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From the category archives: Ralph Himsl

Ralph Himsl

The exercise of power calls for wisdom

Ralph Himsl

July 7, 2014
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 20, 2014

In Litany for Dictatorships, the poet Stephen Vincent Benet writes of a dictator ruminating on the miseries his kind have laid on the world. Near the conclusion of this sordid list, Benet's narrator confesses an insight: "We thought because we had power, we had wisdom." I can't escape the irony of the fancy that came to me following my reading of that epigram: Had I the power, I would have that sentence rendered in a bronze plaque suitable for placement on the walls of every office across the nation.

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Those who believe in Jesus have eternal life

Ralph Himsl

June 9, 2014
Corpus Christi
June 22, 2014

Today's Gospel Reading from John tells of a time of intense activity on the part of Jesus. His curing of the sick, acts of compassion and mercy in themselves, also offered testimony of a person possessed of remarkable powers. As John puts it, in the verses preceding today's reading, "A great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick." Jesus recognized a need of the crowd and we have the occasion of the feeding of the 5,000 – another convincing sign.

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Philip shares his faith in dramatic manner

Ralph Himsl

May 12, 2014
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 25, 2014

Almost always I accept the selection of the readings for the Mass without question. The liturgists have a good reason for their choice, I tell myself. But today, while reflecting on the readings for May 25, a question arose: just what guides the choice for the selections for a Sunday, anyway? Not expecting an answer, the mere posing of the question can soothe the restless mind. But should any stirring of curiosity linger, an impertinent response can pop up, "Maybe the Holy Spirit chose them."

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Risen Lord comes to offer forgiveness

Ralph Himsl

April 14, 2014
Second Sunday of Easter
April 27, 2014

When I read today's excerpt from John's Gospel telling of Jesus' post-resurrection appearance to his disciples, the simplicity of the description seemed scant in view of the subject. Consider the scene: Jesus came and "stood among them."

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Authorities riled as Jesus heals blind man

Ralph Himsl

March 17, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 30, 2014

My copy of the Sunday Missal gives two options for the Gospel for today in which Jesus cures a blind man of his affliction. When I see the marking for a shorter version of the Gospel in the missal, I often say to myself, and I shame to confess it, "I hope the priest reads the shorter excerpt, but he probably will go for the longer one."

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The greatest is love . . . and faith . . . and hope

Ralph Himsl

February 17, 2014
Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time
March 2, 2014

In 1 Corinthians 13.13, that doughty person St. Paul makes the proposition that has consoled people through centuries, "But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

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Scene in the Temple stirs amazement

Ralph Himsl

January 20, 2014
Feast of the Presentation
February 2, 2014

Today's Gospel reading narrates the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the prophetic words of Simeon and Anna with respect to the child before them.

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Poets of the ages tell of Christ's birth with evocative words

Ralph Himsl

December 23, 2013
Christmas
December 25, 2013

While studying the readings for Christmas, I realized the poetry of the message they contained. Isaiah's words exult; the Psalm rejoices; Paul's letter to Titus wins for its intimacy.

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New liturgical year calls for rebirth of hope

Ralph Himsl

November 25, 2013
First Sunday in Advent
December 1, 2013

This Sunday marks the start of the new liturgical year and the season of Advent, that time of expectancy and meditation on the coming celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord – a season in which that virtue of hope receives its sublime nourishment, in that respect a season much like that of Easter. Both of them times of serenity and contemplation.

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Tax collector confessed and Jesus forgave

Ralph Himsl

October 28, 2013
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 3, 2013

Mornin' Zacchaeus. Have you a minute? I'd like to talk to you about yesterday in front of your house."

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