Divine Election

When the Gospels record the calling of the Twelve, none of them offers us the qualifications of the Apostles. Nowhere do we find a collection of resumes or CVs that explain to us why Jesus chose those Twelve men. Apart … Continue reading

How Can We Understand?

“In the beginning . . .” And from here, many Christians begin their journey through the Bible. It seems like a reasonable place to start, and considering that it contains the beginning of salvation history, it’s not a bad idea. … Continue reading

Do Not Forget Affliction

On the day of prosperity do not forget affliction, and on the day of affliction do not forget prosperity (Sir. 11:27). The wisdom literature of the Bible sometimes gives us very concrete and everyday proverbs, things we can ponder and … Continue reading

Salt of the Earth

Have you ever wondered how Jesus chose the images he used in his parables? What thoughts and feelings would the expression “salt of the earth” have for the people of the ancient world? Salt was one of the most useful … Continue reading

A Body You Prepared for Me

What we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life— for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the … Continue reading

It’s Time for Figs

I can’t help but feel a bit bad for the poor little fig tree Jesus cursed. It seems unfair! Mark makes it quite clear in his Gospel that “it was not the time for figs.” Nevertheless, when Jesus sees that … Continue reading

On Valedictions

As we near the end of May, we end a month of graduations and commencement ceremonies. A whole new generation of young adults has been sent into the world with degrees in hand. A venerable tradition for universities today is … Continue reading

Love and the Vanity of Labor

What are you working for? Our lives are a bustling whirl of labor, occupying our hands during the day and often our minds at night. How overwhelming and toilsome this work can become. There are moments when the words of … Continue reading

Who is Your Shepherd?

Who is your shepherd? Whose sheep are you? We’re all sheep, following some shepherd with docility or butting against the goad. Either way, we’re all sheep who must decide in whose flock we wish to be counted. Sheep become like … Continue reading

Reflect on the Bible with PRIXM

Reflect on the Bible with PRIXM We are honored to share with you a new opportunity for reflection on the Scriptures with the Order of Preachers. PRIXM, a weekly newsletter you can receive by email, “comments in surprising and clever … Continue reading

“Well, actually, Jesus…”

Often when I read Scripture, I find myself thinking about my friend Jacob. The reason is not that I see Jacob reflected in the sacred page: I don’t see his silhouette masked behind Psalmist’s righteous man, or hear echoes of … Continue reading

At the Hedge

The Word of God, solitary, magnificent amid the vicissitudes of human history, turns to me, his face shining from his vision of the Father, and speaks to me. As in all human love, only more so, I am exposed; I … Continue reading

A Voice I Did Not Know

God never appeared to me and told me in clear and audible words what I was supposed to do with my life. He never told me to be a Dominican. Or maybe He did, and I just didn’t recognize His … Continue reading

The Message: Remix?

The apostles held fast to Christ’s message (Liturgy of the Hours, Common of Apostles). Their message goes out to all the earth (Ps 19:4). There is something I hate about the word “message.” Probably through no fault of its own—it … Continue reading

A God of Failures

The Presentation in the Temple looks like a failure. In memory of the slaying of the firstborn of the Egyptians—man and beast alike—the Israelites were commanded to sacrifice their own firstborn to the Lord. This in general seems to have … Continue reading

In the Fisherman’s Net

Not ours the wounds, the bloodied flesh, of those fire-tested ancient souls;Theirs the bones for grinding lion’s teeth to gnaw to living breadOr the blood to spell their credo, a sanguine testament witnessed boldlyAs fisherman’s inverted across the sea from … Continue reading

Dusk. Two Men.

Twilight. The outside of a large estate in the country. It’s a warm evening with a pleasant breeze carrying snatches of music, laughter, and delicious-smelling smoke over the walls. A man is sitting by himself on a bench outside the … Continue reading

Why Have You Brought Us Up?

“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!” (Numbers 21:5). It is safe to say that the Israelites passing through the … Continue reading

Sins of Speech

There’s a lot to be said for the old dictum “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” But we’re not merely bones. To a certain extent, we need the respect of others in order … Continue reading

More Eloquent than the Blood of Abel

Growing up the third of four boys I have thought long and hard about the story of Cain and Abel. Beside pondering fraternal conflict and the effects of original sin, the story of the brothers intrigues me with regard to … Continue reading

The Gamaliel Principle

It’s another swelteringly hot day in Jerusalem and many good Jews, on their way into the Temple for worship, stop for a break in the shade of Solomon’s Portico. There they find a group of men (twelve to be exact) … Continue reading

You Too Were Strangers

Having heard a very different speech earlier in the day, my Dominican brothers and I sat down in our chapel a few Fridays ago and heard these words from the Prophet Moses: On your fathers did the Lord set His … Continue reading

Opening the Book of Revelation (Part I)

Editor’s note: This post, originally published on November 28, 2011, is the first in a series on the Book of Revelation. You can read the whole series here. Fr. Leo Checkai was ordained a priest in May 2014 and now … Continue reading

Fake News Is Great News

I have known many men who wished to deceive, but none who wished to be deceived. –St. Augustine “Fake news” has become big news in recent months. How could the proliferation of deliberately fabricated articles be a good thing? It’s … Continue reading

A Word for Bread

Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a series commenting on the first words of Christ as presented in the Gospels. It is written,“One does not live by bread alone.” (Lk 4:4) With our modern dietary aversion to gluten … Continue reading