Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Is Jesus a Judge and Arbitrator?

Judge and ArbitratorIn today’s Gospel reading, we read about the rich man and the bountiful harvest. The parable stems from a request, by a follower, asking Jesus to tell his brother to share an inheritance with him. Jesus retorts, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” (Luke 12:14). Jesus asks this question because He does not want to get in the middle of the squabble between the follower and his brother. Yet, Jesus never misses an opportunity to take such squabbles and turn them into a teaching moment. Ultimately, we all know that one day we will stand before Jesus, our Judge. In this life, we constantly ask Jesus to intervene in our affairs and arbitrate on our behalf. Therefore, Continue reading

Find Courage to Face Fear

Find CourageFear does NOT come from God. Let’s make that clear, right up front. “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:7). When we become afraid of something, it is because we lack trust in God; we feel alone and on our own. Throughout the Bible, God assures us that we need not be afraid. We can find courage in God’s own words and promises:

Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice (Is 41:10).

Find Courage to Face Fear

When we find the courage to face fear, Continue reading

The Rich Young Man – A Story About Trust

Rich Young ManIn today’s Gospel from Matthew, we hear the story about the rich young man. It starts with the rich young man asking Jesus, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” (Matt 19:16) Jesus quips in reply, “Why do you ask me about the good?” (Matt 19:17)

What are we to make of this quip of Jesus? Especially when Jesus follows up with, “There is only One who is good.” (Matt 19: 17). It’s almost as if Jesus is telling the rich young man, “Don’t ask me, because only God is good.” Is Jesus saying that only the Father is good, and that He is not? On the contrary! This is a glint of insight into the mystery Continue reading

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