Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 533 in total

A Desolate House

Heralding his Father’s Kingdom, Jesus bookends the conquest of Jerusalem in Matthew with the same words that announced his entrance: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Ending this section with a warning: “from now on you will not see me until you say” Matthew’s gospel extends God’s mercy to Jerusalem one last time. All of us have one final chance to confess our unrighteousness; One last opportunity to seek shelter under God’s wings instead of security wrought by the work of our own hands. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:37-39. Episode 369 Matthew 23:37-39; Music: Big Drumming by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/7524-big-drumming License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Inclusive, Not Exclusive

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that circumcision was given to undermine Hellenistic culture. (Episode 158)

The Avenger

Whether fighting for your values or fighting for justice, Matthew’s gospel begs the question: who are you fighting? In human narratives—egotistical by nature—you are the good guy, fighting your enemy. This compelling personal narrative, born of ego and shaped by your experience, is a rejection of God. In Scripture, you, yourself, are the Lord’s enemy. Instead of trying to bring the Bible to your life—to make it relevant for today—so that you can judge your neighbor, you must transport yourself into the Bible’s world, where you are judged, where you are the hypocrite of Matthew 23. To borrow a line from Brian Morton: “We’d all be better readers if we realized that it isn’t the writer who’s the time traveler. It’s the reader.” Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:33-36. Episode 368 Matthew 23:33-36; Music: Heroic Age by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3870-heroic-age License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Circumcision of the Heart

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 17, noting the significance of name changes in the Bible. (Episode 157)

A Light to the Nations

Ancestor worship is as old as dirt. Whether we lift up our ancestors or condemn them, our true concern is how others see us and what our children will think of us. We pontificate about being on “the right side of history” because we want to be right, even as the Prophets announce the condemnation of history and the Law proclaims that all of us are wrong. In Matthew, Jesus exposes the whole conversation as a big scam. The question is not which ancestor was right. On the contrary, the point is that all humans are unrighteous and no better than those who went before us. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:29-32. Episode 367 Matthew 23:29-32; Music: Trouble With Tribals by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/6427-trouble-with-tribals License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


In this weeks episode, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 16, noting the appearance and subsequent itinerary of Beer-lahai-roi. (Episode 156)

False Prophets

In Ezekiel 13, the prophet warns against those who speak their own words, the inspiration of their own thoughts, from their own heart. Such prophets, Ezekiel warns, spread lies and build whitewashed walls; the Lord is against them, he warns, and the work of their hands will surely fall. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:25-28. Episode 366 Matthew 23:25-28; Music: Unnatural Situation by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4567-unnatural-situation License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license


Elucidating the Hebrew scripture by means of his knowledge of Arabic and drawing upon the Latin text, this week Fr. Paul discusses the mistreatment of Hagar and the interesting play on Exodus in Genesis 16. (Episode 155)

Blind Guides

The benefit of following a lectionary is that it forces those in church to hear the assigned reading with no regard for who is present, how they sin, or what they prefer to hear. If they are present, the judgment of the reading applies to them. Period. Full stop. When we deceive ourselves, picking and choosing the reading or the verse; when we attempt to discern what should be emphasized or what we think applies to us; we imagine that we are something, when we are nothing. We make ourselves a god. In the Bible, the only thing worse than a city-builder is a city-builder with a god complex. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:23-24. Episode 365 Matthew 23:23-24; Music: Gearhead by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3799-gearhead License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

This is What Sheep Do

This week Fr. Paul reiterates that scripture calls all the nations to live in their cities as though they were sheep in the wilderness. (Episode 154)

Above the Heavens

Be they religious or philosophical, human systems of thought seek to discern what is good and what is evil. The Gospel of Matthew dynamites this approach by usurping human power structures and dismantling human ethics, replacing both with God’s divine judgment, firmly seated outside our control and beyond our understanding. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:16-22. Episode 364 Matthew 23:16-22; Music: MTA by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4009-mta License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Covenant with Abram

In today’s episode, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Genesis 15 and the covenant with Abram. (Episode 153)

Do Not Become Like Us

Following the Old Testament’s line, which sets Israel apart to demonstrate that Israel is no better, Matthew’s condemnation of the Scribes and Pharisees consolidates the Bible’s rejection of exceptionalism. Where nations, religions, institutions, social groupings, and even families scramble to proclaim, “become like us,” resoundingly, the biblical writers warn everyone, “do not become like us!” Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:13-15. Episode 363 Matthew 23:13-15; Music: Eastern Thought by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3692-eastern-thought License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

King of Salem

This week, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Genesis 14, noting the special meaning of Melchizedek’s name and the significance of the rare designation, priest of God Most High. (Episode 152)


While American Christians fight for social relevance in the culture wars, the writers of the New Testament cancel themselves. Enough said. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:5-12. Episode 362 Matthew 23:5-12; Music: Terminal by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4478-terminal License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

We Are Not It

In today’s episode, Fr. Paul kicks off the new year with a discussion of Genesis 14, noting that the people do not return to the so-called land of Canaan but to the heavenly Zion. (Episode 151)

Do Not Lead by Example

Blinded by extreme solipsism, it is practically impossible for Americans to recognize—let alone obey—correct words spoken on the lips of people we consider wrong or evil. Where God uses the hypocrisy of his followers to enlighten the world, we use the same to destroy it. Like childish teenagers reveling in stupidity and empty rebellion, we use the hypocrisy of others to avoid accountability for our own. We embrace destruction to prove that we don’t have to listen. Thankfully, Jesus addressed this sin long before there was a United States, and his words will stand long after we are gone: "The scribes and the Pharisees are seated on the chair of Moses; so practice and observe whatever they tell you...” (Matthew 23:2-3) If ever there were a New Year’s pledge that could save the country, this is it. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 23:1-4. Episode 361 Matthew 23:1-4; Music: Jackhammer by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4065-jackhammer License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Shepherd Lingo

In this week’s episode, Fr. Paul explains that Genesis 13 provides the lexicon for the rest of the story. (Episode 150)

Whose Son is He?

