Posts Tagged ‘Gospels’

Our Father’s Plan

In 15 Audio on 2016/04/09 at 12:00 AM

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavins

Want to learn the key to reading the Bible and understanding the big picture of Our Father’s plan for His creation? Hosts Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins provide an overview of the Bible’s external structure before delving into its rich content. 

Our Father’s Plan Back to Series List
Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. Reading Through The Bible 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavins  iq_2021.mp3 You could open up the Bible and start reading; but do you know where to start? Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins will deal with this throughout the series as they discuss how to read the Bible in chronological order while telling us what the Bible is saying. It is important to know it’s a book of history. You can’t just open it up and start reading. It doesn’t read like a novel. They will show how to read the Bible in Chronological order. Scott outlines four key theological concepts and foundation principals. They look at what we can do with it and how we can apply it. They also describe Biblical covenants and look at the six covenants that were made throughout the Bible.

2. History Of Early World 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2022.mp3 The first 11 chapters contain the main themes of the Bible. You can compare them to an acorn that sprouts a shoot and becomes a tree. They take a look at the first parts of Genesis 1-11. They say that genealogy acts like a camera lens. They also talk about the covenant that was made with Noah and how his sons spread throughout the land. Scott talks more in depth about the four themes and what they mean. He also describes the differences between a contract and a covenant.

3. Patriarchs 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2023.mp3 Scott and Jeff take a look at God’s blood covenant with Abraham which takes place in the second part of Genesis (12-50). They discuss how the three promises that God made to Abraham became covenants. They also talk about the patriarchs, what they represent and why blessings were important. They highlight the Bible’s call to fidelity to Our Lord through Joseph’s bondage into slavery and his rise to power in Egypt.

4. Israel In Egypt 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2024.mp3 Scott and Jeff look at Abraham and the three promises and covenants that were made between him and God. They talk about the book of Exodus and explain difficult areas of the book. They talk about Israel as being God’s first-born son and discuss the covenant that was made at Mount Sini. They look at why cattle, sheep and goats were sacred for Egyptians. He also explains the breakaway from Egypt and the Mt. Sinai covenant. They then talk about the “golden calf” incident and the result from it and why the Levites were the ones who became priests.

5. Conquest Of Canaan 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2025.mp3 Scott and Jeff look at Israel’s forty year travail in the desert. They look at the books of Deutoronomy and Numbers. The book of Numbers describes the Israelite’s forty year wanderings. Scott and Jeff also cover the Dueteronomic covenant which established the political constitution for the nation of Israel from their time until the coming of Christ. It was to Israel what our Constitution is to us. They also explain why God required animal sacrifices.

6. Judges 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2026.mp3 Scott and Jeff examine the rise and fall of the nation of Israeli. They talk about the books of Joshua and Judges. They also talk about a five point cycle of sin that takes place seven times during this period. The cycle starts out by finding ourselves in sin until we are delivered by God and then we go back to silence. Every time during this cycle, God raised up leaders who were called Judges. There were 12 judges, 6 who were major judges and 6 who were minor ones. Scott talks about the three parts of Joshua and the battle of Jericho.

7. United Kingdom 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2027.mp3 Scott and Jeff take a look at Israel’s three major kings: Saul, David, and Solomon. The books of 1/2 Samuel and 1 Kings describe these kingdoms. The absence of a king represented a lack of holy leadership. Samuel warned the people of what a king would do and King Solomon ended up doing what Samuel said a king would do. They also look at how the second promise God made to Abraham was fulfilled in David. The kingdom lasted 120 years and was divided into 40 years for the three kings. This time is considered to be Israel’s Golden Age.

8. Divided Kingdom 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2028.mp3 Jeff and Scott examine the rebellion against King Solomon’s son around the year 930 BC in 1 and 2 Kings and how it divided Israel in two. They explain the importance of the prophets and knowing which part of Israel they are talking to. This sheds light on what they are saying and why. They also look at the story of Jonah and the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel.

9. The Exile 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2029.mp3 Scott and Jeff discuss the Babylonian exile and Israel’s return from exile. Judaism begins during their return. Israel endured 70 years in exile. Their return came about in 3 stages. Scott and Jeff examine the books of Ezra and Nehemiah who were among the first to return from exile. Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi wrote at this time as well. They conclude their discussion on the Old Testament by considering the Maccabbean revolt and the book of Maccabbees.

10. Gospels I 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2030.mp3 Scott and Jeff describe how to navigate the New Testament. They discuss the New Testament’s structure, the Gospels’ main themes and intended audience and how they portrayed Christ. They also examine the similarities between Jesus and Moses.

