Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Jesus Asks: What is Your Name? (Mark 5:9)

What is your name

In today’s Gospel from Mark, (Mark 5:1-20), I pondered why Jesus asked the demon, “What is your name?” (Mark 5:9). Why would Jesus ask such a question, when Jesus, as God, knows everything? And the demons know Jesus’ true identity! Well, what Jesus is really doing here, by asking the demon for his name, is turning the tables on the demon, “thus gaining power over the demon possessing the man.”1  The demon must respond to Jesus’ inquiry, because He must respond to God. By doing so, the demon reveals his name. Jesus doesn’t need to do the same in return, because He is God. Thus, Jesus exerts His power over the demon.

This encounter from today’s Gospel reminds Continue reading

Understanding God’s Word

God's WordIn today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus tell the parable of the sower. Jesus knew that the Apostles did not completely understand what He tried to convey. He responded to them by asking, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables” (Mark 4:13)? Understanding God’s Word requires some interpretation.

As you read Scripture, do you confidently think you truly understand what God conveys in the passages that you read? Odds are the answer is no, and if you answered no, then you are in good company. Some passages are easy to discern. Then there are others that have multiple meanings, or multiple layers to discern. How, then, are we to discern the Continue reading

The Importance of Fasting

 

importance of fastingIn today’s Gospel, from Mark 2:18-22, we see Jesus ask the people, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them” (Mark 2:19)?  He asks this question in response to an inquiry about why Jesus’ disciples are not conducting the proper fast. This question has many layers of understanding behind it. So, let’s first set the stage with some proper background information. This will help us better understand where this question stems from, and why fasting is important.

In typical Jewish tradition, the Jews fasted on the Day of Atonement, asking forgiveness of sins. They would do this because they knew that sin separates us from God. Fasting reminds us of our need for Continue reading

Jesus Asks: What are You Thinking in Your Hearts?

thinking in your heartsIn Luke 5:22, Jesus asks the Pharisees, “What are you thinking in your hearts?” It is a rhetorical question, as Jesus knew quite well what the Pharisees were thinking; what the Pharisees believed. It is here, in the Gospel of Luke where we read of the historical event of Jesus physically healing the paralytic, and spiritually healing his friends.

The room, in which Jesus was teaching, was so crowded that the paralytic’s friends could not get him inside. Yet, they knew that if they could somehow get their paralytic friend in front of Jesus that Jesus would heal him. Their faith in Jesus was great. So, the friends dropped the man into the room from the roof! “When He Continue reading

What Do You Want Jesus to Do for You?

Jesus AsksIn today’s Gospel, we hear from the blind beggar, who begs Jesus to hear his plea. Jesus asks in response:

What do you want me to do for you? (Luke 18:41)

The beggar asks Jesus to cure him of his blindness. Jesus responds, “have sight; your faith has saved you” (Luke 18:42). So, the blind man now sees, and he sees through the eyes of faith. It is because of the man’s faith that he not only sees physically, but he also comes to understand spiritually that Jesus is Our Savior and Redeemer.

Jesus Asks You This Question, Too!

This is a hefty question to consider. If Jesus sat across from you today, and asked you the same Continue reading

Do You Remember to Thank Jesus Daily?

Thank JesusIn today’s Gospel, we hear about the exchange between Jesus and one the ten lepers. Of the ten, only one Samaritan leper came back to thank Jesus for curing him. Jesus’ response was rather frank, and in the form of a series of questions:

Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? (Luke 17:17-18)

So, I’ll get right to the point, on this post. Are you more like the nine who failed to return to give thanks? Or, are you more like the one Samaritan leper because you thank Jesus routinely for His blessings? Maybe, you are somewhere along the spectrum between these two extremes.

Thank Continue reading

Jesus’ Mercy Abounds – Even on the Sabbath

Jesus' MercyIn today’s Gospel from Luke 13:10-17, we see Jesus confronting synagogue leaders. They accuse Jesus of curing the sick on the Sabbath, as if that was a bad thing. Why? Because the leaders of the synagogue believe that such activity constitutes work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Therefore, they think Jesus violated Jewish law. They did not correlate Jesus’ action to Jesus’ mercy.

Jesus’ Mercy Abounds

With great hindsight, and two thousand years of scriptural interpretation, we can look at this passage, and quickly come to judgment that the synagogue leaders were wrong in their thought process. The mercy that Jesus bestowed upon the woman that day was an act of love for neighbor on Jesus’ part. Through Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Are You the Faithful and Prudent Steward?

Faithful and prudent stewardIn today’s Gospel, from Luke 12:39-48, we learn of the parable of the faithful and prudent steward. When the master is away, some stewards fulfill their responsibilities. The master deems such people as trustworthy and capable of performing more important tasks. Other servants use the opportunity to take advantage of their positions and treat the staff cruelly.

We can apply this parable to how we act in the workplace when the boss is away on business. How trustworthy are we to faithfully fulfill our responsibilities? If Jesus were standing in front of you now, would He be able to declare you as a faithful and prudent steward of the gifts He has given to you? He has blessed you with Continue reading