Peter's confession of faith this week, Sept. 16, 2012. Jesus' nature is now gradually revealed to the disciples. He also relates the first of His three prophecies of His passion, death and resurrection. Our Discussion Questions will guide your Sunday Bible Study with family, friends and church groups.
This Sunday we begin a series of seven Sunday Gospel readings from
Mark’s account of the journey of Jesus and his disciples from northern
Galilee to Jerusalem. This story consists of two sections: the messianic
confession of Peter and Jesus’ prediction of His Passion, death and
resurrection, followed by His clear teaching on discipleship. From this
point on, everything in Mark's gospel moves toward the crucifixion.
“Who do you say I am?”
see the centrality of the cross in today's Gospel. Jesus sets the
stage by asking his disciples who He is. They have many different
opinions - just like people today. Some people see Jesus as a powerful
prophet, others as a noble teacher, still others as kind of guru. Fr.
John Foley, S. J. relates that Jesus will have none of that. Our Lord doesn't care about public opinion. He cares about the human person.
So He asks Peter what Fr. Alex McAllister SDS says is the very same question Jesus seems to be asking each of us today: "But who do you say that I am?" Fr. Phil Bloom asks us further. Who do you say that Jesus is? When you stand before a tabernacle, before whom do you stand? Who is Jesus?
Peter responds, “You are the Christ.” Then Jesus warned them not to tell
anyone about Him. So why the secret? If Jesus was the Messiah as Peter
proclaimed in today’s Gospel from Mark, why be quiet about it? If
Jesus healed people like He did throughout the Gospel of Mark, why keep
it a secret? The reason is simple. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino tells us that
we cannot understand Jesus’ Work or His Messianic mission, unless we understand and embrace the cross.
Jesus' Invitation to Follow Him
messiah, as we find out a few verses later, was not going to be beaten
raw by the Romans, suffer and die. Jesus Himself didn’t think of being
the Messiah in the triumphal and nationalistic way that His early
disciples did. The Good News He preached was ultimately about love. And
at the heart of His teaching is a great irony. Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS
points out that one actually gains one’s life by losing it. However what one loses is really not life at all, but the obstacles to real life.
Father Cusick urges us to look to the Scriptures where the Lord reveals Himself
so as to nurture our relationship with Him. Jesus was not a social
revolutionary. He did not denounce injustice, but confronted it with
love. Still, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB reminds us, those who lived by injustice made no mistake
when they recognized in Jesus and in those who followed Him a
fundamental challenge to their way of life. In the Gospel reading, the disciples never fully understood what Jesus taught. Let us not commit the same mistake, Fr. Omer Prieto advises.
The basis of our faith as acceptance of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of
the Living God and our Lord and Savior. It also tells us that Christ
Jesus became our Savior by His suffering, death and resurrection. Fr.
Finally, John J. Ludvik tells us, it also outlines the three conditions of Christian discipleship -- denying oneself, taking up one’s cross and following Jesus.
The Four Last Things
teaching identifies the Four Last Things as Death, Judgment, Heaven
and Hell. These topics are very important that Catholics need to
understand. In the first installment of this series -- What Every
Catholic Must Know About “The Four Last Things” -- Deacon Mike
Bickerstaff examined what every Catholic needs to know about Death. In the second installment, he looks at the Particular and Universal Judgments, the second of the Four Last Things.
And then he talks about Heaven and Hell.
Heaven is what awaits the souls of the Just after death where they
will enjoy perfect joy and beatitude in the Beatific Vision -- seeing
God face-to-face. Hell is the place of everlasting punishment that
awaits the souls of the Damned after death. In both places, the soul
will be reunited with the resurrected body after the Universal
Piety, Forgiveness and Nice Churches
Msgr. Charles Pope discusses the sins of the pious
and how the devil can hijack holy practices. He explains that we ought
to acknowledge that there are certain temptations common to believers
and church-goers. Perhaps we could refer to these as the “Perils of the
Pious,” or the “Risks of the Religious.” What are some of these? He
Meanwhile Fr. John McCloskey answers a sincere question from a reader: Why does God only forgive after we repent
and turn back to Him, while we are asked to forgive regardless of
whether or not the “offending” person asks for our forgiveness and
And at some point Every Catholic finds himself obliged to defend against the modern axiom: The Catholic Church has gold and refuses to sell it, thus the Church lets the poor starve.
