something for somebody else, not “me” doing something for “me.”
  • Success or Bust

    by Brian Hiortdahl
    Darko Milicic was the number two overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft, chosen behind only LeBron James, and ahead of several other notable stars. His professional basketball career is widely considered such a disastrous disappointment that his name has become almost synonymous with the term “bust”: a colossal failure. Yet in a lengthy article, Sam Borden offers ten reasons why Darko should be considered a success.
  • Proper 17A (2017)

    by Scott Hoezee
    Some years ago author and New York Times columnist David Brooks detailed the sprawl of what he called “Sprinkler Cities.” These are giant suburban metropolises that have sprung up from virtually nowhere in the last few decades. In order to make such Sprinkler Cities attractive to would-be new residents, city planners are very careful to build all the basics. Chief among the absolute necessities to which people insist on having access are, of course, shopping outlets. And so among the first things to spring up from nowhere on once-desolate patches of prairie are giant slabs of asphalt on which are built things like Home Depot, Petco, WalMart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes&Noble, Linens-n-Things, as well as area-code-sized Old Navy stores...
  • Well, That Escalated Quickly!

    by Hannah Adams Ingram
    In Game of Thrones a few weeks ago, we see the return of a character who is now omniscient, and the instant reaction online was one of ridicule for how unrelatable this character now is and how obnoxious his newfound know-it-all-ness is. The character spoke in a monotone pitch, simply reporting what was, what is, and what is to come. It’s easy to read mystical Jesus in this same tone, apathetically reporting on his pending death with no concern for those around him because of the way pop culture examples like Game of Thrones highlight the eeriness of prescience.
  • Romeo and Jesus? Christians Have Always Been Unrepentant Romantics.

    by Terrance Klein
    Just as the strongest hatred never arrives at a fully satisfying revenge, our acts of love will never be complete, never be without human limitation, but they are all the more lovely, all the more human, because we rise to the attempt. This is why a handful of daisies, gathered by a child who loves his mother, is much more an esteemed expression of love than a dozen roses, purchased online with a credit card and delivered by the florist. The greater the discrepancy between the ardor of the lover and the perfection of the gift, the more we admire such unrepentant romanticism as the truest of loves.
  • Bitesized Wisdom

    by Anne Le Bas
    I read a news story this week about a young woman from Florida, Angela King, who had grown up in a racist, anti-semitic and homophobic environment. As a teenager she had fallen in with a neo-Nazi gang and had become a far-right extremist, plastered with white supremacist tattoos. Eventually she was jailed for a vicious attack on a Jewish shop assistant, and was sent to prison. And there in the prison she found herself confronted with the very people she had always hated and feared most – many of her fellow prisoners were African-Americans. She couldn’t avoid them.
  • To Keep Your Life, Give It

    by Jim McCrea
    During the darkest hours of the early days of World War II, England faced the seemingly invincible German military all alone. Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister in those days and he was faced with the challenge of trying to inspire his people not to give into despair even though the odds were stacked heavily against them. In speech after speech Churchill told the facts as they were and exhorted his countrymen to make the necessary sacrifices. On May 28, 1940 his plea included the words: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears.” Less than a month later, he ended a speech with these words: “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its commonwealth last for a thousand years, [people] will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”
  • The Body Arcs Away

    by Amy Ziettlow
    You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive. It is not for unsteady souls. Jesus speaks of how his redemptive journey will save our souls, as unsteady as they may be. Gaining him, and not the world, is how to hold onto what matters most. Jesus loves us, and we trust in his steady soul and promise of new life. The body of Christ turns, and we are called to follow.

Illustrated Resources from 2011 to 2016

  • Proper 17A (2014)

    by Brendan Byrne
    ("In deconstructing the anatomy of the triptych, I am drawing your attention to the fact that in our recent explorations of Matthew's Gospel, we have encountered a triptych whose two central characters are Peter and Jesus. In this triptych, the scene in the left hand panel would come from Matthew 14: 22-33: it would depict Jesus saving Peter as he sinks below the waves, while in the background the disciples quail in fear in their boat...")
  • Jesus Has No Part-Time Disciples

    by Greg Carey
    ("In 1961 a group of Nashville students resolved to reinforce the Freedom Rides. Two previous busloads of Freedom Riders had already encountered firebombing and severe beatings, and the Nashville students determined that the movement, having commenced, should not be allowed to fail. No one could deny that these students experienced joy during their trials...")
  • Proper 17A (2014)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("I was listening to the comedian George Carlin one night on HBO. He was talking about how the expression 'self help' is an oxymoron. 'Look it up,' he said, 'if you did it yourself, you didn't need any help! Pay attention to the logic of the language people!' Along the same lines, I was thinking about the concept of self-service!...")
  • Close to You

    by Tom Cox
    ("Seduced is a very strong word! It hits us between the eyes right from the start of the First Reading. We tend to link 'seduce' with human relationships but not with the divine. It tends to make people uncomfortable. For 'seduced' can mean 'enticed', 'duped', 'led astray' and so forth. And yet what came into my mind was a movie in which the line 'You have seduced me, Lord, and I have let myself be seduced' appeared about ten times...")
  • Taking Up the Cross

    by Kathy Donley
    It was the first day of first grade. At about ten minutes to noon, Bobby put his crayons into his cubby, found his take-home folder, and went to the door to be first in line to go home. His teacher came over and said, ‘What are you doing, Bobby?” Bobby said, “I’m getting ready to go home.” His teacher knelt beside him and said, “Bobby, you’re in first grade now. In kindergarten, you went home at lunch time, but in first grade, you stay here for lunch and the rest of the afternoon.” Bobby’s eyes got wide and his lower lip started to tremble, and he looked up at her and he said, “Who the heck signed me up for this?”...
  • The Harder Path

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("You are familiar with the name Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was born to a well to do north German family. He had always had everything given to him on a silver spoon - a loving affluent family, superior educational advantages, good looks, good sense. Yet Bonhoeffer, unlike most of his fellow German Christians, knew when it was time for him to lay aside all that and to take the harder path of the cross..." and another illustration)
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 17A)(2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    "The central truth of Matthew 16—that the way of weakness is the path to salvation—was a truth that was not lost on the Christian writer J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Lord of the Rings saga centers on the accidental discovery of a powerful ring that had once been forged by the evil Lord Sauron..."
  • Taking Up My Cross and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    by Janet Hunt
    ("it was only after the challenge was issued to me that I found myself pausing in the memory of the only person I have ever personally known who had ALS. It was mine to call on her when I was still a young pastor and if I'm honest, it was never an easy visit. By the time I became her pastor, her disease was well advanced. She lived alone with scheduled caregivers who would get her up in the morning, prepare her meals, and get her back into bed at night...")
  • Here I Am! Don't Send Me!

    by Beth Johnston
    in the 1977 movie, Oh, God, God, played by a cigar smoking Nathan Birnbaum, otherwise known as George Burns, came to Jerry Landers, a young and earnest manager at a small grocery store. Landers, played by John Denver, first receives a typed invitation requesting his presence at an "interview with God". Landers dismisses it as a hoax! I seem to remember that God eventually appears in person while Landers was in the shower...
  • Last Words

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Goethe's last words were 'Mehr Licht' (more light). Mortally wounded, John Wilkes Booth muttered, 'Useless. Useless.' John Belushi begged, 'Just don't leave me alone.' History is full of famous last words, but today they're falling silent for two, very practical, reasons: dementia and morphine. As medicine advances, particularly in prosperous regions, we're living longer...")
  • Devilish Influences

    by Nicholas Lang
    ("One of our former seminarians was a member of All Saints Church in Chicago, a parish that had been in decline for several years and on diocesan radar for possible closure. Then in 1992, Bonnie Perry became their rector and in time everything turned around. There was a huge renaissance and this parish is now thriving. Our seminarian once asked her rector what it was that made them turn the corner...")
  • What Is, Is

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("In the science fiction film The Matrix, the hero, Neo, gradually comes to realise that what he thinks is reality – a comfortable, normal existence - is actually a sort of communal dream. Everything seems normal, but in fact the human race has been enslaved. People are being kept dormant in a sort of virtual reality – the Matrix of the title – while the energy their bodies produce is harvested to fuel the machines that have taken over...")
  • Solid Rock or Stumbling Block?

