St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (general)

Lecturas: Baruc 5, 1-9 Salmo 126, 1-6 Fiplipenses 1, 4-6, 8-11 Lucas 3, 1-6   El salmo de hoy nos pinta un escenario de ensueño: un camino lleno de antiguos cautivos, ahora liberados, que regresan a casa (Sión-Jerusalén), sus bocas llenas de risa y sus lenguas de cantos.   Es una estampa gloriosa del pasado de Israel, un “nuevo éxodo”: la liberación del exilio en Babilonia. El salmista la trae a la memoria en un momento de incertidumbre y ansiedad; pero no lo hace motivado por la nostalgia. Al recordar que, en el pasado, “el Señor ha hecho maravillas”, más bien hace un acto de fe y esperanza. Dios vendrá a Israel para socorrerle en su necesidad actual y hará cosas aún más grandes en el futuro.   Ese es el tema central de las lecturas del Adviento: recordar los hechos salvíficos de nuestro Dios, tanto en la historia de Israel como en la venida de Jesús. Esta remembranza pretende estimular nuestra fe y llenarnos de confianza sabiendo que, como dice la epístola de hoy, “quien inició en ustedes la Buena obra la irá consumando” hasta que Él venga de nuevo en su gloria.   La liturgia nos enseña que cada uno de nosotros, como Israel durante el exilio, es conducido a la cautividad por sus pecados, necesitado de salvación y conversión mediante la Palabra del Santo (cfr. Ba 5,5). Las lecciones que nos da la historia de la salvación nos  enseñan que, como Dios liberó una y otra vez a Israel, también en su misericordia nos liberará de nuestros afectos desordenados si, arrepentidos, volvemos a Él.   Ese es el mensaje de Juan, presentado en el Evangelio de hoy como el último de los grandes profetas (cfr. Jr 1, 1-4, 11). Pero Juan es mucho mayor que los profetas (cfr. Lc 7, 27). Él esta preparando el camino, no solo a la nueva redención de Israel, sino también para la salvación de “toda carne” (cfr. Hch 28, 28).   Juan cita a Isaías (cfr. 40, 3) para decirnos que ha venido a construirnos un camino a casa; una senda que nos saca del desierto del pecado y de la alineación. Un camino por el cual  seguiremos a Jesús y peregrinaremos alegremente, sabiendo que Dios nos recuerda, como dice la primera lectura de hoy.

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Direct download: The_Bible_and_the_Spiritual_Life.mp3
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Direct download: 01_John_Paul_II__the_New_Evangelization.mp3
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Reflecting on the legacy of Saint John Paul II, Scott Hahn challenges us to stop thinking of the New Evangelization as just another program, and instead think of it as a way of life, both for the Church and for individuals.

“The Church exists to evangelize,” Hahn reminds us.  He also stresses the importance of living every moment as a witness.

“Our friendship with others is where someone will potentially encounter Christ and the Catholic Faith,” he explains.

Direct download: 01_John_Paul_II_and_the_New_Evangelization.mp3
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Direct download: 3_LS_09_-_Pitre_-_Priestly_Identity_of_the_144000.mp3
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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.

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Direct download: On_Spiritual_Fatherhood.mp3
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Direct download: 01_Sacrament__Document__What_is_the_New_Testament.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT

Leviticus 19:1–2, 17–18

Psalm 103:1–4, 8, 10, 12–13

1 Corinthians 3:16–23

Matthew 5:38–48

We are called to the holiness of God. That is the extraordinary claim made in both the First Reading and Gospel this Sunday.

Yet how is possible that we can be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect?

Jesus explains that we must be imitators of God as his beloved children (Eph. 5:1–2).

As God does, we must love without limit—with a love that does not distinguish between friend and foe, overcoming evil with good (see Rom. 12:21).

Jesus himself, in his Passion and death, gave us the perfect example of the love that we are called to.

He offered no resistance to the evil—even though he could have commanded twelve legions of angels to fight alongside him. He offered his face to be struck and spit upon. He allowed his garments to be stripped from him. He marched as his enemies compelled him to the Place of the Skull. On the cross he prayed for those who persecuted him (see Matt. 26:53–54, 67; 27:28, 32; Luke 23:34).

In all this he showed himself to be the perfect Son of God. By his grace, and through our imitation of him, he promises that we too can become children of our heavenly Father.

God does not deal with us as we deserve, as we sing in this week’s Psalm. He loves us with a Father’s love. He saves us from ruin. He forgives our transgressions.

He loved us even when we had made ourselves his enemies through our sinfulness. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (see Rom. 5:8).

We have been bought with the price of the blood of God’s only Son (see 1 Cor. 6:20). We belong to Christ now, as St. Paul says in this week’s Epistle. By our baptism, we have been made temples of his Holy Spirit.

And we have been saved to share in his holiness and perfection. So let us glorify him by our lives lived in his service, loving as he loves. 

Direct download: A_7_Ordinary.mp3
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