Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Jesus Asks: What is Written in the Law?

written in the lawIn today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us an oral exam. Specifically, Jesus asks, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” (Luke 10:26)

This is in response to a man asking Jesus what is necessary to gain entry to heaven. The man responds correctly, by noting that he is to love God with his whole heart, and to love his neighbor as himself. Yet, the man asks for clarification on the definition of “neighbor.” Jesus responds with the parable about the Good Samaritan. In this story Jesus comments on two people who avoid helping an injured man on the side of the road, as they do not want to violate Jewish law, by touching his blood, for Continue reading

To What Shall I Compare the People of This Generation?

generationIn today’s Gospel, Jesus asks “to what shall I compare the people of this generation” (Luke 7:31)? Jesus compares the people of His time to John the Baptist, considering John to be the greatest of the prophets on earth, with the caveat that the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist. Something to think about!

Remember, at this moment in time, Jesus had not yet opened the gates of Heaven. That would not happen until after Jesus died on the cross, and prior to the Resurrection. So, who were the members of the Kingdom of God at that moment? The Father Almighty, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the angels, were the only Continue reading

Is It Lawful to Do Good on the Sabbath?

Do GoodIn today’s Gospel, Jesus asks. “is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than destroy it” (Luke 6:9)?  In the Theology course that I teach, on the Fundamentals of Catholic Moral Theology, I specifically address this question with my students. The scenario goes something like this:

A doctor and her family are on their way to Sunday Mass when they come upon a serious car accident. The doctor stopped her car to give comfort and aid to the victims of the crash, until the paramedics arrived. As a result, she and her family missed the last Mass of the day.

What I ask of my students is Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Are You a Hypocrite?

Jesus Asks: Are you a hypocrite?Today’s Gospel reading comes from Matt 23:13-22. In this very cryptic passage, Jesus asks a couple of piercing questions:

  • Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? Matt 23:17
  • You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Matt 23:19

Jesus asks these questions because He is not happy with the actions of the Scribes and the Pharisees. He sees them as hypocrites, as they do not “walk the talk.” Their actions differ from their speech. The Scribes and Pharisees speak of the promotion of piety, but do not act pious. They believe their words alone will suffice in garnering the desired prestige of the community. Continue reading

Do You Pay Your Fair Share?

Fair ShareIn today’s Gospel from Matthew, we hear Jesus ask some questions, as it relates to the payment of Temple tax. He is asking if we pay our fair share.

What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners? (Matt 17:25)?

These are rather tricky questions to answer. You see, Jesus and His Disciples are part of the Kingdom of God. So, with that understanding, they would be considered subjects, not foreigners. Therefore, they should not be subject to the Temple tax. However, if we read a little further, we see that Jesus instructs Simon to go out to sea, and drop a line, and take Continue reading

Jesus Asks: What Do You Wish?

what do you wishIn today’s Gospel, Jesus asks the mother of James and John, what do you wish (Matt: 20:21)? Their mother asks Jesus to allow her sons to sit on Jesus’ right and left in the Kingdom of Heaven. This mother has a lot of moxie! In response, Jesus asks an additional question, directed at James and John: “Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink” (Matt 20:22)?

What do you wish?

I find the question, what do you wish, to be quite intriguing. If Jesus were sitting at a table across from you right now, and asked you that very question, how would you answer?

What Kind of Fruit Do You Produce?

Good FruitIn the early Church, those who spoke in the name of the Lord were considered prophets. It was important for the early Christians to discern between true and false prophets. In today’s Gospel, from Matt 7:15-20, Matthew writes about false prophets. He uses the analogy of trees that bear good fruit (true prophets) versus those trees that bear bad fruit (false prophets). The analogy is meant to correlate to the works of those who speak on behalf of the Church. Some of those who spoke were false prophets, evidenced by their bad deeds. With bad intentions, these false prophets produced bad fruit. Whereas, the Apostles and their disciples, who remained true to the teachings of Christ, produced good fruit via Continue reading

Do You Not See Your Own Sin?

sinHow easy it is to judge others! How much more difficult is it to be honest with ourselves! In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus ask, yet again, another “pointed” question Matt 7:3-4. Jesus quickly points out that we fail to see our own sin.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?

We are so quick to point out the faults of others; to admonish the sinner, under the guise of a spiritual work of mercy. Yet, we fail to see our own sins; Continue reading