Local/State News National/World News
The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison Front page Most recent issue Past issues
April 17, 2008 Edition

 Search this site:

Bishop Speaks
You are here: Spirituality
About Us
Click here to see and buy Catholic Herald photos
Faith Alive! page
How to submit photos/ads to the Catholic Herald
Catholic Herald Youth page
Jump to:
Word to Life
This week's readings
Pope's Prayer Intentions
Faith Alive! page
Prayer to St. Raphael

Finding God in plain sight

Word to Life 

By Jeff Hedglen 

I was 19 when my cousin came to live with my family. He was just out of the Marines. He was not doing very well and was lost in many ways.

When we were children, we had been close, but it had been a few years since we had seen each other, and trying to re-establish our friendship was hard. To complicate things, my faith was becoming very important to me, and he rarely darkened the door of a church.

April 20, 2008
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

I took this in stride though. We had many conversations about the meaning of life, God, and faith in general. He had a lot of opinions, but he was not ready to believe that God existed, much less believe that God loved him and wanted a relationship with him.

Try as I might, I could not get him to budge. One night while we were lying in our bunk beds talking about life and faith, almost arguing, he finally said in an exasperated tone, "I'm not going to believe in God unless he comes down here and shakes my hand." I had no idea what to say to that. I simply stared at the bottom of the top mattress with my mouth open and my mind empty.

I realize now that my cousin was no different from the first disciples. They had been with Jesus for three years and still did not completely understand who he was.

At the Last Supper Philip said to Jesus: "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus responds rather incredulously, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father."

For reflection:

• How would you have responded to my cousin's comment?
• How does Jesus reveal the Father to us?

Twenty-five years ago, lying in that bunk bed, I felt the same way. Didn't my cousin know Jesus had already come and revealed himself? He grew up Catholic and had heard all the same readings I had heard. What was I to say to this lack of belief? No words came, so I did the only thing I could think of; I silently asked God to come down and shake his hand.

I wish I could say that the next day he experienced a divine handshake, but though the hand of God was continually offered to him, it would be many years before he grabbed hold.

This column is offered in cooperation with the North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Jump to:   Top of page

This week's readings

Week of April 20 - 26, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Reading I: Acts 6:1-7
Reading II: 1 Pt 2:4-9
Gospel: Jn 14:1-12

Monday, April 21, 2008
Reading I: Acts 14:5-18
Gospel: Jn 14:21-26

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Reading I: Acts 14:19-28
Gospel: Jn 14:27-31a

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Reading I: Acts 15:1-6
Gospel: Jn 15:1-8

Thursday, April 24, 2008
Reading I: Acts 15:7-21
Gospel: Jn 15:9-11

Friday, April 25, 2008
Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist
Reading I: 1 Pt 5:5b-14
Gospel: Mk 16:15-20

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Reading I: Acts 16:1-10
Gospel: Jn 15:18-21

Pope's Prayer Intentions

April General Intention

Proclamation of the Resurrection. That Christians may not tire of proclaiming with their lives that Christ's resurrection is the source of hope and peace.

April Mission Intention

Future Priests. That the future priests of the young Churches may be formed to evangelize their nations and the whole world.

Jump to:   Top of page

Prayer to St. Raphael

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


Jump to:   Top of page

Front page           Most recent issue           Past issues

Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
Offices and mailing address: Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center, 702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719
Phone: 608-821-3070     Fax: 608-821-3071     E-Mail: info@madisoncatholicherald.org