Matthew 22: 34-40

Illustrated New Resources

  • As Yourself

    by Phil Bloom
    Let me tell you about a man who gave a powerful example of Christian love. He's one of my heroes. You may have heard of him: Daryl Davis. As a black musician he played various gigs. Once at a country gig he was the only black man present. A man approached him and invited him for a drink. Daryl accepted, although he only ordered cranberry juice. It was the man's first conversation with a black man. It led to other conversations where the man admitted his racial prejudices and Daryl refuted the stereotypes one by one. It turned out the man was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Because of his friendship with Daryl he left the white supremacist organization. Well, in the last decades Daryl converted over 200 Klansmen - including Robert Kelly the Imperial Wizard of Maryland - who gave his robe and hood to Daryl...
  • The Gift for the God Who Has Everything

    by Jim Chern
    Gordon and Norma Yeager, a couple who got engaged the day they graduated high school, were married back in 1939 and had been by each other’s side ever since. News stories showed pictures of the couple that their children had shared from over the years. One photo showed Gordon fooling around like he was the life of the party, while Norma has holding her hand up in the air sort of waving him off as she was smiling. That picture seemed to be the perfect illustration of the two who, their son Dennis described saying – “They just loved being together.[my dad would say:] I can’t go until she does because I have to stay here for her and she would say the same thing.” A few years ago, tragically, Gordon and Norma were involved in a car accident. They were rushed to an Intensive Care Unit in a local hospital. When they got to the Emergency Room, the doctors could tell quickly how serious the injuries were and that there wasn’t a lot that they could do for them. The hospital staff had put them in the same room together. By the time their children came in to visit their parents, there they were; together; in the ICU unit, side by side, holding hands. Gordon passed away holding the hand of his bride of 72 years with the family they had raised surrounding them, at 3:38 pm, exactly one hour before Norma would pass. Before she died, something amazing occurred. Their son Dennis explained: “It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because his heart monitor was still going. But we were like, he isn’t breathing. How does he still have a heart beat? The nurse checked and said because they were holding hands it’s going through them. Her heart was beating through him and his monitor was picking it up.”...
  • Shema

    by Jim Chern
    This semester for our weekly Newman Night’s we have been watching the first ever multi-episode, multi-season television show based on the life of Jesus Christ called “The Chosen.” This week we’re actually finishing up with Episode 8 and if you’ve fallen in love with the show, you’ll be happy to know they’re filming season two right now with hopes of it being ready for this coming Easter. In the third episode of this season, titled, Jesus loves the little children – there was a particular scene that is especially poignant. Jesus is seen doing some manual work, as a craftsman – as a carpenter he would be doing all sorts of building and construction… and this little band of children who’ve encountered Him and been coming back to visit with him are there this particular day helping Him with some of His work. So you see them busily doing these minor tasks as Jesus asks “so who here knows the Shema?”...
  • Loving God, Loving Others and Loving Ourselves

    by Craig Condon
    Olivia shifted uncomfortably in the pew. The pastor had just told the story of the Good Samaritan, reminding Olivia that Jesus wanted her to be a good neighbor too. She knew this, of course, but why was it so hard sometimes? After church, Olivia’s mom asked her why she was so squirmy during the sermon. Olivia hesitated, but finally told her what was bothering her. “My friend Samantha is spreading lies about the new girl, Yusra. Yusra wears a head scarf to school because she is Muslim, and I heard Samantha telling everyone sitting around us on the carpet during Library that Yusra must be bald or she wouldn’t be wearing a head scarf every day.” “What did you say?” asked Mom. “Nothing! Everyone giggled, but I thought it was mean. And Yusra looked so sad. Should I have said something to Samantha? How can I be a good neighbor to both Samantha and Yusra?”...
  • The Unperishing Spring

    by Jim Eaton
    Ursula Le Guin wove through many of her stories a theme that speaks to our purpose. She imagined a man who grew up as a person of integrity, strong and intelligent, owning slaves, living in a culture that devalued women. When he is forced to live in a world where the slaves have been freed, where women have become equals, he hates it at first but then falls in love with a woman who teaches him how wonderful sharing with equals can be. He becomes her husband and love animates their life. Learning to love his neighbor, he has learned to love God. When he is near his end, he says, “I have given my love to what is worthy of love.”...
  • Every Child Matters

    by Dawn Hutchings
    I remember when I was in grade ten; a new girl showed up in our classes. Shirley, we were told, came from somewhere way up north, in British Columbia. I remember our homeroom teacher introduced Shirley as, an Indian who had travelled south for her education. We were told that there weren’t any high schools where Shirley came from, so she had to leave her family behind and come down to Ladner all by herself. Shirley was boarding with a family in Ladner. I remember a social studies class in which the teacher asked Shirley to tell us about her life in Northern British Columbia. The tale that Shirley told us about the reservation on which she lived was unbelievable to our young, ignorant, ears. Shirley claimed that she had been forced against her will to leave her family behind and travel all by herself to live with a family that was only interested in the money that the Indian Affairs department paid them for her room and board. She said that her parents would be thrown into jail if they didn’t allow her to be taken away. She said she’d run away several times, but that she’d always been caught and then they would punish her family because she’d missed so much school...
  • Don't Overlook the First Command

