Sunday, July 19, 2015

Navarre Bible Commentary:
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From eSermons
Mark 6:30–34
30 The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.   
Catholic Exegesis:
The Second Vatican Council teaches  that if we are to derive the true meaning from the sacred texts,  attention must be devoted “not only to their content but to the unity of the whole of Scripture, the living tradition of the entire Church, and the analogy of faith. […] Everything to do with the interpretation of Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church, which exercises the divinely conferred communion and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God” (Dei Verbum, 12).
St. John Paul II, when he promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church,  explained that the Catechism "is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium."  He went on to "declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion" (Fidei Depositum).
Cited in the Catechism:
Passages from this Gospel reading are not cited in the Catechism.
Commentary:
6:30–31. We can see here the intensity of Jesus’ public ministry. Such was his dedication to souls that St Mark twice mentions that the disciples did not even have time to eat (cf. Mk 3:20). A Christian should be ready to sacrifice his time and even his rest in the service of the Gospel. This attitude of availability will lead us to change our plans whenever the good of souls so requires.
But Jesus also teaches us here to have common sense and not to go to such extremes that we physically cannot cope: “The Lord makes his disciples rest, to show those in charge that people who work or preach cannot do so without breaks” (St. Bede, In Marci Evangelium expositio, in loc.). “He who pledges himself to work for Christ should never have a free moment, because to rest is not to do nothing: it is to relax in activities which demand less effort” (St Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, 357).
6:34. Our Lord had planned a period of rest, for himself and his disciples, from the pressures of the apostolate (Mk 6:31–32). And he has to change his plans because so many people come, eager to hear him speak. Not only is he not annoyed with them: he feels compassion on seeing their spiritual need. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6). They need instruction and our Lord wants to meet this need by preaching to them. “Jesus is moved by hunger and sorrow, but what moves him most is ignorance” (St Josemaría Escrivá, Christ Is Passing By, 109).

Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." St Jerome  

Friday, July 3, 2015

Video: The SCOTUS Case on Same-Sex Marriage and Its Impact on Religious Liberty

Overview
This video is a one hour presentation by Dr. Ben Nguyen of the Diocese of Corpus Christi in which he details the legal historical context leading up to the recent Supreme Court case which redefined marriage. Additionally, he outlines the moral impact of the decision and its potential threat to the freedom to freely express our faith in the public arena. Nguyen cites a number of court cases, Vatican II documents, Sacred Scripture and natural law.

Brief Bio
Dr. Ben Nguyen is a Canon lawyer and theological advisor to Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD of the Diocese of Corpus Christi. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Wisconsin. Nguyen has recently served as an Associate Professor in the Institute for Pastoral Studies at Ave Maria University where he taught Canon Law, Liturgy and Sacraments, Moral Theology and Pastoral Theology. In addition to all the work he does for the Church, Dr. Nguyen is married and has five children.

Audio/Video

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Navarre Bible Commentary:
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 5:21–43
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, 23 and besought him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” 24 And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25 And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” 29 And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi”; which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.   
Catholic Exegesis:
The Second Vatican Council teaches  that if we are to derive the true meaning from the sacred texts,  attention must be devoted “not only to their content but to the unity of the whole of Scripture, the living tradition of the entire Church, and the analogy of faith. […] Everything to do with the interpretation of Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church, which exercises the divinely conferred communion and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God” (Dei Verbum, 12).
St. John Paul II, when he promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church,  explained that the Catechism "is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium."  He went on to "declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion" (Fidei Depositum).
Cited in the Catechism:
Passages from this Gospel reading are cited in the Catechism in paragraphs 548, 994, 1504 and 2616.
Commentary:
Jairus’ daughter is restored to life. Curing of the woman with a haemorrhage
5:21–43. Both Jairus and the woman with the flow of blood give us an example of faith in Christ’s omnipotence, for only a miracle can cure Jairus’ daughter, who is on her death-bed, and heal this lady, who has done everything humanly possible to get better. Similarly, the Christian should always expect God to help him overcome the obstacles in the way of his sanctification. Normally, God’s help comes to us in an unspectacular way, but we should not doubt that, if it is necessary for our salvation, God will again work miracles. However, we should bear in mind that what the Lord expects of us is that we should every day fulfill his will.

