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Pastor's Columns

Jesus Means What He Says

Pastor's Column 21st Sunday Ordinary Time August 26, 2018 The words of Jesus Christ in John chapter 6 are just as challenging to hear today as they were when Jesus first spoke them 2000 years ago. Jesus, of course, uses many metaphors when describing himself, among them: I am "The Son of Man", "The Light of the World", "The Way the Truth and the Life", “The Vine” and "The Door”. But when Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life," he was not just using another metaphor. He really meant what he said. To emphasize this, he repeats himself seven times, each time more emphatic than the last. Seven is the divine number: in the Bible, this number stands for perfection. Here are seven of the most sc

On the Assumption of Mary

Pastor’s Column 20th Sunday Ordinary Time August 19, 2018 When I am teaching a class about the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I usually start with the question, ”How many resurrected bodies do we know are in heaven right now?” The answer, of course, is that there are at least two: Jesus and his mother. Jesus’ ascension is found in scripture; Mary’s Assumption is not. So, why do we believe this? First of all, in the Old Testament, Elijah was caught up in a whirlwind and taken up to heaven in a chariot directly from earth without dying (2 Kings 2:8ff); Enoch was another friend of God who did not die “because God took him” (Genesis 5:24). So, survival of the body after death is al

Elijah Heads for the Hills

Pastor’s Column 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time August 12, 2018 Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death, saying, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life!” 1 Kings 19:4 Have you ever felt like just “running away?” Elijah did! Elijah the prophet was one of the greatest figures of the Old Testament, a man who worked many miracles and manifested the power of God. Yet, in this Sunday’s first reading from 1 Kings 19, Elijah seems to have reached the end of his strength. He had just successfully defeated several hundred pagan priests who were misleading the people, but now Jezebel, the wife of the corrupt King Ahab, is chas

The Theology of the Altar

Pastor’s Column 18th Sunday Ordinary Time August 5, 2018 “The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:35 Every Roman Catholic Church has an altar. We treat the altar with great respect, for it represents Christ and is that place where the Living Bread comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. If the ambo is where we hear God speak his Word to us, the altar is the place where the Lord becomes physically present among us in the Eucharist in order that we might feed on him, the Bread of Life. The altar is where the one eternal sacrifice of Christ is made present to us in this particular time and place. Therefore, we always treat the al

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