Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Under the Fig Tree, Jesus Asks a Question

Fig treeIn today’s Gospel (John 1:45-51), Jesus is in the process of recruiting his twelve Apostles. Jesus called Philip to follow, who in turn went to Nathanael to tell him about Jesus. Nathanael, the skeptic, doubted anything good could come from Nazareth. Yet, Philip persuaded Nathanael to come and meet Jesus. When the two met, Jesus commented about something that no one else would know. “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” (John 1:48)

Nathanael’s response to this comment is revelatory: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.” (John 1:49) I have always wondered how Nathanael came to such a conclusion, such a leap of faith. It can only be Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Why Did You Doubt?

Why Did You DoubtToday we hear the famous Gospel reading of Jesus walking on water (Matt 14:22-36). When Peter hears Jesus telling them not to be afraid, that it is Him, Peter replies, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Matt 14:28). Jesus tells Peter to come out to meet Him and Peter does just that. However, Peter sees how strong the wind is blowing, and he begins to sink in the water. What does Jesus say in response to that? “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

What was Peter’s Problem?

Why do you think Peter made such a comment, if he did not have the faith needed to follow through Continue reading

Memorial of Saint Martha

Saint MarthaToday is the memorial of Saint Martha, a saint that I can easily relate to, as we are much alike. Now, you cannot call me a saint. However, we both share the same desire to complete our chores. We have priorities. And yet, like Martha, I tend to let those priorities get in the way of the better part; that of listening to Jesus.

Martha, the Worry Wart

As we read in the Gospel passage from Luke, Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, was always concerned with the chores and serving:

Martha “had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha burdened with much serving, came to him and said, Continue reading

Are You Not Misled? (Mark 12:24)

Are You Not MisledIn today’s Gospel from Mark 12:18-27, some Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection, questioned Jesus. They asked about a woman, married to seven brothers, in successive order. As was the Jewish custom, as each brother died, the next brother, in line of succession, took her as his wife. The Sadducees wanted to know whose wife she would be in this so-called afterlife. Jesus, in his typical manner of responding to a question, posed a different question. “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God…As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, Continue reading

Road to Emmaus: Jesus Asks Several Questions

Road to EmmausIn today’s Gospel from Luke, Jesus asks a series of three questions to two men on the Road to Emmaus:

  1. What are you discussing as you walk along? (Luke 24:17)
  2. What sort of things? (Luke 24:19)
  3. Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory? (Luke 24:26)

Let’s unpack each question, one at a time, to see what Our Lord is trying to say to us.

More Questions?

What were the men discussing as Jesus approached them? They were discussing Christ’s death on the cross, saddened that who they thought would redeem the Jewish people, was now dead. Their hopes, dashed. It seems they lost faith in Jesus. Has that ever happened to Continue reading

The Stoning: Has No One Condemned You?

CondemnedIn today’s Gospel the Pharisees test Jesus. They bring to Him a woman accused of adultery. According to Mosaic law, such an offense results in the stoning of the woman. So, the Pharisees, looking to convict Jesus, put forth this quandary before Him. It is wrong to kill (a violation of the 5th Commandment), but it is also wrong to commit adultery (a violation of the 6th Commandment). Do two wrongs make it right? Rather than answering their implied question, Jesus starts writing in the sand. No biblical scholars ever  ascertained what Jesus wrote, but whatever it was, it caused everyone to depart, leaving Jesus alone with the woman. Jesus asks the woman, “Woman, where are Continue reading

Jesus Asks: What Have You Been Arguing About?

What have you been arguing aboutIn today’s Gospel reading, we see Jesus conduct an exorcism of an evil spirit from a young boy.  But, before He performs the exorcism, He takes note of the people arguing among themselves.  He asks the crowd, “What have you been arguing about?” (Mark 9:16). We’ll never know, because the father of the young man interrupts, asking Jesus to heal his son. Jesus finds more importance in the healing of the young man as compared to  the crowd’s argument with the scribes. He addresses the father’s plea and drops any discussion of His question.

What Have You Been Arguing About?

Imagine if Jesus came for the Second Coming and asked us what we have been Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Do You See Anything?

Do you see anythingIn today’s Gospel reading, we learn of Jesus’ healing of a blind man. As Jesus cures the man, He asks him, “Do you see anything?” (Mark 8:23). The man’s sight begins to clear, but not completely. Jesus lays His hands on the man to complete the process. How often in our lives have we seen gradual healing, like this blind man?

Do You See Anything?

Last fall, while I recuperated from my ankle fusion, at first, all I saw was lots of recuperation time ahead (four months). But, as time progressed, I began to see the healing aspects take place. God sent people to me who shared their love with me (friends, neighbors, and family). That outpouring of Continue reading