Q. I am a freshman in high school. I believe in God and in the Christian way of life, but I do have a question. How does God influence our lives, and how can one have a closer relationship with him? I want to depend on God for the decisions I make in my life, but many people say that they can live independently, without God. I only want to know the truth.
About 15 years ago, my dad traveled to Brazil on business and, while there, he purchased a beautiful gold and aquamarine necklace for my mother. It was stunning. We all admired it when she opened the gift on Christmas morning, after which my sister and I began the usual good-natured jokes about which one of us would inherit the piece.
This weekend’s Gospel proclaims: “Love one another as I love you,” and “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.”
I’ve heard people voice some common misconceptions about small-business owners: They don’t have to work hard because they have employees to do the work for them, they can take time off whenever they want, they can work fewer hours than their hirelings, and they can command a larger salary with impunity.
Q. I have always wondered why we read the Passion during Palm Sunday services. Palm Sunday is a day of rejoicing and jubilation, as we remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem amid throngs of cheering people.
This week’s Gospel is the one in which the apostle Thomas famously doubts Jesus’ resurrection even though the latter suddenly appeared before him within a locked room. Thomas can’t quite believe his eyes. He needs to touch the wounds that would identify his master.
Q. What do you do when you are in bad temptation, and you seem to like the sin you are going to commit more than what is right?
The Roman soldiers, who among their other acts of violence against Jesus placed a crown of thorns on his head, were correct about one thing: He is a king. This painful irony is not lost on us, especially when we pray the third sorrowful mystery of the rosary.
Q. I am currently incarcerated in federal prison. My question may seem strange, but I am wondering whether it would ever be possible for an ex-convict, a felon, to be accepted into holy orders.
Q. I attended Catholic schools for 12 years and remember most of my catechism lessons. There is one thing, though, that bothers me. After receiving Communion, I often notice people returning to their pews while visibly chewing the host. I always thought — in fact, I think I was taught this — that you should either let the host dissolve in your mouth as a sign of reverence or swallow it quickly. Please explain.