Gabriel’s Annunciation and Mary’s Renunciation
Gabriel’s Annunciation and Mary’s Renunciation Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,and shall name him Emmanuel,which means “God is with us!” (Isaiah 7:14) Gabriel’s Annunciation There’s something that doesn’t seem to make sense at first in today’s Gospel reading (Luke 1:26-38). Here’s the […]
The Spirit of Lent: Two Choruses from Handel’s Messiah
The Spirit of Lent Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5-4) Capturing the […]
You’re Standing on Holy Ground
God said, “Come no nearer!Remove the sandals from your feet,for the place where you stand is holy ground. (Exodus 3:5) The Burning Bush I was fascinated by the image of the burning bush when I was a little boy. I was also intrigued by God’s demand that Moses remove his sandals. What exactly is “holy […]
Fear and Hope: Confutatis and Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem
Fear and Hope are the twin themes of the “Confutatis and Lacrimosa” from Mozart’s Requiem. If thou, O LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope . . . (Psalm […]
2nd Sunday of Lent: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
2nd Sunday of Lent: 2nd Sunday of Lent: What is the Goal? One of the first things a new teacher learns is that you need to start with a clear idea of where you want to end up. If we’re not clear on what we want our students to learn, then our […]
Music for Lent: When Jesus Wept
I just ran across the beautiful Lenten song “When Jesus Wept” just within the past week, although it has been garnering more attention in Catholic circles in recent years (my sons tell me they sang it in choir at their faithful Catholic college). It was published in 1770 by American composer William Billings. The melody is […]
1st Sunday of Lent: Call on the Name of the Lord
Those who confess that Jesus is Lord, and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead, do not, and cannot, “rage against the dying of the light.” The light of this world is only a passing reflection of the true light of Heaven.
Remember That You Are Dust – But That’s Not All
“Remember, Man, that you are dust.” The words of the Ash Wednesday liturgy are not simply telling us that we come from mere matter: they are reminding us that God has so much more in store for us. It’s a call to lift our eyes from the dust, and look to Heaven.
The Drama of Sin and Repentance (or not) From Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Music Monday)
Hell is a real possibility for all of us. It’s not a happy thought, but it’s an appropriate introduction to today’s Music Monday selection, our last musical offering before Ash Wednesday. It’s not really sacred music, but it is very relevant indeed to the Lenten themes of sin, repentance (or not), and damnation. This is the finale* of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni (a.k.a. Don Juan), one of the most powerful scenes in the history of musical drama.
Christ Came To Serve (Holy Thursday)
When he takes on the servile task of washing the Apostles’ feet, Jesus doesn’t simply speak but acts out his message, in the manner of an Old Testament prophet. He is showing the Apostles through his example that the purpose of their office is to serve, and not to exalt themselves.