The Quiet Voice of God: The 19th Sunday in OT
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
10M ago
These commentaries are collected in published form in my “Word of the LORD” books available here. Dr. Scott Hahn and I dialogue about each week’s Sunday Readings here. There is so much turmoil in the national and international news these days, it makes it difficult to maintain a sense of peace. Instability in our own country seems capable of spiraling out of control, not to mention the various political hotspots around the world. Christians are targeted for elimination in Muslim and communist countries and elsewhere. Closer to home, we witness worrying erosion of religious liberty in developed ..read more
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Trinity Sunday
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
The Easter Season usually ends with a sort of “trifecta” of major feasts: Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, as the Church celebrates the central mysteries of the faith before entering into Ordinary Time once more. In any event, this weekend is Trinity Sunday, a meditation and celebration of the central mystery of the Christian faith, the dogma that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions.  Christians alone believe in one God, who nonetheless exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Strangely, our Readings for this Sunday tend not to be classic “proof texts ..read more
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Readings of Pentecost!
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
I highly recommend reading the commentary I also posted on this site on the Readings for the Vigil in preparation for the Mass of Pentecost Day.  The Readings for the Mass of the Pentecost pick up, as it were, where the Readings for the Vigil left off. The First Reading is, finally, the account of Pentecost itself, from Acts 2:1-11: Reading 1 Acts 2:1-11 When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongue ..read more
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Pentecost Vigil! Gathering the Family of God
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
Pentecost is a very important feast in the liturgical life of the Church, and it has it’s own vigil.  Not only so, but the Readings for the Vigil are particularly rich.  I cannot think of another that has such a wide variety of options, for example, for the First Reading.  Even though, in most cases, only one First Reading will be proclaimed in any given Mass (unless your parish celebrates the Extended Vigil), it is well worth pondering them all, in order to come to understand the significance of Pentecost more deeply: The First Reading Options for the Vigil: 1.  Genesis 11 ..read more
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Schizophrenic Crowds, Crucified Savior: Palm-Passion Sunday
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
(These commentaries are available in book form here. ) This Sunday’s readings might seem bipolar or schizophrenic.  We begin Mass with exultant cheering as we relive Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them here to me. And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, ‘The master has need of them.’ Then he will send them at ..read more
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Correcting Moses: 6th Sunday of OT
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
(These commentaries are available in book form here.) The “Hippie” Jesus is one of the common misunderstandings of Christ that are circulating in popular culture.  People think of Jesus as a laid back guru who traveled around Israel in this Volkswagen Vanagon, accompanied by twelve dudes in tie-died T-shirts.  Jesus taught that all we need is Love, and not to be so uptight, like all those rule-bound priests and scribes. Of course, that view of Jesus is wrong.  People adopt it, however, because they misunderstand the nature of Jesus’ conflict with the priests, scribes, and Pharis ..read more
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Happy New Year! Mary, Mother of God
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
(These commentaries are available in book form here.) As our Catholic readers know, this is the Solemnity (Holy Day) of Mary, Mother of God, one of the more significant liturgical celebrations in the Catholic calendar. The confession of Mary as “Mother of God” presents a stumbling block for some non-Catholic Christians, but curiously it never did for me. I think it was back in the Fall of 1992 when I was sitting in a course in Ancient Church History at one of the best Calvinist seminaries in America.  Our professor, a devout Dutch Calvinist (like most of us students), was lecturing on the ..read more
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Light in the Darkness: Gaudete Sunday
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
(These commentaries are available in book form here.) I always take consolation from the example of saints who faced death in the middle of a historical situation that offered little in the way of hope.  Three in particular come to mind: St. Augustine died with an army of Arian Goths surrounding Hippo in what looked like the end for Western Christian civilization.  St. Thomas More was executed at a time when it looked like all was lost for the Church in England.  St. Maximillian Kolbe was killed when it looked like German Fascism was going to triumph over Christianity in Europe ..read more
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Happy New Year! 1st Sun. of Advent
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
(These commentaries are available in book form here.) Happy New Year, everyone!  The Church Year begins this Sunday with the First Sunday of Advent, and we are back to reading cycle A in Church Year 2023.  There is a very ancient tradition in the Church of reading the Book of Isaiah during Advent.  In antiquity, both Jews and Christians considered the Book of Isaiah to be one extended prophesy of the “age to come,” the “latter days” when the Anointed One (Heb. “Meshiach,” =”Messiah”) would arrive.  The First Readings for Sunday Mass and for weekday masses, as well as the Of ..read more
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Making Things Right: 31st Sunday in OT
The Sacred Page
by John Bergsma
1y ago
These commentaries are available in book form here. Year A is about to start on Nov. 27; get Year A’s commentaries here. And don’t forget to get the volume on the fixed feasts and major Solemnities here. Consider joining me for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where I teach on Scripture at the very sites the sacred events occurred; June 23-July 2, 2023, information here. We are drawing close to November, the month that constitutes its own unofficial liturgical season, focused on the Last Things.  We begin the month with All Saints and round it out with the Feast of Christ the King.  Thi ..read more
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