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Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

What Was the Climate Like at the Time of Jesus?

N.B.: I am in the Holy Land at this time. As my travel schedule is heavy, I am republishing some articles about life in Jesus’ day. I hope you will enjoy reading (or re-reading) them as much as I did. The climate in Palestine, both today and at the time of Jesus, has two distinct […]

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What Is the Geography of the Holy Land Like?

N.B.: I am in the Holy Land at this time. As my travel schedule is heavy, I am republishing some articles about life in Jesus’ day. I hope you will enjoy reading (or re-reading) them as much as I did. Nomenclature – The land today called Israel or the Holy Land, was known to the […]

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What Were Houses Like at the Time of Jesus?

N.B.: I am in the Holy Land at this time. As my travel schedule is heavy, I am republishing some articles about life in Jesus’ day. I hope you will enjoy reading (or re-reading) them as much as I did. The smallest homes of the very poor might be little better than a square, stone […]

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St. Joseph and Manhood

I remember once being amused to hear that a 19th century Franciscan theologian (whose name I cannot recall) wrote a six-volume set called “The Life of St. Joseph.” How could one possibly get enough material to fill six volumes? We know so little about Joseph from Scripture. He seems to have been the strong, silent […]

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Just a Little Talk with Jesus Makes It Right – A Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent

As we examine the Gospel for this weekend’s Mass we do well to understand that is about human desires and how the Lord reaches us through them. Prior to examining the text in detail, let’s consider a few things: What it is that really makes you happy? We desire so many things: food, water, shelter, […]

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Straining Out Gnats but Swallowing Camels, as Seen in a Commercial

In the Gospel of Matthew (Mat 12:1-8), Jesus is rebuked for violating the Sabbath. This reminded me of the video below, which illustrates how we sometimes follow smaller rules while overlooking more important ones in the process. The Lord Jesus was often scorned by the people of His day, who claimed that He overlooked certain […]

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The Universal Prayer

To my mind, one of the most remarkable prayers ever written was one attributed to Clement XI, who was pope from 1700-1721. Many have never heard it. The prayer is called “universal” because of its sweeping themes. Upon completing it one might well ask if anything at all was left out! If you are looking […]

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Learning the Lessons of Lazarus and the Rich Man

The well-known story of Lazarus and the rich man was read at Mass this morning (Thursday of the Second Week of Lent). On one level the message of the story seems plain enough: neglecting the poor is a damnable sin. However, there are other important teachings: about death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Those teachings are […]

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Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

Why did Christ die in his early thirties rather than as an older man? This would have permitted Him more time to teach and to set forth His Church. St. Thomas Aquinas answered the question in the following way: Christ willed to suffer while yet young, for three reasons. First of all, to commend the […]

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Embracing the Mercy of God during Lent

Yesterday we celebrated the fourth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis as Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. The Gospel for the day, Monday of the Second Week of Lent, was from Saint Luke where it is recorded that, “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Be merciful, […]

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