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

To purchase journals for Year C, visit:

Other journals can be found in downloadable PDF form at the end of the respective season's videos.

Opening the Word
  • 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Episode 1

    Since most of us of us have trouble forgiving even once or twice, the standard set in today's Gospel is hard to comprehend. To help Peter, and us, understand that we are to forgive so much because we have been forgiven so much, Jesus tells the parable of the servant who owed a great debt to his m...

  • 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Episode 2

    In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, we are confronted with what we might consider an unfair situation. The owner of the vineyard goes out and hires workers, starting in the early morning and ending close to sundown. But no matter what time of day the workers are hired, all get the same...

  • 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Episode 3

    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)

    Episode 4

    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)

    Episode 5

    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)

    Episode 6

    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)

    Episode 7

    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)

    Episode 8

  • 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

    Episode 9

    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)

    Episode 10

    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)

    Episode 11

    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...

  • Our Lord Jesus Christ, The King of the Universe (Year A)

    Episode 12

    When the world ends, we are told that God is going to focus on one thing: How did we care for the poor, the sick, the suffering? Nothing else will matter. Just how we treated who Jesus called "the least" among us.

  • Year A Leader Guide

    24.3 MB

  • Year A Journal

    37.3 MB

  • 3rd Sunday of Lent Leader Guide (Year A)

    563 KB

  • 3rd Sunday of Lent Prayer Journal (Year A)

    531 KB

  • Palm Sunday Year A Leader Guide

    1.97 MB

  • Palm Sunday Prayer Journal (Year A)

    9.33 MB

  • Easter Sunday Year A Leader Guide

    847 KB

  • 2nd Sunday of Easter Leader Guide (Year A)

    508 KB

  • 2nd Sunday of Easter Prayer Journal (Year A)

    316 KB

  • 3rd Sunday of Easter Leader Guide (Year A)

    505 KB

  • 3rd Sunday of Easter Prayer Journal (Year A)

    384 KB

  • 4th Sunday of Easter Leader Guide (Year A)

    500 KB