    by Philip McLarty
    ("He wanted to find his way around. So, he took a bus and rode it until it came back to where he got on. As he rode, he made a mental note of as many landmarks as he could along the way. It was a great way to get his bearings straight, so he took another bus route, and then another. One night he got on a bus, but didn't have any change, so he paid the fare with a five-dollar bill. The driver grumbled, but gave him his change and he took his seat; but as he counted the money, he discovered that the driver had overpaid him a quarter...")
  • Extreme Life

    by Rick Miles
    A man arrived one day at the pearly gates. St. Peter looked him up in his record and said, "Well, you didn't do anything particularly good, but neither did you do anything particularly bad. I'll tell you what: If you can tell me of one really good deed you did, I'll let you stay." The man says, "Well, once I saw some bikers menacing a young woman. I stopped my car. I took out my tire iron. I walked up to their leader, a huge, hairy, ugly man, full of tattoos. He had a nose ring. I ripped it right out of his nose, and I said, 'You leave this girl alone, you hear?' I stared at all of them, and I said, 'Now get out of here, or you'll have to answer to me.'" St. Peter was clearly impressed. "When did this happen?" he asked the man. "About two minutes ago."...
  • Blessing in the Shape of a Cross

    by Jan Richardson
    ("Press this blessing into your palms— right, left— and you will see how it leaves its mark, how it imprints itself into your skin, how the lines of it meet and cross as if signaling you to the treasure that has been in your grasp all along. Except that these riches you will count not by what you hold but by what you release, by what you lose, by what falls from your open hands....")
  • Facing Toward Jerusalem

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ["Setting your face toward Jerusalem has become a trope. It isn't just facing hard times. There has to be something huge at risk: your life; your honor and reputation; the possibility of disastrous failure, and the responsibility for it resting on you. All of us face hard times, defeats, losses. But the order of magnitude is nowhere near this kind of act. Still, there are some I can think of who have truly set their faces towards Jerusalem:..."]
  • Five Mission Killers

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Holidays used to be 'holy days', times to mark the moment by calendar days which paid special attention to historic happenings, commemorated special events, and celebrated significant milestones. Instead of acknowledging the sacrifice of the saints, this weekend is all about one last barbecue, one last swim in the lake, or maybe one last packing up a kid heading off to college...")
  • The Cost of Following Jesus

    by Alex Thomas
    ("A number of years ago the Ford Foundation made it possible for the Department of Sociology at the U of Cal to make a nationwide survey of the basic demands of the discipleship of Jesus. Respondents were asked questions pertaining to their love of their enemies, their being willing to turn the other cheek, to walk the second mile, to their being not overcome by evil but overcoming evil by good, to their visiting those who were in prison, giving up their wealth to follow the teaching of the Lord, and their willingness to take of the Cross daily and follow Him...")
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Redemption

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2010

  • When Losers Are Winners

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Over the past weeks we have certainly had a good dose of hero worship. The high profile and the status that goes with winning a medal at the Beijing Olympic Games highlights how important winning is not only for the individual medal winners but also for the whole country...")
  • Ordinary 22A (2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a very, very conservative Catholic came to complain to his pastor. The new Pope has let us down, he protested. He's a great disappointment...")
  • Preaching Helps (Ordinary 22A)(2008)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("The central truth of Matthew 16, that the way of weakness is the path to salvation, was a truth that was not lost on the Christian writer J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Lord of the Rings saga centers on the accidental discovery of a powerful ring that had once been forged by the evil Lord Sauron....")
  • Who Am I That I Should Do That?

    by Beth Johnston
    On The Current on Friday there was a repeat broadcast of an almost year old documentary about a tradition in south-east Turkey that results in a cycle of revenge for violent crimes. Honour demands that the killing of one person requires the death of the perpetrator...
  • What Is, Is

    by Anne Le Bas
    ("A year or so back the TV presenter Tony Robinson did a series on the worst jobs in history, trying to get a flavour of what it might have been like to do some of the jobs our ancestors did. How about being a leech collector, for example...")
  • Ordinary 22A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("I once knew a professional athlete. She was a 100 metres runner. At the age of 28, she was coming towards the end of her 10-year career. To maintain her sport, she worked five days a week and trained seven evenings a week...")
  • Proper 17A (2008)

    by John Pridmore
    ("Years ago, the priest, doctor, and psychotherapist Anne Townsend wrote a little book that was a blessing to many. It was entitled Prayer without Pretending. Anne Townsend argued that when we pray, we should tell the truth. In our prayers, we should say how it is...")
  • To Have Without Holding

    by Jan Richardson
    ("One summer when I was preparing to become a minister, I spent the season doing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at a hospital in north Florida. CPE is something like an intensive internship in a setting that intertwines pastoral experience and regular reflection with a peer group and supervisor...")
  • What Is Our Reward?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Lotteries can be fun I suppose. You buy a ticket. With some lotteries you even get to choose your own number. When the draw is made you wait with anticipation to see whether you win this week or not. So there is excitement. There is anticipation....")
  • Lose It or Find It?

