Healing

In today’s readings we see the theme of healing. It is a common theme, of course, in the gospels. A large percentage of the synoptic gospels describes healing miracles. In the 8th and 9th chapters of Matthew alone Jesus cures ten individuals, plus “many who were possessed by devils.” The Gospels In the Gospel of…

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My Journey to the Catholic Church

It is a real pleasure to comment on the Scripture passage which is dearest to my heart. Sometimes you Catholics from birth must wonder if the passages you use to support Catholic teaching are really convincing, or if you like them because they support positions you already hold. I am telling you today that they…

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Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

Today’s first reading features an image that has captured the imagination of many people ever since—Jew, Christian and modern secular alike: Jacob’s ladder. The situation is this: Jacob, having received his father Isaac’s principal blessing, is now on his way to a distant country. He is going to find a bride among his mother’s relatives.…

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Prayer, Good Conduct, Good Result

One interesting feature of today’s reading is the phrase: “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness.” The New American Bible is the only version which translates the phrase this way. I have two other English translations and four different foreign language versions that read: “Prayer with fasting and…

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Early Controversy in the Church

Basilica of Saint Peter

In today’s first reading we hear about the first great controversy in the Church. It dealt with the relationship of the Jewish law to the Christian faith. It sounds odd to us today, but Jesus lived as a Jew, all the apostles lived as Jews, and Jesus even said that His mission was to the…

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Important Points in History

We’ve made it! We prepared ourselves by forty days of prayer and fasting, and now we celebrate the great resurrection of our Lord. We celebrate Easter in a special way all week, and in each gospel reading we’ll hear and meditate on a certain appearance of our risen Lord to different disciples. We then keep…

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Joseph Betrayed by His Brothers

Heavenly home

In this first half of Lent, we hear in the Mass readings especially about virtue and vice and how we should choose virtue. Today’s first reading shows us a particularly nasty act. In my eyes, it is one of the worst deeds described in the Bible, since it involves the betrayal of a brother. Most…

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Herod and Herodias

When King Herod heard John the Baptist speak, “he was very much disturbed; yet he felt the attraction of his words.” On the other hand, “Herodias harbored a grudge” against John and “wanted to kill him.” Here we see the difference between sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit. Herod clearly suffers from…

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Example of Strength In Anti-Catholic Times

The first week of the year is a glorious time for North America, in that we celebrate three feast days in a row. Yesterday we feted St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first U.S.-born person to be canonized. Tomorrow we remember St. Andre Bessett, the great Canadian Holy Cross brother. Today is St. John Neumann’s day.…

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We are the Church

Alexander the Great was an invincible general. At the age of 20 he inherited a united (mostly) Greece and the best army in the world from his father Philip. He proceeded to conquer Persia, Egypt, Palestine, parts of central Asia and even portions of India. He was enormously intelligent and never lost a battle. Before…

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