    by Jarrod Longbons
    I'll never forget that night. I was beating up on myself again in what some have called a "shame spiral." I was telling myself a story. It goes like this: "I am not good enough. I am not doing enough. I am not worth much to anyone." This is not a gospel story in any way, but it is one that many people tell themselves. Now, on that particular evening, I was on the phone with a dear friend. In response to my internal storytelling, he simply said: "you are not being nice to my friend, and I think you should, he deserves it. I really want you to be nice to my friend." It is a good friend that stands up to you for you! The next morning as I continued my self-loathing - alone in my study - the same friend sent me a link to a music video by Christian singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson. The song was called Be Kind to Yourself. In the video, Peterson is singing and playing the piano alongside his daughter, for whom he had written the song. I listened to it passively until one line popped to tear bubbles in my eyes. The lyric goes like this: How does it end when the war that you are in is just you, against, you, against you? You gotta learn to love, learn to love, learn to love your enemies too...
  • Neighbors and Fences

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude had a different idea with their project Running Fence. The project was begun in 1972 and completed in 1976. The actual project was installed for two weeks and then taken down, leaving no reminders of its presence. The project was a 24.5 mile long, 18 feet tall "fence" of nylon fabric panels hung from steel cable between steel poles. The artists battled every step of the way...
  • Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again

    by Bruce Schoonmaker
    Years ago, friends prayed with a stranger outside the emergency room where doctors fought to save the life of a man they loved, then found out that he would recover completely. When they turned to thank the stranger for praying with them, they found he had left. Nurses confirmed that no one else had been in the waiting area. They knew that a God moment happened. Nothing would ever be the same again. The transformative moments that turn the threat of death into a moment of grace, of redemption, and of love, stay with us and remain a part of us...
  • The Greatest Commandments

    by Debie Thomas
    In the church I attend, we’ve been ending our Evening Prayer liturgy on Sundays with a blessing from A Black Rock Prayer Book. It leaves me teary-eyed every time I hear it, so I’d like to share it with you in closing: The world now is too dangerous and too beautiful for anything but love. May your eyes be so blessed you see God in everyone. Your ears, so you hear the cry of the poor. May your hands be so blessed that everything you touch is a sacrament. Your lips, so you speak nothing but the truth with love. May your feet be so blessed you run to those who need you. And may your heart be so opened, so set on fire, that your love, your love, changes everything. And may the blessing of the God who created you, loves you, and sustains you, be with you now and always. May it be so.

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!!]
  • Love of Others

    Illustrations from the Archives
  • The Great Command and the Work of Christ

    by D. Mark Davis
    includes lots of Greek exegesis!
  • The Great Commandment

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("How do you love your neighbor? You make them welcome, even if 2500 unexpected guests suddenly show up. That's what happened to the city of Gander in Newfoundland on that terrible day of September 11. You may recall that all air traffic was grounded for several days. What about transatlantic flights? People heading to the United States from all over Europe were diverted to this city of Gander..." and several other illustrations)
  • Love Your Neighbor

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia. His parents explained to him that she needed a blood transfusion and that his blood was probably compatible. They asked if they could test his blood. Sure, he said. The results showed that his blood would be a good match..." and several other illustrations)
  • God's Law of Love

    by Sil Galvan
    "There is a story about a gentile who went to a rabbi and told him that he would convert to Judaism if the rabbi could teach him the whole Torah while he was standing on one foot. The rabbi angrily threw him out, because he could not briefly sum up the whole law. The same man went to another rabbi and asked him the same question..."
  • Three-Dimensional Love

    by Sil Galvan
    "I used to hate myself. But for God's love, I might have been self-destructive. I did not love myself so I could not love anyone else, but I didn't realize that. I was a victim of racism. I was ten years old when Pearl Harbor was invaded..." and another illustration
  • Proper 25A

    by Bill Loader
    (Always good insights!)
  • Exegetical Notes (Matthew 22:34-46)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis)
  • More Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Ordinary 30A)

    by Various Authors
    ("In our nation's archives there is an account of two ladies from Tennessee who came before President Abraham Lincoln at the conclusion of the Civil War. They were asking for the release of their confederate husbands held as prisoners of war at Johnson's Island. Lincoln put them off until Friday, when they came again. Again the President put them off until Saturday..." and several others)

