The Visitation

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
(Luke 1:39-56)

Scripture Study

1:41 leaped in her womb: Elizabeth’s experience parallels that of Rebekah in Gen 25. ● Both Luke and the Greek OT use the same verb (Gk. skirtaō) to describe children leaping or stirring in the womb. As Rebekah’s experience signaled the preeminence of Jacob over his older brother Esau (Gen 25:22–23), so the similar experience of Elizabeth was a sign that Jesus would be greater than his older cousin John (3:16; Jn 3:27–30).

1:42 Blessed are you: Elizabeth blesses Mary with words once spoken to Jael and Judith in the OT (Judg 5:24–27; Jud 13:18). ● These women were blessed for their heroic faith and courage in warding off enemy armies hostile to Israel. Victory was assured when both Jael and Judith assassinated the opposing military commanders with a mortal blow to the head. Mary will follow in their footsteps, yet in her case both the enemy destroyed and the victory won will be greater, for she will bear the Savior who crushes the head of sin, death, and the devil underfoot (Gen 3:15; 1 Jn 3:8) (CCC 64, 489).

1:43 mother of my Lord: This title reveals the twin mysteries of Jesus’ divinity and Mary’s divine maternity (CCC 449, 495). Note that every occurrence of the word Lord in the immediate (1:45) and surrounding context refers to God (1:28, 32, 38, 46, 58, 68). ● Mary’s divine motherhood was the first Marian dogma expounded by the Church. The Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (a.d. 431) defined her unique relationship to Christ and honored her with the title “Mother of God” (Gk. Theotokos). This was reaffirmed in 1964 at Vatican II (Lumen Gentium, 53).

1:46–55 The Magnificat (Latin for “magnifies”) is a hymn of praise and a recital of God’s covenant faithfulness. Mary extols humility (1:48) and rejoices in God’s blessings on the lowly (1:47, 52–53). The song also introduces the theme of God’s “mercy” (1:50, 54), which flows into the following episode (1:58, 72, 78) (CCC 2097, 2619). ● The Magnificat is imbued with themes and imagery from the OT. It closely resembles the Song of Hannah in 1 Sam 2:1–10, while other passages illumine the background (Ps 89:10, 13; 98:3; 111:9; Sir 33:12; Hab 3:18).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, today’s Gospel recounts the story of Mary’s visitation to her cousin, Elizabeth. Upon hearing the message of Gabriel concerning her own pregnancy and that of her cousin, Mary “proceeded in haste into the hill country of Judah” to see Elizabeth. Why did she go with such speed and purpose? Because she had found her mission, her role in the Theo-drama.

The Theo-drama is the great story being told by God, the great play we all find ourselves in. What makes life thrilling is to discover your role in it. This is precisely what has happened to Mary. She has found her role—indeed a climactic role—in the Theo-drama, and she wants to conspire with Elizabeth, who has also discovered her role in the same drama.

Mary recapitulates the story of Israel, the story of redemption. We can, as it were, read the whole Old Testament in her: “He has shown the strength of his arm; he has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty.”

– Bishop Robert Barron

 May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Glory to God

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
(John 17:1-11)

Scripture Study

17:1 raised his eyes: A traditional prayer gesture (Ps 123:1; Mk 6:41). the hour: The time of Christ’s Passion begins in earnest. Because it involves his rejection and the aggressive assault of the devil, it is also called the hour of “darkness” (Lk 22:53). See topical essay: The “Hour” of Jesus at Jn 4.

17:3 eternal life: To possess life is to know the living God in his triune glory. Although this knowledge has a cognitive and intellectual dimension, it also includes a relational bond of love, friendship, and communion with God that grows steadily until our union with him is complete in heaven (Eph 1:17; 1 Jn 4:7). ● Personal knowledge of God is a sign of the New Covenant, according to Jer 31:33–34. the only true God: The NT doctrine that God is a Trinity is built on the OT doctrine that Yahweh alone is God (Deut 6:4; 32:39). This ancient belief, held dear both in Israel and in the Church, stands in sharp contrast to the pagan notion that many gods exist and deserve our recognition (Ex 20:3–6; Is 43:10; 1 Cor 8:5–6).

17:6 revealed your name: Possibly the divine name “I am”, which is shared by Jesus (8:58; 18:6). Or, too, it may refer to the general revelation of the Father’s life and love through the Incarnation (14:6–11) (CCC 2812).

Scripture Reflection

The word “glory” here refers to the splendor, power and honor which belong to God. The Son is God equal to the Father, and from the time of his incarnation and birth and especially through his death and resurrection his divinity has been made manifest. The glorification of Jesus has three dimensions to it. 1) It promotes the glory of the Christ, in obedience to God’s redemptive decree, makes the Father known and so brings God’s saving work to completion. 2) Christ is glorified because his divinity, which he has voluntarily disguised, will eventually be manifested through his human nature which will be seen after the Resurrection invested with the very authority of God himself over all creation. 3) Christ, through his glorification, gives man the opportunity to attain eternal life, to know God the Father and Jesus Christ, his only Son. This in turn redounds to the glorification of the Father and of Jesus while also involving man’s participation in divine glory.

