Friday, January 18, 2019

The Bridegroom Revealed: The 2nd Sunday of OT


This Sunday we remain in the afterglow of Epiphany, the celebration of the “manifestation” of Jesus’ divine glory. [Greek epi – phaino = “shine upon” = “reveal, manifest.”]  Epiphany, which once was its own season (like Advent or Christmas), has often been associated with three events from the Gospels: the Magi, the Baptism, and the Wedding at Cana.  These are the first events that reveal or “manifest” Jesus’ glory in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, respectively.  Certain well-known Epiphany hymns (e.g. “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”) make reference to all three events, and in antiquity the celebration of all three was clustered around January 6 in many rites.  Eventually, the different rites separated out the liturgical celebration of the different events and placed them on separate days. 

In Year C, the Church quite consciously offers us the Wedding at Cana for our meditation on the Sunday immediately following the Baptism.  By happy Providence, this year we are able to ponder the Magi, the Baptism, and Cana on successive Sundays.

The Readings for this Lord’s Day highlight Jesus as our spiritual bridegroom.

1. The First Reading is the same used at the Christmas Vigil, Isaiah 62:1-5:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: An M.A. in Scripture at the Augustine Institute

I am very pleased to announce that we are launching a new M.A. in Sacred Scripture at the Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology. We are looking to accept about three students into this rigorous program.

Those who are accepted will have access to funding for the degree. Students will learn from professors like Brant Pitre, Mark Giszczak, John Sehorn, Tim Gray, and myself in small seminar style courses taught here in beautiful Denver, CO. More information is provided in the video below. If you are a professor and have questions, please let me know. This is a special opportunity for your students interested in pursuing an academic career in biblical studies. Please help us spread the word about this exciting new program!

Tomorrow, Friday, January 17, at 3pm (EST) I will be doing a special webinar to answer any questions people might have. To join us, please contact our Director of Admission, Kathryn Murray: kathryn.gillette@augustineinstitute.org

Hope you can join us!


Monday, January 14, 2019

The Wedding at Cana (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video is now out on the Wedding at Cana for The Mass Readings Explained.  Check it out below.

Catholic Productions' Notable Quote:
But Jesus says something else, he says, "My hour has not yet come." So, in John's gospel, that points forward to his passion and death, the hour of the cross, the hour of his passion. And so, mysteriously, somehow Mary's words, “they have no wine,” Jesus has taken them not just to refer to the problem of the practical loss of wine, but somehow to refer to the hour of his passion and his death. Why does he go there? How does he get from "A" to "Z"? How does he get from "running out of wine" to "the hour of the cross"?


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Baptism of Our Lord




The end of the Season of Christmas arrives this Sunday, as we celebrate the event that marked the end of Jesus’ early life and the beginning of his public ministry: the Baptism.

The Christmas decorations coming down in our churches and homes inevitably leaves a feeling of sadness and nostalgia.  We don’t want to move on from meditation on all the joyful aspects of Our Lord’s early life, the incidents of wonder and mystery, like the angels singing to the shepherds, or the visit of the Magi.  Nonetheless, as we leave the Christmas Season behind, today’s readings remind us of the power of the Holy Spirit that we share with Jesus!  The very Spirit of God has been given us in our own baptisms—this Spirit has ushered us into a new world, a New Creation in which we can daily walk with God, just like Adam and Eve once walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day.

So we will look for “New Creation” themes as we work through this Sunday’s Readings.

Monday, January 07, 2019

The Baptism of the Lord (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video is now out for The Mass Readings Explained.  Check it out below.

Catholic Productions' notable quote:

"So the reason the Church picks this passage as background to the Baptism of Jesus is because Jesus is being revealed as the beloved — not just the Son — but the beloved servant of God, in whom God’s soul takes delight, upon whom the Spirit comes and who will eventually bring this new law, this new light, not just to Israel but to the Gentiles as well. That's what he’s going to do, and the way you’ll know he's the servant … is through his miracles, right. He's going to 'open the eyes of the blind,' he’s going to bring out the 'prisoners from the dungeon.' That's exactly what Jesus is going to begin to do in his public ministry: Open people's eyes to the truth of his new law, but also literally open their eyes through his healings, and his signs, and his wonders."



Thursday, January 03, 2019

The Readings for Epiphany


The word “Epiphany” comes from two Greek words: epi, “on, upon”; and phaino, “to appear, to shine.” Therefore, the “Epiphany” refers to the divinity of Jesus “shining upon” the earth, in other words, the manifestation of his divine nature.

The use of the word “epiphany” for the revelation of divinity predates Christianity.  The Syrian (Seleucid) emperor Antiochus IV (reign 175-165 BC), the villainous tyrant of 1-2 Maccabees, named himself “Epiphanes,” because he considered himself the manifestation of divinity on earth.  His people called him “Epimanes,” which means roughly “something is pressing on the brain,” in other words, “insane.”  Antiochus eventually died in defeat; apparently mankind would need to wait for a different king to be the “Epiphany” of divinity.

1.  Our First Reading is taken from Isaiah 60:1-6: