St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

Readings:

Acts 2:14,22-28

Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11

1 Peter 1:17-21

Luke 24:13-35

We should put ourselves in the shoes of the disciples in today's Gospel. Downcast and confused they're making their way down the road, unable to understand all the things that have occurred. 

They know what they've seen - a prophet mighty in word and deed. They know what they were hoping for - that He would be the redeemer of Israel. But they don't know what to make of His violent death at the hands of their rulers. 

They can't even recognize Jesus as He draws near to walk with them. He seems like just another foreigner visiting Jerusalem for the Passover. 

Note that Jesus doesn't disclose His identity until they they describe how they found His tomb empty but "Him they did not see." That's how it is with us, too. Unless He revealed himself we would see only an empty tomb and a meaningless death.

How does Jesus make himself known at Emmaus? First, He interprets "all the Scriptures" as referring to Him. In today's First Reading and Epistle, Peter also opens the Scriptures to proclaim the meaning of Christ's death according to the Father's "set plan" - foreknown before the foundation of the world. 

Jesus is described as a new Moses and a new Passover lamb. He is the One of whom David sang in today's Psalm - whose soul was not abandoned to corruption but was shown the path of life. 

After opening the Scriptures, Jesus at table took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples - exactly what He did at the Last Supper (see Luke 22:14-20). 

In every Eucharist, we reenact that Easter Sunday at Emmaus. Jesus reveals himself to us in our journey. He speaks to our hearts in the Scriptures. Then at the table of the altar, in the person of the priest, He breaks the bread. 

The disciples begged him, "Stay with us." So He does. Though He has vanished from our sight, in the Eucharist - as at Emmaus - we know Him in the breaking of the bread.

Direct download: A_3_Easter.mp3
Category:Sunday Bible Reflections -- posted at: 4:53pm EDT

St. Mark paints a portrait of Jesus that is vivid, dynamic and focused on His miracles and His divine Sonship. But, unlike the other Gospels, the structure of Mark defies easy definition. In this five part series, Scott Hahn reveals the hidden themes that St. Mark employed, like a master composer, to orchestrate his magnificent work.

 

 

Direct download: 01_The_Gospel_of_Mark_Part_5_1.mp3
Category:The Gospel of Mark -- posted at: 4:12pm EDT

St. Mark paints a portrait of Jesus that is vivid, dynamic and focused on His miracles and His divine Sonship. But, unlike the other Gospels, the structure of Mark defies easy definition. In this five part series, Scott Hahn reveals the hidden themes that St. Mark employed, like a master composer, to orchestrate his magnificent work.

 

 

Direct download: 01_The_Gospel_of_Mark_Part_4_1.mp3
Category:The Gospel of Mark -- posted at: 4:09pm EDT

St. Mark paints a portrait of Jesus that is vivid, dynamic and focused on His miracles and His divine Sonship. But, unlike the other Gospels, the structure of Mark defies easy definition. In this five part series, Scott Hahn reveals the hidden themes that St. Mark employed, like a master composer, to orchestrate his magnificent work.

 

 

Direct download: 01_The_Gospel_of_Mark_Part_3_1.mp3
Category:The Gospel of Mark -- posted at: 2:43pm EDT

St. Mark paints a portrait of Jesus that is vivid, dynamic and focused on His miracles and His divine Sonship. But, unlike the other Gospels, the structure of Mark defies easy definition. In this five part series, Scott Hahn reveals the hidden themes that St. Mark employed, like a master composer, to orchestrate his magnificent work.

 

 

Direct download: 01_The_Gospel_of_Mark_Part_2_1.mp3
Category:The Gospel of Mark -- posted at: 2:38pm EDT

St. Mark paints a portrait of Jesus that is vivid, dynamic and focused on His miracles and His divine Sonship. But, unlike the other Gospels, the structure of Mark defies easy definition. In this five part series, Scott Hahn reveals the hidden themes that St. Mark employed, like a master composer, to orchestrate his magnificent work.

Direct download: The_Gospel_of_Mark_Part_1_2.mp3
Category:The Gospel of Mark -- posted at: 11:02am EDT

Readings:

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

We are children of Jesus' Resurrection from the dead. Through this wondrous sign of His great mercy, the Father of Jesus has given us new birth, as we hear in today's Epistle.

Today's First Reading sketches the "family life" of our first ancestors in the household of God (see 1 Peter 4:17). We see them doing what we still do - devoting themselves to the Apostles' teaching, meeting daily to pray and celebrate "the breaking of the bread."

The Apostles saw the Lord. He stood in their midst, showed them His hands and sides. They heard His blessing and received His commission - to extend the Father's mercy to all peoples through the power and Spirit He conferred upon them.

We must walk by faith and not by sight, must believe and love what we have not seen (see 2 Corinthians 5:7). Yet the invisible realities are made present for us through the devotions the Apostles handed on.

Notice the experience of the risen Lord in today's Gospel is described in a way that evokes the Mass.

