Monday, February 24, 2020

What Are the Biblical Roots of Ash Wednesday?

This week's video for The Mass Readings Explained is now out.  May it benefit your entire Lenten journey this year.  You can find the full-length version by subscribing to this series at the link above.

God bless.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Ash Wednesday

(Posts on 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time and 1st Sunday of Lent are below)
Happy Lent, everyone! It’s Ash Wednesday!

Holy Mother Church calls us to begin the Great Fast in preparation for Easter by proclaiming the following Scriptures:

Jesus the New Adam: The First Sunday of Lent A

The readings for today’s Mass are exceptionally rich and could be the subject of several week’s worth of lectures, so we will have to limit ourselves today to a few central themes.

The First Reading is the account of the Fall, in which Eve, followed by Adam, gives in to temptation by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Reading 1 Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7

The LORD God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Turn the Other Cheek: The 7th Sunday of OT

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):

Monday, February 17, 2020

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Holiness: Readings for 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.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Sermon on the Mount, Part 3 (The Mass Readings Explained)

This week's video for The Mass Readings Explained is now available.  Check out this clip below, and subscribe today for the full-length version with a free 14 day free trial.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 07, 2020

Light, Salt, Temple: Readings for the 5th Sunday in OT

Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel
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.