Steve’s Columns

5th Sunday of Lent – 29 March 2020

He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go. (Jn 11:43-44) Once again this Sunday we have a very interesting scriptural quotation to examine that leaves us with many questions. First, when Jesus calls Lazarus out from his tomb, did Lazarus walk out of the tomb? Jesus does not command Lazarus to “walk out” but to “come out” or “come forth”. The Catholic Revised Standard and New American …

4th Sunday of Lent – 22 March 2020

Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness… Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret… Awake O Sleeper”! (Eph 5:8-9; 11-12; 14)    In one of our recent weekly parish instructions on The Sacraments narrated by Father Matthew Kauth (St. Benedict Press), we cited a point from the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor. In his teaching on sin, St. Thomas points out that the gravest effect of sin is the darkening of the sinner’s intellect.  This is …

3rd Sunday of Lent – 15 March 2020

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar… Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well… A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (Jn 4:5-7) There are some conversations in the biblical narrative that will strike us as strange or humorous. For instance, in St. John’s Gospel presentation of the Multiplication of the Loaves after Jesus inquires quite wittily as to how with little funds and in a remote place they are to buy enough food to feed five thousand people, Andrew responds: …

2nd Sunday of Lent – 8 March 2020

The LORD said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you… Abram went as the LORD directed him. (Gen 12:1; 4) Faith is trusting in what another person tells you is true, because that person is trustworthy. Every fruitful act of faith requires at least one person who is trusting and another person who is trustworthy. However, faith is not solely reliant upon trust. Faith requires some prior knowledge. For example, when a man from out-of-town whose car is running near empty asks you where …

1st Sunday of Lent – 1 March 2020

Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! (Mt 4:8-10) Every mountain high or low, every valley shallow or deep, every water narrow or broad belongs to the Lord God who created them all and keeps them. Nations encompass mountains and valleys, hills and flatlands, lakes and rivers and in their sovereignty claim these as their …

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 23 February 2020

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:44, 46, 47-48) One of the most disconcerting instructions given to us by Jesus is to love our enemies.  It is difficult just to begin to understand this command because the words “enemies” and “love” are terms which need unpacking.  Let us begin with “love”. When we think of love we may immediately think of …

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 16 February 2020

“If you choose, you can keep the commandments & they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; … Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.” (Sir 15:15; 17) God made man free. This means God gave man the power to act of his own accord. Man has the power to act or not to act – and if he chooses to act – the power to act one way or another. Man can choose his own way and he can do so deliberately taking into consideration …

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 9 February 2020

“You are the light of the world… Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Mt 5:14; 16)    In our regular reading of Sacred Scripture we will come across some passages which appear to contradict each other.  For example, today Jesus tells his disciples to show their good deeds to others, while at another time He commanded them to “take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them” (Mt 6:1). On the surface it appears that Jesus is instructing His disciples to do …

Presentation of the Lord – 2 February 2020

Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted–and you yourself a sword will pierce”. (Lk 2:34-35)    Perhaps some of you have attended a baptism where the infant to be anointed was asleep until the time of the sacramental blessing.  This makes one wonder about the baby Jesus at His blessing in the Temple of Jerusalem while He was in the secure and restful care of Mary and Joseph. Yet there appear to be no artistic representations of …

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 26 January 2020

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, [Jesus] saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt 4:18-19) The word fish is most often used as a noun, however its meaning varies greatly as a verb. In the card game “Go Fish” the player who asks incorrectly for a card from his opponent is sent back to the stack to choose a blind card.  “To fish” in this case means …

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