Illustrated Resources from 2017 to 2019

  • Recipe of Love

    by Sylvia Alloway
    It’s true that there is little we can do prevent disasters or personally help the victims. But we can find ways to bring hope to the world. Take, for example, The Café Momentum. What does a popular Dallas restaurant have to do with bringing hope to the world? Almost all the cooks, servers, and clean-up crew are juvenile offenders who have spent time in the county lock-up...
  • Love Is a Decision

    from Claretians
    Dr. Scott Peck defines love as, "the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth" (A Road Less Traveled, p. 85). I like this definition because it shows that love is a decision in the will to extend oneself. It is therefore going to cost something; it is going to make one have to go beyond one's natural lazy self. Then this definition includes self-love with love for another. Since I am human and you are human, to love means to love myself as well as you. We are incapable of loving another unless we love ourselves. If my stretching to love you is destructive, not just painful to me, then it is not true love...
  • Be the Blessing

    by Bart Dalton
    A man by the name of Bryan Anderson was driving home late one night along a lonely stretch of highway when he noticed a woman standing by a car at the side of the road. She was an older woman and looked like she needed help. Bryan pulled his old truck over and got out to see if he could lend a hand. The woman looked frightened as Bryan walked toward her, but he smiled, introduced himself and asked if he could be of any assistance. She told him that she was on her way home and had a flat tire. She said that she couldn’t get any reception on her cell phone, so she couldn’t call for help. Bryan looked at the tire on the lady’s fancy new car and he told her he would do what he could to change it for her...
  • Proper 25A (2017)

    by Jason Edwards
    David Augsburger agrees that when presented this way we have not two commands, but one. Love of Neighbor is love of God and vice versa. They are inseparable. In his book, Dissident Discipleship, Augsburger describes this as Tripolar Spirituality, a three-dimensional approach to faith. It means that love of God, love of neighbor and love of self are all an intertwined part of the same whole. It means that the committed Christian must live a life that is upwardly, inwardly and outwardly directed. It means that we cannot claim that we love God and yet hate our brothers or sisters...
  • L.O.V.E.

    by Beth Johnston
    In the movie, “The Help, ” Aibileen, an African-American housekeeper understands that her most important role in the household she serves is how she shapes the mind, heart, and soul of any child, white or African-American, she keeps charge over. Aibileen knows that what children are taught to believe about ourselves affects who we become. She holds the children and talks softly but firmly to them. Instead of telling them to “ be nice, be good, be kind” she says, ““You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” What a wonderful habit to get into with a child!...
  • Even with So Many Dead in the Civil War, What Lincoln Teaches Us About the Civil War

    by Terrance Klein
    Though we revere him as something of an American saint, while in office Abraham Lincoln was one of the most reviled of presidents, and not only by those who supported the Southern cause. When Union victory proved elusive, everyone became a critic, had a better idea and did not mind sharing it. Here is a small letter, which would be all but lost to history if George Saunders had not retrieved it for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo, the newest recipient of the Booker Prize. How miny more ded do you attend to make sir afore you is done? One minit there was our litle Nate on that bridge with a fishpole and ware is that boy now? And who is it called him hither, in that Notice he saw down to Orbys, wellsir, that was your name he saw upon it “Abraham Lincoln.”...
  • Just Enough Religion to Make Us Hate

    by Nicholas Lang
    A radio station once ran a contest in which the disc jockey invited listeners to tune in their station on their clock radios as their morning wake up call. “Just for fun,’ the announcer said, “When you wake up, call FM-106 and tell us the first words you said when you rolled out of bed. If you’re the third caller, you’ll win $106.” The first morning, a cheerful disc jockey said, “Caller number three, what did you say when you rolled out of bed this morning?” A groggy voice answered, “Do I smell coffee burning?” Another day, a sleepy caller grumbled, “Damn, I’m late for work again!” And another day a woman caller said, “Honey, did I put the dog out last night?” A muffled voice cursed in the background and groused, “No, you didn’t.” It was a funny and sometimes embarrassing contest and it commanded a growing audience...
  • The Chain of Love

    Song by Clay Walker
    He was driving home one evening, In his beat up Pontiac When an old lady flagged him down, Her Mercedes had a flat He could see that she was frightened, Standing out there in the snow 'Til he said I'm here to help you ma'am, By the way my name is Joe She said I'm from St. Louis, And I'm only passing through I must have seen a hundred cars go by, This is awful nice of you When he changed the tire, And closed her trunk And was about to drive away, She said how much do I owe you Here's what he had to say...

