The letter of St. Paul to the Colossians is an interesting epistle. Unlike some of the others, St. Paul did not personally found or visit the Church in Colossae (Colossians 2:1). St. Paul had heard about the Colossian Church through a man named Epaphras (Colossians 1:7; 4:12) who informed the apostle about the struggles of this young Christian community.
The 'mystery' of Jesus Christ is both the key to our salvation and the central theme in St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:9; 3:4, 9). The mystery of Christ has various dimensions. Jesus is the Savior of the world, and he came to die on the cross for the sins of all people ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù no matter what their background
The letter of St. Paul to Philemon is the shortest epistle from the pen of St. Paul. This is a moving letter that gives a very intimate glimpse into the heart of the Apostle Paul. It is written to a slave owner named Philemon, a woman named Apphia (possibly Philemon's wife), and a man named Archippus (possibly Philemon's son). St. Paul wrote this letter requesting that Philemon welcome back one of his runaway slaves (a man named Onesimus).
St. Paul wrote the letter to introduce himself to the Christians who lived in the heavily populated city of Rome, and also to prepare them for his upcoming visit
Although not quite as long (or as complicated) as his epistle to the Romans, the letter of St. Paul to the Galatians is also focused on this primary question: Does one have to be circumcised in order to be a full Christian? Again, as he said in Romans, the answer is no. Circumcision is not necessary. It does not communicate grace. Baptism ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù not circumcision ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù communicates grace and enters us into God's covenant family.
The city of Corinth was a busy place. A lot of trading was done in the city, and it was known for its great economic prosperity and success. Attracting many people from all walks of life, Corinth was also known for its rampant sinfulness. It was kind of like the Las Vegas of its time
The letter of St. Paul to the Romans is a very special epistle. It displays the apostle's theological brilliance as well as his deep love and spirituality. It is St. Paul's longest and most inÌÄåøÌâåÂÌâ‰Û_uential letter.
I recently heard someone ranting about how commercialized Easter has become and how there is “no trace of Christ” left in His holiday. I understood the person’s concerns and agreed, in part, with their assertions. The more I got to thinking about it, though, I felt like their thoughts, while valid, were a little bit short…sighted.
Christ is everywhere. His death and resurrection are everywhere. We just need to know where to look and how to uncover them.
Try to picture it now. When the earthquake subsided and the darkness lifted thatÌÄ‰Û_ÌâåÊFriday afternoon, it must have resembled something like a crime scene. Ask theÌÄ‰Û_ÌâåÊHoly Spirit to guide your mind and heart now as you discern the site.
My image of God the Father, enthroned in heaven in flowing white robes and Birkenstock sandals, was overshadowed by my certainty that he didn't want me to have any fun. Not only was God all about rules, he'd drop anybody that strayed off his path. Parochial school should have taught me how to live but instead I learned how not to die and burn. The result was that I treated Moses' Commandments with the same reverence I reserved for one of Letterman's 'Top Ten' lists.
I was once told that the easiest way to remember commandment number 'six' is that it sounds like 'sex.' At the time I thought it was just another lame example from my youth minister.
The funny thing is – I still remember it.
What wasn't funny, however, is that at the time I somehow thought the 'don't commit adultery' commandment had little to do with me, an unmarried sixteen year old. I couldn't have been more wrong.
The truth is that this commandment isn't only for married people. It's violated by all ages … including teenagers … almost daily.
In St. Joseph, then, we're given a glimpse into the heart of God the Father. It would be completely illogical to think, after all the trouble of the incarnation, that he would fail to choose a man who reflected his divine image of paternal love with the highest possible measure of human faithfulness.
But is there ever a time when it's not a good idea to start launching into a defense of the faith?
Also, eye contact is important. How many times does the person you're speaking to feel they have your undivided attention? Turn off screens … get away from them. Eye contact is the quickest and simplest way to acknowledge Christ in the other.
Now, if you're having a 'conversation' through a screen, ask yourself if that's the best medium to be using to have that conversation. Words can be misread and mistaken. Do you ever text just 'because you don't want to get into a long conversation?' Go the extra mile. Don't text when you can call. Don't call when you can sit face to face. Don't sit face to face and have your mind in another area code. A huge part of authentic communication is emotional presence, not only physical presence.
We have four Nativity sets in my house: not out of overindulgence but out of sheer necessity. One set is for my five year old, who likes to take a more 'interactive' approach to the Nativity, including putting Disney princesses and Barbies into the Biblical narrative. Last year when I asked why the baby Jesus was in Barbie's convertible, she responded, 'Barbie is baby-sitting, Daddy… the trip to Bethlehem left Mary and Joseph very tired.'
You may have a Nativity set beneath your Christmas tree or on a table inside your house. You almost certainly have one on display somewhere around your local Church…
But when we talk about the union of God the Father with God the Son, it is not enough to just say that they are the same. They are both God … one God in three unique Persons. By asking us to now use the word consubstantial when we pray the Creed (remember, the Creed is a statement of what we believe as Catholics) the Church is reminding us of the importance of professing that the Father and the Son are the exact same substance.
If you find yourself under attack for your faith, Saint Ambrose is a great intercessor to have in your corner. When you stand for truth, not only do you defend the faith, but you will also help others to abandon the world's lies in favor of the freedom only found in Jesus Christ. Ambrose brought many souls to Christ, and he baptized one person you'll probably recognize: a certain guy by the name of Augustine. Wherever he went, Ambrose preached the truth … something it seems he had been born to do.
To God everything is exposed: all of our faults, imperfections, personal secrets but also all of our talents, traits, successes and achievements … that's the good news. The even better news is that God is always seeking you and me.
Now a lot times we think the bride wears the white dress to show that she’s a virigin or that she’s pure, and that is part of the tradition. In this case, the linen garment shows in an outward way that on the inside is pure. This is one of the reasons that in Corinthians the Church says before you go to receive the Eucharist, you should be in a state of grace. You should not have serious sin. You should not have mortal sin in your soul. You should go to Confession before you go to Communion.
What the Church is trying to teach us, what God is revealing to St. John to reveal to us is Revelation. The book of Revelation is not a book of damnation and hell; the book of Revelation is about a wedding.