    by Keith Wagner
    ("In the 1970's the GM plant in Fremont, California was the scene of a major conflict between labor and management. There was a lack of trust which resulted in a lack of productivity and poor quality. Absenteeism was out of control. There were days when the production lines couldn't get started")
  • Costly Grace

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Another person has described the Christian life in this age in a like manner. Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was a martyr during World War II in Germany wrote "Cost of Discipleship" in which he says that Christian today are living by cheap grace...")

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Look Good on Wood

    by Mickey Anders
    ("At the 100th anniversary of the arrival of missionaries in Zaire, Christians gathered to celebrate from that part of Zaire that was once called the Belgian Congo. Near the end of the long program, a very old man stood to give a speech. He said that he soon would die and that he needed to tell something that no one else knew...")
  • Illustrations (Matthew 16:24)

    from Biblical Studies
    ("Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of consecration. 'To give my life for Christ appears glorious,' he said. 'To pour myself out for others. . . to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom—I’ll do it. I’m ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory...")
  • The Good Life

    by Gary Charles
    ("In 1963 Howard Zinn was fired from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., for his civil rights activities. Forty-two years later, in May 2005, Dr. Zinn addressed the graduates of Spelman. In his address he challenged them to think differently than does our society about 'the good life'. Dr. Zinn told these graduates:...")
  • No Cross, No Crown

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("A nun was explaining the Stations of the Cross to her class. They got to the fourth Station were Jesus on the road to Calvary meets his mother. The nun explained that even though they could not talk to each other, mother and son spoke just using their eyes. 'What do you think they said to each other?' she asked the pupils...")
  • By Changing Your Minds

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("It is said that St. Augustine was accosted one day on the street by a former mistress some time after he had become a Christian. When he saw her he turned and walked the other way...")

    Poetic Sermon by Frank Fisher
    ("Lowell Striker tells the story of Louise, a young Roman Catholic woman who fell head over heels in love with her cross. Her cross, a boy named Keith, returned her love with equal passion. But there was one serious problem. For, as Louise explained to her mother, 'Keith is a Baptist and he's opposed to the idea of marrying a Roman Catholic.'...")
  • Ordinary 22A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a man was lying in the hospital bed. He was so sick he thought he was going to die, indeed he had begun to hope that he would die just to get rid of the sickness, though he was terrified of dying...")
  • The Cross: Should a Symbol Betrayed Be Reclaimed?

    by Mary C. Boys
    ("[the cross], this central symbol of Christian life has a shadow side--a realization I owe initially to Chaim Potok's My Name Is Asher Lev. Asher Lev, member of a community of Ladover Hasidim and brilliant artist, seeks to find a form that might express his mother's suffering during her years of anxious waiting for his father to return from his travels on behalf of the Rebbe, as well as her anxieties about her son's journeys...")
  • Ordinary 22A(1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a little boy whose dog was killed by a car when the dog ran across the street. The boy was furious at the teenager who drove the car. He shouted at him and hit him. I didn't mean to do it said the teen...")
  • The Way to Life Goes through Death

    by Sigurd Grindheim
    ("The last few weeks before my father died, about seven years ago, he was plagued by doubt. He was no longer able to have faith and he felt that he fell short. My mother has told me that she would recite to him a verse from a hymn, with a simple phrase: 'To have faith is to rest in his completed work.'...")
  • Proper 17A (2005)

    by Walter Harms
    ("I am sure that all of you children here and many of you adults have seen the movie Finding Nemo. In this story, a father is looking for his son, named Nemo. Nemo, a clown fish has disobeyed his father and gets caught by a dentist and put into the dentist's aquarium...")
  • Proper 17A (2002)