5:22. At the head of each synagogue was the archisynagogist, whose function it was to organize the meetings of the synagogue on sabbaths and holy days, to lead the prayers and hymns and to indicate who should explain the Sacred Scripture. He was assisted in his task by a council and also had an aide who looked after the material side of things.

5:25. This woman suffered from an illness which implied legal impurity (Lev 15:25ff). Medical attention had failed to cure her; on the contrary, as the Gospel puts it so realistically, she was worse than ever. In addition to her physical suffering—which had gone on for twelve years—she suffered the shame of feeling unclean according to the Law. The Jews not only regarded a woman in this position as being impure: everything she touched became unclean as well. Therefore, in order not to be noticed by the people, the woman came up to Jesus from behind and, out of delicacy, touched only his garment. Her faith is enriched by her expression of humility: she is conscious of being unworthy to touch our Lord. “She touched the hem of his garment, she approached him in a spirit of faith, she believed, and she realized that she was cured […]. So we too, if we wish to be saved, should reach out in faith to touch the garment of Christ” (St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, 6, 56 and 58).

5:30. In all that crowd pressing around him only this woman actually touched Jesus—and she touched him not only with her hand but with the faith she bore in her heart. St Augustine comments: “She touches him, the people crowd him. Is her touching not a sign of her belief?” (In Ioann. Evang., 26, 3). We need contact with Jesus. We have been given no other means under heaven by which to be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, we obtain this physical contact through the sacramental species. We too need to enliven our faith if these encounters with our Lord are to redound to our salvation (cf. Mt 13:58).

5:37. Jesus did not want more than these three apostles to be present: three was the number of witnesses laid down by the Law (Deut 19:15). “For Jesus, being humble, never acted in an ostentatious way” (Theophylact, Enarratio in Evangelium Marci, in loc.). Besides these were the three disciples closest to Jesus: later, only they will be with him at the transfiguration (cf. 9:2) and at his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (cf. 14:33).

5:39. Jesus’ words are in contrast with those of the ruler’s servants; they say: “Your daughter is dead”; whereas he says: “She is not dead but sleeping.” “To men’s eyes she was dead, she could not be awoken; in God’s eyes she was sleeping, for her soul was alive and was subject to God’s power, and her body was resting, awaiting the resurrection. Hence the custom which arose among Christians of referring to the dead, whom we know will rise again, as those who are asleep” (St Bede, In Marci Evangelium expositio, in loc.). What Jesus says shows us that, for God, death is only a kind of sleep, for he can awaken anyone from the dead whenever he wishes. The same happens with the death and resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus says: “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him out of sleep.” And, when the disciples think that it is ordinary sleep he is referring to, our Lord tells them plainly: “Lazarus is dead” (cf. Jn 11:11ff).

5:40–42. Like all the Gospel miracles the raising of the daughter of Jairus demonstrates Christ’s divinity. Only God can work miracles; sometimes he does them in a direct way, sometimes by using created things as a medium. The exclusively divine character of miracles—especially the miracle of raising the dead—is noticed in the Old Testament: “The Lord wills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up” (1 Sam 2:6), because he has “power over life and death” (Wis 16:13). And also in the Old Testament God uses men to raise the dead to life: the prophet Elijah revives the son of the widow of Sarepta by “crying to the Lord” (cf. 1 Kings 17:21), and Elisha prevails on him to raise the son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:33).

In the same way, in the New Testament the apostles do not act by their own power but by that of Jesus to whom they first offer fervent prayer: Peter restores to life a Christian woman of Joppa named Tabitha (Acts 9:36ff); and Paul, in Troas, brings Eutychus back to life after he falls from a high window (Acts 20:7ff). Jesus does not refer to any superior power; his authority is sovereign: all he has to do is give the order and the daughter of Jairus is brought back to life; this shows that he is God.

Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." St Jerome  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Overview of Pope Francis' Encycylical

Below is video from a press conference from the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas. The speaker is Dr. Benedict Nguyen, who was one of my professors during my studies at the Institute for Pastoral Theology at Ave Maria University.

Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey, Diocese of Corpus Christi on:The 2nd Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis. Laudato Si' (On The Care For Our Common Home) Part 2of 2: Dr. Benedict NguyenView the 06/18/2015 press conference
Posted by Diocese of Corpus Christi on Friday, June 19, 2015