Illustrated Resources from 2014 to 2016

  • Trust No Matter What (Week 5)

    by Phil Bloom
    ("Edith Stein was the youngest of 11 children. Although raised in a pious Jewish household, as an adolescent she stopped believing in God - but she did not give up searching. When she went to the university, she threw herself into the study of philosophy. Perhaps the person-centered philosophy she learned laid the groundwork, but in the summer of 1921, when she was 29, things changed radically...")
  • The Difficult Choice: Love

    by Beth Johnston
    Because Mr Zehaf-Bibeau was a member of an identifiable minority group, one or more people in Cold Lake, Alberta, targeted the local mosque with ant-Muslim graffiti. The words 'go home' and 'Canada' were spray painted on the mosque. Early in the morning a group of more thinking people, including military personnel from the local base in uniform arrived to clean up the grafitti and replace the words with posters indicating that these folks were home and were welcome...
  • Great Expectations

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Here's how young Pip learned that he had great expectations. One day the lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, showed up at the forge, where young Pip lived and worked, and said to Joe the blacksmith, Pip's adult brother-in-law, 'I am instructed to communicate to him,' said Mr. Jaggers, throwing his finger at me sideways, 'that he will come into a handsome property...")
  • Soaking in the Love of God

    by Andrea Leonard
    ("Joseph Hart knew what love was. The writer of our last hymn. He could really immerse himself in God's love and was secure in it. As a young man he was very anti-religious, believing that you only had to believe in God and then behave how you wanted to (a libertine antinomian), and wrote a leaflet called 'The Unreasonableness of Religion' – particularly aimed against John Wesley...")
  • The Freedom of Love

    by Andrew Prior
    (inclues several quotes)
  • The Test

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ["In a way, then, Jesus is saying the Decalogue is one Commandment, as God is one God. And he is clearly saying that no law, no rule, no piety, no custom, no culture, no tradition, is more important than loving God completely. And God cannot be contained in one law, one rule, one piety, one custom, one culture or tradition, but can only be contained in all the world – and any soul...."]
  • The Lion's Whisker

    by Skywalker Storyteller
    ("Haile was a happy little boy living with his mother and father in their home in Ethiopia. But, one day his mother died and Haile was so hurt, and so confused, and so angry. A year passed and his father decided to remarry. But, Haile remained so hurt, and so confused, and so angry...")
  • What Is Love?

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Henri Nouwen asks the question in his book The Wounded Healer: 'Who can save a child from a burning building without taking the risk of being hurt by the flames? Who can listen to a story of loneliness and despair without the risk of experiencing similar pains of the heart. In short, who can take away suffering without entering it?'..." and other quotes)
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Love

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources from 2008 to 2013

  • What's Christianity All About?

    by Marcus Borg
    ("In the late 1800's shortly after the Civil War, a small town businessman from a remote community in the mountains of North Carolina went to one of the larger cities--I think it was Raleigh--and there for the first time in his life, he saw an ice-making machine. Now, machines that could make artificial ice were a recent invention; he thought this was wonderful because it meant you could have ice all summer long...")
  • The Main Thing

    by Rob Elder
    To attempt to love others without relying on the empowering love of God is a failed enterprise from the start. Going at either one without the other reminds me of an old Berke Breathed Bloom County comic strip in which Opus the penguin decides one day, through the strength of nothing but his own power, to give up television and become more learned. As he walked to the library he announced, Attention, dark world of electronic gratification I would like to announce my intellectualization! No more tv! No boob tube-a-roo! ‘Twas turning my noodle to video goo! Yes, there's something much better for smart chaps like me From what I have heard, it's known as 'to read’! Books! I'll read books! Be they large or quite dinky! Straight from the shelves all musty and stinky! Faulkner! O'Neill! Twain and Saul Bellow! ... I think I'll curl up with a few of those fellows! Yes, I'll soon be well-read! Such a fab thing to be! I've allowed plenty of time, at least an hour . . . or three. But, after standing, bewildered, surrounded, amid towering bookshelves reaching to the sky, closing in on him, the next frame finds Opus on the sofa, snacking in front of the TV set, a voice calling from the TV: Gilligan! We all know what it is to begin with enthusiasm for something new, a diet, or an exercise program, or a self-improvement book, and then find ourselves a few days or weeks later, back in the old grind, nothing changed, Cheetos bags scattered around...
  • Loving God and One Another

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("When the Bible talks about love it is really talks about a love that keeps on loving, it involves commitment. We may have warm feelings of gratitude to God when we consider all that he has done for us, but it is not warm feelings that Jesus is demanding of us. It is stubborn, unwavering commitment..." and Fiddler on the Roof)
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 25A)(2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Matthew's version of this encounter with the Pharisees shows Jesus subtly changing the original version of the Shema. The Shema of Deuteronomy 6 asks us to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Jesus alters it to heart, soul, and mind, and surely the Pharisees and everyone else there noticed the change....")
  • Preaching Helps (Proper 25A)(2008)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Few things nag us or plague us more than the sense that things are not right between our parents and us. That's a motif throughout literature. In many great stories there is the figure of the ne'er-do-well, the son who was cut off by his father. Maybe they had words. Maybe their split was bitter...")
  • The Compassionate Life

