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Thursday, Jan 18, 2018
Touch the pain

When people are hurting, they seek the healing power of physical touch, just as those who followed Jesus did. Perhaps that is one reason why healing massage is one of the fastest-growing phenomena in our society. We seek to be healed physically, emotionally, and spiritually of what ails us, what causes us “dis-ease,” and the power of touch can help in all these areas. Be a healer yourself, by offering a comforting hug or shoulder to cry on, a handshake of praise, a kiss to a loved one. To touch and be touched in healing, healthy ways is as natural and human as to breathe and walk. Reach out and make the connection today!

TODAY'S READINGS: 1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7; Mark 3:7-12 (314). “He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.”

©2017 TrueQuest Communications. TakeFiveForFaith.com; mail@takefiveforfaith.com. All rights reserved. Noncommercial reprints permitted with the following credit: Reprinted with permission from TakeFiveForFaith.com. Scripture citations from the New American Bible Revised Edition. For more information about Take Five and our regular contributors, go to PrepareTheWord.com. Free daily email and app available online at TakeFiveForFaith.com/subscribe.

Widely embraced by homilists and those interested in reflecting more deeply on the daily Lectionary readings, Bishop Richard Sklba's Fire Starters: Igniting the Holy in the Weekday Homily has served as a practical resource for preparing engaging weekday homilies for Ordinary Time. After much anticipation, Bishop Sklba and coauthor Fr. Joseph Juknialis now offer Easter Fire, a welcome companion to support anyone called to preach at Easter weekday Masses.

Easter Fire provides the biblical citations and summary phrases for the reading and the gospel plus the refrain from the psalm each day. After each citation, the authors offer a series of meaningful insights based on Scripture scholarship, their own prayerful reflection on the texts, and years of preaching and pastoral experience. These brief "bullet point" entries provide nuggets of knowledge and inspiration that will stimulate personal prayer and spark homily possibilities for the preacher every day.

Easter Fire will ignite sparks that can be enflamed by God's Spirit, to not only enrich the spiritual journey but to add light and warmth for the preparation of weekday homilies during the Easter season.

Bishop Richard J. Sklba served as auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee for over thirty years. He is a well-known biblical scholar, completing the licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He is a member and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America. He has served on many committees of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, chairing its subcommittee on the Review of Scripture Translations from 1991 to 2001. In 1988, he received the Catholic Theological Society of America's John Courtney Murray Award for achievement in theology. He is the author of Fire Starters: Igniting the Holy in the Weekday Homily (Liturgical Press, 2013).

Rev. Joseph Juknialis is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Now retired, he teaches homiletics courses for the archdiocese's permanent diaconate program, writes a monthly reflection on the Sunday Scriptures for archdiocesan newspaper, and does parish ministry in a variety of capacities.

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