Tag Archives: Christ

The imperial roots of the Gospels…sort of

In today’s Advent reflection Bishop Robert Barron explains the roots of the word Gospel. I thought it was quite interesting and decided to share it with you:

Advent Reflection Day 18

“In Greek, the word “Gospel” is euangelion. Eu means good and angelion means tidings or message. This is where the word “angel” comes from, meaning simply “messenger.”

Now we automatically associate this word with religion, as in evangelization or evangelical. But at the time of the Gospels, the term euangelion was associated especially with military victory. It was the good news of triumph in battle. More to it, euangelion was associated with the deity and accomplishments of the emperor of Rome. By Jesus’ time, it had become a commonplace that the Roman emperor was considered a god. Thus when an emperor was installed, euangelion was proclaimed. And when the emperor would write a new law or win a military victory or in any other way assert his command, it was announced as euangelion.

So can you see how dangerous it is to announce the record of Jesus as a “gospel”? This good news has nothing to do with the Roman emperor and his army. It is proposing, in effect, a new emperor. And then for good measure, the writer Mark adds that he is writing the “gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Well, those were fighting words, for “son of God” was another title reserved for the Roman emperor.

Do you wonder now why Christians were persecuted for the first three centuries of the Church’s life? Do you wonder why every single apostle except for John was martyred? Do you wonder now why they threw Christians to wild beasts? It’s because they announced the true euangelion.

But what, or who, was this new emperor intending to fight? And what would be the nature of his military victory? John the Baptist provides us a clue. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. But one was coming who was greater than John, one for whom John prepared the way, and that greater man would baptize in the power of the Holy Spirit. He would take on all of human sin and swallow it up in the divine mercy.

That’s the new emperor, and that’s the dangerous good news”.

Bishop Robert Barron


Robert Barron is the newly elected Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles as a great apostolate called Word On Fire. I have posted many of his videos which touches subjects from theology and arts to pop culture and movies.

St. Maximillian Kolby: Priest, Missionary, Auschwitz Prisoner and Martyr

Maximilian-Kolbe-211x300

“The most deadly poison of our time is indifference.”

 St. Maximillian Kolbe

It was a summer day and the camp prisoners were standing in front of their Nazi guards in disbelief against such inhuman cruelty. They all stood until the last of ten prisoners was chosen to suffer death by starvation. No barbarian is content with the blood they wanted more. They want it to teach a lesson to those who would try to escape.

The sentence was pronounced and like a piercing thunder aloud cried erupted from one of the condemned:

 “O my poor wife, my poor children. I shall never see them again.”

At that moment, a flood of mercy rushed into his Heart, all his life was for this moment. As a child, he asked the Virgin Mary what would be of him. She responded by showing him two crowns, one white and the other one red. She tenderly asked him if he was willing to accept either one of them. The white one meant that he should persevere in purity and the red one that he should become a martyr. He chose both.

Long time later, that child now barely resembling a grown human being due to the scourge of hard labor and inhuman mistreatment slowly walk to the prison guards and said:

maximilian-kolbe

“My name is Maximillian Kolby”.

“I am a polish catholic priest and I want to take this man place.”

Prisoner 16670 said calmly as he offered his life for the family man. What thoughts must have passed through the SS officer? Could such act of love have broken through his soul and lifted the clouds of darkness?

They tried to take their humanity away, but instead fervently and loud prayers; hymns and the rosary met their inhumanity. The starvation bunkers were not longer and instruments of death, but one of redemption. In imitation of Christ, they turned those starvation bunkers from a sign of despair and extreme human cruelty into a sign of Faith, Hope and Charity. They turn their cross into an instrument of love.

St. Maximillian Kolby pray for us!


This was a fictionalized re-creation of what happen based on witness account. To learn more about this great saint please visit:

Catholic resource:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/kolbe2.htm

Non-Catholic resource:

http://moralheroes.org/maximilian-kolbe

A Heart of Mercy

Liberia hospital

Every day I read news articles about the Ebola health crisis in Africa. I cannot help but to think about the brave men and woman who are volunteering to attend the helpless and the destitute. All the workers,missionaries, nuns and priest who have given theirlives so that others may live.

They are doing what Christ said his Church will be doing until the end of times: proclaiming his name to the four corners of the world through works of mercy.

These are my heroes. These are the people I look up and which I once day could emulate such courage and complete self-giving to Christ. Please keep them in your prayers.

Sweet Ever Virgin Mary, pray for us!

http://www.enca.com/nun-spanish-missionaries-dies-ebola-liberia

A Reflection on our response to Christ Love

I want to share this beautiful and enlightening reflection on John 15:9-11 from Fr. Vincent Serpa’s book “Just a minute, Sixty Seconds a Day with the Gospel”:

“Jesus said to his disciples:

As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

John 15:9-11

Nowhere else do we find Jesus expressing such intimacy and vulnerability. What he said to them on Holy Thursday night he showed them on Good Friday. What he said to them he says to you this very moment! He loves you with a love that keeps your heart beating. He loves you with a love that caused his heart to stop. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it?”

-Fr. Vincent Serpa
Just a minute, Sixty Seconds a Day with the Gospel

What are you going to do about it?

Just think about it:

“He loves you with a love that keeps your heart beating”.

Everything, that is, the air that you breathe, the light that strikes your eyes, you and me, all exists because of him…without him we would not exist. We owed him this very instant…

“He loves you with a love that caused his heart to stop.”

By his death on the Cross, he transformed the ultimate act of human cruelty into the ultimate act of self-giving. It was his love for humanity that opened the gates of heaven for you and for me.

Imagine how your life will be different if every time you see someone suffering you see Christ suffering, if every time someone offends you, you remember all the times that you have offended Christ, and how he still offers you his wounds, his suffering and his death on the Cross, just for you. How much our life will change if we keep such a perspective and what a difference we can make in the world!!!

Do you believe that you can make a difference? I do, because of his Love.

God Bless!

Note: One of my favorite radio shows/podcast is Catholic Answers Live. It is Q & A radio show dedicated to defending and explain the teaching of the Catholic faith and confront head on some of today’s most controversial topics that affect our society. I highly recommend it.

cal_podcast_0