11. Gospels II 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2031.mp3 Scott and Jeff examine St. John’s Gospel which is considered to be the most symbolic. It gives us a reliable history that is almost sacramental in character. They talk about the sacraments that are found in John’s Gospel: Baptism and the Eucharist. They also talk about why the Eucharist is really the Flesh of Christ and not a symbol and why for many years no one questioned it. It is in John 6:4 that Jesus links himself to the Passover and the Exodus. The Old Testament lamb is a symbol of Christ.

12. Acts I 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2032.mp3 Jeff and Scott introduce the early church. The Book of Acts is the last historical book. It fulfils the third promise to Abraham as Jesus commands His followers to spread the Gospel. They look at the Book Acts’ division in three parts which covers 29 years of the Church’s expansion. They also outline a theological approach to Acts and discuss Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura.

13. Acts II 

Host – Scott Hahn & Jeff Cavinsiq_2033.mp3 Scott and Jeff conclude the series by examining the books of Hebrews and Revelations. Hebrews sheds light on how the New Covenant fulfills the Old Covenant. Jesus is the New Melchizedek. The doctrine of the Eucharist is the basis of the New Covenant. They also talk about how to understand the heart of the message of Revelation. Through the Mass, we will win the spiritual battle. They look at the Book of Revelation’s insights into the anti-Christ and the rapture and the image of Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant.

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“Christ is also living now.”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/01/10 at 12:00 AM
Live your life close to Christ. You should be another character in the Gospel, side by side with Peter, and John, and Andrew. For Christ is also living now: Iesus Christus, heri et hodie, ipse et in saecula! – Jesus Christ lives! Today, as yesterday, he is the same, for ever and ever. (The Forge, 8)

This is the love of Christ which each of us should try to practice in his own life. But to be Christ himself, we must see ourselves in him. It’s not enough to have a general idea of the spirit of Jesus’ life; we have to learn the details of his life and, through them, his attitudes. And, especially, we must contemplate his life, to derive from it strength, light, serenity, peace.

When you love someone, you want to know all about his life and character, so as to become like him. That is why we have to meditate on the life of Jesus, from his birth in a stable right up to his death and resurrection. In the early years of my life as a priest, I used to give people presents of copies of the Gospel and books about the life of Jesus. For we do need to know it well, to have it in our heart and mind, so that at any time, without any book, we can close our eyes and contemplate his life, watching it like a movie. In this way the words and actions of our Lord will come to mind in all the different circumstances of our life.

In this way we become involved in his life. It is not a matter of just thinking about Jesus, of recalling some scenes of his life. We must be completely involved and play a part in his life. (Christ is passing by, 107)

Re-oriented World

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/12/27 at 12:00 AM

From Pope Emeritus Benedict before retiring:  Christ’s birth, “something so radically new that it was capable of changing the course of history”.

The Lord’s nativity, the Holy Father commented, “once again illuminates the darkness that often surrounds our world and our hearts with its light, and brings hope and joy. Where does this light come from? From the grotto in Bethlehem where the shepherds found ‘Mary and Joseph and the Child lying in the manger’. Before this Holy Family another, deeper question arises: How can this small and weak Child bring a newness so radical into the world that it is capable of changing the course of history? Isn’t there something mysterious in his origin that goes beyond that cavern?”

“In the four Gospels, the answer to the question ‘where does Jesus come from?’ emerges clearly: his true origin is the Father, God. He comes entirely from Him, but in a different way than any other prophet or messenger of God who preceded Him. This origin of the mystery of God, ‘whom nobody knows’, is already contained in the stories of His childhood in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, which we are reading during Christmastime. The angel Gabriel announces: ‘The Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God’. We repeat these words every time that we recite the Creed, the profession of faith: ‘et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine’, ‘and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary’. At this phrase we kneel because the veil that hid God is, so to say, opened and His unfathomable and inaccessible mystery touches us. God becomes Emmanuel, ‘God with us’. When we listen to the Masses composed by the great masters of sacred music?I’m thinking, for example, of Mozart’s Coronation Mass? we immediately notice how they linger over this phrase in a particular way, almost wanting to try to express with the universal language of music that which words cannot make manifest: the great mystery of God made flesh, of God made man”.

“This affirmation of the Creed does not concern God’s eternal being but rather speaks to us of an action that the three divine Persons take part in and that is realized ‘ex Maria Virgine’. Without her, God’s entrance into human history would not have been achieved and that which is central to our Profession of Faith would not have taken place: God is God with us. Mary thus undeniably pertains to our faith in the God who acts, who enters into history. She puts her entire being at His disposition, she ‘accepts’ becoming the place of God’s indwelling.”

