Holy Thursday

The Day the Music Died

One day, out of curiosity, I Googled “symphony orchestras in the Muslim world.” The results were rather dismal. One site—“About Symphony Orchestras in the Arab World”—contained the following (badly translated) information: Symphony of Saudi Arabia: “Non-existent…” The Orchestra of Emirate of Qatar: “This orchestra has no clear identity…100% of foreign elements” [i.e., none of the [...]

The Problem with Multicultural Foot Washing

During Holy Thursday Mass, Pope Francis washed the feet of migrants, three of whom were Muslims. Most Catholics understood this as a gesture of humility and brotherhood. That is how the Catholic press reported it—and that, undoubtedly, was the Pope’s intention. Many Muslims, however, may see it differently—not as a gesture of brotherhood, but as [...]

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper: A Sermon

Once again, our faith has brought us here to mark what Jesus did on that first Holy Thursday. We solemnly remember that night in the upper room when Christ instituted the Eucharist and the sacramental priesthood, and commanded us to love one another in humble acts of service. Tonight, I would like to reflect with [...]

Despite Appearances, “Reform” Has Not Come

How blessedly instructive it has been, following the installation of the first pope from the Americas, Pope Francis, to witness the world’s sheer unaffected delight in this man.  His warmth and simplicity have endeared him everywhere.  Indeed, he has disarmed us all by the spontaneity of his style. Of course—it needs straightaway to be said—none [...]

All Is Grace

I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. . . . God will have to do my will in heaven, because I have never done my own will on earth. The 24-year-old Frenchwoman who spoke these oft-quoted words shortly before her death as a Carmelite nun on September 30, 1897, was Thérèse Martin, born [...]

Why I Love the Holy Land (and Why You Should, Too)

"For this one night, Jesus is in the tomb." These words, spoken to me by a priest on Holy Thursday, haunted my soul as the doors of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem were locked and I found myself spending the night in the tomb of Christ, which functions as the altar of [...]

MENU