The Word Among Us

October 2005 Issue

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Every time we celebrate Mass, we are invited to offer each other a sign of peace. It's a perfect opportunity to communicate our desire that everyone around us will know the peace of Jesus—the peace of his love, of his salvation, and of his mercy. Many families have the tradition of praying before meals, asking God to bless them, to bless the food, and to bless their time together. More »

It must have been a dramatic scene. A raving lunatic bursts into the synagogue where Jesus is and begins shrieking: "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God!" Unfazed, Jesus responds: "Be silent, and come out of him." With that, the man cries out, begins convulsing, and collapses to the floor (Mark 1:24-28; Luke 4:33-34). It appears that Jesus recognized evil spirits at work within the man—and that the evil spirits recognized Jesus as well. More »

If the resurrection of Christ marks the defeat of Satan, the struggle will only be concluded, according to Paul, with the last act of "the history of salvation" on the "day of the Lord," when "the Son, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power, will render the kingdom to his Father, so that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). More »

Our primary goal as Christians is to be in union with Jesus so that we can serve him and build his kingdom. By contrast, the primary goal of the devil is to disrupt our union with Jesus so that the kingdom of God is weakened. This is where prayer comes in. It is through prayer for protection and deliverance that we can be set free to become Jesus' instruments on this earth. In this article, we want to talk about what it means to pray, as Jesus taught us, "deliver us from evil" (Matthew 6:13). More »

Special Feature

The time had finally arrived. After more than fifteen years in prison, I was being released from the Ramsey Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Many thoughts and emotions went through me as my family arrived and we began the journey home. "Home"—it was a word I hadn't used in a long time. And yet, during all those years of being away from my physical home, I had not been totally homeless. The church had become my spiritual home. While in prison, I had attended Communion services, and Mass once a month. It was my sanctuary in a place that often offered no compassion. More »

If there is someone to whom these Scripture verses would apply more than most, it would have to be Mattie J.T. Stepanek, the best-selling poet who died last year at the age of thirteen. Few people have lived a more fragile existence than Mattie. For every moment of his short life, he was beset by a crippling disease. And yet Mattie realized that he had a great treasure to be shared with everyone: his tremendous faith and courage, and the wisdom that he expressed through the beautiful gift of his writing. More »

In October 2004, six months before he died, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter dedicating the entire year—through October 2005—to the Eucharist. His call to reflect on the Eucharist is one of the last gifts we received from this pope who taught us so very much. More »