Posts tagged: Nazareth

Sunday of the Resurrection…Do We Believe?

By , April 19, 2014 4:50 am

Everyone loves Easter! Spring has arrived, the flowers are blooming, the grass is green, the heat of summer has not fallen upon us yet, people put on their best clothes and greet each other with exuberance – “Happy Easter, happy Easter, happy Easter.” There is nothing wrong with any of that. In fact, it is all very delightful but it is not the reality of what Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection, is all about.

Spiritually, each one of us needs to transport ourselves back to that hillside outside Jerusalem, stand silently before that open tomb, a tomb now empty, and ask ourselves if we really do believe in the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth from the dead!

This is the heart of the Christian message. This is the ultimate test as to whether or not we are really followers of Jesus. In the following 2,000, countless numbers have died because they answered “yes” to that question. They believed in the Resurrection, were committed to Jesus and they would allow nothing to turn them away from that faith and commitment. Happily, most of us are not asked to die for our faith but it would be perfectly valid to ask ourselves would we be willing to do so?

Let us thank God for his infinite love for us. Let us walk into the future with confidence knowing that we are a redeemed people. Let us continue to celebrate the great feast of the Resurrection.

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An Easy Assignment

By , December 24, 2013 4:32 am

I am always appreciative of those who take the time in their busy day to give a glance at my blog. Since people only do this of their own volition, I am in no position to hand out reading assignments but today I am going to do it and hope for the best.

Tomorrow is Christmas.

You will hear your reading assignment when you go to Christmas Mass, but I am going to ask you to do something that is very simple, very meaningful and for me at least, very helpful.
Would you turn to Luke’s second chapter and sitting quietly read these words out loud and rather slo-o-o-wly and endeavor to vicariously experience each sentence.

Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus a decree a census should be made of the whole inhabited world.
This census– the first — took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David’s town called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged.
In the countryside close by there were shepherds out in the fields keeping guard over their sheep during the watches of the night.

An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’

And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words:
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favors. (Luke 2:1-14)

Have a blessed Christmas!

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Knowing Geography Can Help Us Understand Scripture

By , October 12, 2013 5:48 am

October 13th, 28th Sunday of the Church Year


Today’s Gospel is a very important one but as I was thinking it over in my mind before starting this blog I was distracted by some of the geography that was involved. The opening line of the excerpt tells us that Jesus passed along between the borders of Samaria and Galilee. We would also understand what we are reading in the scriptural text if we actually understand the history, geography and economics that were involved at that time. Naturally, not everybody can do this for every text but let’s take a look at this little excerpt which is so important because it is a reflection of the power and sensitivity of our Divine Lord.

Samaria and Galilee? To get a picture of the land in which Jesus lived, try and visualize three panes of a window, each one above the other. That bottom pane is Judea and Jerusalem. It is very mountainous. The upper pane is Galilee and the Sea of Galilee is in the middle. Both Judea and Galilee are overwhelmingly Jewish but that middle pane is Samaria and Samaria is in some ways a problem. They have strong Jewish roots but at the time of Jesus had overwhelmingly separated themselves from Judaism. So when our Lord goes back and forth from Nazareth to Jerusalem he actually passes 30 or 40 miles through a foreign country. Needless to say, all three areas are controlled by the Roman Empire so none of these people are in real control of their own territory.

Given these facts, I find it interesting and even delightful that the Samaritans keep popping up in one story after another. Think for a minute and you can remember several of them. In today’s Gospel, it is the Samaritan who returns to give thanks. When the man is beaten by robbers it is a Samaritan who rendered aid. When Jesus talked to the mysterious woman at the well she was a Samaritan and she in turn brought faith in Jesus to the Samaritans living in the village.

Sometimes when our Lord wanted to make a point he would use the image of a Samaritan, an outsider, one not really liked, to convey to his listeners that not everything is actually the way it seems. Goodness can come from unexpected places. The source of a new generous experience may be a surprise to you so don’t be confused. The Samaritans are frequently the star performers in these parables.

Well, I wanted to talk about gratitude. That will have to wait until tomorrow. Be grateful that this one is not too long.

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St. Peter- Never Shy!

By , September 15, 2012 4:29 am

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospels are nothing less than the Word of God. Given that reality, one should not be surprised that much of it makes extraordinary reading, and today’s gospel is an excellent example. It places before us a dramatic scene- one from the point of view of the Christian story that is simply amazing. Let’s take a look: Jesus has begun His missionary activity, is moving from village to village, drawing great crowds who are filled with awe at his power. Then, when things quiet down, He turns to the apostles and asks them a profound question.This question was important to the apostles, and it is important to you and me. Jesus asks these twelve men, “Who do the people say I am?” They begin to chatter among themselves, coming up with this name and that name, and then looking at the twelve face to face, He asks an even more important question- “Whom do YOU say that I am?” And then Peter, always forceful and fast, blurts out from his heart, “You are the MESSIAH”. This is the first proclamation of that reality. Jesus is the Savior for which God’s people have been waiting for centuries.

Peter had the right answer! The question is do we? I believe with all my heart that the voice of Jesus of Nazareth rings down through the centuries and each and every one of His followers is asked that question. Who do YOU say that Jesus of Nazareth is? A great deal hangs on your answer. Give the correct one.

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