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 Sower and the Seed
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The Sower and the Seed

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I’ve always loved gardening.  Seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber, and of course, zucchini.  In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method.  Lots of seed cast everywhere.  And predictably, many of these […]

Does Life Feel Like a Chore?
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Does Life Feel Like a Chore?

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I once knew a woman who called herself “a recovering Catholic.” It seems that as a child, she was taught a religion that was all about guilt. Impossible demands were placed on her requiring strenuous efforts that were doomed to frustration. Turn the other cheek. Don’t even THINK about romantic flings. Love your enemies. Attempting […]

The Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul
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The Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

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“Self” Magazine is certainly a sign of the times. This is an age when it is socially acceptable to admit that life is all about me. But selfishness is nothing new. Ever since Eve bit into the apple, human beings have made the choice to dethrone God and put in His place the unholy trinity […]

The Eucharist:  The Body of Christ?
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The Eucharist: The Body of Christ?

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The Catholic Church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely, that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to take? If so, you shouldn’t be […]

Trinity Sunday:  Is it Relevant?
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Trinity Sunday: Is it Relevant?

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Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher. Many even confess him as Savior. But the Incarnation of the Eternal God? Second person of the Holy Trinity? God can’t be one and three at the same time. Such a notion […]

Why The Ascension Matters
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Why The Ascension Matters

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The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat.  It was clear what Good Friday did for me.  And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable.  But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity.  It is love that looks away […]

The Paraclete
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The Paraclete

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He wore steel rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back.  The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked. At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town.  It was just a few years after Woodstock, and we were all taken with […]

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
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Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life

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“As long as you believe in God and try to be a good person, your religion doesn’t matter.”  “There are different paths up the same mountain, but they all lead to the peak.” How many times have you heard people speak this way?  This is the prevailing wisdom.  It’s politically correct.  Tolerant.  Reasonable. But it’s […]

Emmaus:  From Despair to Joy
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Emmaus: From Despair to Joy

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What a disappointment!  They thought they’d found the Messiah.  But he’d been trapped like an animal and executed as a criminal.  Up until his very last breath, they had hoped he’d descend from the cross in stately power and call down fire upon the hypocrites. But all they heard from him were seven last “words” […]

Divine Mercy and Doubting Thomas
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Divine Mercy and Doubting Thomas

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The Gospels tell an incredible story.  A virginal conception.  Miraculous healings.  Even people coming back from the dead.  How are we to know that it’s not all just a fanciful fabrication? There is much evidence for the reliability of the Gospels, but here is one of the strongest bits of evidence I know.  Think for […]

The Victory of the Cross
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The Victory of the Cross

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Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race.  In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew […]

The Victory of Humility
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The Victory of Humility

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When a conquering hero of the ancient world rode into town in triumph, it was in a regal chariot or on the back of a stately stallion.  Legions of soldiers accompanied him in the victory procession.  Triumphal arches, festooned with relief sculptures, were often erected to immortalize his valiant victory. After driving out demons, healing […]

Lazarus
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Lazarus

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Some find it hard to accept that God would love some people more than others. That wouldn’t be fair, they say. But God became man. If he did not love some more than others, Jesus wouldn’t be fully human. For human beings have family and friends. While we can do good and even risk our […]

The Man Born Blind
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The Man Born Blind

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The Lion of Judah is no tame lion.  Neither is he predictable.  While walking along the streets of Jerusalem one day, Jesus sees a common enough sight in the Holy City.  There is a disabled person by the side of the road begging (John 9).  What else is the poor man to do?  He has […]

The Original Meaning of Lent
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The Original Meaning of Lent

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Lent’s a time of introspection.  We read Exodus, and watch the Israelites grumbling, even after the amazing things God had done for them (Ex 17:3-7).  In them, we recognize ourselves.  For many of us, then, Lent is time for the spiritual equivalent of New Year’s resolutions.  We set aside work on ourselves for forty days […]

Lenten Transfiguration
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Lenten Transfiguration

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Imagine: you are ten years past customary retirement age.  It’s time finally to kick back and relax.  You live in a great city where everything is at your fingertips – shopping opportunities, cultural events, all your relatives and lifelong friends.  Suddenly God appears and tells you to pack up, uproot your life, and march into […]

The Great Deception
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The Great Deception

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As I crossed the great divide of puberty, I formed a vivid image of God.. He was a grumpy old man on a throne with a frown on his face. Every time anyone tried to have a little fun, he’d shout “Thou shalt not!” But to really live and not just exist, you had to […]

God and Mammon?
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God and Mammon?

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In the ancient world, most peoples believed in a universe populated by many gods. However, even without the help of biblical revelation, Greek philosophers figured something out. There could only be one Supreme Being, only one almighty and omnipotent Ruler of all, only one God. In the twelfth chapter of Luke, Jesus asks a question. […]

Turn the Other Cheek?
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Turn the Other Cheek?

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7th Sunday in Ordinary Time “Love your enemies.” “Turn the other cheek.” (Mat 5:38-40). This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others. The 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings. Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists.  Does Jesus want us […]

You are the Salt of the Earth
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You are the Salt of the Earth

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As a Catholic teen growing up in one of the most Catholic areas of the US, I never would have considered abandoning my faith. But neither would I ever have considered getting excited about it. Why should I? Nobody else in my parish seemed excited. The teens in the parish went wild at the rock […]

The Presentation of the Lord
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The Presentation of the Lord

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I recently led a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem.  As we stood at the foot of the Temple Mount and remembered the Presentation of Jesus, several people had questions.  There were questions about the redemption of the first-born son.  About the rite of purification after childbirth.  About how to put Matthew and Luke together in […]

Called and Chosen
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Called and Chosen

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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A Flick on the television, turn to the news, and notice how hopeless it all looks.  Terrorists kill hundreds and intimidate millions.  Government debt in the US and Europe balloons out of control and whole countries need to be bailed out. Things did not appear much better in first […]

Behold the Lamb of God
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Behold the Lamb of God

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The Protestant Church is all about the Bible; the Catholic Church is all about the Sacraments.  Right? Not exactly.  When it comes to personal Bible reading, Protestants often put Catholics to shame.  But as far as Sunday worship goes, it is hard to find a more biblical service than the Mass. The readings are awesome […]

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
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Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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At first glance, the scene makes little sense.  John’s strident call to repentance provokes an overwhelming response.  People of all shapes and sizes flock to him in the wilderness.  They are baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance and cleansing.  Suddenly, out of the crowd steps John’s cousin, Jesus.  Wait a minute.  What’s […]

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