Friar’s E-Spirations: Jesus’ Brief Time in Ministry

Jesus’ life can be divided into two parts. What is surprising is that, while he is the Son of God who came to redeem the world, he spent 90 percent of his life in the remote town of Nazareth. Only 10 percent or, at most, 30 months made up his

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Psalm 36: Sin Speaks to the Sinner

The Book of Psalms was composed many centuries before Jesus’ time. The psalms are beautiful prayers that fit every condition and circumstance of life. They praise the Lord’s goodness and cry out in complaint and despair for the suffering we experience. The Book of Psalms, inspired as it is by

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Mysterious Workings of Grace

When speaking of the word grace, it is important to clarify what grace really is. Grace is not something that we get from God. Grace is actually God working within our whole person. Sometimes you hear people speak as though God would ladle out grace. Rather, grace is the presence

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Unexpected

God calls each of us by name, and sometimes God asks us to do something we never expected to do. To say yes demands trust and faith in God. A prime example is the couple from Nazareth: Joseph and Mary. We remember each of them this month—Joseph on the 19th

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Size Doesn’t Matter, Really

In our society, it seems that everything has to be bigger or the greatest. “More is more,” as they say. But the truth is this: size is not really that important.If we want to consider something really big, all we need do is think of the universe. It’s

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Jesus on Fasting and Penance

Early in the Gospel of Mark (2:18-22), Jesus runs into a series of conflicts with the Jewish religious leaders. One such conflict involved the law of fasting. We know that in all religions (and even secular organizations, for that matter) there are certain rituals and practices that identify a

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Canticle of Mary (The Magnificat)

Mary’s sublime prayer, the “Magnificat,” takes its name from the first word of the Latin translation of this song of praise. This explains why one sometimes runs into the translation: “My soul magnifies the Lord.” Mary’s Canticle is reminiscent of the hymn of praise which the Old Testament figure Hannah sang to the

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: The Faithful Servant

In the Gospel of Matthew (25:23), as Jesus approaches the city of Jerusalem for the last time, he talks to his disciples about their need to be “faithful and prudent servants.” Jesus uses this as a kind of “wisdom,” saying that a truly wise person is aware of what is

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Jesus Chooses His 12 Apostles

Many people find Jesus’ choice of his apostles curious. Why did he choose them in the first place? A cynic might think he could have done better blindfolded. The account of Jesus’ selection of his apostles as related in the Gospel of Luke (6:12-19) contains a lot of details about

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations

Friar’s E-Spirations: Little Things Mean a Lot

The real paradox of the Gospel, and God’s whole plan of salvation, is that it appears too weak. Imagine: the almighty creator of the universe allows Jesus, his son, to live among humanity and to be put to death by sinful men.When Jesus talked about the kingdom of

Christopher Heffron

Franciscan E-spirations