ST-John Ep 21 – John 10 The Good Shepherd part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 21 – John 10:  The Good Shepherd part 1

In this next chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus reveals two more “I am” statements:  I am the gate, and I am the good shepherd.  To help us better understand this beautiful imagery, Sharon teaches us about shepherding in Biblical times.  Many of the great figures of the Bible were shepherds, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David.  We recall the interesting story of Jacob who used his expertise in animal husbandry to breed a line of sheep that exists to this day.

Throughout scripture, we see a multitude of references to shepherds, and how a good shepherd protected his sheep, binding wounds, rescuing from danger, gathering together, seeking the lost.  Psalm 23 is a wonderful example of imagery that describes the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep, a clear metaphor of our relationship with the Lord.  The shepherd carried a rod to ward off predators or count sheep and a staff to draw his sheep close. As our shepherds, the Bishops carry a crosier staff, which is a visual reminder of their duty to provide the proper teaching necessary to ward off sin.  The shepherd carried a horn filled with oil to soothe wounds and ward off insidious diseases.  Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and at the Chrism mass, the bishop breathes the Holy Spirit into the oil that will be used for anointing.  Oil is also a reminder of the bishop’s duty to identify the prevalent sins of current times and treat these diseases quickly, preventing infection from spreading throughout his flock.

To help us understand Jesus as “the gate” Sharon teaches us more about the nature of shepherding.  At night, the shepherd guided his flock into an enclosed pen and would sleep at the entrance, acting as the gate through which no predator or thief could enter.  Jesus is the singular gate to the Kingdom, through which is the sure way to salvation.  The shepherd would literally lay down his life to protect his flock, unlike the hireling who would abandon the sheep at the first sign of danger.  The hirelings at the time of Christ were the corrupt Jewish leaders who conspired with the worldly powers to maintain their power and influence.

Sharon concludes with a history lesson that puts this in proper context.  During the Greek occupation of Israel, a civil war broke out between Jews faithful to Mosaic law and the apostates who abandoned their faith to curry favor with the Greeks.  Led by the Hasmonean’s, the faithful Jews were victorious over their unfaithful countrymen and also successfully drove out the Greeks.   Building upon their success, the Hasmoneans forced conversion to Judaism upon the surrounding gentile nations.  One of these nations was Edom, the descendants of Esau.   A notable Edomite was Herod the Great, who married a Hasmonean princess, only to slaughter her remaining kinsmen, establishing a dynasty in servitude to the world power of Rome.  The Sadducees, who followed only Torah and did not believe in the resurrection, came into existence during this period, and became a powerful influence at the time of Christ, only to fade into oblivion after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

 

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

IP#364 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 2 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we continue with part 2 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

IP#363 Fr. John Bartunek – The Better Part: The Gospels pt. 1 on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor Podcast

 With Fr. John Bartunek, we begin part 1 of our discussion on “The Better Part: The Gospels.” During our conversation, we discuss the importance of prayer and the scriptures, the nature of spiritual direction, and how we can develop our friendship with Christ.  It’s always a joy to talk with Fr. Bartunek.  We couldn’t recommend this 4-volume set more highly.

You can find the set here

From the book description

Every saint and renowned spiritual director through the ages has said the same thing: if we desire to become saints, we must spend time daily in meditation. With this set, Fr. John Bartunek has created an extensive, Christ-centered resource to serve as your daily meditation companion. The Better Part offers a practical explanation of Christian meditation, as well as material to draw from during your meditations, including a Bible study on the Gospels, a survey of saints writings, and a handy guide to prayer.

As you learn to read, meditate upon, absorb, and apply the Gospels to your life, you’ll also find ways to personalize your times of prayer, allowing you to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead along the path of holiness. Open these pages to discover the methods of meditation that best suit you, develop your friendship with Christ, and experience the true Christian joy of a deep, fruitful life of prayer.

 

DM06 Dr. Scott Hahn The Father of Mercy: New Testament The Gospel of Divine Mercy

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“The Father of Mercy – New Testament Fulfillment”

Talk six presented at the Fullness of Truth Conference entitled “The Gospel of Divine Mercy”

In the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis called the Church to contemplate the mercy of God in the face of Christ. Even more fundamentally, he has called us to give and receive mercy, to seek it for ourselves and others.

But what is mercy? Is it an emotion? An action? An affront to justice or an expression of justice? Moreover, what does it look like in action? Where do we find it described in Sacred Scripture? What do we need to do to receive it? And how do we share God’s mercy as we go about our lives in the world today?

At the 2016 Fullness of Truth Conference, “The Gospel of Divine Mercy,” those questions and more were explored in an attempt to plumb the depths of this all-important manifestation of God’s healing, forgiving, transforming, faithful love with help from the Sacred Page.

