Author Archive for Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

Grew up in Providence RI. BA at Providence college, Ph.D. in historical theology from Catholic University of America. Former professional musician and theology professor at Loyola College in Maryland and the University of Dallas. Currently owner of Wellness Business Ventures LLC and director of CrossroadsInitiative.com. Father of five.

The Blind Man Speaks Up
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The Blind Man Speaks Up

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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time The Blind Man Speaks Up There were hundreds in the crowd that day at Jericho.  No doubt all of them had needs, many of them urgent.  But this Sunday’s gospel tells us that apparently only one of them had the audacity to speak up and ask for help from the […]

John and James
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John and James

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It was time to make their move. Usually it was Peter who took the initiative, but now it was their turn. They cleared their throats and asked the master for the best seats in the house, the places of honor right next to the throne. Of course, in this conversation, recounted in Sunday’s gospel, John […]

Marriage and Family
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Marriage and Family

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The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is love.” This the same point made a few years earlier by an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Gadium et Spes 24, Vatican II’s Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, says this: God is Trinity, a communion of […]

Holiness of the Pharisees
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Holiness of the Pharisees

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Radio talk show hosts make a living on it.  Show after show, they bring before our eyes stupid, unjust and wasteful situations in order to incite outrage.  We love to listen and get ourselves all worked up.  Our indignation keeps us tuned in and raises the show’s ratings. It’s easy to focus on the outrageous […]

Anatomy of Envy
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Anatomy of Envy

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Recently a prominent CEO told a mixed group of business leaders that, regardless of their religion, they simply had to read the Bible. Why? Because success in business depends not so much upon understanding financial reports as it does upon understanding people. And when it comes to a book that reveals what makes people tick, […]

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Amen

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Pentecostal preachers shout it. Monks chant it. Most Christians end every prayer with it. But what does “Amen” really mean? Is it just a pious way to “log off” our dialogue with God? Actually, most of us have never heard the origins of this word that we use so glibly. But we need to examine it […]

Is Tradition a Four Letter Word?
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Is Tradition a Four Letter Word?

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One of the great battle cries of the Protestant Reformation was “sola scriptura!” Many thought that the Catholic Church had cluttered up the simple Christian faith by adding all sorts of practices, customs and doctrines over the centuries. They thought the Church in their day was guilty of exactly the same Pharisaical obsession with traditions […]

Faithfulness
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Faithfulness

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Belief in God is rather widespread, at least in America. Various surveys show that over 90% of Americans “believe in God.” But belief and faith are not quite the same thing. When many people say “I believe in God” they mean that they believe that God exists, that “there is a God” somewhere up there. […]

You Are What You Eat
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You Are What You Eat

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A few years back George Gallup conducted a poll called “Religion in America.” He studied two groups of Americans, regular churchgoers from various Christian churches on the one hand, and totally unchurched people on the other. He quizzed both groups on issues ranging from the divinity of Jesus, to cheating on income tax, infidelity in […]

Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes
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Hidden Meaning of the Loaves and the Fishes

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Finding the hidden meanings.   Unraveling mysteries.  Deciphering symbols.  The thrill inherent in all this is partly why Dan Brown’s book, the Da Vinci Code, sold so well. But Brown’s secret code, the 2000 year chain of clues supposedly leading to the true identity of Jesus and his holy grail, is simply a parody of the […]

Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds
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Hungry Sheep, Weary Shepherds

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Lots of perks come with being the boss, whether you are the boss of a church, company, or nation.  You get to call the shots, for starters.  Then there is good food, good drink.  Travel.  Parties.  Expense accounts.  Pomp and circumstance. Bodyguards. Technology has changed a lot, but people haven’t. In ancient times as in […]

Just Do it!
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Just Do it!

