Recent Blog Posts
Thoughts on the Church’s Old Testament Canon
The Canon of the Old Testament in the Days of Jesus
There was no universally-accepted canon of Scripture among the Jews in the first century A.D. Instead, different sects within Judaism had divergent views of which books were inspired and authoritative. The Samaritans and the Sadducees, although very different in their religious views and practice, were agreed that only the five Books of Moses were divinely inspired Scripture. The Pharisees, on the other hand, accepted a...
Made Clean: Reflections on the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46
Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
In the Old Testament, leprosy is depicted as punishment for disobedience of God’s commands (see Numbers 12:12-15; 2 Kings 5:27; 15:5).
Considered “unclean” - unfit to worship or live with the Israelites, lepers are considered “stillborn,” the living dead (see Numbers 12:12). Indeed, the requirements imposed on lepers in today’s First Reading - rent garments, shaven head,...
“Paschal Sacrifice: A Heavenly Banquet for Earthly Beggars”
Does your mind wander at Mass? If so, here’s some very good news for you drawn from the Banquet Theology in the Gospel of St. Luke....
The Real Campaign
The year has hardly begun, and in the United States we’re already well into our race to November’s presidential elections. The campaign follows us wherever we go. The media micro-analyze every candidate’s every word and gesture. And then the news stories make their way into our conversations at work and at home.
The papers and blogs and news networks—and even the political parties—count on us to get...
The King’s Authority: Reflections on the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Last week, Jesus announced the kingdom of God is at hand. This week, in mighty words and deeds, He exercises His dominion - asserting royal authority over the ruler of this world, Satan (see John 12:31).
Notice that today’s events take place on the sabbath. The sabbath was to be an everlasting sign -both...
RERUM OMNIUM PERTURBATIONEM: Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on St. Francis de Sales
TO OUR VENERABLE BRETHREN THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES,
ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS, AND OTHER ORDINARIES IN PEACE
AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE.
1. In Our recent encyclical We examined the disorders with which the world today struggles for the purpose of discovering a sure remedy for such great evils. At that time We pointed out that the roots of these evils lie in the souls of men and that the sole hope of curing them is to have recourse...
Today’s saint, Agnes of Rome, is long overdue for a revival. Why? She was probably the most revered female martyr of the early Church — outstanding in a field that included Blandina and Perpetua, among others. St. Jerome was not a man easily impressed, but of today’s saint, his near-contemporary, he wrote: “Every people, whatever their tongue, praise the name of Saint Agnes.” Prudentius wrote a long poem and a hymn in her...
Following Him: Reflections on the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The calling of the brothers in today’s Gospel evokes Elisha’s commissioning by the prophet Elijah (see 1 Kings 19:19-21).
As Elijah comes upon Elisha working on his family’s farm, so Jesus sees the brothers working by the seaside. And as Elisha left his mother and father to follow Elijah, so the brothers leave their father to come...
The Man in the Desert!
Mike Aquilina reflects upon the inspiration and impact of St. Anthony....
Why Jesus was Baptized and Tempted?; with John Bergsma
In this episode of The Sacred Page Podcast John Bergsma joins me to discuss why Jesus was baptized and tempted in the wilderness? Here we talk about Creation imagery, Exodus motifs, and Davidic typology in the Gospel accounts—and how they are all tied together!
Get more of John Bergsma’s CDs at www.JohnBergsma.com.