 May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Peace In Me

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
(John 16:29-33)

Scripture Study

16:31–32. Jesus moderates the apostles’ enthusiasm, which expresses itself in a spontaneous confession of faith; he does this by asking them a question which has two dimensions. On the one hand, it is a kind of reproach for their having taken too long to believe in him: it is true that there were other occasions when they expressed faith in the Master (cf. Jn 6:68–69; etc.), but until now they have not fully realized that he is the One sent by the Father. The question also refers to the fragility of their faith: they believe, and yet very soon they will abandon him into the hands of his enemies. Jesus requires us to have a firm faith: it is not enough to show it in moments of enthusiasm, it has to stand the test of difficulties and opposition.

16:33. The Second Vatican Council teaches in connection with this passage: “The Lord Jesus who said ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ (Jn 16:33), did not by these words promise complete victory to his Church in this world. This sacred Council rejoices that the earth which has been sown with the seed of the Gospel is now bringing forth fruit in many places under the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, who is filling the world” (Presbyterorum ordinis, 22).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus promises peace to his disciples who abandoned him at his arrest. “Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered… and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.”

And Jesus’ prophecy is fulfilled at the Resurrection. The disciples are gathered in the upper room, that place of fear, and suddenly Jesus is in their midst. What is the reaction of the disciples? They are afraid. And no wonder: they had abandoned him.

In the face of this fear, Jesus does two simple things. First, he shows his wounds. Second, he offers his peace. Both are important. By the first action, he reminds them of the sins that put an end to his life. In the second great move, Jesus says, “Shalom,” which means peace. Jesus returns not with vengeance, not with a renewal of violence, not with more of the same; rather the violence brought against him is met with Shalom, the gift of peace. With this, a new world opens up and a way out emerges.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

GO!

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:16-20)

Scripture Study

28:18 All power: The Father vindicates Jesus at his Resurrection and gives him full dominion over creation (cf. Dan 7:13, 14; Eph 1:19–22). Jesus confers his authority on the apostles to preach the gospel and “make disciples” (27:19) as witnesses of his Resurrection (cf. Lk 10:16; Acts 2:32).

28:19 Go therefore: Christ’s commission to evangelize and catechize the world fulfills God’s covenant oath to Abraham that “all the nations” would be blessed (Gen 22:18; Gal 3:8). His outline for the Church’s mission is threefold: (1) Evangelizing all nations involves more than winning individuals; it entails the conversion of entire cultures. Every area of life must be brought under the Lordship of Christ and in line with the gospel. (2) The administration of the sacraments is essential to the Church’s mission and our response. [B]aptizing new converts is the first step in a long process of sanctification and participation in the life of the Church. (3) The transmission of all that Christ taught necessitates the assistance of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church to proclaim the gospel infallibly (cf. Jn 14:26). ● The Sacrament of Baptism incorporates Christians into the divine family of the Trinity as children of God (cf. Gal 3:26, 27). The single name of the Father, Son, and Spirit reveals the unity of God’s inner life and the oneness of his nature. This expression has become the normative baptismal formula for the Church (CCC 849, 1122, 1257).

28:20 I am with you always: Jesus’ parting words further elucidate Isaiah’s prophetic name for the Messiah, “Emmanuel … God with us” (1:23). The risen Christ’s ongoing presence in the Church is both ecclesial (18:20) and eucharistic (26:26–28); he thus directs and empowers the world-wide mission of the Church throughout history (CCC 860, 2743).

Scripture Reflection

This short passage, which brings to a close the Gospel of St Matthew, is of great importance. Seeing the risen Christ, the disciples adore him, worshipping him as God. This shows that at last they are fully conscious of what, from much earlier on, they felt in their heart and confessed by their words—that their Master is the Messiah, the Son of God (cf. Mt 16:18; Jn 1:49). The Master addresses them with the majesty proper to God: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” omnipotence, an attribute belonging exclusively to God, belongs to him: he is confirming the faith of his worshippers; and he is also telling them that the authority which he is going to give them to equip them to carry out their mission to the whole world, derives from his own divine authority.

On hearing him speak these words, we should bear in mind that the authority of the Church, which is given it for the salvation of mankind, comes directly from Jesus Christ, and that this authority, in the sphere of faith and morals, is above any other authority on earth. Here Christ also passes on to the apostles and their successors the power to baptize, that is, to receive people into the Church, thereby opening up to them the way to personal salvation.