Held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, from June 24–25, 2016, the Fullness of Truth Conference featured six talks by St. Paul Center President Dr. Scott Hahn and St. Paul Center Fellows Dr. John Bergsma and Dr. Michael Barber.

Be sure to visit the website for St. Paul Center for Biblical Theologyimg_3026

DM04 Dr. John Bergsma – Mercy and Alms – The Gospel of Divine Mercy

“Mercy and Alms”bergsma_john

Talk Four presented at the Fullness of Truth Conference entitled “Mercy and the Psalms”

In the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis called the Church to contemplate the mercy of God in the face of Christ. Even more fundamentally, he has called us to give and receive mercy, to seek it for ourselves and others.

But what is mercy? Is it an emotion? An action? An affront to justice or an expression of justice? Moreover, what does it look like in action? Where do we find it described in Sacred Scripture? What do we need to do to receive it? And how do we share God’s mercy as we go about our lives in the world today?

At the 2016 Fullness of Truth Conference, “The Gospel of Divine Mercy,” those questions and more were explored in an attempt to plumb the depths of this all-important manifestation of God’s healing, forgiving, transforming, faithful love with help from the Sacred Page.

Held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, from June 24–25, 2016, the Fullness of Truth Conference featured six talks by St. Paul Center President Dr. Scott Hahn and St. Paul Center Fellows Dr. John Bergsma and Dr. Michael Barber.

Be sure to visit the website for St. Paul Center for Biblical Theologyimg_3026

DM03 Dr. Michael Barber – Jesus and the Miracle of Mercy in the Gospels – The Gospel of Divine Mercy

“Jesus and the Miracle of Mercy in the Gospels”michael-barber

Talk Three presented at the Fullness of Truth Conference entitled “Jesus and the Miracle of Mercy in the Gospels”

In the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis called the Church to contemplate the mercy of God in the face of Christ. Even more fundamentally, he has called us to give and receive mercy, to seek it for ourselves and others.

But what is mercy? Is it an emotion? An action? An affront to justice or an expression of justice? Moreover, what does it look like in action? Where do we find it described in Sacred Scripture? What do we need to do to receive it? And how do we share God’s mercy as we go about our lives in the world today?

At the 2016 Fullness of Truth Conference, “The Gospel of Divine Mercy,” those questions and more were explored in an attempt to plumb the depths of this all-important manifestation of God’s healing, forgiving, transforming, faithful love with help from the Sacred Page.

Held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, from June 24–25, 2016, the Fullness of Truth Conference featured six talks by St. Paul Center President Dr. Scott Hahn and St. Paul Center Fellows Dr. John Bergsma and Dr. Michael Barber.

Be sure to visit the website for St. Paul Center for Biblical Theologyimg_3026

DM02 Dr. John Bergsma – Mercy and the Psalms – The Gospel of Divine Mercy

“Mercy and the Psalms”bergsma_john

Talk Two presented at the Fullness of Truth Conference entitled “Mercy and the Psalms”

In the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis called the Church to contemplate the mercy of God in the face of Christ. Even more fundamentally, he has called us to give and receive mercy, to seek it for ourselves and others.

But what is mercy? Is it an emotion? An action? An affront to justice or an expression of justice? Moreover, what does it look like in action? Where do we find it described in Sacred Scripture? What do we need to do to receive it? And how do we share God’s mercy as we go about our lives in the world today?

At the 2016 Fullness of Truth Conference, “The Gospel of Divine Mercy,” those questions and more were explored in an attempt to plumb the depths of this all-important manifestation of God’s healing, forgiving, transforming, faithful love with help from the Sacred Page.

Held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, from June 24–25, 2016, the Fullness of Truth Conference featured six talks by St. Paul Center President Dr. Scott Hahn and St. Paul Center Fellows Dr. John Bergsma and Dr. Michael Barber.

Be sure to visit the website for St. Paul Center for Biblical Theologyimg_3026

DM01 Dr. Scott Hahn – The Name of God is Mercy: Old Testament – The Gospel of Divine Mercy

scott_hahn_new-_rgb

“The Name of God is Mercy: Old Testament Promise”

Talk one presented at the Fullness of Truth Conference entitled “The Gospel of Divine Mercy”

In the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis called the Church to contemplate the mercy of God in the face of Christ. Even more fundamentally, he has called us to give and receive mercy, to seek it for ourselves and others.

But what is mercy? Is it an emotion? An action? An affront to justice or an expression of justice? Moreover, what does it look like in action? Where do we find it described in Sacred Scripture? What do we need to do to receive it? And how do we share God’s mercy as we go about our lives in the world today?

At the 2016 Fullness of Truth Conference, “The Gospel of Divine Mercy,” those questions and more were explored in an attempt to plumb the depths of this all-important manifestation of God’s healing, forgiving, transforming, faithful love with help from the Sacred Page.

Held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, from June 24–25, 2016, the Fullness of Truth Conference featured six talks by St. Paul Center President Dr. Scott Hahn and St. Paul Center Fellows Dr. John Bergsma and Dr. Michael Barber.

