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Soundtrack of my life (24/100).

Navigating our faith is requires recognizing that the vibe has many branches…

Leaven in the World

If I were to make a soundtrack featuring all the songs that were significant to me throughout my life, they’d probably notice that there was a gap of time, around 1993-95, where the music I listened to was…interesting.

I’ve mentioned it here on the blog before, but it bears repeating again for anyone who’s just recently started reading along. Even though I’m a cradle Catholic, it wasn’t until I was around 12 or 13 years old that I recognized how deeply loved I was by God, and as a result, embraced my identity as a child of God.

For me, this realization happened in the context of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the early 1990s, when I first experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit (not to be confused with the sacrament of Baptism that typically occurs at infancy in the Catholic Church).

While I became part of…

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HOMILY: Courage to Touch the Wounds of Christ

Leaven in the World


3rd Sunday of Easter | April 15, 2018

See today’s readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.

Over Spring Break, I had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador with a group of high school students for an immersive experience in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Ecuador.

As part of our experience, we visited this organization known as Damian’s House, a hospital and home for women and men diagnosed with Hansen’s disease, more commonly known as leprosy.

Now, I know we hear about leprosy in Scripture, but the reality of the disease is pretty brutal to witness up close.

The disease attacks the nerves in the extremities of the body . . . fingers, toes, arms and legs.  As the disease progresses, many individuals lose these body parts.

It is the first thing you notice when you first meet the residents of Damian’s…

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HOMILY: Dangerous Work

We can not have Easter without Palm Sunday… and the chaltof buiding God’s kingdom here on earth becomes as real as the Ressurrection. Some thoughts from Fr. Brian:

Leaven in the World

Fr. Brian Zumbrum’s homilies and reflections are posted regularly at Leaven in the World. To see the archive of all his posts, just click hereSalesian Sermons

PROTIP: You can take a look at the readings here. This homily focuses on the Gospel reading.

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion | March 25, 2018

Was it that much of a crime?

King of the Jews

Was it really worth executing a man?

It seems a fair question, right?  I mean we just take for granted so much of what we hear today because we have been listening to it for so long that we know every twist and turn.

But what if we stopped for a moment and really thought about Jesus’ crime.

What exactly was it about Jesus’ kingdom that was so threatening to so many.

And I believe the answer to that question is woven throughout the…

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When there is a school shooting…make sure you know your facts…

Well-written commentary from the front lines

The Thought Bubble of a Multi-Tasking Mom


I have debated on writing about this topic, because it is one of so much controversy. However, as I sit back and see all the rhetoric and memes, I can’t help but wonder if people truly understand the issue at hand.  As a mental health professional, law school student, former social worker, former juvenile probation officer and public school employee, I feel the need to share insight into things the average person may not consider…

1.  Stop the gun banter until you really understand the issue. And stop the partisan politics. I have a gun. My husband has lots of guns.  I appreciate that right.  Saying that, not everyone should be entitled to the same.  Felons don’t deserve gun rights.  Those with serious mental illness should not have guns. Children should not have guns (unsupervised). And no one, other than military and law enforcement, should have assault rifles or any other…

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GUEST POST: Mary’s Intimate Magnificat | Simbang Gabi, Day 8

I was honored that my friend Jessica Dennise invited me to participate in this reflection series…

Leaven in the World


DAY 8: Mary’s Intimate Magnificat | Friday of the 3rd Week of Advent| 12.22.17

Take a look at the readings for today here.  Today’s reflection is based on the Gospel reading. For an overview and introduction of the reflections for all nine nights, go here.

  1. 1 Samuel 1:24-28. Hannah Presents Samuel to the Lord
  2. 1 Samuel 2:1-8. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
  3. Luke 1:46-56.The Canticle of Mary

The verses of Luke 1:46-56 may well be the most famous words of a woman in the Bible. The church prays those words of Mary daily in the Liturgy of the Hours, and throughout the centuries musicians, poets and artists have creatively portrayed the bold words of this young girl from Palestine. It is impossible to count the multitudes who have found sustenance from these verses, and yet it is easy to forget…

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GUEST POST: Recognizing Grace | Simbang Gabi, Day 7

“My heart turned over. There was Jesus.“

Leaven in the World


DAY 7: Recognizing Grace | Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent| 12.21.17

Take a look at the readings for today here.  Today’s reflection is based on the Gospel reading. For an overview and introduction of the reflections for all nine nights, go here.

  1. Song of Songs 2:8-14. Hark! my lover–here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills.
  2. Psalm 33:2-21. Exult, you just, in the Lord! Sing to him a new song.
  3. Luke 1:39-45. Mary Visits Elizabeth

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Congratulations to Katie and her family who welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world just a few days after submitting this piece!]

From our seats at church, on the other side of the altar, I can see a statue of the Virgin Mary. If everything happens as I want it to, meaning we arrive on time and my kids willingly sit…

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GUEST POST: Seeing the Light of Hope Amidst the Darkness | Simbang Gabi, Day 4

“I continued to give all I had, trusting and believing that God’s heart broke for them as much as mine did.”

Leaven in the World


DAY 4: Seeing the Light of Hope Amidst the Darkness | Monday of the 3rd Week of Advent| 12.18.17

Take a look at the readings for today here.  Today’s reflection is based on the responsorial psalm. For an overview and introduction of the reflections for all nine nights, go here.

  1. Jeremiah 23:5-8. Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David.
  2. Psalm 72: 1-19. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
  3. Matthew 1:18-25. The Birth of Jesus

If I close my eyes, I can still see their faces stained with dirt and sweat. The little boy had a small scratch on the right side of his chin that needed tending to. Yet he stood between me and his sister with confidence and strength, determined to not let any harm come to…

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