Knowing the Commandments to love God and neighbor, a scholar of the law asked Jesus to define neighbor. Jesus answered with the parable of a man robbed, severely beaten, and ignored by two passers-by. Listeners would have pegged a Samaritan as no good, but he treated the victim with neighborly compassion. In another parable, Jesus depicted a traveler arriving late at night, prompting his host to knock on a friend’s door to borrow some bread to serve as a midnight snack. The friend who finally got up illustrated God’s responsiveness to the f

Read More

After a man named Job lost just about everything but faith, God rewarded him with a long line of descendants and a return to prosperity. Jesus chose 72 disciples to go ahead of Him to places He planned to visit. Whether people opened their homes to them or shut the doors in their faces, the Lord instructed the disciples to declare the Kingdom of heaven at hand. Doing great things in Jesus’ name does not confer greatness on His followers, but anyone invoking His name for help in doing good works has the Lord’s blessing. People grow up, and y

Read More

When called by the Lord to follow Him, Matthew threw a party. Jesus had close friends on Earth, but He counts anyone who hears and acts on the Word of God as family. Herod the tetrarch (son of King Herod at the time of Jesus’ birth) had John the Baptist beheaded, but he heard rumors that John, Elijah, or one of the other prophets had come back in the person of Jesus. When the Lord asked the Disciples their opinion, Peter called Jesus the Christ—no doubt about it. The Twelve received authority from Jesus to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven and

Read More

At the home of a Pharisee, a sinful woman approached Jesus, washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, kissed them, and applied some ointment. What the Pharisee regarded as impudence (what nerve!), Jesus recognized as love. With forgiveness of her sins, she loved Him all the more. In contrast, the Pharisee failed to even provide the customary basin of water for Jesus to rinse His feet upon arrival. As the Lord traveled from town to town, He shared the Good News like scattered seed. Explaining one of His parables, He taught that w

Read More

Proclaiming blessed hope for the poor in spirit, the hungry, the distraught, and those despised because of Jesus, the Lord wants people to act on His words. His teachings provide a rock-solid foundation for faith. Building upon it, we can become blessings for others! Saint Paul compared himself to an athlete who trains, strives for victory, and tries not to get disqualified along the way. Scribes and Pharisees became confounded by the way Jesus could turn their challenges around to challenge them. For instance, after promptly curing a man’s w

Read More

After proclaiming Scripture in the synagogue, Jesus said that Israel didn’t have an exclusive claim on God’s favor. That got the carpenter’s Son driven out of town. Jesus went to Capernaum, where people recognized the authority of His teaching and witnessed the power of His words when He expelled an unclean spirit. Washing empty nets after a frustrating night out fishing, Peter (the expert fisherman) didn’t hide his skepticism when Jesus advised going back out. Two boatloads of fish later, Peter knew his unworthiness, listened as Jesus

Read More

Scribes and Pharisees focused on ritual observances. Jesus compared their hypocritical ideas on spiritual cleanliness to cups scrubbed on the outside but filled and sullied with self-indulgence on the inside. The Lord told His parable of a long wait for the groom to escort a wedding party to the celebration. Half of the bridesmaids had to leave to buy more lamp oil and found themselves locked out of the reception when they got there. King Herod wrongly took his brother’s wife in marriage and ordered the arrest of John the Baptist for saying s

Read More