Opening the Word

Opening the Word

3 Seasons

Welcome to Opening the Word, videos and guides offering prayer and insights for the Sunday Readings. Each reflection is lead by one of our experienced presenters including Dr. Tim Gray, Dr. Mary Healy, Dr. Scott Powell, Dr. Edward Sri, Fr. John Riley, Dr. Ben Akers, and Martha Fernandez. Opening the Word is designed to facilitate thought and discussion for personal faith formation or in the context of a group meeting, especially in RCIA.

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Opening the Word
  • 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    It is helpful to understand the context in which Jesus was speaking when he taught in parables. In the case of our Gospel passage this week, Jesus had been preaching and teaching in the Temple when the chief priests and elders began questioning his authority. In response, Jesus tells them about t...

  • 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    It's said there are only a few basic plots for most stories. What the storyteller does with the plot—the twists and turns that are added—is what makes a story memorable. In this week's Gospel, Jesus takes a story of a vineyard, which would have been very familiar to his audience, and gives it an ...

  • 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Who doesn't love a party—especially when someone else is footing the bill? Well, in today's Gospel we hear about several people who turned down an invitation to a banquet. And not just any old banquet, but a feast put on by the king! These people even went so far as to kill the servants who invit...

  • 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    How many times have we heard the expression, "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and render unto God that which is God's?" Today's Gospel gives us the origin of that phrase.

  • 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    In his response to the Pharisees in today's reading, Jesus quotes the Shema, the great prayer from Deuteronomy 6:4, which begins, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord" (RSV). However, Jesus subtly changes the wording. Instead of saying that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, sou...

  • All Saints Day (Year A)

  • Solemnity of All Saints — Year A Prayer Journal

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  • 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Today's Gospel has two parts that don't exactly seem to fit together. First Jesus is condemning the Scribes and Pharisees for the "hard burdens," they put on the people and then, all of a sudden, he says that we should not call anyone Father. What's going on here?

  • 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    The story of the Foolish and the Wise Virgins can be difficult for us in the 21st century to appreciate fully. Not only do we not understand the wedding customs themselves, the actions of the Wise Virgins seem rather selfish: Why wouldn't they just share with the Foolish Virgins and then everyone...

  • 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Jesus is telling us that we must put our abilities at the service of the Master, God our Father. But before we can do that, we have to discern what our gifts are. We all have been given special abilities by God. It's up to us to figure out what those abilities are and how we can best put them int...

  • 3rd Sunday of Lent - March 15, 2020

    In ancient times, access to a reliable well was essential. Without a steady supply of clean water, life would be difficult, if not impossible. In this week’s Gospel, we see Jesus sitting by a well in the country of Samaria. It’s noon, and we can assume that he is hot and tired. We know he is thir...

  • 3rd-Sunday-of-Lent-Prayer-Journal-Year-A.pdf

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  • 3rd Sunday of Lent Year A Leader Guide.pdf

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  • Fifth Sunday of Lent - March 29, 2020

    This week’s Gospel shows us Jesus wants us to let Him into all those places that have been rendered dead by sin. He wants to weep with us in his humanity, but also to reveal his divinity and bring about a total healing.

  • Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord- April 5, 2020

    We all are called to love God and do the Father’s will, even when it is difficult. But love involves sacrifice—dying to self and making sacrifices for the one we love. We can use the example of Christ in the Garden to accept our crosses well.

  • Palm Sunday Year A Leader Guide

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  • Palm-Sunday-Year-A-Prayer-Journal.pdf

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  • Easter Sunday - April 12, 2020

    Though the mysteries of the Faith are not readily understood, we should ask for the grace to believe—to grow in the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. With these gifts, we have the power to recognize the importance of the Resurrection, and how it can transform our lives.
    Alleluia, he is risen....

  • Easter Sunday Year A Leader Guide

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  • 2nd Sunday of Easter - Divine Mercy Sunday - April 19, 2020

    The second Sunday after Easter is designated Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s a recent feast in the Church, instituted in 2000 by Pope St. John Paul II. He felt that immediately after Easter, while the Paschal mysteries were fresh in our hearts, we needed an opportunity to reflect more deeply on God’s g...

  • otw-a22-easter2-leader.pdf

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  • otw-a22-easter2-journal.pdf

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  • 3rd Sunday of Easter (Year A)

    Episode 60

    The two disciples on the road to Emmaus in today’s reading came to know the Lord in the “breaking of the bread”—the Eucharist. We can see that their encounter with Jesus that day parallels the way Jesus comes to meet us in every Mass.

  • otw-a23-easter3-leader.pdf

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