Tag: "Scripture"

The Meaning of Easter
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The Meaning of Easter

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To the secular world, our celebration of Easter Sunday is an odd event. In their eyes, we celebrate a corpse rising from the dead, and they really can’t figure out why.

Feast of Christ the King
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Feast of Christ the King

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34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, From the dawn of civilization, kings have dreamed of possessing a world-wide dominion, a universal kingdom that would last forever.  Some have come close to conquering much of the known world: Alexander, Genghis Khan, Augustus Caesar, to name a few.  And some kingdoms have lasted a very long time, such […]

Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?
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Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?

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When I was ten years old I had a direct encounter with a ghost. My brother and I were playing in our bedroom, which was in the attic, of our three-story house in New Jersey. There were steep stairs leading up to the bedroom from the third floor walk way. My brother and I were […]

Book Review: <em>Who Does He Say You Are?</em>
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Book Review: Who Does He Say You Are?

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What would you look like if you could see yourself as Jesus sees you? Who would you be if Jesus healed all your wounds, both physical and emotional? For most of us, the answers to those questions are a far cry from who we are today. We have been beaten down by the weight of […]

The Widow’s Mite
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The Widow’s Mite

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The time lag between the two widows in this Sunday’s readings was considerable.  Lots of things change in 800 years. But one thing their two societies had in common–they didn’t offer social security, welfare, 401K’s, or pension plans.  With no husband to provide for them, both widows were literally at the mercy of those around […]

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 […]

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 […]

Review of Catholic Courses' "God of the Old Testament"
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Review of Catholic Courses’ “God of the Old Testament”

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I just finished Dr. Paul Niskanen’s wonderful Catholic Courses class, The God of the Old Testament. It’s delightful. Full of “ah-hah” moments on a range of topics from historical oddities (I had no idea where the name “Jehovah” came from) to deep theological revelations, it packs some serious scholarly punch—all delivered in an engaging and […]

Thinking Liturgically:  The Scriptures
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Thinking Liturgically: The Scriptures

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Whatever Mass we attend here in the Roman Rite is broken up into two parts:  The Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.  There are endless debates in reform communities over which is more “important”, and that debate bores me.  It really isn’t Catholic to say one part of Mass is more […]

Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament
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Solomon’s Wisdom: On the Necessity of Reading the Old Testament

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Once I had dinner with another priest.  As we were eating we talked about the Bible.  “I preach the same homily every weekend,” he said. “Really?” I asked.  “And how are your collections?” While we were at it, he justified himself by declaring that it was no longer necessary to preach on the Old Testament. […]

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 […]

St. Paul: To Rome With Hope and Love
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St. Paul: To Rome With Hope and Love

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The season of Advent is about hope.  That is the message to be taken from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans.  His message of hope in Christ speaks to Christians throughout the millennia as it did to the Church at Rome c. AD 57. Back then the Roman Christians experienced persecution at the […]

Refuting the Myth of the "Invisible Church"
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Refuting the Myth of the “Invisible Church”

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After they rejected the hierarchical Catholic Church, one of the early tasks of the protestant reformulators was to redefine what Church is; more precisely, to define the visible nature of the New Covenant community of God’s chosen people. It being clear to them through sacred Scripture that Christ Jesus actually did established a Church; they […]

The Christian Family Experiences Joy in Faith
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The Christian Family Experiences Joy in Faith

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The readings this Sunday invite us to reflect on some basic features of the Christian family. 1. First: the family prays. The Gospel passage speaks about two ways of praying, one is false – that of the Pharisee – and the other is authentic – that of the tax collector. The Pharisee embodies an attitude […]

A Mass-Centered Way to Talk About the Eucharist
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A Mass-Centered Way to Talk About the Eucharist

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A great opportunity to share the faith with both fallen away Catholics and with non-Catholics is to talk about that one central thing that distinguishes the Catholic Church apart from all other religions of the world.

Jesus Didn't Found a Religion?
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Jesus Didn’t Found a Religion?

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In dialogues with Non-Catholics, most of the subjects you discuss won’t get you that far.  Instead, they will frequently tell you something along these lines.  “Jesus Christ didn’t found a religion, he founded a Church.  That Church is based upon confessing Christ as your Savior.  Catholics add to this and to the Bible with their […]

The Fallacy of Solo Scriptura
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The Fallacy of Solo Scriptura

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I must have been around four years old when I was first paraded in front of the church to sing with my sister.  The song was “The B-I-B-L-E,” and I belted the words out with all the zeal I could muster.  The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me; I stand alone on the Word […]

Lament and Wait Quietly for the Lord
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Lament and Wait Quietly for the Lord

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Far too frequently we look around our lives and find so much going so wrong.   Sometimes we know what we can do about our problems, and sometimes we don’t.  But that’s where faith comes in.  Here’s what I mean: The sixth century before Christ was a time of tremendous pain for the Israelites.  The Temple […]

Seeking God's Face
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Seeking God’s Face

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I always cringe a little when I hear people of various Protestant denominations say they belong to a “Bible-based” church and that, as a Catholic, I don’t. They aren’t right, of course. Unfortunately, they aren’t completely wrong, either, when they imply that, generally, Catholics don’t “know our Bible” the way many of them do. I […]

A Life Lived in the Spirit
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A Life Lived in the Spirit

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At the request of Jesus, the Holy Spirit has been given to us. Do we really know what that means? What does a life lived in the spirit look like? “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come […]

Reflections for Sunday, August 11, 2013
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Reflections for Sunday, August 11, 2013

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Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion (Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalm 33:1,12,18-22; Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19; Luke 12:32-48)  Allowing the Gift of Faith to Impact Our Lives More Deeply  Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)  In a practical way, we live by faith all the time. […]

Holy Male Friendships
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Holy Male Friendships

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The moment doesn’t last that long. A few minutes, tops. It happens every Saturday morning I’m able to drag my body out of bed at 6 o’clock to join my brothers in Christ at a local Bread Company. Either Larry Boldt or Jim LaVictoire passes out a card to each member of our group — […]

Love and Selfishness
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Love and Selfishness

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In recent times there has been somewhat of an appropriate backlash against the idea that a girl is supposed to be an idle “princess” just waiting around for her Prince Charming.  In fact, not to long ago I wrote a post about how we don’t actually have to wait another minute for our love story […]

Jesus is Not an Isolated Missionary
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Jesus is Not an Isolated Missionary

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Angelus message from July 7, 2013. “Jesus is not an isolated missionary”, Pope Francis said; “he does not want to fulfill his mission alone, but involves his disciples. Today we see that, in addition to the Twelve Apostles, He calls seventy-two others, and sends them into the villages, two by two, to announce that the […]

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