Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Seventh Sunday of Easter


In the provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Omaha, Ascension Day is observed on it's proper day, and this Sunday is observed as the Seventh Sunday of Easter.  It's a shame that so much of the country will not have a chance to meditate on these Scriptures, but perhaps even those of us living in areas where the Seventh Sunday is not celebrated can benefit by bringing these Readings to our prayer.

(If you're looking for the Ascension commentary, it's below.)

Holy Mother Church offers as an intriguing theme in these Readings: the paradoxical relationship between glory and suffering.  We find these two motifs expressed particularly in the Second Reading and Gospel.

Ascension Day!




If you are living in Nebraska or the northeastern US, then congratulations, this is Ascension Day! (The rest of the country will observe it this Sunday.) This is an unusual Solemnity, in which the “action” of the Feast Day actually takes place in the First Reading.  We typically think of all the narratives of Jesus’ life as recorded in the Gospels, overlooking that Acts records at least two important narratives about the activity of the Resurrected Lord (Acts 1:1-11; also 9:1-8).

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Samaritan Pentecost: 6th Sunday of Easter



So we have arrived at the sixth Sunday of Easter, and Pentecost is only two weeks away!  It is hard to believe that this blessed season has traveled by so quickly.  Yet we are approaching the end, now is the time to prepare more seriously than ever to be filled anew with the Holy Spirit on this upcoming Feast. 
Our Readings for this Sunday are filled with instruction and narrative about the gift  of the Holy Spirit.  In the First Reading, we have the account of the “Samaritan Pentecost,” as the Holy Spirit falls on these much-maligned descendants of northern Israel.  In the Second Reading, Peter encourages us that, though we be maligned and persecuted in this life, we will be brought to eternal life in the Spirit with Christ.  In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us about the Spirit, who communicates to us the Life and the Love of the Father.

1.  Our First Reading is Acts 8:5-8, 14-17:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jesus, the Advocate, and Confirmation (The Mass Readings Explained)

The video for this Sunday's Mass Readings is now out: Jesus, the Advocate, and Confirmation.

For those who subscribe, if you would like to help spread the word about this series, please be sure to Like and Share.  Thank you!



Friday, May 12, 2017

Building the New Temple: The 5th Sunday of Easter


Since the beginning of time, human beings have sought to construct buildings that would bridge the gap between the temporal and eternal, earthly and heavenly planes of existence.  These temples have taken widely differing forms in many cultures.  One of the greatest was the Jerusalem temple begun by Herod the Great (73–4 BC), an architectural marvel of the ancient world while it stood (finished in AD 66, razed in AD 70). 

The authors of the New Testament texts in this Sunday’s Readings were well familiar with Herod’s great temple, yet they were convinced that God had begun the construction new and greater dwelling place for himself in their own time, consisting not of gathered stones, but of a gathering (ekklesia) of human beings, first of whom was Jesus the Christ.  Thus, our Readings are filled with images of the building of the Church, the new sanctuary that would replace the old and continue to serve as God’s habitation on earth till the end of time.

1.  Our First Reading is Acts 6:1-7:

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Way, the Truth, and the Life (The Mass Readings Explained)

My latest video for this Sunday's Mass Readings is now out: The Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

For those who subscribe, if you would like to help spread the word about this series, please be sure to Like and Share.  Thank you!



Saturday, May 06, 2017

Good Shepherd Sunday: 4th Sunday of Easter


So we have reached the mid-point of the Easter Season and come to the Lord’s Day unofficially called “Good Shepherd Sunday,” because every year at this time we read from John 10, the famous “Good Shepherd Discourse.”   For the most part, the Readings are focused around the idea of Jesus Christ as our divine Shepherd.

Monday, May 01, 2017

The Good Shepherd and the Gate (The Mass Readings Explained)

My latest video for this Sunday's Mass Readings is now out.

For those who subscribe, if you would like to help spread the word about this series, please be sure to Like and Share.  Thank you!