"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
It seems at times that we think we could do it all. We tell ourselves: yes, we can balance our lives amidst all the responsibilities we bear.
We imagine ourselves strong and our weaknesses to be few. But every so often, life reminds that we can't have it all. A personal illness, a falling out with a friend or lover or even the death of a close one reminds us of our fragility in the midst of life's challenges.
Today's readings and Isaiah in particular confronts our hubris with the reminder that even the young “grow faint and weary” and even the strongest of us will “stagger and fall.”
Catholics across the country are celebrating the selection of Pope Francis as TIME Person of the Year. Francis's selection is a great public confirmation of what we already know: the pope's humble leadership of the Catholic Church is changing the world. He is a man who is driven by a love for Jesus Christ and his people, especially the poorest and most marginalized among us.
We give thanks to TIME for recognizing how Americans and the entire world support Pope Francis and the way he speaks to our moral consciences. We relish in this opportunity to once again speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the public square. We pray that Francis's leadership and proclamation of God's love continually change the hearts and minds of this nation so that we can work together to overcome our collective challenges and be a society marked more fully by justice, peace, love and mercy.
In Pope Francis's recent apostolic exhortation, he made it abundantly clear: in all places and circumstances, Christians are called to hear the cry of the poor.
That's why we're joining Pope Francis's campaign to end hunger. Tomorrow, our members will pray and act in solidarity with millions across the globe to address the scandal of hunger in a world that has plenty to eat.
Will you join us in this effort? Your prayer and your action on behalf of the hungry gives flesh to Mary's words in today's Gospel: God will lift up the lowly and fill the starving with good things.
"Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated." (Isaiah 40:1-2)
In today's Gospel, Jesus tells the familiar story of the shepherd who abandons the ninety nine sheep in search of the one lost one.
During this season of Advent where we prepare for the coming of Jesus into human history, this story provides a great glimpse of what it means to have God incarnated in our human flesh.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Under that title, Mary is honored as the patron of the United States of America.
The dogma that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from the stain of original sin at the moment of her conception invites reflection on a central theme of Americanism: what it means to be free.
"Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 3:2)
Today, the liturgy points us towards a strange and rather austere figure, John the Baptist.
John the Baptist is uniquely situated between the Old and New Testament. The precursor and cousin of Jesus, he is like a star who heralds the rising of the morning sun, who is Jesus Christ.
His mission was to prepare and clear the way for the Lord, calling the people of Israel to repent of their sins and to correct every injustice.
Our organization and Catholics across the United States join the people of South Africa and the world in celebrating the life and legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. President Mandela was one of the great forces for equality and justice of our time. Mr. Mandela experienced innumerable hardships, but endured them with dignity and grace. It's clear that our world is better because of his life. Though we mourn his death, we know the legacy of his life will live on forever. We pray for his family and entrust his soul to the God who created him. May he rest in peace.
"As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, 'Son of David, have pity on us!'" (Matthew 9:27)
As you know, during this season of Advent, our priests wear purple when celebrating Mass. It's because Advent, like Lent, is a penitential season.
Now Advent and Lent play out in a different capacity. Advent is the time to make us ready for Christ to live with us. Lent is the time to make us ready to die with Christ. Advent makes Lent possible. Lent makes salvation possible.
But nevertheless, the Church still calls us to penance and conversion during this sacred season.
"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock." (Matthew 7:24)
The Latin phrase "semper paratus" (always ready) is the well-known motto of the United States Coast Guard.
It also is a great motto for a Christian this Advent season as we prepare for the coming of Christ into our midst.
Rush Limbaugh's callous comments this afternoon about Pope Francis are blatantly false. To say that Pope Francis is "ripping America" is a falsehood beyond belief. Pope Francis is widely recognized throughout the United States and the world as a humble pastor of Jesus Christ and a champion of the poor and oppressed. All the evidence is clear: an overwhelming majority of Americans support Pope Francis and appreciate the way he speaks to our moral consciences. Pope Francis isn't a Marxist. Pope Francis isn't anti-American. Pope Francis is the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good's petition calling on Rush Limbaugh to apologize has received over 5,000 signatures.