The video at the bottom of this page is a commentary on the Gospel of John by Fr. Francis Martin, an excellent and well known biblical scholar. He has given many priest retreats, and taught in many settings, most recently at the Dominican House of Studies here in Washington.

He has been a great teacher of mine though his retreats and tape ministry. He has also been instrumental in my spiritual life through his careful and clear articulation of a theology of transformation, and insistence that we, as Christians, come to know and live the normal Christian life, a life of on-going and total transformation by the grace of God. He is a humble and prayerful man of God, a holy priest.

Recently Fr. Martin has begun a YouTube ministry that I would like to recommend to your attention. The video at the bottom is but a sample of a growing series. I want to be brief here to encourage you to take the time and watch the video. Fr. Martin is here covering the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus, in John’s gospel. Among the points he makes are these

1. Going up to Jerusalem- You always go up to Jerusalem. It doesn’t matter where you live, south or north, even if you live in the highest mountains, you always go up to Jerusalem.

2. Temple Worship is over - The cleansing of the Temple marks a major turning point in the Lord’s life. One of the over arching themes of the Gospel of John is that Temple worship is over. Jesus is now the temple.

3. Time – we in the modern West like to control things by measuring them. Time for us (especially in America) is considered a precise measurement, and it’s a way we try to stay in control. But in ancient culture, (and in many cultures today), the idea of space and time were different, more poetic, less precise. “Tuesday morning at 10 AM” is precise for us, for the ancients, it was a more general framework. This helps explain why John places the cleansing of the Temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, the Synoptics at the end. The time is less the point to them. We obsess over which is right, but they were less concerned with when and more with what.

4. What is the Theology of Geography?

5. Why were there money changers and the selling of animals?

6. What was the spiritual problem against which Jesus is reacting?

Please consider taking some time to view the video. It is very informative and spiritual. Fr. Martin’s style is relaxed and subtle. Listen carefully and let the Lord teach you through him.

Father’s YouTube page is here: Fr. Francis Martin Ministries

16 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    Sadly, most people think the Gospel of John is not historical but theological. It’s sad because all the Gospels are both historical and theological. After all, there is literal and spiritual interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures.

  2. Dismas says:

    Our Church, the Gospel of John, purification; a few of my favorite things found here all in one. Quite a fugue, may God free us of all our trifles.

  3. Vijaya says:

    Father Martin explains it all so well. Will you have a permanent link to his talks? I remember a couple of others from last year.

    I know some people criticize Catholics for their *rituals* but I find them beautiful and the physical acts (kneeling, signing ourselves, covering ourselves) is a powerful reminder of our complete dependence on God.

  4. Fr. John Abberton says:

    Many thanks for sharing this news – it is wonderful. I have subscribed.

  5. Nguyen Thuong MInh says:

    Epistle 177
    Firstly, reading and comprehension of Msgr. Charles Pope’s homily are very essential.
    In the title of the homily, “Superb Bible Study on YouTube – Learning from a Great Teacher”, the phrase “a Great Teacher” refers to Fr. Francis Martin.
    According to Msgr. Charles Pope, Fr. Francis Martin is a Great Teacher of him as well as of many other Priests.
    Msgr. Charles Pope said that Fr. Francis Martin retreated (retired) but he still preaches Gospel of John on YouTube as a tape recorder or a video recorder.
    Msgr. Charles Pope also said that Fr. Francis Martin has recorded some themes about Lord Jesus’ teachings in his video recorder on YouTube or in video at the bottom of the blog of the Father.
    Six the recorded themes of Fr. Francis Martin are (1) Going up to Jerusalem, (2) Temple Worship is over, (3) Time, (4) What is the Theology of Geography? (5) Why were there money changers and the selling of animals? (6) What was the spiritual problem against which Jesus is reacting?
    Secondly, now we discuss additionally about the Father’s homily.
    I am a good disciple of Msgr. Charles Pope.
    Msgr. Charles Pope is a good disciple of Fr. Francis Martin.
    Fr. Francis Martin is a good disciple of John the Apostle.
    John the Apostle was a ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’.
    Thus by extension, all us including me, Msgr. Charles Pope, Fr. Francis Martin, and John the Apostle are “disciples whom Jesus loved”./.

  6. AnneG says:

    Thank you, Msgr Pope, We will be studying the Gospel of John this year at my parish Catholic Scripture Study class. I will use these as supplement.

  7. Bernadette Harmon (webmaster for Fr. Francis) says:

    If you would like to hear more or have an easier way of accessing Fr. Francis Martin’s scriptural reflections, they are on his website as a collection and podcast at http://www.frfrancismartin.com. Unregistered users can access the full series on the Gospel of John (he’s up to talk 6 now). Registered users have access to his weekly reflections on each set of Sunday readings! Enjoy!

  8. Jeannie says:

    Msgr. Pope, thank you for leading me to Fr. Martin. I have watched two of his videos this evening; his talks will become part of my scripture study. I am so grateful that through the internet we now have access to amazing theologians and teachers such as Fr. Martin. What a gift and resource for those like me, a revert to the Catholic faith, who truly want to educate themselves (and our children!) in the fullness of the faith.

  9. Polly Howaard says:

    For those of us who have known Father Francis over the years have come to a deep respect and a deeper knowledge od Christ’s and Mary’s Love which shines through his teachings…. I must say that I am one of those dear little ones…. We thank GOd and Mary our blessed mother for giving us back Father after his recent attack just almost 12months…..Praise God and thank you Father for hearing and repsonding You are awesome…..:)

  10. Ramon Tapia says:

    I have heard Father Martin speak at retreats and through CDs. He really is an outstanding scholar and a holy priest. His course on Romans is excellent and one I will continue studying for years to come. His talks about the interpretation of Scripture are very enlightening. His deep understanding and application of the interpretative tradition of the Fathers and his excellent knowledge and applications of the historical critical method makes him a unique scholar of our times. Like my spiritual director told me once, Francis Martin is one of the top New Testament scholars of our times.

  11. Antione Nitschke says:

    Being in the IM field, there’s new how-to information products popping up all the time. There is so much choice, but still, most people end up being sucked in by the sales letter. What’s your advice against being overwhelmed by the manychoices?

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  13. Madelyn Matney says:

    It was great to see and hear public acceptance of Stephen Ministry, on a PBS station. I am a Stephen Leader and sent this to our Pastors and Stephen Ministrers. Stephen Ministry is an important part of our church’s ministry growing and strengthening the faith of our Stephen Ministers and our care receivers. It is hard to determine who gets more out of a Stephen Ministry relationship.

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