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Walking with St. Paul
December 01, 2008
Doors, Opened and Closed
By Thomas Smith

Acts 16:7-10:

"And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.

And when they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing beseeching him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."

And when he had seen the vision, immediately...

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November 24, 2008
Baptism makes us heirs ‘in hope of eternal life’
By Brian Pizzalato

For St. Paul, the importance of baptism cannot be underestimated. At what might be considered the most important series of events for his own life, i.e. his conversion and subsequent three days of blindness and hunger and thirst, he is taught baptism’s significance by Ananias. Ananias says to the future St. Paul: "Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 9:17)....

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November 17, 2008
Understanding the Holy Spirit as a divine person
By Brian Pizzalato

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:13).

I know! You want to say, "And also with you!" However, I am not writing on the Mass.

This passage ends St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. This is, of course, very Trinitarian. Here St. Paul speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ. He also speaks of God, who at the beginning of the same letter St. Paul calls "God our Father," and "…the Father of our...

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November 10, 2008
St. Paul on Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
By Brian Pizzalato

“But may I never boast except in the cross of Christ...” – Galatians 6:14 ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

 

“…Christ died for us in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures…if Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith…your faith is in vain; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 3b-4, 14, 16, 17b).

 

...

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November 01, 2008
Galatians 1:1-10
By Thomas Smith

Last week, I gave you the context for Galatians before we enter the actual content of the letter.  I also shared a simple outline of Paul’s letter.  I want to offer two more ways to structure the letter.  Remember, this information is also shared in a podcast for those of you who prefer listening to reading.  ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

 

I believe that the letter to Galatians is a giant chiasm.  A chiasm is a literary element that arranges...

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October 27, 2008
Introduction to Galatians
By Thomas Smith

During this Jubilee Year of St. Paul, I thought it might be helpful to spend some time in the Pauline Epistles. I decided to begin with Galatians for several reasons:

- It is one of my personal favorites

- It has been the center of my study over the past few months in preparation for a retreat on the "fruit of the Spirit" in Galatians 5:22-23

- Its use/misuse during the Protestant Revolt that has led to many of the divisions within Christianity today that needs to be addressed

- Its...

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October 20, 2008
A Fervent Follower of his Rabbi
By Thomas Smith

This week we reflect on the final aspect of ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /St. Paul’s identity, the last of these “worlds,” one that would simultaneously eclipse and illuminate the other two - his Jewish roots and Greco-Roman milieu.  It is St. Paul as a fervent follower of his rabbi, Jesus.?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

 

One of the facets of first-century life in Judaism is the close...

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October 13, 2008
Roman Citizen in a Greek-influenced Culture
By Thomas Smith

Over the last few weeks we have been exploring the trinity of personality that is the remarkable figure of St. Paul. Last time we looked at the first of the three: Paul as a Pharisee of Pharisees. We explored how being a Pharisee was not something radically opposed to the Gospel, but rather most Pharisees shared many ideas and principles in common with the followers of the Way, and St. Paul continued to call himself a Pharisee decades after becoming a follower of Christ. Pharisees were not a...

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October 06, 2008
St. Paul helps us understand truths about Jesus
By Brian Pizzalato

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to...

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September 29, 2008
A Pharisee of Pharisees
By Thomas Smith

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we cannot hope to understand St. Paul without first exploring his B.C. (before Christ) timeline. He was a tri-part person - a Jew (from the tribe of Benjamin and a member of the Pharisee movement), a Roman citizen raised in a Hellenized (Greek) culture, and a disciple of his Resurrected Rabbi, Jesus.

This week we will look at St. Paul in the context of his Pharisee background. If someone called you "a Pharisee of Pharisees" today, it would be one of the...

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