Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Matthew 2:13–15, 19–23 REFLECT “Nazareth is the school where one begins to understand the life of Jesus: the school of the Gospel,” according to Pope Saint Paul VI. For him, as for many other masters […]


Saint Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr 2 Timothy 2:8–13; 3:10–12 REFLECT T. S. Eliot immortalized the story of the death of Thomas Becket in his 1935 play Murder in the Cathedral. One of the play’s most poignant moments comes as Becket resolves to conquer his […]


Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs 1 John 1:5—2:2 REFLECT Good versus evil. The might of heaven battling the powers of hell. The feast of the Holy Innocents places the cosmic struggle right before our very eyes. Herod’s tyranny is evident: The murder of children […]


Feast of Saint John, apostle and Evangelist 1 John 1:1–4 REFLECT In contrast to Stephen’s bloody martyrdom, our tradition holds that Saint John the Evangelist was the only apostle not to die a martyr. While a priest celebrates every other feast of the apostles wearing […]


Feast of Saint Stephen, first Martyr Acts 6:8–10; 7:54–59 REFLECT I’ve always thought it a bit jarring, the very day after Christmas, to celebrate Saint Stephen, the first martyr. At first glance the shift from the beloved accounts of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels to […]


The Nativity of the Lord Luke 2:1–14 REFLECT St. Francis of Assisi tenderly referred to Jesus as “the babe of Bethlehem.” We sing fondly of this modest village in “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” This apparently insignificant town — a remote and minor place in […]