The final line of the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles is, “Repent, therefore, that your sins may be wiped away.” This is part of a message which Peter evidently often stated as he evangelized and spread the word about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Penance, repentance, is an important part of our Catholic faith. One of our seven Sacraments, there is much in Church doctrine about the importance of this sacrament. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1424) it states, “It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element. In a profound sense it is also a “confession” - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of His mercy toward sinful men and women.”READ MORE
On this Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, what we hear in the Word of the Lord enforces what we need to believe. It has a lot to do with the idea of stewardship. Some of what we hear is often misinterpreted.
The First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles points out about the early Christian community: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his or her possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” This is a sign of unity, the kind of unity we as a faith community are striving to achieve. The bottom line is that those in the community regarded people more important than things. Is that not what Christ expects of us?READ MORE
In his letter to the Philippians, our Second Reading on this Palm Sunday, St. Paul writes, “…he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Everything we hear today and during Holy Week relates to this statement.READ MORE
Easter Sunday is but two weeks away (April 1). In our First Reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we hear God tell us, “I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.” To affirm that forgiveness, St. Paul has this to say in the Second Reading: “He (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” There is a connection between these two statements which present forgiveness as the way to salvation.READ MORE
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Do we really need a more powerful reminder of the importance of Lent and Easter than that?
That verse (from John 3:16) has become very popular in modern culture, to the point that we see it often at athletic events. When the University of Florida played for the national college football championship in 2009, quarterback Tim Tebow did not wear the regular eye black under his eyes. Under his right eye it said “John” and under his left eye it said “3:16.” God sends us messages all the time, if we listen and are attentive.READ MORE
Our First Reading from the Old Testament Book of Exodus presents the Ten Commandments, as God gave them to Moses. The Commandments also appear in the Book of Deuteronomy (Chapter 5; verses 6-21). The Commandments are reaffirmed in the New Testament by Jesus Himself and especially in the Gospel of John.
The Ten Commandments are also called the “Decalogue,” which means literally “ten words.” According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#2056) “God revealed these ‘ten words’ to His people on the holy mountain. They were written ‘with the finger of God.’ They are pre-eminently the words of God”READ MORE
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) posts notes regarding all the Books of the Bible. In its introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Romans (our Second Reading), the USCCB says, “Of all the letters of Paul, that to the Christians at Rome has long held pride of place. It is the longest and most systematic unfolding of the apostle’s thought, expounding the gospel of God’s righteousness that saves all who believe; it reflects a universal outlook.”READ MORE
It seems fitting that our readings on this First Sunday of Lent begin with the Old Testament Book of Genesis. The book was first called “Genesis” — ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ — in the Greek Septuagint translation, as it presents both the origin of the world and mankind, and in particular, the Hebrew people. The book in Hebrew was known by its opening expression, “In the beginning.”READ MORE
Often one of our human weaknesses has to do with us believing or thinking we know better than God in relation to what we do and what we do in relation to others. Of course, part of that has to do with our failure to pray and consult the Lord, or even more to make no effort to understand what God may be telling us.READ MORE
The fact that today’s Gospel from Mark makes reference to Jesus curing Peter’s mother-in-law would seem to point to the fact that Peter was married. However, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that the wife may have died before Peter was called by Jesus as an Apostle. In fact, there are many misconceptions about St. Peter. For one, although often portrayed as much older, he was probably younger than Jesus. In fact, all 12 Apostles were most likely younger than Jesus.READ MORE