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You Have to Decide About Jesus, one way or the other- A Meditation on the Trial Before Pilate

In the Matthean Passion Account we come to the trial before Pilate. Pontius Pilate is a study in evasion and vacillation. Despite being a man of great political and worldly power, Pilate is indecisive, inwardly troubled, and quite incapable of doing what he knows is right. Whatever outward power he had, inwardly he was weak [...] Read the rest of this entry »

“For Worldly Sorrow Brings Death.” A Meditation on the Sad End of Judas and What Might Have Been.

As we continue to ponder some of the texts of the Matthean Passion Narrative, we turn to the difficult case of Judas. To many modern readers, Judas is something of a sympathetic character. Some of this is due to our (rather flawed) moral reasoning, reasoning that places exaggerated emphasis on subjective issues (such as intentions, [...] Read the rest of this entry »

What Does Jesus Mean When He Says He is Coming on the Clouds?

Continuing to look at some of the text from the Passion according to St. Matthew, we come to the trial of Jesus before Caiaphas the high priest. Having heard false and conflicting testimony from various witnesses, Caiaphas turns to Jesus, and here is where we pick up the text: The high priest rose and addressed [...] Read the rest of this entry »

A Prescription for Life Given By Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

In past years on the blog, I have generally published the schedule of the Lord’s final week according to the Scriptures (on the Monday of Holy Week). Since I have done this in years past, I presume most of you have seen it by now. If you haven’t, you can read it here: A Chronology [...] Read the rest of this entry »

See What the End Shall Be – A Homily for Palm Sunday

The Passion, which we read in today’s liturgy, is too long to comment on in detail. We are only able to take a portion and examine it. It may be of some value to examine the “middle range” of problems and personalities involved. The usual villains such as the Temple leaders, Judas, and the recruited [...] Read the rest of this entry »

On the Joy of Giving, as Seen in a Beautiful Commercial

In our care for the poor, there are many rewards that we know must wait. Sometimes we are not exactly sure what the help we supplied even did at all! Scripture does speak of some blessings that will wait until heaven. And thus Jesus counsels us to store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where [...] Read the rest of this entry »

A Late Lenten Meditation on the Reality of Spiritual Warfare

Every ancient prayer manual and guide to spirituality until about fifty years ago had at least one large section devoted to what was known as Pugna Spiritualis (spiritual battle or spiritual warfare). In more recent decades, many spiritual books have downplayed or completely deleted references to spiritual battle or spiritual warfare. Sadly, many modern approaches [...] Read the rest of this entry »

“How Long O Lord!” A Meditation on the role of anger in prayer.

Among the struggles that many face in their spiritual lives is one in which we at times feel angry with God. While the sources of this anger can be varied, they tend to be focused in three areas: the existence of evil and injustice in the world (which God seems to permit), God’s seeming delay [...] Read the rest of this entry »

“Let no one overreach or defraud others in this matter.” A Meditation on the Scriptural Connection between Sexual Immorality, Greed, and Theft.

Over the years, as I have taught on the matter of sexual morality to both young people and couples preparing for marriage, I have noticed a pattern in the Biblical texts: sexual immorality is quite often linked to or closely associated with greed and theft. This link has become clearer and more understandable to me [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Then, Face to Face. Meditation on Our Desire to Look on the Face of God.

I have a large Icon of Christ in my room (see photo at right). What icons from the Eastern tradition do best is to capture “the Look.” No matter where I move in the room, Christ is looking right at me. His look is intense, though not severe. In the Eastern spirituality, Icons are windows [...] Read the rest of this entry »

What CATegory are you in? A Meditation on why the Lord “needs” our faith.

One of the main threads that ran through Sunday’s Gospel about the raising of Lazarus was faith, the need for faith and the Lord’s desire to draw others to a deeper faith. Jesus permits the illness and subsequent death of Lazarus, and even delays coming in order to increase their faith. He persistently questions both [...] Read the rest of this entry »

I’ll Take Back what the Devil Stole from Me. A Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent

In today’s Gospel, we hear the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The story is a significant turning point in the ministry of Jesus, for as we shall see, it is because of this incident that the Temple leadership in Jerusalem resolves to have Jesus killed. As is proper with all the [...] Read the rest of this entry »