    by Kate Huey
    (includes numerous quotes)
  • God's Story, Our Stories

    by Kate Huey
    (includes several quotes)
  • No Boulder's Too Big

    by Linda Kraft
    ("A story is told about a man who had a huge boulder in his front yard. He grew tired of this big, ugly lump in the center of his lawn, so he decided to take advantage of it and turn it into an object of art. He went to work on it with hammer and chisel, and chipped away at the huge boulder until it became a beautiful stone elephant. When he finished, it was gorgeous, breath-taking...")
  • Overcoming the Chasm

    by Marlene Lorenson
    ("In the Swedish childrens' story of Ronia the Robber's Daughter we hear of two clans of robbers fighting each other. Ronia is the only child of Chief Mattis and is expected to become leader of the clan after her father. On the night of her birth, however, their castle is split in two by lightning and the competing clan of robbers...")
  • Your Neighbor As Yourself

    by Jim McCrea
    ("Leonard Sweet tells about an article written by Michael Davis in the Baltimore Jewish Times. Davis is an author and editor, who also teaches religious education at his Reformed synagogue. In that capacity, he has sadly watched while the level of indifference to religious education continues to grow on the part of both his students and their parents...")
  • Ordinary 30A (2008)

    by Paul O'Reilly, SJ
    ("When I worked in the Amazon in South America, I had a young patient called Jeffrey. When Jeffrey was ten, his mother died. Three months later, his father abandoned him and his two sisters and emigrated to a rich country. The three children were taken in by an uncle who worked as a teacher in a very poor village deep in the rain-forest...")
  • Marked Down from Ten to Two

    by John Pavelko
    "Created in 1955 by two psychologist, the Johari Window tells us that personal awareness can be divided into four different areas—open, blind, hidden or unknown. The OPEN area is that part of our personality that is both known to ourselves and known to others..."
  • Love's DNA

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("Every acorn is meant to be a very specific kind of tree. So too with love and faith. Already in their nascent forms, as in any tiny seed, there is present a fairly complete script for health and growth. Good creeds, dogmas, and commandments simply lay out that script so that it can be consciously read...")
  • Love and Listening

    by Jane Shaw
    ("A block away from the park where the second General Assembly was being held, I heard the words 'I love you'. The words were as swift as the man who said them, for when I looked back he was already five paces away. But they were as firm as those paces — heavy with determination, purpose, depth...")
  • Proper 25A (2008)

    by Thom Shuman
    ("I was discussing membership with a leader in my UMC church when she dropped this bombshell: "I don't feel worthy of being a disciple". In all honesty, I certainly feel that way a great deal of the time...")
  • The Love Law

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that "the entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium"....")
  • Love Is the Main Thing

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("The story tells of an old woman who once walked the streets of Strasbourg with a pail of water in one hand and a flaming torch in the other. When someone asked her what she was going to do with these things; she told them that she was going to put out the flames of hell with the water and burn up heaven with the torch..." and other illustrations)

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • Loving God and One Another

    by Viince Gerhardy
    Fiddler on the Roof is set in an impoverished Russian village, Anatevka, populated largely by Jewish families, at a time when Russia was ruled by the Tsar. The people of the village were of simple faith and lived close to the land. They heard little news of the outside world and their lives were governed strictly by their age-old traditions. As the curtain opens for the first act, the attention of the audience is drawn to the roof of a house on the stage. A violin begins a haunting tune and the shadow of a fiddler, violin tucked under his chin, is seen playing and dancing gaily on the roof. The lights come on the stage and the first person we meet is Tevye the dairy farmer. His opening words go something like this. "A fiddler on the roof? Sounds crazy no?... You might say that every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant simple tune without breaking his neck ... It isn't easy! ... How can we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word. Tradition! Because of our tradition we have kept our balance for years ... Because of our tradition everyone knows who he is and what God expects of him.... Tradition! Tradition! Without our tradition our life would be as shaky as... as ... as a fiddler on the roof!" Like Tevye, the Pharisees were concerned with tradition...
  • A Harsh and Dreadful Thing

    by Phil Bloom
    ("The Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky writes of a woman who is anxious about the existence of God and life after death. She approaches a priest with her anxieties. He explains to her the impossibility of proving – or disproving – that God exists and that our souls are immortal...")
  • Why Didn't You Tell Me?

    by Phil Bloom
    ("It happened that two men became very good buddies. They enjoyed talking about many subjects, especially sports and politics, sometimes staying up till midnight or later. Finally, one man said to the other, 'You are my closest friend. I want you to do something for me'...")
  • Beyond Price

    by Tom Cox
    ("What’s the difference between a legalist and a lover? The legalist keeps the score, the lover makes no attempt at such calculations...")
  • Ordinary 30A (2002)

    by Robert Davis
    "Just about everyone knows the story of Pinocchio - especially the Walt Disney version. Geppetto, the toymaker, makes a wooden marionette to keep him company, and wishes that his make-believe son were alive. His wish is granted..."
  • It Takes A...

