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The “Billy Graham of Scandinavia” Announces His Conversion to Catholicism

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 04.15.14 |

ekman

As hundreds of thousands of people in the US alone prepare to join the Catholic Church this Easter, a high-profile conversion has been rocking the largely-secular Swedish culture.  Rev. Ulf Ekman, Sweden’s most prominent evangelical pastor, leader of the nation’s largest mega-church, announced a few weeks ago that he has decided to become Catholic.  A full interview with a Swedish newspaper is available here.…  [Continue Reading]

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Jesus Washing Feet

So we are soon to begin the Triduum, this profound reflection on three earth-shaking events which form the pillars of our salvation: Eucharist, Crucifixion, Resurrection.  The Readings for the Holy Thursday Mass focus on the continuity between the ancient Jewish Passover and the institution of the Eucharist. As the Passover was the meal that marked the transition from slavery to Egypt to the freedom…  [Continue Reading]

“I’m Back!”: The Raising of Lazarus, 5th Sunday of Lent

Lazarus

Unlike the other Gospels, John recounts only a limited number of miracles of Jesus, which he designates as “signs,” a rare term in the other Gospels.  Although John tells us of only a few miracles, he describes them in much greater depth than the other gospel writers do.  This is quite evident in this weekend’s Gospel reading, in which we get a very lengthy description of all the events surrounding…  [Continue Reading]

Give me a Drink! The Third Sunday of Lent

Woman at well

You know we are “picking up steam” in the season of Lent when the Lectionary starts turning to the long readings from the Gospel of John (John 4, 9, 11).  The Church turns to these texts from John at this point in the liturgical calendar, because John is, in so many ways, a mystagogical document, a gospel intended to takes us deeper into the mysteries, that is, the sacraments.

If one is not initiated…  [Continue Reading]

Overcoming Temptation: 1st Sunday of Lent

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 03.05.14 |

Lent bread

The readings for today’s Mass are exceptionally rich and could be the subject of several week’s worth of lectures, so we will have to limit ourselves today to a few central themes.

1. The First Reading is the account of the Fall, in which Eve, followed by Adam, gives in to temptation by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Tolerance of Paganism

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 02.26.14 |

Gladiators

David Bentley Hart, in Atheist Delusions, writes about the kind of religious culture early Christians left behind when they accepted baptism:


“Quite apart from their more revolting ritual observances, however, the religions of the empire were— to a very great degree— contemptible principally for what they did not do, and what in fact they never considered worth doing. Occasional attempts have been…  [Continue Reading]


Loving Your Enemies: John Bergsma Examines the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 02.19.14 |

Jesus Preaching 2

This Sunday’s Readings include some of the best known—and hardest to practice—passages from the Gospel, including Jesus famous command to “turn the other cheek.” Biblical scholarship can only go so far in elucidating some of Jesus’ challenging commands; beyond that, we need the saints.

  1. Our Readings start off showing the continuity between Jesus’ teachings and the Old Testament, quoting a section from…  [Continue Reading]

Pope Francis and Biblical Interpretation

Posted by Dr. John Bergsma on 12.20.13 |

Pope Francis Reads

Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is vigorous and beautiful reading, full of provocative statements to awaken us from spiritual slumber.  Unfortunately, it is a long document, and many may not read it through carefully.  I thought it would be helpful to clip out some of the most striking comments the Pope makes on the interpretation of Scripture.  Although he has in mind…  [Continue Reading]


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  • Dr. John Bergsma