Be sure to visit the website for St. Paul Center for Biblical Theologyimg_3026

ST-John Ep 9 – John 4: The Samaritan Woman part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Episode 9 – John 4:  The Samaritan Woman pt.1  

As we continue our journey through the Gospel of John, Sharon looks back at John 3, showing how the bridegroom imagery flows into chapter 4.  With the fall of mankind, marital discourse entered the world and has persisted ever since, as demonstrated in the stories of Adam and Eve and of Abraham and Sarah.  Living by the flesh, Abraham and Sarah conspire to preserve his heritage by having her servant Hagar bear a son, Ishmael.  As punishment, God is silent for 13 years until in an act of obedience, Abraham lives by the Spirit, trusting the Lord to bless his aged wife with a son, Isaac.  Sharon then teaches us about the Samaritans, whom the Jews consider to be apostates.  Believing they preserve the authentic faith, the Samaritans practice the ritual of circumcision and observe the Sabbath, but they only follow the five books of the Torah.  Contrary to the Jews who worship at the temple in Jerusalem, the Samaritans believe that Mt. Gerizim is the original holy place and center of worship.  The Samaritan faith traces its origins to the Assyrian exile of 722 BC.  After conquering the northern 10 tribes of Israel, the Assyrian king imported people from five different countries to live and intermarry with the people of the northern kingdom, which effectively diluted their culture and religious practices.  In 120 BC, the Maccabees from the southern kingdom destroyed the Samaritan temple at Gerizim.  In 9 BC, the Samaritans retaliate by desecrating the temple in Jerusalem at the required Passover time.  Clearly, there was bad blood between the Jews and the Samaritans.  This background sets the stage for the dramatic interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.  Her story is an intimate encounter with the person of Christ, yet it can also be seen as symbolic of the story of the northern tribes.  She represents northern Israel, the unfaithful bride that intermarried with five different countries (husbands).   Later in John 8, we will hear the story of the adulterous woman in Jerusalem who represents the unfaithful southern tribes of Israel.  Jesus fully reveals himself as Messiah to this Samaritan woman, offering to her the living water that she thirsts for.   Through her spiritual betrothal to Jesus, her final, seventh, perfect, bridegroom, the Samaritan woman undergoes a radical transformation and brings Christ to her own people.  We learn more about this woman, who is identified by the Church as St. Photina:  she became a bold witness to Christ throughout the region, ultimately suffering a martyr’s death at the hand of Nero when she dies at the bottom of a well.

 

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

ST-John Ep 8 – John 3: Born Again part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 8 – John 3:  Born Again pt. 2

Before focusing on John 3, Sharon gives us a teaching on how Catholics approach scripture study.  We are encouraged to use a canonical approach when studying the Bible; that is, we should consider the entire canon of the Bible whenever trying to understand a particular passage.  The Bible is not meant to be a collection of isolated stories.

In addition, we learn about the senses of scripture: literal and spiritual, with the spiritual sense further divided into allegorical (a foreshadowing of future events and people), moral (virtues that can be learned) and anagogical (referencing eternity or the eschaton).

We then turn our attention back to John 3 and learn about Nicodemus, whose spiritual journey is a beautiful example of progressive growth in faith.  Nicodemus was a member of the Great Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court of first-century Israel.  At the time of Jesus’ adult ministry, the president of the Sanhedrin was Rabbi Gamaliel, the teacher of Paul.  Gamaliel also advised his fellow members of the Great Sanhedrin to reduce their scrutiny over Jesus’ followers lest they find themselves fighting against God himself.   Tradition holds that both Nicodemus and Gamaliel converted to Christianity.   Nicodemus and Deacon Stephen the martyr of Acts 7 were buried together at Gamaliel’s estate outside of Jerusalem.  Gamaliel and his son ultimately shared this same grave.  Turning back to John 3, Sharon then focuses on the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus, who struggles with understanding the meaning of being born from above by water and spirit.  Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, would have understood the significance of his earthly lineage, yet he failed to recognize the divine lineage of Jesus Christ, who was born from above, by the Holy Spirit overshadowing a pure earthly creature named Mary of Nazareth.  Being in the form of God, Jesus did not think equality with God was something to be grasped so he lowered himself and took on human form (Phil 2).  By taking on human form he showed us the face of God the Father and by His humble obedience made a way for us to get back to the Father and partake once again in our divine nature in the heavenly beautiful vision.

John 3 concludes with nuptial imagery, as John the Baptist identifies himself as the best man to Jesus, the bridegroom.  Sharon teaches us about a traditional Jewish wedding, shedding light on the significance of John as the best man, whose role was to bear witness to the consummation of the marriage.  Jesus the bridegroom had come and the best man’s job was done.  John would decrease and allow Jesus to increase.

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net