Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Feast of Saint Martha

Saint MarthaToday is the Feast of Saint Martha, sister of Lazarus and Mary, and friend of Jesus. Martha always gets compared to her sister, Mary, for Martha was the diligent sister who attended to the household chores. Mary, on the other hand, cast those chores aside to sit at the feet of Jesus, whenever He spoke. From today’s passage, however, both women cast aside their chores to grieve the death of their brother, Lazarus.

When Jesus arrives to visit with Martha and Mary, Jesus conducts an interchange with Martha that should enlighten the faith within us all.

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Continue reading

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene

Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary Magdalene, a devoted disciple of Jesus. In the Gospel reading from John, we learn of Jesus’ appearance to Mary, upon His resurrection from the dead.

When Jesus asks, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you look for?” (John 20:15), it is because Mary is distraught since Jesus’ body is no longer in the tomb. At first, Mary does not recognize the glorified Christ; that is until He speaks her name. Only then, does Mary realize that she is standing before her Good Shepherd. As with sheep, who know their shepherd by hearing his voice, Mary knows deep in her heart that the man she addresses now, is the Risen Lord. Continue reading

Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle

Saint ThomasWith today being the Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle, we read from the Gospel of John, regarding Jesus’ appearance to the Apostles, post His resurrection. It is Easter Sunday evening, and the Apostles tell Thomas, (who had not been present) that Jesus appeared to them. Thomas tells them in oh, so many words, “you’re nuts.” He refuses to believe their audacious comment. Fast forward one week later, when all the Apostles were present behind locked doors, and Jesus appears to them.

Revelation

I find this Gospel passage quite revealing of God’s omnipresence. One week earlier, when Saint Thomas heard the audacious comments from his fellow Apostles, he responded to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails Continue reading

Are You True Prophets of Christ? Or, False Prophets?

True Prophets of ChristThe quality of your deeds determines the goodness of the fruit that you produce for Christ. In today’s Gospel from Matt 7:15-20, we hear Jesus ask a tongue-in-cheek question. “Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles” (Matt 7:16)? With this question, Jesus is warning us to be on watch for false prophets. How might we identify false prophets? We will know by their deeds, because good fruit cannot be borne from bad acts. Good fruit can only come from a good source. That is why grapes do not come from thornbushes. They come from the vine. Figs, associated with prosperity, well being and security (all good things) come from a fig tree; not a thistle. Both grape Continue reading

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