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At the Gate Called “Beautiful.” What the Miracle by Peter and John Teaches us about our Spiritual Journey

At the daily masses of the Easter Octave we have been reading, among other things, the story of a paralyzed man whom Peter and John encounter just outside the Temple at the Gate called “Beautiful.” This paralyzed man’s story is our story and as we read it we learn something of our own spiritual journey [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Why Was the Resurrection Such a Hidden Event?

There is something of a hidden quality to the resurrection appearances that has always puzzled me. St. Peter gives voice to this hidden quality in Acts Chapter 10 when he says to Cornelius, “God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all people, but to [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Mary Magdalene’s Journey out of Fear to Easter Faith

As I have commented before, all the resurrection stories depict the Apostles and other disciples on a “journey” of sorts to understand the resurrection. A completely new reality was breaking into their world and challenging their understanding. Far from depicting the disciples as credulous, the texts describe them as shocked, troubled, and even quite dubious. [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Some Keys to Evangelization as Seen in a Record Number of Converts this Year in The Archdiocese of Washington

There was an informative and helpful article in the Washington Post this Easter Sunday that demonstrates certain keys to success in evangelization. The focus of the article is the happy fact that the Archdiocese of Washington welcomed a record number of converts this year at the Easter Vigil. But the article also documents important factors [...] Read the rest of this entry »

The Normal Christian Life – A Meditation on what the Resurrection does to change our lives.

At the Great Easter Vigil, after a lengthy series of Old Testament readings, The lights come on full, the Gloria is intoned and the opening prayer is sung. Then all are seated for the first reading from the New Testament proclaimed in the new light of Easter glory. It is Romans 6, the opening text [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Jesus is Real to Me – A Meditation on the Easter Gospel

Nearly all of the Resurrection accounts in the Gospels present the apostles and disciples on a journey to deeper faith. In stages, they come out of the darkness of despair and of this world into the light of faith. Matthew’s account (28:1-10), which is read at the Easter Vigil this year and can also be [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Four Immediate Results of the Death of Jesus on the Cross, according to Matthew

Bringing our consideration of certain texts from the Matthean Passion Narrative to an end, let’s conclude with the immediate aftermath of Jesus’ Death and see what it has to teach us. There are essentially four immediate results that are described of Jesus’ death, and while they are historical happenings, they also signal deeper spiritual truths. [...] Read the rest of this entry »

Come Down from the Cross and We Will Believe. A Meditation on “Crucial” Decision by Jesus

 One of the most remarkable aspects of the crucifixion of Jesus is the humble reserve he displayed. As God, he had the power to end his suffering and humiliation in an instant. He had already reminded Peter, Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal [...] Read the rest of this entry »

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. Despite the outward power he had, inwardly he was [...] 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 »