Saturday, April 30, 2016

Kingdom of Peace: 6th Sunday of Easter

Edward Hicks, "Peaceable Kingdom," 1833
(Scroll down for Dr. Pitre's video on these readings)

We have arrived at the Sixth Week of Easter, and continue to bask in the glow of the story of the growth of the early Church in Acts, the vision of heaven from the Book of Revelation, and the consolation of Jesus’ words to the Apostles in the Upper Room from John.  It’s a trifecta of glory in these Readings.

If last Sunday we noted a “kingdom of love” theme, this week we notice an emphasis on the idea of the “kingdom of peace.”  In Acts (1st Reading) we see the measures that were necessary to keep peace in the early Church.  In Revelation (2nd Reading) we see the peace of Eden restored in the heavenly New Jerusalem.  In the Gospel we see Jesus bestowing his supernatural peace on the disciples.

1. The First Reading is Acts 15:1-2, 22-29.  Because this reading skips Acts 15:3-21, which I think is very important for understanding the significance of the passage, I have spliced in the missing text below, to aid our understanding:

Monday, April 25, 2016

C. S. Lewis & Bart Ehrman: Liar, Lord, Lunatic, or Legend? (Part 1 of 5)

Catholic Productions is releasing a 5 part introduction to a 12-hour series I did on my latest book, The Case For Jesus.  Here is part 1:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The New Commandment and the New Creation: The Lectionary Readings Explained (The Fifth Sunday of Easter)

After reading John's commentary below, check out the latest video I did on this Sunday's Mass Readings.

Kingdom of Love: The Fifth Sunday of Easter

The Easter Season is passing quickly.  Already it is more than half over, as we progress toward the great Feasts of Ascension and Pentecost.  We want the Season to slow down, so that we may savor the joy and consolation of these readings from Acts and John that dominate the Easter Cycle, but tempus fugit.
The Readings for this Fifth Sunday of Easter describe the growth of the Kingdom of God, which is manifested on earth as the Church.  The first two readings and the psalm are tied together with Kingdom images, and the Gospel reminds us that this Kingdom is characterized by God’s love.

1. The First Reading is Acts 14:21-27:

Friday, April 15, 2016

Readings for Good Shepherd Sunday

(Scroll down for Dr. Pitre's video commentary on the Readings)

This upcoming Lord’s Day is often known as “Good Shepherd Sunday,” since each year the Gospel reading is taken from John 10, the “Good Shepherd Discourse.”  It’s also often observed as a day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, since priests and religious are visible manifestations to us of Christ in his role as the Good Shepherd.

Most of the Readings are tied together by a shepherding theme.

1.  The First Reading continues the traditional Christian practice of reading Acts during the season of Easter.  We are up to Acts 13, the point in Acts where St. Luke begins to follow the career of St. Paul in a particular way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jesus, the Good Shepherd: The Lectionary Readings Explained (Fourth Sunday of Easter)

My latest video explaining this Sunday's Lectionary Readings is now available to watch.  I hope it helps you, in some way, to better prepare for Mass.  And, be sure to check out Dr. Bergsma's amazing commentary coming out later in the week! 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Do you love me? Do you really love me? 3rd Sunday of Easter

(Scroll down for Dr. Pitre's videos on the readings)

This week is the Third Sunday of Easter, and our readings highlight the primacy of Peter among the Apostles, and the primacy of love in following Jesus.  

Just a few comments on the preliminary readings before we concentrate on the Gospel.  During the seven weeks of the Easter Season, the Lectionary reads semi-continuously through Acts in the First Reading (showing the birth of the Church on earth) and through Revelation in the Second (showing the final state of the Church in heaven).  

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Peter the Shepherd & the Papacy (3rd Sunday of Easter)

My latest video on this upcoming Sunday's Mass Readings is now available.

Check it out -- I hope it helps.