On this Christmas Eve, it is important to remember that the birth of Jesus is good news for the poor and the oppressed because it heralds the ascendancy of God’s Law over the tyranny of human authorities. Beginning with David and then Caesar, even now, Jesus the Christ tramples underfoot every pretender to his Father’s throne. “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet; and the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26) May the birth of Jesus Christ put to death all human claims on power; may the poor eat and be satisfied; and may those whoa are proud upon the earth be scattered in the imagination of their hearts. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:41-46. Episode 360 Matthew 22:41-46; Music: Ignosi by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3899-ignosi License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

In Spite of Abraham

In today’s program Fr. Paul notes that God continues his promise in spite of Abram, touching briefly on the Epistle for the Sunday before Christmas from St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews. (Episode 149)

Pecking Order

If any human ability can be said to manifest the power of God, it is our ability to speak. When we speak words, there are only two possibilities: 1. That we are saying something informed and useful, meaning we teach something, or, 2. That our speech is uninformed and unhelpful, and therefore, destructive. For the biblical tradition, there is no middle ground on this point. When you speak, you are responsible for teaching; moreover, in the sight of God, when you teach, you had better know what you are talking about. That is why, in Mathew, the love of God’s law precedes the love of neighbor. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:34-40. Episode 359 Matthew 22:34-40; Music: Greko (Sketch) by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3826-greko-sketch- License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

The Covenant of Circumcision

In today’s program, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of Abram by touching on the covenant of circumcision. (Episode 148)

All Earthly Cares

It is genuinely tragic that religion, intended to set our minds on heavenly things, is repeatedly debased by the preoccupation of religious people with worldly things. The biblical story calls us to look past human transience to the things that are eternal—“the things,” Jesus teaches, that pertain “to God.” Meanwhile, the fundamentalists in Matthew are debating property rights. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:29-33. Episode 358 Matthew 22:29-33; Music: Sunday Dub by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4435-sunday-dub License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Chosen But Not Special

This week Fr. Paul explains that Israel is chosen in Scripture, not because it is special, but in order to demonstrate that all the nations, including Israel, are the same. (Episode 147)

Of Course They Say That

If you are happy with the way things are—if you own property, if your business is thriving, if existing social and religious institutions work in your favor, the last thing you want in your town is a prophet. A prophet brings news that God will bring an end to the current situation. A prophet warns of God’s wrath and judgment. In fulfillment of the prophets, Jesus proclaims this judgment in the Resurrection and the coming Kingdom. Of course the Sadducees say there is no Resurrection. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:23-28. Episode 357 Matthew 22:23-28; Music: Beach Party by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3429-beach-party License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

An Ominous Joke

Today, Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of the oaks, emphasizing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.(Episode 146)

They Still Don’t Get It

In a parable seemingly written for our present historical moment, this week’s reading from Matthew dynamites any and all claims made by any and all people on social, moral, economic, civic, legal, or cultural dominance. Pharisees and Herodians—the would-be government of Jerusalem—want to take control away from Caesar's sitting government, itself a religion organized around a self-proclaimed “Son of God.” Each party wants control of the Temple-Palace complex. That last bit is critical. The Temple and the Palace were a single institution in the ancient world. That’s why the Pharisees dragged the Herodians into the debate. In Matthew, this debate is not between church and state, as is often and cheaply claimed, but between two human religious factions, Jews and Gentiles, each self-organized around the lust for power. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:15-22. May the Lord bless your Thanksgiving table with gratitude for his bounty, heaped generously upon our unkindness toward one another, and may he have mercy upon us. Episode 356 Matthew 22:15-22; Music: I Feel You by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3894-i-feel-you License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Oaks

In today’s program, Fr. Paul reminds us that the Bible is a totality, with all its stories written together, in tandem. (Episode 145)

Jesus Doesn’t Need Friends

In the year of our Lord 2020, Matthew’s warning that we are not to judge our neighbor draws a scowl from those who hear it, even as Christians themselves dismiss it. No sooner do we give lip service to this teaching than we scramble to find self-justifying theories that separate us from others. We want to know that we are right; that we are safe; that we can protect and control what we have: we want assurances that God has chosen us. We want to be called his friends. Friend, in Matthew’s gospel, that is not good news. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:8-14. Episode 355 Matthew 22:8-14; Music: Longing and Concern by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3999-longing-and-concern License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Story of Abram

In today’s program Fr. Paul touches on the importance of God’s blessings and curses at the beginning of Genesis 12. (Episode 144)

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