“Some times, even along the path and in the life of faith, we can sense our poverty, our inadequacy in front of the witness to be given to the world. But God chose precisely a humble woman, in an unknown village, in one of the furthest provinces of the great Roman Empire. Always, even amidst the most arduous difficulties to be faced, we must have faith in God, renewing our faith in His presence and in His action in our story as in that of Mary. Nothing is impossible to God! With Him our existence always walks upon a safe path and is open to a future of steadfast hope.”…

“What happens in Mary, through the action of the Holy Spirit himself, is a new creation. God, who has called being from nothingness with the Incarnation, gives life to a new beginning of humanity. The Fathers of the Church repeatedly speak of Christ as the new Adam in order to emphasize the beginning of the new creation with the birth of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This brings us to reflect upon how faith also supposes in us a newness so strong as to produce a second birth. In fact, at the beginning of being Christians is the Baptism that makes us reborn as children of God, that makes us to participate in the filial relationship that Jesus has with the Father. And I would like to note that Baptism is received, “we are baptised”?it is a passive verb?because nobody is capable of converting themselves into a child of God by themselves. It is a gift that is freely conferred… Only if we are open to God’s action, as Mary was, only if we entrust our life to the Lord as to a friend in who we trust completely, does everything change. Our lives acquire new meaning and a new face: that of the children of a Father who loves us and never abandons us”. …

“There is another element in the words of the Annunciation. The angel says to Mary: ‘the power of the Most High will overshadow you’. This is a reminder of the holy cloud that, during the Exodus, covered the tent of meeting over the ark of the Covenant, which the people of Israel carried with them, indicating the presence of God. Mary, therefore, is the new holy tent, the new ark of the Covenant. With her ‘yes’ to the archangel’s words, God receive a dwelling place in this world. What the universe cannot contain dwells in the womb of a virgin”.

“Let us return to the question with which we began, that of Jesus’ origin, summed up in Pilate’s question: ‘Where are you from?’. From our reflection it appears clear, from the beginning of the Gospels, what Jesus’ true origin is: He is the only begotten Son of the Father. He comes from God. We are facing the great and disconcerting mystery that we celebrate in this time of Christmas: the Son of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This is an announcement that resounds ever new and which carries with it hope and joy to our hearts because each time it gives us the certainty that, even if we often feel weak, poor, incapable of facing the difficulties and the evil of the world, the power of God is always acting and works wonders precisely in our weakness. His grace is our strength”.

VIS 130102

Ideas and Consequences

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2013/12/12 at 12:01 PM

One of the many properties that distinguishes humans from animals is a sense of history. Animals simply have no awareness of history (theirs or anyone else’s), but humans have been involved in history for at least 5000 years of recorded written history.  History is not an exact science; history can be biased or incomplete.  The most important history books are the four Gospels.  They give us a true history because if the events depicted  did not happen, Christianity falls on its face and can be set aside along with Greek mythology.  However, the Gospels are the true history of the life of Christ.  The events described therein really happened in real time; in fact they  more realistic than even the most objective histories today.

The Gospels  were written during the lifetime of many of those who witnessed  many of the events in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  There’s no record of any claim that the Gospels are fictional.  When a historical record is controversial, there are those  who attempt to correct the errors or protest that the events described happened as the author claimed.  Again, this did not happen in the case of the Gospels.

Some non-Christian sources also wrote about the fact that Jesus of Nazareth existed.  This indicates that the existence of Christ was known beyond the Jewish world and that the story was not merely a Jewish or Christian fantasy.

No one dies for an idea that he knows is false or fraudulent.  There was no advantage to the writer of the Gospels whatsoever.  In producing the Gospels, it did not make them heroes, in fact, just the opposite.  St. Matthew was martyred for his Gospel.  St. John endured persecution and exile for his efforts, and the other apostles all suffered death rather than deny the content of the Gospels.

The Gospels have been analyzed, scrutinized, examined, re-examined for 2000 years.  Many have attempted to show the Gospels to be a hoax perpetrated by the Apostles and the early Christians, but no one has ever succeeded in proving the Gospels are anything but what the Church says they are.  Adolph von Harnack, a noted rationalist of the 19th century set out to prove definitively that the Gospels were false.  He labored many years, and, finally, he not only could not show the Gospels were false, but he even became a Christian.

The Gospel story has inspired and sustained millions of people for 2000 years.  One of the reasons is that Christianity has not changed its basic doctrines in 2000 years. No other religion can say that; they all have divisions and subdivisions. If nothing else, this shows that Christianity is a divine religion.

