Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Biblical Roots of Ash Wednesday

With Ash Wednesday upon us, we decided to shoot a video on the Biblical Roots of Ash Wednesday and the purpose of Lent. After watching it yourself, we hope you can help us spread the word through your Likes and Shares. Thank you!



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trusting God for All We Need: Readings for the 8th Sunday in OT


As we continue reading the Sermon on the
Mount this week, we come to the place where God assures us that he will meet our temporal needs: “seek first the kingdom and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”  How often the saints have found this to be true, beginning as young people with nothing and often ending their lives at the head of orders or movements with amazing resources!  And yet, to take advantage of these resources for personal gain would be to lose the way, and begin worshipping a false God.  So today’s readings urge us to trust God for want we need, but never to see God and his service as a means to some other end.

1. Our First Reading is Is 49:14-15:

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Sermon on the Mount 5: Money & Anxiety (The Mass Readings Explained)

This upcoming Sunday's video, explaining the Mass Readings, is now out. Check it out and please Like and Share! Thank you.



Monday, February 13, 2017

The Sermon on the Mount 4: Love Your Enemies, Be Perfect (The Mass Readings Explained)

Catholic Productions just released my latest video on this Sunday's readings.  I hope it helps and please Like and Share if you are able.  Thanks! 



Loving Those You Hate: The 7th Sunday of OT

 
The 1914 Christmas Truce of WW1
This Sunday’s Readings include some of the best known—and hardest to practice—passages from the Gospel, including Jesus famous command to “turn the other cheek.”  Biblical scholarship can only go so far in elucidating some of Jesus’ challenging commands; beyond that, we need the saints. 



1.  Our Readings start off showing the continuity between Jesus’ teachings and the Old Testament, quoting a section from Leviticus (19:1-2, 17-18):


Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Demanding Laws of Jesus: Readings for the 6th Sunday of OT

 
The “Hippie Jesus" is one of the common misunderstandings of Christ that are circulating in popular culture.  People think of Jesus as a laid back guru who traveled around Israel in this Volkswagen Vanagon, accompanied by twelve dudes in tie-died T-shirts.  Jesus taught that all we need is Love, and not to be so uptight, like all those rule-bound priests and scribes.

Of course, that view of Jesus is wrong.  People adopt it, however, because they misunderstand the nature of Jesus’ conflict with the priests, scribes, and Pharisees that dominated Jewish religious practice in his day.  Because Jesus criticizes them for the way they practice the law, people get the impression that Jesus was against law in general.  But that’s sadly wrong.  Jesus’ criticisms were leveled at the way religious authorities in his day (1) did not interpret the law properly, by allowing lesser principles (e.g. ritual purity) override larger principles (e.g. mercy and justice); (2) did not practice what they taught; and (3) employed complicated legal reasoning to avoid the ethical demands of the moral law.  

The Pharisees were not righteous people.  Rather, they were wealthy persons who used their legal training to create loopholes so they would not have to do the right thing in painful situations.  In this Sunday’s Readings, Jesus calls us to face up to the full demands of God’s moral law, without rationalizing or making excuses for ourselves.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Friday, February 03, 2017

Church, Temple, Lighthouse: The Fifth Sunday in OT

 

The Readings for this Sunday remind me of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which I’ve had the privilege of visiting a couple of times.  This beautiful church is built on a hillside and is easily visible from much of the modern city of Nazareth.  The architect designed the dome of the basilica to look like a lighthouse, symbolizing the light of Christ going out to all Nazareth and the rest of the Galilee region, in keeping with the theme of last week’s Gospel, “Those walking in darkness have seen a great light.”

The theme of light continues in this Sunday’s Readings, in which Jesus calls the people of God, the Church, to be a kind of lighthouse or beacon calling the whole world to the safe harbor with God.

1. The First Reading Isaiah 58:7-10: