In the fifty century after the birth of Jesus, a monk – Pelagius –  proposed that humans were not born with original sin, and therefore a person could tell the difference between good and evil without the benefit of grace. Sometimes we annotate this error and define “pelagianism” as the notion that one acquires the […]

Amid all the Advent celebrations, it can be easy for us to forget a major theme of the Advent season. Each Sunday during Advent, the first reading is drawn from the Book of Isaiah. And for good reason, since Matthew’s Gospel cites Isaiah perhaps a half-dozen times, and the prophet is referenced indirectly another six […]

Peter and Jesus feature in yet another story for the Gospel reading in this twenty-second Sunday in ordinary time. Jesus orders his spokesman to Get behind me, Satan! At the same time, he asks the disciples to take up the cross. This account represents an unusual turn of events, since Jesus had just extended Peter […]

The Gospel reading for the sixth Sunday of Easter  is a continuation of Christ’s reflection at the Last Supper.  His homily, preserved only in the Fourth Gospel, makes no reference to the Eucharist, bread or wine. Instead, Jesus gives us an extended discourse on his relationship with the Father, the Holy Spirit, and his disciples. […]

Readings for August 21st.   21st Sunday, including Matthew 16:13-20. The passage in Matthew 16, where Peter confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, is a singular event in Matthew’s gospel. There is no transition – it has neither a preface nor a postscript.  It is, however, one of the most important passages in Matthew’s […]

In the Gospel reading for the Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus cleanses the Temple, driving the merchants and money changers from the Temple courtyard in Jerusalem. The Temple Economy Why does Jesus get so upset with the money changers in the courtyard? The Temple was built by Solomon around 950 BCE, destroyed in 587 BCE, […]