    by Patricia De Jong
    ("The story goes that two old men were sharing morning cups of coffee. They were both clergy and together had pastored for nearly a century. Now they spoke of their plans for their own funerals: the music they wished, the people they hoped would attend, the scriptures they wanted to be read...")
  • Our Dwelling Place

    by Patricia de Jong
    ("My friend David Ostendorf is the director of New Community, a faith-based community-organizing organization which tracks hate crimes around the country. He has written about a group of folks who have named themselves Christian Identity...")
  • Love In Three Dimensions

    by Ernest Munachi Ezeogu, CSSP
    ("Leigh Hunt, an English poet of the early Romantic period, wrote an immortal poem about a man called Abou Ben Adhem who woke from his sleep one night and saw in his room an angel writing in a book of gold the names of those who love the Lord..")
  • The Law and the Prophets

    by Richard Fairchild
    "I thought for the remainder of our time together today I might share with you some thoughts about what love is like according to various children - most of whom range from the age of 4 to the age of 8....
  • Loving God and One Another

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("Among the 12 disciples, John alone is said to have lived into old age. For the commemorations of the other eleven, the colours in the church are red - to remind us of the colour of the blood they shed for us - but for John the colour is white...")
  • Jesus and Saddam Hussein

    by Arthur Ferry, Jr.
    ("In the last of Tolstoy's TWENTY-THREE TALES, he tells the story of a king who is searching for the answers to three questions: How can I do the right thing at the right time? How do I know whose advice to trust? And what things are most important and require my first attention?...")
  • Loving God and One Another

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Some years ago the school where our children were attending put on the musical play Fiddler on the Roof. The play is set in an impoverished Russian village, Anatevka, populated largely by Jewish families, at a time when Russia was ruled by the Tsar. The people of the village were of simple faith and lived close to the land...")
  • The Purpose of the Church

    by Gordon Goetsch
    ("A man worked a railway draw bridge over a large river. One day during the summer he took his young son with him to see how the bridge worked. Showed him all of those massive gears. Before long they went back to the control room to get something to drink. The dad got busy with some paper work, and the time went by...")
  • Ordinary 30A (2005)

    by Andrew Greeley
    "Once upon a time there was a parish priest who began the year with a parish retreat, the theme of which was the “essence of Christianity.” The parish was very contentious. All different kinds of “movement’s existed in the parish, each with its own agenda..."
  • Ordinary 30A (2002)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a mother became greatly concerned about the unruly and disrespectful children she saw all around her. Parents no longer taught their children to be obedient. She resolved that this wouldn't happen in her family...")
  • Ordinary 30A (1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time, back in the 1950's, three young women were members of their college sodality. As sodality members were want to do in those days, they often .attended weekday Mass, said the rosary daily, made the Sorrowful Mother Novena, fasted and abstained during Lent...")
  • Jesus' Final Exam

    by Martha Greene
    ("A few weeks ago I had a conversation I have had many times. I was due to call on a family in the congregation. The wife had been coming to church for years, but I had never seen her husband. On the phone, I inquired about the husband's wishes regarding church membership...")
  • I Surrender All

    by Mark Haverland
    ("We went to see the current play at the Community Playhouse on Friday evening Over the River and Through the Woods. It’s a wonderful study of two generations: Grandparents for whom family is everything, “tengo familia,” and a grandson for whom, like everyone else in his generation, family is just a part of everything...")
  • Let's Have Some Requited Love!

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("She wandered out too far. She was unable to fight the big waves. She struggled wildly, then began to weaken. He saw her need, dived in and swam after her. By the time he got her to shore, she was unconscious. He used his life-saving training and gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation...")
  • Ordinary 30A (2005)

    from Homilies Alive
    "I still recall the senior - Larry was his name - who I noticed being especially kind to the new students. I mean, REALLY kind and hospitable. And, he had been among the most seriously abused as a freshman himself..."
  • Ordinary 30A (2002)

    from Homilies Alive
    "The film The Heavenly Kid gives us one concept of purgatory. Not only of purgatory , but also the love a father has for his son. A young man is killed in a car accident. After his death, he is faced with the task of working off the evil he had committed during his life..."
  • What's Love Got To Do With It?