    by Roger Haugen
    ("Ammon Hennacy was a protester against the arms race in the United States during the 60’s. One cold winter day found him at a missile silo in South Dakota. There were very few people, a handful of protesters, two soldiers behind the fence, and a reporter from a small town newspaper...")
  • A Questionable God

    by William Hawkins
    ("Rainer Marie Rilke offers sage advice: we are to learn to 'love the questions' and not 'search for the answers' which could not be given to you now...")
  • An Invitation to Die

    by Charles Hoffacker
    for more than a decade Sam had operated a successful counseling business in a mid-sized industrial city in the southeast. One day the executive vice president of the largest firm under contract made an appointment to meet with Sam. To Sam's shock and amazement, this executive demanded to see the files for his employees. Sam told him politely but firmly that this was impossible. The files were completely confidential..." and another illustration
  • Rocky II: The Messiah's Job

    by Don Hoffman
    ("If you watch the different Star Trek series on television, you know about Klingons. And if you know about Klingons, you know they love to fight, they live to fight...")
  • Ordinary 22A (1990)

    by Charlie Irvin
    I heard a story once about a man who went camping in the wilderness. He had with him his faithful dog, a dog that he and grown to love very much over the years. Together they would hike through territories that perhaps no human being had ever ventured upon. On one such excursion a bear suddenly and viciously attacked the man. His beloved and faithful dog came running back to him, and seeing what was happening, leapt to attack the bear’s throat. He was no match for the bear and after a couple of powerful blows from the deadly paws of the bear, was on the ground, torn to ribbons, and bleeding to death. But the distraction was just enough for the man to escape, only to realize that his faithful and loyal dog was dead. Looking back on the experience the man said: “It’s a painful thing to be died for, even by a dog.”
  • Defining Moment

    by Deanna Langle
    ("Two years ago I invited Dorothy Marie Hennessey and Gwen Hennessey, Franciscan (and biological) sisters from Dubuque, Iowa, to Luther College to share their stories of being advocates of peace and justice...")
  • A Labor of Love

    by David Leininger
    ("A family brought in two cocoons that were about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed in one end of the cocoon. After lying exhausted for about ten minutes following its agonizing emergence, the butterfly finally flew out the open window on its beautiful new wings...")
  • Proper 17A (1999)

    by J. Hugh Magers
    ("Self-sacrifice is the way of the soul. One parent said this, 'I didn't know how to love or really receive love until we had the baby. Before the baby, what I though was love was really a sort of exchange of favors. It was delightful. But it wasn't love...")
  • Are You Ready?

    by David Martyn
    "Two hundred and eight years ago on August 30, 1797, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was born and our nightmares haven’t been quite the same ever since. She married the English poet Shelley and under the name Mary Shelley, published a novel that continues to scare us two centuries later. The novel Frankenstein tells the story of a good intentioned scientist whose technology brings death and destruction in the form of a monster..."
  • Quo Vadis

    by Michael McCoy
    One of Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz' novels depicts the persecution of the early church as the Roman Caesar inflicted a reign of terror and horrible torture upon those who confessed and followed Christ. The 1896 novel includes a scene where the Apostle Peter is leaving Rome because he would be martyred by Nero if he remained. On his way out of the city with his young companion Nazarius, Peter meets Jesus Who is journeying into the city of Rome. Sienkewicz continues his fictional account. Suddenly he [Peter] threw himself on his knees, his arms lifted upward and stretched to the light, and his lips cried out: "Christ! O Christ!" His head beat against the dust as if he were kissing the feet of someone only he could see. Then there was silence. "Quo vadis, Domine?" his voice asked at last, punctured by his sobbing. "Where are you going, Lord?" Nazarius heard no answer. But a voice of ineffable sweetness and abundant sorrow rang in Peter's ears. "When you abandon my people," he heard, "I must go to Rome to be crucified once more."
  • Ordinary 22A (2002)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("Just about this time seven years ago I left my father’s home town of Omagh. This is a market town in Northern Ireland that was never famous until the 15th of August 1998 when a bomb exploded in the main street killing 31 people and injuring over 200. I never knew any of those who were killed, but three weeks before the bomb I had attended the wedding of one of those who were injured...")
  • Picking Up Your Cross