There is another factor in the Gospel history that is not alluded to very much: the Gospels were not written for several decades after the death of Christ. Thus, the Gospels are a compilation of what the early Christians believed. It is a fact that stories passed on orally change radically after a just a few transmissions. Yet, the oral Gospel story did not change.  I suggest that the Holy Spirit, observing His duty to protect the Church, simply did not allow deviation from the true history – a miracle of sorts.  Then, too, Christians believe that the Gospels are inspired by God and they could not possibly contain errors or false facts because God, in His very nature, could not inspire what is untrue.

Thus we say without fear of error that the four Gospels depict what was said and done by Jesus Christ in real time, centuries ago in the Holy Land. It all happened, and there is no evidence that it did not.

If the Gospels are true history of real events, there are serious implications for us. The historicity of the Gospels is not in doubt and never has been. If this is true, then we come to a “So what now?”  The Gospels contain divine truth that we cannot avoid, ignore, or reject except at great peril to our eternal life

1. Christ really lived and is a divine being in human form as He said He was; His words and actions are words and actions of God Himself.

2. His words are also of divine origin and were spoken in real time.

3.  His divine teaching is not optional because we are creatures and owe the Creator reverence and obedience.

4. He set up a Church now known as the Catholic Church (again, historical fact), and He intended it to be the chief vehicle of salvation for mankind.

If we accept the historicity of the Gospels, but do not accept the ramifications, we have missed the whole point.  Salvation does not depend on being able to defend the Gospels, but in living them to the best of our ability.

To paraphrase a Gospel verse,”What does it profit a man to know all about the technicalities of the Gospels, but fail to live accordingly.”

“Try to enter in on the scene taking part as just one more person there”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/01/11 at 10:57 PM

How I wish your bearing and conversation were such that, on seeing or hearing you, people would say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ. (The Way, 2)

When you open the Holy Gospel, think that what is written there ‑‑ the words and deeds of Christ ‑‑ is something that you should not only know, but live. Everything, every point that is told there, has been gathered, detail by detail, for you to make it come alive in the individual circumstances of your life. God has called us Catholics to follow him closely. In that holy Writing you will find the Life of Jesus, but you should also find your own life there. You too, like the Apostle, will learn to ask, full of love, “Lord, what would you have me do?” And in your soul you will hear the conclusive answer, “The Will of God!” Take up the Gospel every day, then, and read it and live it as a definite rule. This is what the saints have done. (The Forge, 754)

If you wish to get close to Our Lord through the pages of the Gospels, I always recommend that you try to enter in on the scene taking part as just one more person there. In this way (and I know many perfectly ordinary people who live this way) you will be captivated like Mary was, who hung on every word that Jesus uttered or, like Martha, you will boldly make your worries known to him, opening your heart sincerely about them all no matter how little they may be [1]. (Friends of God, 222)

[1] cf Luke 10:39-40

Validity of Gospels

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/11/03 at 1:11 AM

Vatican Council II: Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation “ Dei Verbum ”, # 18-19

Among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special pre-eminence, and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our savior. The Church has always and everywhere held and continues to hold that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin. For what the Apostles preached in fulfillment of the commission of Christ, afterwards they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing: the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (Acts 1,1-2). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done. This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ’s life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth (Jn 14,26).

The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always in such fashion that they told us the honest truth about Jesus. For their intention in writing was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who “themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word” we might know “the truth concerning those matters about which we have been instructed” (Lk 1, 1-4).

Gospel Guide

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/05/25 at 11:10 PM

“In knowing Jesus Christ we will know the purpose of life and of all things.

‘It is not enough to have a general idea of the spirit of Jesus’ life; we have to learn the details of his life and, through hem, his attitudes…. When you love someone, you want to know all about him, his life and his personality, so as to become like him’ (Escriva Christ Is Passing By.)

‘In the Sacred Books the Father who is in Heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.’ (Second Vatican Council, Dei Verbum) 

We should listen to the Gospel as though Christ sere present and talking to us.’  St. Augustine, (Commentary on St. John, 30)

To read and meditate on the Gospel fruitfully we have to do so with faith, knowing that it contains the truths of salvation, and contains them without error….  We need to have the life of Christ  in our hearts and minds, so that at any time, without any book, we can close our eyes and contemplate his life, watching it like a film….  We must be completely involved and play a part in his life.  Christ’s words will enter deep into our soul and will really change us…..  Escriva, (Christ is Passing By, 107 )

As we read, we will recognize ourselves in some character in a parable, or we will feel that certain words are aimed at us in a particular way.

Try to do your Gospel reading first thing in the morning, trying to focus on some practical point which can help you in our presence of God during the day or help us to imitate Our Lord in some way.

Fernandez, Francis  In Conversation with God, Vol.II, 74.