    from Homilies Alive
    ("This point came home to me as I read about and watched the evening news concerning the devastating earthquake in Turkey. The initial death toll mounted too more than 12,000, with over 30,000 missing. Two days after the quake, in the city of Izmit, a man was chiseling through a cement wall that was once part of his apartment. Through a tiny hole he was able to make, he saw three wiggling fingers belonging to his 7-year old nephew...")
  • Anatomy of a Spiritual Disaster IV: The Chilling Sound of Silence

    by John Jewell
    "There is the older couple in their mid 70's who are still working 12 hour days in their lucrative family business. Both still are enjoying their health. They commented to some friends 'We're thinking we need to slow down a bit and enjoy life'...
  • Questions in Order

    by Charles Love
    ("Someone sent me one of those cute little emails that go round the other day: this one inviting a bit of fun in response to a listing of some of the kind of questions that children typically ask about God… a sampling of questions taken from and inspired by a book titled Children’s Letters to God...")
  • The Rest is Commentary

    by John Manzo
    ("Did I ever tell you about the Annoy John Manzo Society? You may think I’m paranoid, but if people really are out to get you, you’re not paranoid. And the Annoy John Manzo Society is real. This group waits on the side of roads, waiting to get me...")
  • The Hinge: the Two Greatest Commandments

    by Edward Markquart
    ("Today, you will notice a door, a doorframe, and doorknob, leaning against the church altar, and immediately some of you think that you know what this sermon is all about. Some of you have already guessed that this sermon is based on the Bible verse in Revelation: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens that door, I will come in and live in him and he in me....")
  • Reading the Bible the Way Jesus Did

    by Jack McKinney
    ("When I was a child I would watch a close family member pick up the Bible and read it almost every day. He usually only read it for thirty seconds or a minute, but I knew that it was an important part of his life. The thing that confused me, though, was that this person was the most selfish and uncaring person in my family...")
  • The Time of Our Lives

    by Carol Mumford
    ("Marilyn Monroe once observed 'I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.' Carrie Fisher noted that 'Instant gratification takes too long,' while Kermit the Frog declared the memorable, 'Time’s fun when you’re having flies.'...")
  • Proper 25A (1999)

    by Lorelei Murdie
    ("I heard a country music song that went something like this: A mother found under her plate at breakfast one morning a bill made out by her small son, age eight. It read: 'Mommy owes Danny: for taking out the garbage, 50 cents; for helping with the dishes, 75 cents; for being good, 50 cents; for taking music lessons, 55 cents; for extras, 25 cents. Total: 2 dollars and 55 cents...")
  • Flying Right-Side Up In an Upside-Down World

    by Ray Osborne
    ("Recently a pilot was practicing high speed maneuvers in a jet fighter. She turned the controls for what she thought was a steep ascent - and flew straight into the ground. She was unaware that she had been flying upside down...")
  • Proper 25A (1996)

    by Andrew Parker
    ("When I was growing up, one of my favorite pastime activities was to pester my younger brother, Kevin with irritating questions. One of my favorite questions to him was 'Who do you like better, you or me?' I knew that this question drove him nuts...")
  • Living with a Promise

    by Michael Phillips
    ("An old, retired professor of church history at Yale was on his death bed. Waiting relatives anxiously gathered around him. After a time of silence one man quietly said: ‘I think he’s gone.’ Another relative, standing at the end of the bed, felt the old man’s feet and said, ‘No, his feet are still warm. No one ever dies with warm feet...")
  • The Wisdom of God

    by Michael Phillips
    ("Once, I trekked across a snow-covered field in southwestern Colorado at about 10,000 feet, just below Copper Lake. I knew the lake dumped into a creek that ran through the valley I was crossing, but the creek lay hidden beneath a solid blanket of snow...")
  • Love Is a Decision

    by Gerry Pierse, CSsR
    "The very moment Maura sat beside me I felt, as I had never felt before, a tingling excitement in my body and person. The bus trip seemed to take only a few short minutes. During the next few days we did everything we possibly could together..."
  • Munching - from the Inside Out

    by Debra Samuelson
    ("Time had not healed Tom's grief or the anger he carried unknowingly toward his sister's murderer. His sister had been a delightful young woman. She had worked for a Christian organization, and she sang in the church choir. She and her roommate attended a Bible study that welcomed into their study the man who would become her killer...")
  • Commanding Our Love

    by Alex Thomas
    ("In a little book by Margaret Craven I HEARD THE OWL CALL MY NAME there is a little phrase that stands out for me. The story is about a young Anglican priest who goes up to Kingcome up on the northern coast of B.C. to the Indian village there...")
  • The Great and First Commandment

    by J. Barry Vaughn
    ("Rabbi Harold Kushner points out that 'the difference between a person who relies only on himself and a person who has learned to turn to God for help... is not that one will do bad things while the other will do good things...")
  • Saved by Unfairness

    by Kari Jo Verhulst
    ("For example, if you give a 4-year-old two small pieces of cake, and a 10-year-old one big piece of cake that amounts to the exact same amount, the 4-year-old will surely protest...")
  • Love: God's Way of Life

    by Robin Walker
    ("I can think of no better expression of this than a scene from Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye says to his wife '… my father and my mother Said we'd learn to love each other And now I'm asking, Golde Do you love me?'...")
  • Loving God and Neighbor

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("I remember the tragic story of several years ago about a young man named Richard. This young man's story is one of one heart-break after another. It's a story of child neglect and abuse. Richard's life was full of abandonment, betrayal and rejection...")
  • Proper 25A (2005)

    by David Zersen
    ("The great Norwegian novelist, Johan Bojer, makes that point powerfully in his story The Great Hunger. It happened that an anti-social newcomer moved into the village and put a fence around his property with a sign saying Keep Out...")
  • How Simple Can It Be?