    by William Oldland
    In Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Less Traveled", he comes to a crossroad in the woods. He studies the two paths carefully. One of the two roads has signs of travel. Others had taken that path before him. In fact, the leaves had been trodden black on that path by the crush of many footsteps. The grass was worn by the steps before. It was the safe path. It was the secure path. While a person might not know exactly where it would lead, the feeling of the path was that it was safe. There would be no great surprises. Nothing fantastic was expected while traveling that path, and therefore, nothing wonderful would be really gained. And yet, there was another path as well. A few had walked that path because the basic outline was there. However, the grass was not bent by many footsteps. The leaves were not blackened. The way was not as known. Adventure beckoned from that path with possible wonder. One could take that path with a sense of expectation. One could take that path not knowing what would come their way, but being excited about the opportunities as well. However, one had to choose which path to walk...
  • REAL Christianity

    by Ray Osborne
    ("I asked God to take away my pain. God said, No...It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up...I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, No...Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary...")
  • Self-Denial in an Age of Indulgence

    by John Pavelko
    ("William Willimon tells a story about a young man named Tom who grew up in Tennessee, in a little, country Baptist church. It was a fundamentalist church. They took their Bible straight. They believed it and taught their children to believe it...")
  • Is God Calling You?

    by Stephen Portner
    ("Joni Eareckson Tada, despite becoming quadriplegic at an early age due to a diving accident, feels called to live her life for the Lord. She states that, when it comes to job placement, our tendency is to not accept people who are weak or have physical defects, people who might slow us down or seem to have significant problems..." and other illustrations)
  • Don't Give an Inch

    by Bruce Prewer
    “Don’t give them an inch,” old Dermot said, sucking the wind in through his gold-capped teeth. “That’s the way to go, is it?” I (Ted Jjnks) asked, affably. I was not just being polite to the old bloke. He deserved more than a servile response. After all, he had made it big. Started as a yard boy, stacking tiles, sorting and racking timber from demolished houses, pulling out endless nails. Yet he has ended up as the proud owner- manager of a chain of lucrative scrap yards. “The only way, kid; don’t give them a friggin inch. Don’t give them bloody anything. But take a yard y’self. No pun intended, son. Yea, take a yard whenever y’ can but keep out of my way. son. The space ain't friggin big enough for two of us.” “I’ll remember that, no fret,” I answered, taking a swig from the bottle he had handed me in “the friggin office.”...
  • Losing Your Life

    Quote by Oscar Romero
    "To each one of us Christ is saying, 'If you want your life and mission to be fruitful like mine, do like me. Be converted into a seed that lets itself be buried. Let yourself be killed. Do not be afraid. Those who shun suffering will remain alone. No one is more alone than the selfish. But, if you give your life out of love for others, as I give mine for all, you will reap a great harvest. You will have the deepest satisfactions. Do not fear death or threats. The Lord goes with you.'"
  • Rude Awakenings

    by Paul Rooney
    ("There is a well-known story about a 'double rude awakening' that took place in the computer industry back in 1983. A man by the name of Steven Jobs was the co-founder of Apple Computers. He realized that the company had grown too large for him to manage. He wasn't really a businessman, he was a computer geek. So he began a search for a "high-powered" CEO to come in and take over Apple Computer's daily operations...")
  • The Courage of Truth Telling

    by James Standiford
    ("When I hear the phrase “cover-up,” I think of my debate partner in college. He and I were both talked into taking debate. It wasn’t on either of our planned class schedules. Then we were put together, neither one having ever debated before. He was quite the party boy, so 'cover-up' for him came in two forms...")
  • What Does It Cost?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("There is a cost to discipleship. I have a book on my shelves called The Cost of Discipleship. You can try to ignore the title, but you cannot ignore the person who wrote it, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German theologian. He lectured at Union Theological Seminary in the thirties. He is known for his anti-Nazi views...")
  • Crossroads

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("According to M. Scott Peck, in his book The Different Drum: 'By this Jesus did not mean that each and every one of us is called to be victim to bodily murder as he was. He did mean, however, that death of the psychological self (among other things) is required for salvation...")
  • Man's Way Versus God's Way

    by Tim Zingale
    ("An eIderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After praying about the matter, she decided that although she might not be capable of walking from house to house to invite others to Church, she was still able to play the piano...")

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