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.

Begin Advent 2020 with Year B reflections here:

Opening the Word
  • Opening the Word Year B Leader Guide

    14.6 MB

  • Opening the Word Year B Journal

    21.6 MB

  • 1st Sunday of Advent—December, 3, 2017

    Episode 1

    Recall the last time you had company come to your home. Maybe it was family visiting from out of town or a friend you hand't seen in awhile. How did you prepare for them? You likely cleaned the house, planned nice meals, and cleared your schedule to spend time with them—all the while looking forw...

  • 2nd Sunday of Advent—December 10, 2017

    Episode 2

    The word conversion comes from the Latin word convertere, meaning "to turn around." When was the last time you were driving somewhere and got lost on the way to your destination? Maybe you were following the directions, but they led to the wrong place. Or maybe you thought you could figure out ho...

  • 3rd Sunday of Advent— December, 17, 2017

    Episode 3

    There are many paradoxes in our Christian Faith. For example, there are three Persons in one God; this God made something out of nothing; God's mother is one of his creations, etc. It can be easy to respond by simply ignoring the discrepancies. But these paradoxes are not meant to be ignored. The...

  • 4th Sunday of Advent—December 24, 2017

    Episode 4

    When we are asked to entrust our lives to someone, we should consider whom we are entrusting them to very carefully. Many of us entrust our lives to our spouses, but not before careful discernment, time, and prayer. Have you ever considered entrusting your life to God? Have you gotten to know him...

  • The Holy Family—December 31, 2017

    Episode 5

    The first two readings today focus on the relationships with our family. We are told that honoring and respecting our father is of the highest importance and, if we are faithful to this call, we will be blessed by God. When we read the Gospel, the theme changes from focusing on our earthly family...

  • The Epiphany of the Lord—January 7, 2017

    Episode 6

    The magi in today's Gospel had the wisdom and openness to see the light of the star and follow it. They were on watch, just as we were during Advent, and had a heart willing to follow the light that they saw. They set aside the tasks of daily life in order to worship the Messiah. Are we willing t...

  • 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time—January 14, 2018

    Episode 7

    "Come and see." This is the method of God. He doesn't just want to give us answers, but to live life with us. When the disciples follow Christ, the Gospel says that they "stayed with him." When we stay with God, we can begin to hear and see clearly, and begin to find him in the quiet of our hearts.

  • 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time—January 21, 2018

    Episode 8

    Though it can be easy for us to live our days as though Christ hasn't come, he has. And when he came, he fundamentally changed our world and redeemed it. His kingdom has come, and as Christians we are called to shake ourselves from the illusion of this world and to be witnesses to the presence of...

  • 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time—January 28, 2018

    Episode 9

    Destruction is a powerful force. When we hear of it, we often picture devastating events or moments. However, with the death of one thing, newness follows. Sometimes in our lives we feel that Christ is asking us to destroy parts of who we are to come closer to him. Why do we feel this way? The sh...

  • 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time—February 4, 2018

    Episode 10

    Though we may never fully understand suffering, we can be certain that God desires to heal us and bring value into our suffering. He sent us his only Son to suffer and die for our salvation, and through this mystery we can glimpse how suffering can make us more like him. But we first need to ask ...

  • 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time—February 11, 2018

    Episode 11

    Have you ever had a moment of silence where you realized that the mundane tasks of life were preventing you from living to the fullest? While we do need to take care of the daily necessities, sometimes we live a half-hearted life of "just getting by." But Jesus wants to give us life to the full. ...

  • 1st Sunday of Lent—February 18, 2018

    Episode 12

    In her wisdom, the Church gives us this reading at the beginning of Lent because Jesus is giving us an example of what the season of Lent is meant to be for us. Lent is a time to remember the reality of our life on earth. In the way that Lent prepares us for Easter, our life on earth is meant to ...

  • 2nd Sunday of Lent—February 25, 2018

    Episode 13

    If you have ever been hiking in the mountains, you'll know what a false summit is: when you reach a peak that appeared to be the pinnacle of the mountain but see that the true summit is even higher. False summits can cause hikers to give up, despairing of ever reaching their goal.
    This experienc...

  • 3rd Sunday of Lent—March 4, 2018

    Episode 14

    Today's readings are the midway point in our Lenten journey, focusing on the relationship between God's laws and the state of man's heart. The First Reading begins with words many of us have heard frequently throughout our lives—the Ten Commandments. Before giving all of the Commandments, God pro...

  • 5th Sunday of Lent—March 18, 2018

    Episode 15

    Many of us fear death. It brings sadness and an unknown. We may have experienced the grief of losing a loved one, and we may be angry that God allows death. But today's Gospel lends itself to hope. Jesus tells us that we must die in order to have new life. What a strange command. Let's pause a mi...

  • Palm Sunday—March 25, 2018

    Episode 16

    This Sunday we find ourselves at a crossroads. As we approach the great mystery of Christ's Death and Resurrection, we are coming to the end of our Lenten journey. It is a time to both look back and reflect, and to look forward and prepare.
    Holy Week is a unique time in the Church calendar where...

  • Easter Sunday—April 1, 2018

    Episode 17

    Happy Easter! This is truly a day to rejoice and be glad. In fact, the Catechism tells us that Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the "Feast of feasts." It is the day that we look forward to all year long, in much the same way that we look forward to Heaven our whole lives long. Tod...

  • 2nd Sunday of Easter—April 8, 2018

    Episode 18

    God's merciful love is the Good News of the Gospel, and the reason why Christ suffered, died, and rose again. The Catechism goes so far as to say that, "The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to sinners" (CCC 1846). God's mercy reached down to us in our sinful state and sent ...

  • 3rd Sunday of Easter—April 15, 2018

    Episode 19

    Each Sunday Jesus invites you to share a meal with him—to encounter him in the most intimate of ways. How do you approach the Mass? Do you show up late, wearing what you worked in all day, and with your laundry list of "to-do's" on your mind? Jesus wants to encounter us and touch our hearts every...

  • 4th Sunday of Easter—April 22, 2018

    Episode 20

    God needed to reach us, to come in a way that we would recognize him and hear his voice, and so God made himself a mere human. What amazing love Our Lord has for us! Let us spend some time together today reflecting on this love as we read of it in the first two readings and then as we hear of Chr...

  • 5th Sunday of Easter—April 29, 2018

    Episode 21

    When St. Paul commands us to "pray always" in his first letter to the Thessalonians, we tend to let it go in one ear and out the other. "Of course, he can't possibly mean that! He really just means to pray a lot." We so easily filter the words of Scripture based on what we think God wants from us...

  • 6th Sunday of Easter—May 6, 2018

    Episode 22

    The Catholic Church plays a vital role in our ability to remain on the vine throughout all of history. As new circumstances arise, God has given us the gift of the Church to help us recognize where his love is so that we can remain with him. We know that God does not ask anything from us without ...