Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Presenting a new set of conferences for 2019

Encouraging Words for Discouraged Catholics
Father Ronald Knott


Vine Grove, Kentucky
March 11, 12, 13, 2019

Louisville, Kentucky
March 25, 26, 27, 2019


In a recent Parish Mission in Lebanon, Kentucky, we had a full house all three nights!
We hope to see full churches in Vine Grove and Louisville this Lent!

Sunday, February 3, 2019


The people in the synagogue were amazed at the gracious words  that  came  from
  his  mouth.  By the end of his homily, they were filled with fury.
Luke 4

I am getting pretty tired of hearing people say that Catholics do not read the Bible. Maybe that's true of those who don't go to church, but for those who do, it's a big fat lie! 

As I said last week, right here, if you go to Mass every weekend of the year for three years, you would have heard read all the important parts of the Bible. If you heard that much of the Bible read and paid close attention to what was read, you would surely conclude that some of it gave you great comfort, while some of it grated your nerves. If you have been away from practicing your religion for a while, you would probably find the Parable of the Prodigal Son very comforting and assuring. If you have recently gone through a divorce, you would probably recoil from Jesus’ teaching about divorce. In the first case, you might cry with deep emotion. In the last case, you might cry with guilt. 

In the gospel today, we get the second half of the story where Jesus goes to his own hometown, reads the Scriptures and gives his first homily. Last week it said, “he was praised by all” and “the eyes of all the synagogue look intently at him.” In this week’s gospel, we hear a completely different reaction than the flattering compliments of last week.. When Jesus finished reading the Scriptures and giving his homily, it says that the people in the synagogue “were filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the own, and led him to the brow of the hill, to hurl him down headlong.” Talking about a good sermon going badly! What made them so angry? What made them so mad was Jesus telling them that God’s love was inclusive of every human person, not just the Jewish people, as they had been raised to believe! It was the good news of God’s unconditional love that enraged them!

Preaching “the good news of God’s unconditional love” certainly can be hazardous to your health, even today! I’ve had people walk out and I have had one person pull a knife on me right here in this cathedral and another group publish a scathing anonymous pamphlet, because of preaching the message of unconditional love for the divorced, gays, marginal Catholics, people of other faiths and people of no faith, but I have never been lynched by a whole mob of angry parishioners trying to run me out of town. Not yet, anyway!

My friends, the Scriptures are supposed to affect us in two ways. The gospel is a two-edged sword. It settles the unsettled and unsettles the settled. Some time we need to be comforted and sometimes we need to be confronted. It takes courageous openness to be formed by the Word of God. People who tell you what you want to hear are not necessarily your friends and people who tell you what you don’t want to hear are not necessarily you enemies. As one writer put it, “We find comfort among those who agree with us and growth among those who don’t.” The same is true of the Scriptures. Some time we need to hear a challenge before we can actually wake up. Denial is a defense against hearing truths we really don’t want to deal with. Sometimes the truth is so painful and threatening that we resist hearing the message. Sometimes we even go as far as killing the messenger. Other times, we are so raw and wounded that the Word of God becomes a soothing salve for a sin-sick soul.  That goes for your side of the pulpit, as well as mine!

The Scriptures are a lamp for our feet and a light for our paths. It is impossible to do God’s will if we never hear what his will is! Saint Paul puts it quite clearly in his Letter to the Romans when he says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?  And how can people preach unless they are sent? Thus, faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”

My friends, every week, we gather together as a family of faith to wallow in the Word of God. Sometimes our lives are a mess and we need to be comforted by that Word. Sometimes our lives are on the wrong path and we need to be confronted by that Word. Every week, after we have been comforted and confronted by that Word, we feed on the Body and Blood of Jesus, our daily bread, so that we will have the strength to walk the path that has been laid out for us by the Word of God.

We read at least four passages of the Bible every week at Mass, not to mention the fact that most of our songs are based on other passages of the Bible. For that very reason, it is a good idea that everyone in here should have a hymnal in his or her hands. Even if you cannot sing, you can read along and so benefit from the Scriptures contained in every song. You can look at the bottom of the hymn and it will even give you the Scripture citation.

Maybe the best Lenten resolution you can make this year is to resolve to be a better hearer of God’s Word!  The Word of God is a two-edged sword. It cuts both ways! May it comfort us, when we are wounded and hurting. May it confront us when we are complacent and self-satisfied!