How to Read the Bible in a Year

Some friends recently made the excellent decision to read through the entire Bible in the course of a year and asked for advice.  When I first read through the Bible in a year it had a transformative effect on my life.  Spiritually speaking, it was like eating a perfectly balanced diet for a year while working out daily!  I felt stronger; I had more energy for doing what I should do!  Although I had more questions, I felt I had more insight into God’s way of seeing things and familiarity with Sacred Scripture. Continue reading

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Reflecting on the First Corinthians for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

From First Corinthians by George T. Montague, SM, commenting on First Corinthians 6:18:

The only possible conclusion is to flee fornication. The NAB translation, Avoid immorality, though admissible, loses the strength that Paul intends here: shun, escape from, flee. Porneia may be translated “immorality,” but the context suggests more specifically sexual immorality or fornication. Following Saint Thomas Aquinas, spiritual writers have advised that while other vices call for a tactic of resistance, fornication calls for the tactic of flight, lest passion be enkindled by toying with the occasion. 

© 2011 George T. Montague, SM and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Epiphany of the Lord

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 2:1:

The word magi originally described members of the Median and Persian priestly caste who advised the king and interpreted dreams. The term later was used more broadly to denote those who possessed mystical knowledge as priests, astrologers, soothsayers, or sages. Their popular association with kings today may be based on Old Testament passages that recount kings bringing gifts to the royal Davidic son (Ps 72:10–11), including gifts of gold and frankincense (Isa 60:3–6). In the Jewish tradition magi would bring to mind the opponents of Daniel in Babylon, who were associated with enchanters and sorcerers and claimed to interpret dreams and signs (Dan 1:20; 2:2; 4:4; 5:7 LXX). Hence, one would not expect magi from the East to be among the first to pay homage to the Jewish messiah. This account thus sets up a theme that will be repeated throughout Matthew’s gospel: Israel’s king is welcomed by those one would least expect while Jewish leaders work against him (2:4).

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, reflecting on Matthew 1:1:

In this opening verse, Matthew introduces us to the holy name of Jesus, which has been invoked in prayer from the very beginning of Christianity. From a biblical perspective, the very fact that we can call on the name of Jesus is astonishing. In ancient Judaism, God’s name came to be invoked only once a year and only by the High Priest. Now, with God becoming man in Christ, we have the privilege of calling on the name of the Lord. “The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: ‘Jesus,’ ‘YHWH saves’” (Catechism 2666).

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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What Does The First Pope’s First Encyclical Say to Catholics Today?

Peter originally wrote First Peter as a circular letter (which is what “encyclical” means) to a group of churches in Asia Minor in the first century. Their world passed away long ago, but this bright yet sober letter continues to speak to us as the living word of God twenty centuries later. First Peter speaks to us in at least four distinct ways. Continue reading

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Filed under biblical interpretation, biblical theology, Daniel Keating, First and Second Peter, Jude, Uncategorized

Reflecting on the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent

From The Gospel of Mark by Mary Healy, commenting on Mark 1:1-8:

In the original passages [of Isaiah] God was speaking to his people, but Mark has reworked them to portray God speaking to his Son, telling him, Your coming will be prepared by a forerunner, John the Baptist.  Thus the Lord whose way is prepared is Jesus!  His paths will be made straight—that is, the people’s hearts will be made ready for his coming—by the contrition for sin and the repentance that come about through John’s preaching.  Mark is saying, in effect, “Israel, here is your God!  God’s promises are being fulfilled, and a new and greater return from exile is about to take place!”

© 2008 Mary Healy and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

 

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Reflecting on the Gospel for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ The King

From The Gospel of Matthew by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri, commenting on Matthew 25:32-33:

The Son of Man’s first action is to assume the role of a shepherd who divides the sheep of his flock from the goats. It is often pointed out that Middle Eastern herdsman normally allow their animals to graze together and that sheep and goats tend to be valued equally. This makes it difficult to say for sure why the judgment is depicted as a separation of sheep from goats. Nevertheless, it is clear from the outset that the sheep represent the saints, for they are placed at the Lord’s right, which in ancient cultures represented the good, fortunate, or honorable place (see 1 Kings 2:19; Ps 110:1), while the left represented the bad, unfortunate, or dishonorable.

© 2010 Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri and Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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