In response, Marc Barnes says faulting the Cathedrals and Basilicas of
the world for containing “too much” wealth is an awkward denial of the
fact that the Cathedrals and Basilicas of the world are explicitly for
the use of the poor, and to steal from them is to steal — not merely
from the Church — but from the poor themselves, who — despite the
perceptions of Hollywood — do not merely need bread, cash and
contraception, but beauty, ritual, and God as well.
Life, Ten Commandments & The Year of Faith
you're Pro-Life? Try this one on for size. Two Sundays ago Paul Dion,
STL saw the Pro-Life cake get some icing. During the homily, the priest
took pro-Life out for a ride over deep, deep waters. If you are
pro-life, the pastor exclaimed, then you owe it to yourself and to
others not only to prevent abortion, but to love, respect and enhance the lives of the humans around you.
And as the Year of Faith approaches, Elizabeth Scalia finds noteworthy
ideas beginning to make headlines, the most recent being the notion by
Kieran Conry, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, who would like to see
the faithful take a scheduled “moment for prayer” on the first Friday of every month and silently meditate on the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross out of love for you and everyone.
From the Vatican, Benedict XVI preached that the 10 Commandments are a sign of the love of God the Father.
Without the guidance of the Commandments, he explained, man would be
left to himself, proud in his own autonomy. In doing so, man “ends up by
following the idols of egoism, of power, of dominion, polluting the
relations with himself and with others, and following paths not of life
but of death.” Meanwhile Jimmy Akin also uses the teachings of Pope Benedict to explain the "dark passages" in the Bible.
The question of how these are to be interpreted has been with us for a
long time, and apologists and Bible scholars--not to mention Church
Fathers and theologians--have made many suggestions. Recently the pope
provided some guidance.
Marriage After 40, ex-Playboy Playmates, Kids & Politics
Should little kids hear from you the parent that Obama is a crumb-bum
who should lose, and that we should pray for him to repent. But! you
will protest. That's indoctrination! That's brain washing! To which Simcha Fisher replies, Duh, that's her job. She
says it's perfectly fine for parents to present their image of the
world, painted in broad brush strokes, to their children. You tell 'em
what you think is true, in ways that they can understand. When they're
older, you can fill in more details, and they can figure out whether
they believe you or not.
Also recently, Jennifer Fulwiler was having a conversation with a lady
about treating infertility who said she was interested because she got married when she was over 40
and hoped to have a family. The conversation then turned into a great
discussion about her experience being single longer than she'd hoped to
be, as well as the benefits of marrying later in life. Jennifer blogs
about the interesting chat.
Donna D’Errico's reputation for being a wild girl isn’t exactly a
secret. Being featured in Playboy was, by some accounts, not the
greatest of her indiscretions. But that’s what makes this story so
compelling. That she now goes to Mass every Sunday is impressive enough,
but there are plenty of Sunday Mass-goers who then go out campaigning
for pro-abortion Democrats. (For the record, D’Errico is a die-hard Ron
Paul fan.) But the fact that she prays the rosary every night with her
kids, that’s what really told me this is a woman who has turned her
What To Do With Your Old iPhones
of people will likely buy new iPhones once Apple announces the new
iPhone 5 as expected this week. That leaves the question: What should
you do with your old one? We offer you 11 things to do with your old iPhone, including things you never imagined as possibilities.
Another eventful week in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed new week.
Keep the Faith. Peace.
Publisher & Editor in chief
BURNING QUESTION: What is Sacrifice?
FEATURED BLOG: How the Devil Can Hijack Holy Practices
PASTORAL HISPANA: La vision de fe nos distingue como discipulos
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