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Everybody likes free gifts.  Advertisers know that a campaign will have much better results if there are free samples or a free gift with every purchase.  A friend of mine lived by this motto: when it’s free, take two. But when we receive a favor, we’re wise enough to know there has got to be […]

Miracles Jesus Could Not Do
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Miracles Jesus Could Not Do

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Over the last two Sundays, the gospel of Mark has been making it abundantly clear that Jesus is indeed God Almighty, ruler of the world and lord over life and death. But this week we come to a story that leaves us scratching our heads.  Jesus goes to his own native place, and receives less […]

A Revolutionary Approach to the Bible: Jairus’ Daughter and The Enlightenment
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A Revolutionary Approach to the Bible: Jairus’ Daughter and The Enlightenment

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In the days when states were still “the colonies” and men wore powdered wigs, a new way of thinking captured the intelligentsia of the western world.  “The miracle stories in the Bible and the lives of the saints may be quaint, entertaining, and even have symbolic meaning.  But certainly we should not take them literally!  […]

Feast of Corpus Christi
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Feast of Corpus Christi

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Catholics don’t just go to church on Sunday, like other Christians.  They go to Mass.  Christmas, New Years, weddings, funerals.  It seems that we just can’t seem to do anything important without this ceremony which some regard as a sacrifice and others as a fellowship meal and still others as “the real presence.” So which […]

Love Unlimited
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Love Unlimited

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Some people seem to think that the Catholic Church is just another multi-national corporation, Catholicism, Inc., with the Pope as CEO.  Obviously, this view is a bit skewed, but is not totally off-base.  The Church is in fact an international organization.  That’s actually one of the meanings of the word “Catholic”– this church is no […]

Bearing Much Fruit
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Bearing Much Fruit

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No one was more zealous than Saul.  He burned with passion to promote the Law of Moses and the traditions of his ancestors.  From Turkey to Palestine to Syria he had relentlessly pursued his quest for the glory of God. But all his hard work did more harm than good.  Oh, his efforts bore fruit […]

Jesus Only?
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Jesus Only?

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It’s not politically incorrect to believe in God. Just so long as you acknowledge that all are God’s children, and that there are many, equally honorable paths to the Most High. After all, that’s only fair. How conceited it would be to claim that your way is the only way. There is nothing really new about […]

Not a spook
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Not a spook

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In the heyday of the Roman Empire, the corruption of the times caused a wave of dissatisfaction to ripple across the civilized world.  Many were disgusted with the gross sensuality of society and yearned for a higher, spiritual kind of existence.  They sought a redeemer who would come down from heaven and enlighten those who […]

Divine Mercy Sunday
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Divine Mercy Sunday

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We don’t know where Thomas was.  All we know is that he missed it.  All the others were huddling together behind locked doors, hoping that the authorities would be satisfied with the blood of their master and leave them alone. But Jesus wouldn’t leave them alone.  Despite the locked doors, there He stood, glorious in […]

Palm/Passion Sunday
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Palm/Passion Sunday

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We now come to the Sunday with a split personality.  It starts with an upbeat gospel recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is a festive affair, complete with a parade route strewn with palm branches instead of ticker tape.  But we quickly progress to the stark reading of Jesus’ passion, bearable only because we […]

Unless the Grain of Wheat
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Unless the Grain of Wheat

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All of us want the very best for those we love. But as we pursue it, we often have a rude awakening. The best turns out to be quite expensive, whether you are dealing with homes, cars, or colleges. To get it will cost much time and money, maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears. […]

If God so Loves the World, Why is There a Hell?
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If God so Loves the World, Why is There a Hell?

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As the camera pans the crowd at a football game, you see a few fans holding up the sign. It simply says “John 3:16.” For years, evangelical Protestants have extolled this little bible verse as the heart of the Gospel. In their minds, if you only have a moment to tell people something about the […]

John 3:16 and Grace
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John 3:16 and Grace

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As the camera pans the crowd at a football game, you see a few fans holding up the sign.  It simply says “John 3:16.” For years, evangelical Protestants have extolled this little bible verse as the heart of the Gospel.  In their minds, if you only have a moment to tell people something about the […]