Articles by Michael Marchal

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year A – The 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time through the 1st Sunday of Lent

The 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time Background: The Sermon on the Mount continues; we are once again being taught the basics of life in God’s kingdom/reign. And they are not about kosher ordinances or other do’s and don’t’s but about love in action—which is why this selection from Isaiah was chosen to parallel this Gospel. …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year A – The 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time through the 1st Sunday of Lent

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year A – The 2nd through 4th Sundays of Ordinary Time

The 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time Background: Ordinary Time gets its name because each year one of the three synoptic gospels is read “in order” starting with the Baptism of the Lord which marks the end of the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season and going on through 34 Sundays to Christ the King. Only Lent-Easter-Pentecost interrupt the steady …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year A – The 2nd through 4th Sundays of Ordinary Time

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year A – The First Sunday of Advent to the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Cycle A – DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Introduction to Matthew Matthew was writing for a predominantly Jewish audience, and so he occasionally presumes a bit of knowledge about the laws and customs of Judaism that many of us might be unfamiliar with. But it is easy for us to understand his references if we check the footnotes …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year A – The First Sunday of Advent to the Fourth Sunday of Advent

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time to the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Background: The pointless self-righteousness of the Pharisees is a dominant theme in Luke’s Gospel. This Sunday, though, it is the Sadducees’ narrow concept of God which is being portrayed for us. By setting up a rhetorical situation which can easily lead to ridicule, they try to diminish the overall credibility of …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time to the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 26th-31st Sundays in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time Background: Although much of the Old Testament tradition proclaims God’s love and care for the poor and the vulnerable, another strand in the tradition presupposes that wealth is a sign of God’s favor. On the road up to Jerusalem, Jesus continues to instruct his followers that in the kingdom/reign of …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 26th-31st Sundays in Ordinary Time

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 22nd-25th Sundays in Ordinary Time

Twenty Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Background: Jesus is still on his journey to Jerusalem and continues to teach us what we need to do to make the journey with him. In this Sunday’s gospel selection, he is warning us to take the long and not the short view. There is nothing wrong with being …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 22nd-25th Sundays in Ordinary Time

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 18th-21st Sundays in Ordinary Time

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Background: In contemporary America this Sunday’s set of readings is profoundly countercultural since only two decades ago we had a head of the Federal Reserve consistently assuring us that “Greed is good!” At this stage in his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus is once again calling our attention to the need to …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 18th-21st Sundays in Ordinary Time

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 13th-17th Sundays in Ordinary Time

Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Background:The journey to Jerusalem has begun; and, in Luke’s vision, it will not end until faithful believers have brought the good news of the kingdom/reign of God to the ends of the earth. This Sunday’s gospel selection makes that fact clear as it describes how early in that journey Jesus …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – The 13th-17th Sundays in Ordinary Time

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – Pentecost through the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Pentecost – 2nd Reading alternate, Gospel Selection A Background: In Luke’s chronology Jesus sends the Spirit on the fiftieth day after the resurrection. In John he sends the Spirit on the evening of Easter Day itself. Whatever the chronology, the crucial point is that the Spirit is sent not upon individuals but upon the whole …

Reflection Questions for RCIA Seekers: Year C – Pentecost through the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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