Monday, July 25, 2016

Scepter Releases Pocket Catholic NT

There have been at least a dozen times that Pope Francis has urged Catholics to carry a NT with them, and Scepter Press has just helped fulfill that call by producing a high-quality RSVCE translation of the NT in a handy pocket-sized format.  Before this, the only similar NT available was the old Confraternity edition, the precursor of the NAB.  It was pretty good, but I'm sure most Catholic readers of the NT would like a more up-to-date translation.  This edition can be purchased from Scepter Publishers here.  Stuart Dunn has a good review of it over on his blog.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jesus Teaches Us How To Pray: The Mass Readings Explained (The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

My latest video on this Sunday's Mass readings is now available.  I hope it helps!

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Haggling With God: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Who has the guts to bargain with the Divinity?  Abraham, the father of the Israel, does.  In the Readings for this Sunday, we find united several themes: persistence in prayer, the justice and mercy of God, the generosity of God.

1.  Our First Reading is Gn 18:20-3:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Myth of the Council of Jamnia and the Origin of the Bible

Check out my latest video with the guys at Catholic Productions on "The Myth of the Council of Jamnia and the Origin of the Bible."  I hope this helps!

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Martha, Mary and the One Thing Necessary: The Mass Readings Explained (The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

The guys at Catholic Productions just released my latest video for this Sunday's Mass readings.  Check it out after reading John's commentary below.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Entertaining God: The 16th Sunday of OT

This Sunday, as we continue to accompany Jesus on his fateful journey to Jerusalem in the Gospel of Luke, we are confronted with a pair of Readings in which human beings host a meal for God: Abraham for the LORD in the First Reading; Martha and Mary for Jesus in the Gospel.  But is it really possible for us to “do God a favor” by giving him a nice meal?  We are going to discover that, while God graciously accepts our services, it’s really about what God does for us, not what we can do for him.

1.  The First Reading is Gn 18:1-10a:

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Jewish Roots of the Merciful Samaritan: The Mass Readings Explained (The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

While I'm not as clever with the titles as John apparently is(!), after you check out his post below,  I hope my video may be of help to you as well.   And, if you can, please Like and Share!  Thanks!

Won't You Be My Neighbor? The 15th Sunday of OT

Fred Rogers used to sing at the opening of his classic children’s show:

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine? Could you be mine? …
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please, won't you please?
 Please won't you be my neighbor?

Fred Rogers was a highly theological educated man, an ordained Presbyterian minister who also gave generous grants to St. Vincent’s College and Seminary (Roman Catholic) in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  I think he was well aware of the theological significance of the concept of “neighbor,” which we will explore through the Readings for this Sunday.

This Sunday Jesus issues us a strong challenge to break down the barriers and prejudices that prevent us from showing love to other human beings.  Jesus’ teaching is in continuity with the best synthesis of the moral instruction of the Old Testament and Judaism, which views every human being as a “neighbor.”

1.  The First Reading is Dt 30:10-14:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Mysterious 70 (or 72?) Disciples: The Mass Readings Explained (The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Check out John's commentary on this Sunday's Mass readings below and then check out my supplemental video.  I hope it helps!

If you can kindly Like and Share, it would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gathering the New Jerusalem: The 14th Sunday of OT

In the Readings for this Sunday, Jesus continues his final journey, his fateful “death march” toward Jerusalem (Luke 9–19, the “Travel Narrative”) that began formally in Luke 9:51.  The past several Sundays have foreshadowed Jesus' coming suffering and death, but  this Sunday we get a reprieve as themes of suffering recede into the background.  We are temporarily caught up in the joy of Jesus' ministry, as he assembles around himself a congregation of disciples who constitute a spiritual “Jerusalem.”  In the healing ministry of Jesus and his disciples, we see a fulfillment of certain prophecies of peace and restoration to the “holy city” of the LORD.

1. The First Reading is Is 66:10-14c:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Call of Discipleship: 13th Sunday in OT

The Readings for this upcoming Sunday continue the strong call to discipleship issued in last Sunday's Readings.  Jesus stresses that following him must be an immediate and complete commitment of one's entire person.  As someone once said, "Jesus did not come to suffer, die and rise from the dead in order to create 'cultural Catholics.'"

1.  Our First Reading is from 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead: The Mass Readings Explained (The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

My latest video explaining this week's Sunday Mass readings is now up. I hope it helps, and please Like and Share! Thank you!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Messianic Secret: The Mass Readings Explained (The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Check out John's post on this Sunday's Mass readings below and then my supplemental video.  I hope it helps your participation in Mass!  And, please Like and Share.  Thanks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Turning to Face the Cross: 12th Sunday of OT

As the Church reads through the Gospel of Luke this year, we reach a transition point in this Sunday's text (Luke 9:18-24) where the focus of the Gospel begins to shift toward Christ's coming passion and death.  Sorrowful though his suffering will be, ironically it shall serve as the source of the life-giving “water” about which the other readings speak. 
1.  Our First Reading is from Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Faith, Love, and Forgiveness: The 11th Sunday of OT

The Readings for this Sunday revolve around a constellation of fundamental issues in our relationship with God: sin, repentance, forgiveness, faith, and love.  Two of the passages used in this liturgy have been battlegrounds in the theological polemic between Protestants and Catholics, but ought not to be so.

1.  Our First Reading is 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13:

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Life from the Dead: 10th Week of Ordinary Time

This Sunday we return to Ordinary Time, picking up with the tenth week in Year C.  “Tenth week?  What happened to weeks 6,7,8, and 9?” you might ask.  Well, weeks 7,8, & 9 were pre-empted by Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, respectively.  And week 6 was skipped, because otherwise we would not get to Week 34 (Christ the King) before Advent 2017 started.  The practical result of all that is we omit Luke 6 from the cycle of readings this year, and skip ahead to Luke 7.

The Readings this Sunday are focussed on the theme of resurrection from the dead.  The First Reading recounts Elijah raising a boy from the dead.  The Psalm praises God for delivering David from Sheol (the grave). In the Epistle, Paul recounts seeing the risen Christ.  In the Gospel, Jesus raises the son of the widow of Nain.

1.  We begin with 1 Kgs 17:17-24

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Jesus Raises the Widow of Nain's Son: The Mass Readings Explained (The Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Improve your participation at Mass this Sunday with my latest video explaining the Mass readings.  I hope it helps.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

After reading John's commentary on the Mass readings for this Sunday, check out my video.

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