Recent Blog Posts
Understanding the Book of Acts: Part 2—Acts of Jesus & Acts of the Apostles
In the first post of this series I highlighted the unity of Luke-Acts. I emphasized that the two books seem to show us that the ministry of Jesus is continued through his Church. Now I want to begin to move closely through the narrative, highlighting the way this theological truth is underscored.
Indeed, for the reader who knows the Gospel of Luke, Acts is a sort of déjà vu experience. The narrative in...
Understanding the Book of Acts: Part 1—“Why Do You Persecute Me?”
As we begin the Easter season, the liturgy—particularly the lectionary readings—turn our attention to the Book of Acts. Here then I thought I’d return to some material I’ve touched upon here in the past, namely, the link between the Acts of the Apostles and the life of Christ in the Gospel of Luke.
Indeed, once you see how the ministry of the Church in Acts is linked to that...
Jesus Didn't Just "Die for Our Salvation": Why He Rose from the Dead
Christ is risen, Alleluia!
But why did he rise from the dead?
Here I want to ask the question and touch on an aspect of the resurrection that is often overlooked, namely, how it relates to our salvation.
Most people know that Jesus died for their sins. But, as we shall see, according to the New Testament Jesus also rose for our salvation. This aspect of the biblical message is often neglected. The...
The Whole Earth Keeps Silence
Something strange is happening ... there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for...
They Saw and Believed: Reflections for Easter Sunday
Jesus is nowhere visible. Yet today’s Gospel tells us that Peter and John “saw and believed.”
What did they see? Burial shrouds lying on the floor of an empty tomb. Maybe that convinced them that He hadn’t been carted off by grave robbers, who usually stole the expensive burial linens and left the corpses behind.
But notice the repetition of the word “tomb” - seven times in...
Was There a Passover Lamb at the Last Supper?
Today, Catholics everywhere will celebrate Holy Thursday by attending the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At this Mass, we will read the institution of the Passover (Exod 12, OT reading), sing one of the most famous of the Hallel Psalms (Psalm 118, Responsorial Psalm), and then read the institution of the Eucharist (1 Cor 11, Epistle) and Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper (John 13, Gospel). This particular Eucharist is a momentous liturgical...
Whether you hold, with some Syriac Fathers, that Christ instituted the Eucharist on Tuesday — or, with the Western tradition, that He instituted it on Thursday — today, Holy Thursday, is the day the Catholic Church remembers the event liturgically. I’m about to leave with my kids for the Chrism Mass in my diocese. It’s a great sight for children to see every year: all the priests of the local Church gathered around their local...
All Is Fulfilled: Reflections on Passion Sunday
“All this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled,” Jesus says in today’s Gospel (see Matthew 26:56).
Indeed, we have reached the climax of the liturgical year, the highest peak of salvation history, when all that has been anticipated and promised is to be fulfilled.
By the close of today’s long Gospel, the work of our redemption will have been accomplished, the new covenant...
Our Big Day
This is a big moment for us—for you and me and those who share in the work of the St. Paul Center. In a sense, it’s a moment we’ve been waiting for since the very day we launched this apostolate.
This month we mark the release of the sixth volume of our journal, Letter & Spirit. This issue took us much longer than any other, and at 432 pages it’s...
Presenting a Paper for the Matthew Section at SBL
I got word this week that the paper I proposed for the Matthew section at this year’s annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature was accepted. Here’s the abstract:
Jesus’ Teaching on the Law, Deuteronomic Concessions and Eschatological Righteousness: A Re-examination of the Teaching on Divorce and Remarriage in Matthew 5:31–32
In the Sermon on the Mount we find Matthew’s most explicit account of Jesus’ teaching about...