The Church speaks to all aspects of humanity Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hensley   
Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
Fourth Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-91
Corinthians 7:32-35
Gospel: Mark 1:21-28

Coming back home to my Christian faith was a gradual process.

I had walked away from the strong faith I’d had through my late teen years as my church attendance dropped to nothing. I’m not so sure I ever rejected faith so much as I simply let it die from lack of attention.

But it didn’t stay dead for long. It started to come back as a result of late-night conversations with a friend whose own faith was being rekindled.

Reading Scripture nurtured the spark in my own life. Plus, I got a nudge from a neighbor down the road in rural Arkansas where we were working in the local schools as VISTA volunteers. She was a nun who had taken time away from the convent to care for her aging mother.

Sr. Mary Herlinda loaned me a book, The Cross and the Switchblade, by David Wilkerson, and invited my wife and me to take part in a little prayer meeting she had organized among three or so of our neighbors. It was a beginning.

When Susan and I returned to Fort Worth, Texas, we continued our sporadic church attendance at the closest Catholic church, and in time I began to take inquiry classes.

This was before the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults existed, and these classes outlining the basics of the Catholic faith took place over a period of six weeks in the parish library.

As I came to know more about Catholicism, I discovered that the Church spoke to all aspects of humanity — holiness, personal relationships, family life, social justice, the economy, and issues of war and peace among them.

This new understanding likely played the largest role in my conversion to the Catholic faith. The Scriptures for this weekend remind me of that spiritual reawakening.

Speaking about Jesus, the Gospel reading from Mark explains: “The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.”

And so I found the Church. She, the successor of Jesus, the embodiment of his teaching authority on earth, taught with authority. She still does, and I’m still glad I became a Catholic.

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


Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference
of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: January 2015 Print E-mail
January Universal Intention

Peace. That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.

January Evangelization Intention
Consecrated Life. That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, Religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2015.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 14
Ascension Thursday
Saturday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Sunday, Nov. 1
All Saints
Tuesday, Dec.8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

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.


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