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A newcomer had come to school for the first time The children all stared. His skin was a different color than their skin, he was small for his age, and he had a club foot. But one girl, Heidi, quickly and-easily made friends with this newcomer...")

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

Other Resources from 2002 to 2004

Other Resources from the Archives

Children's Resources

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Ordinary 30

    by LeRoy Clementich
    ("let me quote from an essay by Fr. James Smith in a recent issue of the liturgy resource, Celebration. 'To be fully human, he says, "we must extend our coordinates beyond our own self. If an earthquake in Japan, an epidemic in Ghana, a drought in India means nothing to us, we are humanly diminished...")
  • Pentecost 23

    by William Cwirla
  • Ordinary 30

    by Demetrius Dumm, OSB
  • Ordinary 30

    by Demetrius Dumm, OSB
  • Sunday Is the Lord's Day

    by James Farfaglia
  • Mire lo que hace el amor

    por John Foley, SJ
  • The Third Commandment

    by Timothy Gardner, OP
  • We Were Made for God's Pleasure

    by Lee Griess
    ("Mike Royco, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, tells this true story about a man named Bill Mallory who traveled to India to discover the purpose of life. He didn't find the answer there, so he returned to Chicago. Not long after as he was pulling into a gas station, he noticed a sign at a Chevron station that said, 'As you travel, ask us.'...")
  • The Good Gate

    by Thomas Iwanowski
  • You're Kidding-Just Two?

    (Poetic Homily by Michael Kennedy)
  • The Law of Love

    by John van de Laar
  • Challenges of Discipleship: Love

    by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
  • Ordinary 30

    by Alex McAllister
  • Expiration

    by Larry Patten
    ("I am the one who goes grocery shopping. My wife does laundry. All things, chore-wise, balance out. One of the tasks when I cruise the supermarket aisles—milk here, yogurt there, which orange juice is on sale—is eye-balling the expiration date...")
  • Lectionary Reflections

    by John Pridmore
    ("This step-by-step approach to loving God has been explored in a beautiful little book by Fiona Gardner The Four Steps of Love. She makes it clear that these four steps are not rungs of a ladder that I set up inside my head, shutting out the rest of the world...")
  • Encountering a Riddle

    by Anthony Robinson
  • Domingo 30 (2008)

    por Rodrigo Guadarrama Rosas
  • Children's Literature

    from Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • Back to Basics

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Many years ago, an old man stood on a Virginia riverbank. He was waiting to cross the river and, since it was bitterly cold and there were no bridges, he would have to "catch a ride" to the other side. After a lengthy wait he spotted a group of horsemen approaching. He let the first one pass, then the second, third, fourth and fifth. One rider remained..." and other illustrations)
  • The Trouble of Love

    by Robin Walker
  • Proper 25

    by Martin Warner
  • What We Need Is Love

    by Sarah Buteux
  • Coloring Page (2017)

    from Catholic Mom
  • Ordinary 30A

    by Dave Shea
    Patricia and her daughter Jessica were walking after dinner on Sunday, just two weeks ago – it was something they did often. They’d talked and prayed a novena to our blessed mother—“Mary, Undoer of Knots”—as they walked. It was early evening and the sun had just slipped below the horizon. The driver was approaching them from behind and he never even saw them. Both were killed, and in an instant, a family lost two precious members. As the father and his other son and daughter held a brief press conference, they explained as best they could that they were hurting terribly and somehow holding-up. They also said that they were praying for the driver of that vehicle that had claimed their mother and sister. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”...
  • In a Nutshell

    by Richard Donovan
  • Big Picture

    from Preacher's Magazine
    ("Rules are important. Sounds simple, right? If you don't have rules you have chaos. Without rules, you have mass confusion. Rules let us know when to go, when to stop, what to do, and how to do it...")
  • Living on Purpose

    by Alex Thomas
    ("I was recently reading Barbara Brown Taylor's book An Altar in the World where she talks about trying to discover the one particular thing she was supposed to do in her life. She spent hours in prayer asking God to tell her what her designated purpose on earth was. One night in prayer, the words 'Anything that pleases you' came to her....")
  • The Gift of Love

    by David Risendal
  • Domingo 30A (2017)

    por Jude Siciliano, OP
  • Lectionary Reflections

    by Alexander Shaia