Be Bartimaeus. The Gospel presents Bartimaeus to us to show us that this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. This is what we’re called to. So what can we learn from him? I would propose three things: (1) see your blindness; (2) beg boldly; and (3) make Jesus’ Way your way.
When we've tried everything we can think of to lead someone to Christianity and it doesn't work, it's so easy to blame ourselves: to think that if we had done everything just so, or found just the right combination of words, everything would have clicked, and they would have accepted Jesus Christ. If we were only a little more compassionate, or a little smarter, or a little more persuasive in our speech. This reaction is discouraging, and what's more, it's often false. It gets three things wrong: grace, free will, and Jesus.
When Richard Dawkins and American Atheists write off the Bible as a "Bronze aged book," they're only demonstrating their historical ignorance and the strength of the case for Biblical inspiration. If the human authors of Scripture were primitive ignoramuses, how do we account for the credibility of the Apostles' testimony?
Every day, when we pray the Our Father, we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we refuse to forgive others, we’re asking God to hold us to our own unforgiving standard. This is a hard message, because it’s hard to forgive others when we’ve been hurt. Jesus recognizes it. When He introduces the Our Father, this is the only one part He feels the need to explain. But He doesn’t say “forgive, unless it’s hard.” He says, “if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
The scroll and seven seals of the Book of Revelation couldn't be opened without the Lamb standing as though slain, the Eucharistic Christ. Here are seven other mysteries of the faith that we need the Eucharist to unlock: (1) the New Covenant; (2) the Old Covenant; (3) the Mass; (4) Early Christianity; (5) the Church; (6) the lives of the Saints; and (7) your own spiritual life.
In Exodus 14:13-14, Moses says to the Israelites, "Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be still." It's a famous rallying cry, popularized on everything from t-shirts to non-denominational blogs as a way of living out "faith alone." But there's a problem: Moses' plan is a bad plan, and God corrects him for it.
This Sunday, you'll hear the wander Jews in the desert announce their preference for the security of slavery in Egypt over the uncertainty of following Moses (and God) in the Exodus, and you'll hear the followers of Jesus in John 6 prefer free bread over saving truths. It's easy to condemn these people, but are we really so different?
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Depending on who’s counting, that’s the Eighth or Ninth of the Ten Commandments. Either way, it’s part of the Ten Commandments, which makes it both ironic and unfortunate that so many falsehoods are spread about the Catholic Church and the Ten Commandments. Here are three that you might […]
There are several flow charts trying to show the ridiculousness of religious opposition to same-sex marriage by making three claims: (1) Leviticus forbids homosexuality, but it also bans a bunch of other stuff, and nobody [a.k.a., no Gentile] actually lives by all those rules; (2) Paul seems to forbid homosexuality, but actually means something like temple prostitution; and (3) Jesus doesn't mention homosexuality. Here's why none of those arguments work.
Celibacy: it's not just for priests and nuns, and it's not just for life. Scripture also teaches that temporary celibacy is a way for laypeople to specially consecrate themselves to God.