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Bible

“And in the Morning Watch, the Lord … Cast a Glance” – A Meditation on the Look of the Lord

May 28, 2017 1 Comment
“And in the Morning Watch, the Lord … Cast a Glance” – A Meditation on the Look of the Lord

Lest the Easter Season slip away and I miss the chance, I would like to look back on a reading from the Easter Vigil. There is indeed an astonishing verse in the Exodus account, which was read at the Easter Vigil. The Lord has parted the waters of the Red Sea by a strong eastern […]

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Living the Lessons of Love – A Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter

May 20, 2017 3 Comments
Living the Lessons of Love – A Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter

In the Gospel for today’s Mass, Jesus gives us three lessons on love meant to prepare us for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. They also go a long way in describing the normal Christian life. Too many Christians see the Faith more as a set of rules to keep than as a […]

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Stern Love – A Meditation on a Moment When Jesus Was Unkind

February 9, 2017 5 Comments
Stern Love – A Meditation on a Moment When Jesus Was Unkind

The Gospel for today’s Mass shocks most modern readers and perhaps a few ancient ones as well. It is the story of the Syrophoenician woman who begs Jesus to heal her daughter. But Jesus ignores and then rebuffs her. Our shock says perhaps more about our poor understanding of love than about Jesus’ terse response. For review, here is […]

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Adam Lived to Be 900? Maybe, but Our Shorter Life Spans Tell Us More Than We Might Like to Admit

June 9, 2016 30 Comments
Adam Lived to Be 900? Maybe, but Our Shorter Life Spans Tell Us More Than We Might Like to Admit

I sometimes get questions about the remarkably long lives of the patriarchs who lived before the great flood. Consider some of their reported ages when they died: Adam 930 Seth 912 Enosh 905 Jared 962 Methuselah 969 Noah 600 Shem 600 Eber 464 Abraham 175 Moses 120 David 70 How should we understand these references? […]

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On Straining out Gnats and Swallowing Camels, as Seen in a Persistent Biblical Debate

February 23, 2016 8 Comments
On Straining out Gnats and Swallowing Camels, as Seen in a Persistent Biblical Debate

The teaching contained in the Gospel for yesterday (Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Lent) is one that is easy to miss by overanalyzing the details. Catholics are frequently questioned about the passage: Jesus says, “Call no man on earth your father.” That one line spurs a battle! On one side, Evangelicals stand poised to […]

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Why Does Jesus Tell Us to Use “Dishonest Wealth”?

November 8, 2015 19 Comments
Why Does Jesus Tell Us to Use “Dishonest Wealth”?

There was a puzzling reference in Saturday morning’s Gospel (Saturday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time) in which Jesus says, I tell you, make friends for yourselves by your use of dishonest wealth, so that, when it fails, they will welcome you to eternal dwellings (Luke 16:9). What does He mean by “dishonest wealth”? […]

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The Sins of God’s People As Stated in the Prophet Malachi

November 3, 2015 11 Comments
The Sins of God’s People As Stated in the Prophet Malachi

In yesterday’s post, we considered the sins of the priests (and they were numerous enough). Today we examine the sins of the people that the Lord sets forth in the Book of Malachi. Here, too, please understand that not everyone is guilty of all of these things. However, they are common human sins and sinful […]

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Genesis and Genre – A Brief Consideration of the Need to Understand Literary Form

October 8, 2015 20 Comments
Genesis and Genre – A Brief Consideration of the Need to Understand Literary Form

The Bible has within its pages many literary forms: history, poetry, prayer, prose, theology, liturgical instruction, cosmology, genealogy, philosophy, parable, moral tale, and so forth. How exactly to read its pages and understand them is often a matter of understanding the genre. The word genre comes directly from the French word meaning “kind” or “sort.” […]

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