Monthly Archives: January 2012

Reflecting on the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Mark by Mary Healy, reflecting on Mark 1:21-28:

The story of Jesus’ first exorcism portrays the forces of evil in a way that may appear to readers today as strikingly personal. For Mark, as for the whole New Testament, evil is not an impersonal force but is concentrated in invisible, malevolent beings who are bent on destroying human beingss and hindering God’s plan of salvation. These evil spirits are responsible for various mental and even physical maladies (7:25; 9:17–27; see Matt 12:22; Luke 13:11). Some exegetes, noting that the Gospels do not always clearly distinguish between illness and demonic possession, have concluded that the references to demons are simply a mythical way of symbolizing the misfortunes to which human beings are prone. The Church has always taught, however, that demons are real spiritual beings, fallen angels who were created by God but became evil by their own free choice (Catechism, 391–95).

© 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 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

From The Gospel of Mark by Mary Healy, commenting on Mark 1:18:

The call to be fishers of men evokes a prophecy of Jeremiah in which God promised to send out “many fishermen” to gather in the Israelites who had been scattered among the nations (Jer 16:14–16; see Mark 13:27). Jesus’ first disciples may have recalled this prophecy with a dawning sense of excitement as they began to realize the momentous significance of the vocation into which they were entering. 

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

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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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