Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 509 in total

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)

We Are All Guests

In Matthew’s gospel, the notion of a guest is a useful metaphor. A guest owns nothing, controls nothing, provides nothing, and can do nothing when the host asks them to leave. If you hate being at the mercy of another, the best way to deal with their invitation is to throw it in the trash. Unfortunately for those who shun God’s invite in Matthew, the Lord is not from Minnesota, and, as such, his aggression against them is definitely not passive. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 22:1-7. Episode 354 Matthew 22:1-7; Music: Stormfront by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4421-stormfront License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


In today’s program, Fr. Paul returns to his general commentary on the book of Genesis with a discussion of the literary hinge or turning point at the end of Genesis 11, which serves as a jumping off point to the so called “scriptural story” of Abraham. (Episode 143)

Hope in Destruction

When human beings seek security and safety, they base their defense on brick and mortar buttressed by a fierce criticism of those they deem unrighteous. What to do when that criticism bounces back like a missile, and your only defense is the stone of instruction, which you rejected? 21:25 women are going to have children Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:40-45. Episode 353 Matthew 21:40-45; Music: Poofy Reel by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4228-poofy-reel License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

He Does Whatever He Pleases

This week, Fr. Paul concludes his series on the Itinerant word in Genesis 1-11 noting the centrality of divine judgment and the folly of human ethics. (Episode 142)

Running Out of Chances

When Matthew—or any other gospel—applies a text from the Old Testament, that’s exactly what it is: an application of something old to a new situation. The original teaching itself is static, but the way it is used depends on the new situation presented by the author. In the case of Isaiah 5, we know that the Lord is frustrated with worseless fruit, something Matthew addressed earlier in the curse of the fig tree, so why does Matthew bring up the parable of the vineyard? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:33-39. Episode 352 Matthew 21:33-39; Music: Trio for Piano, Cello, and Clarinet by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4547-trio-for-piano-cello-and-clarinet License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Decoding Genesis 1-11

Exactly fifty years ago on Monday, October 26 1970, Fr. Paul gave his first lecture at Balamand Seminary in Lebanon, marking the beginning of his incredible academic career. This week, on Monday, October 26, 2020, OCAB Press announced the publication of his latest book, Decoding Genesis 1-11. Touching on themes from this book, in today’s program Fr. Paul explains that Psalms 7, 8 and 9 are meant to be heard together as a trilogy. (Episode 141)

Talk Is Cheap

When anyone gathers to accomplish a task, there are plenty of people who express a willingness to help and no shortage of expert opinions about the work itself and how it should be completed. Great. With all this amazing expertise and positive thinking, there should be no trouble completing the task, right? Guess again. One way to solve this problem is to pay people and hold them accountable if they do not deliver. This is the most effective way. Another approach might be to tap peoples’ motivations, play on their emotions, or otherwise employ psychology to feed their ego in some way. In the field of social media, this is called a “free service.” You get to use a bunch of “free” technology that feels great, so long as you let it suck your soul, monetize your personal life, waste your time, and accelerate the demise of your civilization. In this approach, you don’t tell someone to do something because it is necessary or correct. You lie to them in order to get what you want. Some people refer to this as success.n The third option is called, “the cause.” If someone is committed to the cause, even when they do not want to do the work, get nothing from it and take no pleasure in it—even when they protest—they get it done. Only when someone does the work under this pressure—against their will—can the Lord be certain that their praise is not empty lip service. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:28-32. Episode 351 Matthew 21:28-32; Music: Faster Does It by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3741-faster-does-it License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Thou Hast Diminished Him

This week, Fr. Paul begins his discussion of Psalm 82 and Psalm 8 as they relate to Genesis 1-11. (Episode 140)

Consigned to Ignorance

In Matthew 13, Jesus invokes the prophecy of Isaiah against those unable to grasp his teaching because of their ignorance of Scripture: “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says: ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and i would heal them.’ Perhaps that’s why, after having cursed the fig tree, Jesus consigns the chief priests and the elders of the people to wallow in their ignorance. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:23-27. Episode 350 Matthew 21:23-27; Music: Blown Away - No Percussion by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3447-blown-away---no-percussion License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/g

It Has to Be Real

This week Fr. Paul concludes his discussion of the term field, revisiting critical themes from previous episodes, and challenging the common practice of defining words. (Episode 139)

An Expiration on Grace

Critics of the Bible puzzle over cursed fig trees and bristle at violence in the Old Testament, all the while ambivalent to modern atrocities carried out in the name of civil society. One need look no further than the forgotten children of Syria, the devastation in Yemen, or the violence committed against migrant children in this country to understand why biblical metaphor employs the currency of violence. We are shocked by biblical violence because we are blind to the violence already in our hearts. The lesson of the fig tree is a warning to those who dwell in cities built by violence: there is an expiration date on God’s patience with the cruelty of human hands. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:18-22. Episode 349 Matthew 21:18-22; Music: Unnatural Situation by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4567-unnatural-situation License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Meaning, Connotation, and Function