Both appearances take place on a Sunday. The Lord comes to be with His disciples. They rejoice, listen to His Word, receive the gift of His forgiveness and peace. He offers His wounded body to them in remembrance of His Passion. And they know and worship Him as their Lord and their God.

Thomas' confession is a vow of faith in the new covenant. As promised long before, in the blood of Jesus we can now know the Lord as our God and be known as His people (see Hosea 2:20-25).

This confession is sung in the heavenly liturgy (see Revelation 4:11). And in every Mass on earth we renew our covenant and receive the blessings Jesus promised for those who have not seen but have believed.

In the Mass, God's mercy endures forever, as we sing in today's Psalm. This is the day the Lord has made - when the victory of Easter is again made wonderful in our eyes.

Direct download: A_Divine_Mercy.mp3
Category:Sunday Bible Reflections -- posted at: 9:11am EDT

Readings:

Acts 10:34, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Colossians 3:1-4
John 20:1-9

Jesus is nowhere visible. Yet today's Gospel tells us that Peter and John "saw and believed."

What did they see? Burial shrouds lying on the floor of an empty tomb. Maybe that convinced them that He hadn't been carted off by grave robbers, who usually stole the expensive burial linens and left the corpses behind.

But notice the repetition of the word "tomb" - seven times in nine verses. They saw the empty tomb and they believed what He had promised: that God would raise Him on the third day.

Chosen to be His "witnesses," today's First Reading tells us, the Apostles were "commissioned...to preach...and testify" to all that they had seen - from His anointing with the Holy Spirit at the Jordan to the empty tomb.

More than their own experience, they were instructed in the mysteries of the divine economy, God's saving plan - to know how "all the prophets bear witness" to Him (see Luke 24:27,44).

Now they could "understand the Scripture," could teach us what He had told them - that He was "the Stone which the builders rejected," which today's Psalm prophesies His Resurrection and exaltation (see Luke 20:17; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11).

We are the children of the apostolic witnesses. That is why we still gather early in the morning on the first day of every week to celebrate this feast of the empty tomb, give thanks for "Christ our life," as today's Epistle calls Him.

Baptized into His death and Resurrection, we live the heavenly life of the risen Christ, our lives "hidden with Christ in God." We are now His witnesses, too. But we testify to things we cannot see but only believe; we seek in earthly things what is above.

We live in memory of the Apostles' witness, like them eating and drinking with the risen Lord at the altar. And we wait in hope for what the Apostles told us would come - the day when we too "will appear with Him in glory." 

Direct download: A_Easter.mp3
Category:Sunday Bible Reflections -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

The Catholic Understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ, embodied in the Church and revealed anew in the Holy Eucharist, comes directly from the Bible, according to Dr. Scott Hahn. He places the Last Supper in the context of the Jewish Passover Seder liturgy.

By explaining the significance of the drinking of the fourth and final cup in the Old Testament Passover meal ceremony, Dr. Hahn draws a symbolic parallel to Christ’s death on the Cross. It is an exciting concept, that will help viewers discover a whole new dimension to Holy Mass, and the relationship of the Last Supper to the Eucharistic celebration.

Direct download: The_Fourth_Cup.mp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:25pm EDT

Readings:

Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11
Matthew 26:14-27:66

"All this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled," Jesus says in today's Gospel (see Matthew 26:56).

Indeed, we have reached the climax of the liturgical year, the highest peak of salvation history, when all that has been anticipated and promised is to be fulfilled.

By the close of today's long Gospel, the work of our redemption will have been accomplished, the new covenant will be written in the blood of His broken body hanging on the cross at the place called the Skull.

In His Passion, Jesus is "counted among the wicked," as Isaiah had foretold (see Isaiah 53:12). He is revealed definitively as the Suffering Servant the prophet announced, the long-awaited Messiah whose words of obedience and faith ring out in today's First Reading and Psalm.

The taunts and torments we hear in these two readings punctuate the Gospel as Jesus is beaten and mocked (see Matthew 27:31), as His hands and feet are pierced, as enemies gamble for His clothes (see Matthew 27:35), and as his enemies dare Him to prove His divinity by saving Himself from suffering (see Matthew 27:39-44).

He remains faithful to God's will to the end, does not turn back in His trial. He gives Himself freely to His torturers, confident that, as He speaks in today's First Reading: "The Lord God is My help...I shall not be put to shame."

Destined to sin and death as children of Adam's disobedience, we have been set free for holiness and life by Christ's perfect obedience to the Father's will (see Romans 5:12-14,17-19; Ephesians 2:2; 5:6).

This is why God greatly exalted Him. This is why we have salvation in His Name. Following His example of humble obedience in the trials and crosses of our lives, we know we will never be forsaken. We know, as the centurion today, that truly this is the Son of God (see Matthew 27:54). 

Direct download: A_Passion.mp3
Category:Sunday Bible Reflections -- posted at: 5:17pm EDT