As a college student, my prized possession was an after-market car stereo. It was my pride and joy: glorious audio, eye-catching display screen, and multi-disc CD changer. It drained my hardearned dollars, but it was totally worth it. It drenched me in music everywhere I drove. On Ash Wednesday of my senior year of college, Father Tom, the Jesuit priest at my university said, “Pray for God to tell you what he wants you to sacrifice for Lent.” I did. In my heart, the answer came: “Give up listening to your car stereo for forty days.” I winced. Not possible, I thought. Can’t do it. I made other plans. The next morning, I was stunned to find that my car had been broken into, and my fancy stereo ripped out and stolen.READ MORE
A covenant is a formal agreement between two parties. Assuming both parties enter into the covenant of their own free will, it is a bond that cannot be broken. As time goes on, that covenant will be tested and its validity questioned by skeptics, but it will remain I f it is real.
God's covenant with his people is real. It began with a promise made to Noah and was renewed in the person of Jesus Christ. It has been tested by man through sin and by evil through Jesus' trials in the desert. But here in 2024, it still remains as strong as ever.READ MORE
Recently I had a skin rash, and it was awful. (Please don’t tell anyone.) I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t handle it well. Complaining, whining, begging for sympathy, and crying were my responses to the merciless itching and burning. In the aftermath, a silver lining emerged. I feel a new heartfelt sympathy for all those vexed with chronic skin problems. If you’ve ever had a seemingly unending skin problem, you know how that sympathy flows up from deep inside.READ MORE
The four parts of the Gospel today consist of: First, Jesus heals the mother in law of Peter. Second, news spread of the presence of Jesus; He heals and casts out unclean spirits after sunset. Third, early morning, Jesus withdraws to a deserted place to PRAY. Fourth, Jesus visits synagogues and casts out evil spirits.
The readings give us a wide range of human experiences, from the darkness and hopelessness of Job, losing everything (1st reading), to the joy of healing and freedom from evil spirits provided by Jesus.READ MORE
The description of a future messenger of God fits any prophets in the Old Testament. Yahweh grants the request of the office of the prophet as the mediator between God and the people. But God will also send a final prophet, the eschatological prophet of the end times. Some see Jesus as the fulfillment of the eschatological prophet. The early Christian community saw Christ as the final prophet.
God knows not all people can dedicate themselves totally to Him. Thus, He respects the different states of life, married life, and unmarried state. For consecrated persons, it is ideal to be single because they would worry less about temporal things. They can exclusively offer themselves to the Lord with all heart and soul. But a married person, on the other hand, will be preoccupied with many other temporal things, plus their responsibilities towards wife and children.READ MORE
The 1st reading tells us how God shows infinite mercy even to a pagan nation, as long as they repent their deeds and believe His messenger (Jonah). The people of Nineveh listened to Jonah and repented and showed sincere acts of penance: The people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast, and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. (Jon. 3:5)READ MORE
John the Evangelist uses the theme of the Lamb of God a lot in his Gospel and the book of Revelation. For John the Baptist, Jesus is the Lamb of God. The symbolism of the lamb as an innocent sacrifice originated in the Old Testament. In the Temple liturgy, they sacrifice an innocent lamb as a holocaust or burnt offering. The burnt offering stresses the victim's character of the offering. The lamb symbolizes an innocent, harmless, and endearing sacrifice depicting the Savior, the Lamb of God. The prophets use these unique characteristics of the lamb to refer to the Messiah, the Christ.READ MORE
The Solemnity of the Epiphany reveals the Divine plan of salvation of the world not limited to the Jews but opened to all humanity. God manifested or revealed Himself (Epiphany) as the Savior Jesus Christ to the Gentile world represented by the Magi or the Three Wise Men from the East. God revealed His plan, first to the Jewish people and veiled from the rest of the world. But in the fullness of time, God bared that the Gentiles are also part of the mystery of the redemption of the human race. Salvation is no longer exclusive to the Jews but for all.READ MORE