The mission which the Church is definitively given here at the end of St Matthew’s Gospel is one of continuing the work of Christ—teaching men and women the truths concerning God and the duty incumbent on them to identify with these truths, to make them their own by having constant recourse to the grace of the sacraments. When Holy Scripture says that God is with someone, this means that that person will be successful in everything he undertakes. Therefore, the Church, helped in this way by the presence of its divine Founder, can be confident of never failing to fulfil its mission down the centuries until the end of time.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Ask Anything

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures
but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
(John 16:23-28)

Scripture Study

16:23 ask nothing … ask anything: Two different Greek verbs are translated “ask” in this verse: the first means “to question”, and the second “to request”. So the disciples must not interrogate Jesus when they see him risen, but they may petition the Father for their needs (CCC 2614).

16:25 in figures: Refers back to the metaphor of the true vine (15:1–6) and probably to numerous parables in the Synoptic Gospels that tell us about the Father (Mt 21:33–41; 22:1–14; Lk 13:6–9).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, today’s Gospel urges us to expect the Father to answer our prayers because he loves us. “On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”

Keep in mind that prayer is not designed so much to change God’s mind or to tell God something he doesn’t know. God isn’t like a big city boss or a reluctant pasha whom we have to persuade. He is, rather, the one who wants nothing other than to give us good things—though they might not always be what we want.

The entire point of religion is to make us humble before God and to open us to the path of love. Everything else is more or less a footnote. Liturgy, prayer, the precepts of the Church, the commandments, sacraments, sacramentals—all of it—are finally meant to conform us to the way of love. When they instead turn us away from that path, they have been undermined.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Adopted

I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.

(John 14:18)

Scripture Study

14:18 desolate: Literally, “orphans”. I will come to you: i.e., with the Father and the Spirit (14:23). When Jesus withdraws his visible presence from the world, he does not withdraw his spiritual presence. Christ is always present in his Church, especially in the liturgy, where he ministers through his priests, speaks through the Scriptures, and sanctifies us through the sacraments. By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation.

It is highly fitting that Christ should have wanted to remain present to his Church in this unique way. Since Christ was about to take his departure from his own in his visible form, he wanted to give us his sacramental presence; since he was about to offer himself on the cross to save us, he wanted us to have the memorial of the love with which he loved us “to the end,” even to the giving of his life. In his Eucharistic presence he remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us, and he remains under signs that express and communicate this love (CCC 788, 1380).[1]

Scripture Reflection

At various points in the Supper, we can see the apostles growing sad when the Lord bids them farewell. Jesus speaks to them with great tenderness, calling them “little children” and “friends” and he promises that he will not leave them alone, for he will send the Holy Spirit, and he himself will return to be with them again. And in fact he will see them again after the Resurrection when he appears to them over a period of forty days to tell them about the Kingdom of God.

When he ascends into heaven they will see him no longer; yet Jesus still continues to be in the midst of his disciples as he promised he would, and we will see him face to face in heaven. Then it shall be that we will be able to see that which we believe. For even now he is with us, and we in him […]; but now we know by believing, whereas then we shall know by beholding. As long as we are in the body, such as it is now, that is, corruptible, which weighs down the soul, we are making our way towards the Lord: for we walk by faith, not by sight. But then we shall see him directly, we shall see him as he is.

– St Augustine, In Ioann. Evang., 75

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Heaven and Earth Are Full Of Your Glory

Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia.
(Psalm 148:1-2, 11-12, 13-14)

Scripture Study

148:1 Praise Yah The exhortation hallu-yah opens and closes Ps 148.

from the heavens The first location of the beings that praise God is in heaven. The second location will be the earth (v. 7).

148:2 all his angels The heavenly beings that serve God in the heavenly realm. his hosts The Hebrew word used here, tsava’, can refer to troops or an army and here seems to reference all spiritual beings. The hosts of Yahweh can sometimes include the people of Israel.

148:11 kings of the earth and all peoples The psalmist calls all foreign people—both the powerful and the humble—to praise God.

148:12 the old together with the young The psalmist includes everyone in his call to praise God—both the vigorous and the weak.

148:13 let them praise the name of Yahweh Repeats v. 5. is above earth and heavens Neither heaven nor earth contain God’s reputation and honor; He is above both, and both depend on Him for any beauty that they have.

148:14 a horn A symbol of power and strength. Here, it refers to God Himself. close to him Defines chasidim (“saints” or “faithful ones”) as people who draw near to God by revering Him and following His directions.

Scripture Reflection

We human beings who are addressed, should recognize that we are in the list with all the creation and creatures as creature and creation ourselves. We are in our obligation to praise no different from and no more than all the rest. Everything and everyone is identical in being addressed by the psalm. We human beings are one with all being in our relation to One whose name alone is exalted and whose majesty is above earth and heaven.