In today’s program Fr. Paul continues his discussion of the word “field” in Genesis, noting that the term has a meaning, a connotation, and a function in the Bible. (Episode 138)

True Worship

When human beings think of worship, our natural inclination is to understand prayer as a bargain with God: if I praise you, Lord, this will happen for me. If we praise you correctly, we will prosper. If we praise you, our “righteous” goals will be achieved. From this idolatrous and self-serving fundamentalism proceeds all manner of evil: People who engage in wickedness imagine that they are pure; they approach God in prayer thinking not of their sins but of others; by way of a delusional self-portrait of cultic purity, such worshippers impose their will on their neighbor, often with violence. In Matthew, Jesus pushes back against these lies, showing us, instead, that true worship must be offered from a position of weakness. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:12-17. Episode 348 Matthew 21:12-17; Music: Highlight Reel by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3876-highlight-reel License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Spirit of God

This Week, before entering into a discussion of the word “field”, Fr. Paul takes a question from Richard regarding the Spirit of God in Scripture. (Episode 137)

Victory March

In the triumphant entry into Jerusalem portrayed in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is adorned with the standard symbols of a Roman procession: the crowds, evoking bread and circuses; the donkey, a mockery of Caesar Augustus who elevated his stallion to the rank of consul; the gossip in the city, “who is this,” evoking the image of a rising star, a general returning to Rome in victory, suddenly thrust onto center stage. But unlike other generals, Jesus did not enter the city to win its favor, but to destroy it through his defeat, transferring all power and victory to the throne of his Father. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:6-11. Episode 347 Matthew 21:6-11; Music: The Path of the Goblin King by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4503-the-path-of-the-goblin-king License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Through the Nostrils

This week, Fr. Paul notes that the phrase "spiritual life" is nowhere to be found in the Bible, which speaks instead of life bestowed by the Spirit. (Episode 136)

A Plan in Motion

In battle, the US Marine Corps trains their soldiers to “adapt, improvise, and overcome” in carrying out the mission. Leading up to Matthew 21, Jesus has been making plans to carry out his mission with little help from his followers. Only now, on the eve of battle, does he find two able recruits—two blind men—willing to listen. So Jesus adapts and improvises. In place of James and John, he sends two scruffy blind militia ahead to scout the terrain. As to whether or not Jesus overcomes, you may have to re-read St. Paul’s letters a few hundred times before you can hear Matthew’s answer. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 21:1-5. Episode 346 Matthew 21:1-5; Music: Darkling by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3616-darkling License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

ḥorbah, ḥarabah, yabbašah

In today’s program, Fr. Paul explains that in Scripture, the same item or reality can be either life-giving or disastrous, according to the will of God. (Episode 135)

What Do You Will?

In Matthew, the question of faith or “trust” in the Lord is not a matter of confession, but action. In chapter 9, two blind men proclaimed their trust in Jesus only to disobey him. In chapter 20, we find the same template—two bling men; but now, with Jerusalem just around the corner, the stakes are much higher. Instead of questioning their trust, Jesus cuts directly to the chase, asking whether or not they submit their will to the will of his Father. Where James and John failed, can two blind beggars fill-in? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:29-34. Episode 345 Matthew 20:29-34; Music: The Second Coming Instrumental by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4507-the-second-coming-instrumental License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Sea Animals

This week, Fr. Paul explains that in Genesis, with respect to their behavior, human beings must follow the lead of the sea animals. (Episode 134)

To Serve as a Slave

Unlike human philosophy, which re-imagines the world in its image, imposing the ruthless and violent ego of liberal and conservative idealism, Scripture takes the world as it is—with unparalleled attention to facts on the ground—co-opting social structures to serve its agenda. The first produces violence against the other side; the latter calls all of us to crucifixion for our enemies' sake. Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:24-28. Episode 344 Matthew 20:24-28; Music: Eighties Action by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3703-eighties-action License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Instruments of God’s Will

This week, Fr. Paul explains that in Genesis, the sun and the moon are emasculated by the author and the heavens—looked upon as the realm of the of the gods—are brought down to the level of the earth. (Episode 133)

Not Mine to Give

The difficulty for Christians who aspire to positions of influence and power, is that the top person within the framework they inhabit became the lowest person in the eyes of the world. What can a Christian aspire to if the crown of their leader’s ministry is failure and defeat? What does the mother of the sons of Zebedee expect Jesus to offer her sons, beyond the Cross? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 20:20-23. Episode 343 Matthew 20:20-23; Music: Iron Bacon by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3925-iron-bacon License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

The Dry One

This week, Fr. Paul explains that, according to the text, the heavenly waters and the earthly waters are one element that had to be separated into two functional entities. (Episode 132)

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