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.

To find the current week, visit https://bible.usccb.org/

Opening the Word
  • 5th Sunday of Easter (Year B)

    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 (Year B)

    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 ...

  • Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Year B)

    This Sunday we are presented with a Gospel reading that should deeply challenge us. These are readings that remind us of who we really are—disciples of Jesus Christ. We are not only his friends, called to stay near to him, but we are also his missionaries, called to go out and to spread his Good ...

  • 7th Sunday of Easter (Year B)

    The readings today invite us to meditate on a simple truth of our faith—God is love, and he loves us. This sentiment might not seem that impressive. These are phrases that many of us have heard since Sunday school while we were coloring pictures of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. It probably ...

  • Pentecost Sunday (Year B)

    Fire. It's intense, beautiful, dangerous, overwhelming, warm, and all consuming. Fire can be used to warm us on a cold night, or as a way to gather friends on a summer evening. It can also yield immense destruction. Fire is powerful. This is the image that we hear about today as we learn more abo...

  • Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Year B)

    Have you ever felt a tug to do something out of the ordinary? Maybe say something to someone you've never met before or call up an old friend to check in even though it's been years? This tug can make us feel uncomfortable, as we aren't sure why we have this feeling we need to act, but we feel al...

  • Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Year B)

    Knowing what is about to come, Jesus shares a meal with his disciples. Sharing a meal with family or friends is an intimate and joyous occasion. Gathering around the table and sharing food together are often some of people's favorite memories they reflect on. Jesus wants to have this closeness wi...

  • 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

    Episode 52

    Today's Gospel demands our conversion. Conversion is a two-step process. It requires a change of heart and then a turning around of sorts. It is both an interior and exterior change, moving one closer to God. It could be likened to re-aligning yourself to follow your north-facing compass—it first...

  • 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

    The more we come to know God through study and prayer, the more we realize how truly his thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not his ways (Isaiah 55). What we assume God would do is so often challenged by how the events of our life actually unfold. Today's readings draw us into this m...

  • 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

  • 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

    Healing is something we all seek at some point in our lives. Whether we have battled a life-threatening disease or suffered through a common cold, we have all sought physical healing. In this week's Gospel, Jesus reveals his power to heal and bring forth new life. He also longs to heal you of the...

  • 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

    We have all been in need of something at some time, maybe even begging for it. We all have had many experiences of needing to ask for a favor or a need to be met of someone. When it comes to asking God for things, what is it we ask him for? Do we seek comfort - health, wealth, job security, or wh...

  • 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    Heroes in our stories today are usually the strongest, the smartest, or the most beautiful people who conquer evil by overpowering it in some way. Even if they don't start out that way, a crucial part of their story is usually them preparing for battle by getting stronger. They know that everythi...

  • 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    We are lost in the dense jungle of this world and are made for heaven. We all long to get there, but we encounter so many needs along the way. If we aren't careful, searching to fill those needs can replace our true compass. Instead of focusing on searching for home, we can be consumed by never b...

  • 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    When was the last time you experienced a situation that you thought, "there is no solution—it is impossible" Often we feel cornered by circumstances in life and that there is no possible way out. And yet, miraculously, things all end up working out, for our good. Today's Gospel highlights Jesus' ...

  • The Transfiguration of the Lord (Year B)

    In the Gospel today, Jesus chides the Israelites for seeking only earthly fulfillment. He calls them, and likewise us, to open our hearts to our deeper desire for God. Ultimately, God wants to fill our deepest longings for his infinite love.

  • 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

    Have you ever heard something that sounded completely outlandish? The Jews in today's Gospel are not just shocked by Jesus' teaching, they are likely disgusted and offended. Is Jesus of Nazareth really telling them that He IS the Bread of Life, he is the fulfillment of all the Scriptures? He is t...

  • 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    In the Gospel readings over the past few weeks we have witnessed the unfolding of Jesus' discourse on the Eucharist. Today we reach the climax of his teaching and get to meditate on his words about the Bread from heaven that he longs to feed us with. These are words of deep riches that unveil to ...

  • 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    The word "Christian" literally translates to mean "follower of Christ". That means we are followers of Christ, but many of us have probably not ever thought about what it actually means to follow him. Maybe we never even consciously decided to follow him, but we have always gone to Church because...

  • 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

    God desires our whole hearts, not simply our actions. We can do good acts but still keep our hearts far from him. But if we lift up our hearts, the power of Jesus' resurrection can transform us overtime to actually become more like him. Then our actions will flow seamlessly from who we are in our...

  • 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    When was the last time you were so sick you had to rely on a family member or friend to help get you to the doctor? Sometimes, we aren't able to get the healing we need on our own. We need someone else to bring us. Today we will read about a man who was brought to Jesus, and how grateful he must ...

  • 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    Winter can be depressing. Depending on where you live in the country, you may not get to see the sun for two or three months. It can be bone-chillingly cold and there is little sign of life except for the brave neighbors who shovel their driveways. The days are short and dark, the trees are lifel...

  • 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    The logic of the Gospel is the logic of God, not of humans. Today, Jesus wants to pull us aside for an intimiate moment to reveal his heart more deeply to us and to teach us his logic that will lead to our true joy, just as he did for his Apostles.

  • 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year B)

    The great consequence of the truth being Jesus is that the world is split into those who recognize Jesus and those who do not. To the extent that we see Jesus, recognize him, know him, and commune with him we are able to see things in the truth and perceive reality clearly. The more we know him a...