BEFORE THE CROSS | Ash Wednesday challenges us to take the next step in discipleship

Every year people struggle with this: It's Ash Wednesday, so we fast and put ashes on our foreheads. But the Gospel instructs us to keep our fasting a secret. Some people feel sheepish. Some feel hypocritical. What's going on — how are we supposed to approach the first day of Lent?

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Let Christ open your mind to the meaning of Scriptures

The Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Easter sets the tone for the liturgy and for Christ's message to His Church. He opened disciples minds to understand the meaning of the Scriptures.

Two disciples, who left Jerusalem in confusion about the crucifixion, meet Jesus on the way to Emmaus. He opens their eyes and their hearts by telling them: "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into His glory?"

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Jesus wants us to use our experiences to make disciples of others

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The Old Testament is always the backdrop against which we understand the Gospels. God spent 1,800 years, beginning with His appearances to Abraham, preparing the Jews for the coming of the Messiah. What is often unclear, indistinct, suggested or hinted at in the Old Testament becomes clear reality in the Gospels.

MAN OF THE HOUSE | Mary, our spiritual mother, desires us to deepen our relationship with Jesus

Mike Eisenbath

I regularly receive an email called "Daily Heartlight." It features reflections by a rotating group of people, all of them Protestant and most of them preachers. Most of my spiritual reading is Catholic, but I find these often have good insight about faith and Scripture.

As we're approaching Christmas, several reflections have involved Mary and her role in bringing our Savior into our world. I don't remember any previous reflections this year mentioning Mary at all.

Protestants don't know what to do with Mary. For many of them, she's just a character in small parts of the Gospel story.

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