How are sun and moon, heavens and waters, storms and mountains, animals and birds to answer the call to praise? How can they fulfill their obligation? One might attribute the call to them to poetic license, but that would miss the theological seriousness behind the hymnic joy. The celestial lights and firmament and waters are the work of the LORD’s command, and they are maintained in their place and purpose by his power.

The LORD has given his faithful praise as their dignity and power. They are the ones who are “near” to him, know and can speak his exalted name. They are given the praise with which to voice the unspoken praise of all creation. Praise is their place and purpose. In the praise of the people of the LORD, the name that is the truth about the entire universe is spoken on behalf of all the rest of creation.

– James Mays

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Our Advantage

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
(John 16:5-11)

Scripture Study

16:5 Not one of you asks me: the difficulty of reconciling this with Simon Peter’s question in Jn 13:36 and Thomas’ words in Jn 14:5 strengthens the supposition that the last discourse has been made up of several collections of Johannine material.

16:8–11 These verses illustrate the forensic character of the Advocate’s role: in the forum of the disciples’ conscience he prosecutes the world. He leads believers to see (a) that the basic sin was and is refusal to believe in Jesus; (b) that, although Jesus was found guilty and apparently died in disgrace, in reality righteousness has triumphed, for Jesus has returned to his Father; (c) finally, that it is the ruler of this world, Satan, who has been condemned through Jesus’ death (Jn 12:32).

Scripture Reflection

“because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts John 16:6

Jesus knew this would be hard for them to understand. When Jesus has something hard to tell us, He knows it is hard. He understands. We may still need to hear it, and we may wish He would back away from it, but He won’t. He will tell it to us, and tell it to us in love.

But Jesus would not let their sorrow go unchallenged. Yes, Jesus knew they were filled with sorrow because of what He has told them. But, despite all of that He wanted them to know that it was to their advantage. Jesus wanted them to trust Him in something hard to understand. He said this because He wanted them to make a concerted effort to trust Him at this point.

Trust in God, belief in Jesus, has something to do with our will. When we make decisions to trust Him, it has to be in all things – easy and hard – as this will be our advantage – His will and not our own.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

The Advocate

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”
(John 15:26-16:4)

Scripture Study

15:26 whom I shall send: The Spirit comes forth from the Father (14:16, 26) and the Son (16:7). ● The mission of the Spirit in history is a reflection of the procession of the Spirit in eternity. This is expressed in the Nicene Creed, which says that the Holy Spirit “proceeds from the Father and the Son” (CCC 244–48).

16:2 out of the synagogues: i.e., excommunicated from the fellowship of Israel. service to God: Or “worship to God”. According to rabbinic meditations on the Phinehas episode of Num 25:1–13, to slay apostates from Judaism is to sacrifice unto the Lord.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, today’s Gospel focuses on the Holy Spirit’s role as witness to Jesus. “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.”

All Christian preaching is ultimately about the Paschal Mystery, the dying and rising of Jesus and the sending of the Holy Spirit. But this last element is especially important for today, because it signals the way that we are able to participate in the life that Jesus opens up to us. One of the chief marks of the Holy Spirit is the prompting to bold speech. From the apostles through the great evangelists and theologians, up to Billy Graham and John Paul II, the Spirit prompts people to confess the Lordship of Jesus. Remember that Paul told us, “No one can call Jesus Lord except in the Holy Spirit.”

Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third person of the Holy Trinity, more precisely the love shared by the Father and the Son. As the love between Father and Son, the Spirit comes most fully to historical expression during the great events of the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

Be Ready

Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
(1 Peter 3:15-18)

Scripture Study

3:15 make a defense: I.e., make a reasoned articulation of the faith and be ready to disarm any attacks mounted against it. Essential to the task is an attitude of calm self-composure, so that the truth will always be honored and spoken in love (Eph 4:15). The word “defense” (Gk. apologia) often refers to a legal case presented before a judge and jury (Acts 25:16; 2 Tim 4:16). It is the basis of the word “apologetics”, which involves explaining and defending Christian truth (Acts 22:1).

3:18 Suffered: very many ancient manuscripts and versions read “died.” Put to death in the flesh: affirms that Jesus truly died as a human being. Brought to life in the spirit: that is, in the new and transformed existence freed from the limitations and weaknesses of natural human life (cf. 1 Cor 15:45).

Scripture Reflection

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope”

The Lord is not referring to defending oneself before the courts. He seems to be referring to the obligation to bear witness to their faith and hope, for all baptized persons should always, by word and example, make their faith known to others. But if we think about it, all the Lord is really asking us to do is share our story of Him. Even in the midst of difficulties, the entire Christian life should be a hymn of praise to God by living out the hope that is in us.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.