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March 21, 2013

I recently came across an interesting YouTube video of the final minutes of a presentation given by the widely recognized Argentinian Evangelical Salvador Dellutri. (The video is in Spanish. See my translated transcript below.) He is addressing a group of fellow Evangelicals on the "power of influence" and concludes by sharing a story about his memorable meeting with then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

The first four and a...

February 23, 2013

If you are not prepared for this Sunday’s first reading (Gen 15:5-12, 17-18), you will probably have a difficult time making sense of it. Your homilist might not discuss it, so I hope this brief explanation will be helpful. It is not a lengthy reading, so we will go all the way through it, splitting it into two parts but hopefully not slaughtering it.

The reading begins straightforward enough:

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count...

January 30, 2013

Just before Christmas, a Catholic friend invited me to Los Angeles to speak with some dear friends of his who had left the Catholic Faith. Their Evangelical pastor joined us for what became a lively and lengthy discussion. I thought the dialogue went very well, but one exchange seems to stick out among the many we had over about four hours. When the topic moved to the assurance of salvation, the pastor declared with confidence, "St. Paul could not be clearer that we can have absolute...

January 29, 2013

Today's Gospel contains an incident that many people in Jesus' day would have found rather puzzling.

Jesus' mother and his "brethren" (male relatives who, we know from other sources, were not biological children of Mary) show up to see him.

They can't easily do so because Jesus is inside a crowded house, and so they are forced to stand outside and send him a message. 

And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and...