Steve’s Columns

6th Sunday of Easter – 26 May 2019

‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father… And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.” (Rev 21:3, 5) We are never inclined to rejoice when someone that we love departs from us. If we dearly love that person, then departure, even for a little while, feels a great loss; thus we are much less likely to rejoice when that person goes away and cannot be seen or reached again, as say in …

5th Sunday of Easter – 19 May 2019

“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people… The One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev 21:3, 5) The Holy Trinity is a thoroughly self-sustaining communion of three divine persons. To say this is of course true and not true. It is true in that we may firmly believe that the one and only Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit needs nothing outside itself to fulfill itself: its Nature, that is, its Divine Nature is thoroughly accomplished and fully content. Our …

4th Sunday of Easter – 12 May 2019

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. ” (Jn 10:27-28) A close examination of our quotation from Sacred Scripture (above) seems to indicate a shifting metaphor. For if the sheep “follow” the shepherd it means that they walk on their own and are not carried. Thus, the entire quotation would be more consistent if it concluded with “and no one shall lead them astray” rather than “and no one shall snatch them out …

3rd Sunday of Easter – 5 May 2019

“… The high priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name….” But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27-29) St. Luke tells us in his chronicle of the missionary activity of the Apostles, that the party of the Sadducees had St. Peter and his companions locked up out of “jealousy”. The Apostles had been very successful in the Spirit winning over new disciples for the ascended Jesus through convincing preaching and miraculous healings. The Jewish authorities judged preaching in the name of …

Divine Mercy Sunday – 28 April 2019

Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. (Is 50:6:7) There are two kinds of shadow. The first gives respite from the hot sun. This is what we simply refer to as “shade” and Jonah, while in Nineveh, was very glad for its presence and angry at its loss (Jon 4:6; 8-9). The other type of shade is metaphorical as in J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, where the preservation of light …

Easter Sunday – 21 April 2019

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb… While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them… They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. (Lk 24:2, 4, 5-6) St. Paul declared consistently that death befell mankind as an effect of sin. In his letter to the Colossians, Paul states that we were all once “dead in our transgressions” (Col 2:13) and in his epistle to the Ephesians Paul states much the same, adding that we were brought …

Palm Sunday – 14 April 2019

I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The LORD GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced… (Is 50:6:7) The farsighted utterances of the prophet Isaiah generally known as the Suffering Servant Prophecies (which include the quotation above) are written in the past tense. This should amaze not only Christians, but every person with an open mind toward religion. This is because if, for instance, we heard a man saying: “I went to the grocery store and picked up …

5th Sunday in Lent – 7 April 2019

Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (Jn: 8:6-7) The biblical narrative of the adulteress who was brought by the scribes and Pharisees before Jesus for judgment is (in the gospel of John) a brief but profound story. St. John related this story not only to instruct his readers about how Jesus was tested and pursued by the Jewish leadership, but also as …

4th Sunday in Lent – 31 March 2019

On the day after the Passover, they ate of the produce of the land… On that same day after the Passover, on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased;… the Israelites … ate of the yield of the land of Canaan. (Jos 5:11-12) Canaan was an ancient land of the Near East most immediately east of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants (Gn 15:18-21). For forty years the Israelites journeyed toward this country, wandering in the wilderness while being led by Moses until his aide Joshua …

3rd Sunday in Lent – 24 March 2019

‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?‘ (Lk: 13:7) It must be allowed that fig trees may not bear fruit until the age of four, so the tree in our story must be about seven years old. Figs need not be grown in an orchard; they are self-fruitful. They do require much sun and the right amount of fertilizer – too much feeding however can cause the fruit to fall immature and then result in a long recovery …

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