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 Epiphany
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The Epiphany

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Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off […]

The Incarnation and the Family
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The Incarnation and the Family

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Every year right after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.  There is an important reason for this.  It’s easy to think the “incarnation” means God took on a human body, that he appeared in human flesh. But there is much more to it than that.  In Jesus, God unites himself to an […]

The Deeper Meaning of Christmas
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The Deeper Meaning of Christmas

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In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife.  But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries.  Neither Caesar nor Herod will […]

The Christmas Story's Best Supporting Actor
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The Christmas Story’s Best Supporting Actor

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In the drama of the incarnation, Jesus is, of course, the star.  That’s the way it is at every birth.  All eyes are on the baby.  The co-star, though, is definitely mom.  Without her love and labor, the event could not have happened.  In this case, without mom’s faith it couldn’t have happened either.  According […]

Keeping Christ in Christmas - Our Family's Approach
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Keeping Christ in Christmas – Our Family’s Approach

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“Actions speak louder than words.”  “One picture is worth a thousand words.”  “Talk is cheap.”  There are lots of different sayings in the English language that generally express the same thing–words alone don’t do the necessary job of communicating, especially in the case of a personal message.  Like “I love you,” for instance. So human […]

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 […]

Reconciliation and the Prodigal Son
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Reconciliation and the Prodigal Son

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4th Sunday in Lent, Cycle C “For our sakes God made him who did not know sin to be sin, so that in him we might become the very holiness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).   Some Christians reading these words over the last few centuries have gotten the wrong idea.  They’ve put this Scripture together […]

The Meaning of Mercy (Part II)
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The Meaning of Mercy (Part II)

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Most religions in the ancient world were local or national cults.  The Egyptians worshiped Isis and Osiris.  Athens was named after the goddess Athena.  Ephesus was the center of the cult of Artemis. But when the Church was born on Pentecost Sunday, it was comprised of people from every nation under heaven, all of whom […]

The Meaning of Mercy (Part I)
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The Meaning of Mercy (Part I)

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The Second Vatican Council taught us that the Eucharist is the “Source and Summit” of the Christian life.  Yet we must keep in mind that the same council makes clear that the Eucharist is not the sum total of the Christian life. In fact, the Eucharist and all the other sacraments are memorials of a […]

The Great Adventure
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The Great Adventure

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C Peter.  Paul.  Isaiah.  Frodo Baggins.  They have more in common than meets the eye. Of course, there are differences, too.  Peter is a small business man, wringing a living for his family out of a lake in Hicksville.  No one expected much from Galilee.  Its inhabitants had a […]

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ
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Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all — the myth that Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments.  While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty: the Catholic Church […]

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 […]

The First Believer
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The First Believer

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4th Sunday of Advent (Cycle C) The Beatitudes rank high on the list of all-time favorite Bible passages.  But what is “beatitude,” anyway?   In the bible, a “blessed” person is someone who has received gifts of the greatest value, gifts that lead to true fulfillment and lasting happiness. If I were to ask you […]

The Baptist: Joyful Humility
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The Baptist: Joyful Humility

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3rd Sunday of Advent (Year C) On the third Sunday of Advent, the penitential purple of the season changes to rose and we celebrate “Gaudete” or “Rejoice!” Sunday.  “Shout for joy, daughter of Sion” says Zephaniah.  “Draw water joyfully from the font of salvation,” says Isaiah.  “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says St. Paul.  “Do […]

Advent: A Season of Hope
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Advent: A Season of Hope

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Second Sunday of Advent Faith, hope, and love.  St. Paul, in I Corinthians 13:13, say these three are the bottom line.  They are called the theological virtues, the qualities that make us most like God. We hear plenty about faith and love.  But when is the last time you heard a rousing homily on hope?  […]

All Soul's Day
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All Soul’s Day

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I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for […]

John XXIII: Saint in the Age of Television
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John XXIII: Saint in the Age of Television

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In 1958, a congenial old man, Angelo Roncalli, was elected to the chair of Peter.  He was to be a caretaker pope, someone to keep the ship steady while the cardinals identified a more long-term leader.  That smiling old man soon stunned the world by calling the first ecumenical council in nearly a hundred years.  […]

Birth of John the Baptist
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Birth of John the Baptist

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On December the 25th, we celebrate the big one—the birthday of Jesus, the Word of God made flesh.  The Church actually does not celebrate the birthday of the saints, except that of Jesus’ mother.  Generally, their special day in the calendar is the date of their death, their entry into eternal life.  But there is […]

Father’s Day
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Father’s Day

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Father’s Day invites us to ask a very important question – what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach the gist of the Ten Commandments. But that the supreme Being is not just “King of the Universe” or  “Master” but “Father,” […]

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

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The Catholic Church teaches 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 surprised.  When Jesus spoke about […]

The Difference that the Spirit Makes
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The Difference that the Spirit Makes

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As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course.  The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough.  Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics […]

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 […]

Good Friday: The Victory of the Cross
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Good Friday: 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 Eucharist: The Body of Christ?
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The Eucharist: The Body of Christ?

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On Holy Thursday, the night before he died, the Lord Jesus made some startling changes in the ritual of the Passover meal.  Instead of being content with the traditional Jewish table blessing over the bread, Jesus proclaimed “take and eat for this is my body.”  Over the third cup of wine, known as the cup […]

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