Mar. 14, 2012
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Victory on the Cross

Each year on Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, we read a Passion narrative from the Gospel of Matthew, Mark or Luke. But on Good Friday each year, the liturgy always features John's account of Jesus' Passion and death.

Although each of the four Passion accounts record similar events in Jesus' trial, crucifixion and death, each Gospel writer also has a unique style. The Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John, perhaps is the most pronounced.

John's account constnatly emphasizes that Jesus is “in charge.” At each step of the way, Jesus both knows what is to happen and allows it to happen, in keeping with his words earlier in the Gospel, describing himself as the Good Shepherd who “lays down his life for his sheep.”

There is also a strong sense of victory throughout John's Passion account, a victory of light over darkness, truth over falsehood, life over death. Like the rest of John's Gospel, the Passion story is full of rich symbolism, relating to both the Jewish feast of Passover, and the Christian Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. As the water and blood flow out from Jesus' pierced side, his mother and the unnamed “beloved disciple” are present as witnesses, representing the newborn community of the Church.

John's Passion account does reflect in its language a hostility toward the Jewish people—reflecting conflicts between the early Church and the Jewish synagogue when the Gospel was composed. For this reason, it must be read and understood thoughtfully, avoiding any form of contemporary prejudices against Jews.

As we draw near to this holiest season of the year—Holy Week and the Easter Triduum—I suggest reading something about the two Gospel Passion Narrative we'll hear this year (Mark and John). I strongly recommend the books by Father Donald Senior, CP, our guest on American Catholic Radio this month, on the Passion Narrative. He's written easy-to-read accounts of each, available at a Catholic bookstore or online. You'll find them if you search his name. Father Senior is one of America's leading Catholic biblical scholars, and we're honoted to have him as a recurring guest on ACR!

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#12-13 , #12-14)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick interviews Tajci, a singer from Croatia who has made a name for herself in the United States. Coming from a communist background, Tacji now lives in the U.S. as a successful Catholic mom and musician.

Ask a Franciscan

Father Dan Kroger answers these pastoral questions: Since we call the biblical archangels saint, are all the angels also saints? In the Creed we say that through Jesus all things were made, but what was Jesus' role in creation?


On Faith & Media
Direct from Hollywood, ACR presents Sister Rose Pacatte from the Daughters of St. Paul. She's an educator, author, movie reviewer for the Catholic press, and she's won numerous awards for her passion to illuminate what's good in today's popular culture. Sister Rose will look at the tension between light and dark, good and evil, in media stories and consider if these extremes tell the whole story.

Exploring Our Faith
John Feister's guest is Passionist Father Donald Senior, who has served as the President of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago since 1997, the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of ministry in the U.S. He also is a professor of New Testament and is past-president of the Association of Theological Schools of the U.S. and Canada and of the Catholic Biblical Association of America. Father Senior holds advanced degrees in theology and in New Testament Studies from the University of Louvain, Belgium. He is the general editor of The Bible Today and co-editor of New Testament Message, an international commentary series. The author of numerous books and articles, Fr. Senior speaks here about the themes of light and dark in the Gospel of John.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from The Sacred Heart for Lent: Daily Meditations, a Servant Book written by Father Thomas D. Williams
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick interviews Patricia Oetting about working in Haiti with Father Rick Frechette. His Compassion Weavers ministers helps people bury their loved ones and those whom no one has claimed.

Ask a Franciscan

Father Don Miller answers these moral questions: Are any forms of birth control approved by the Church? Is there a list of Church teachings that all Catholics must believe? Is it wrong not to receive the Blood of Christ at your First Holy Communion?


On Faith & Media
Direct from Hollywood, ACR presents Sister Rose Pacatte from the Daughters of St. Paul. Her mission is to help people of faith understand what we're seeing and hearing all around us. She's an educator, author, movie reviewer for the Catholic press, and she's won numerous awards for her passion to illuminate what's good in today's popular culture. Sister Rose will talk about Jesus movies to watch during Holy Week.

Exploring Our Faith
John's guest is Franciscan Father Tom Richstatter, who has served as professor of liturgy and sacramental theology at Saint Meinrad School of Theology since 1984. The holder of an advanced degree in liturgy from the Institut Catholique in Paris, France, Father Tom has published over 100 books and articles, mostly recently “The Paschal Mystery: God's Wonderful Plan,” the March 2012 Catholic Update. In this interview he answers the question, “What is the Paschal Mystery, this “mystery of faith” at the heart of the Eucharistic celebration?”

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from The Sacred Heart for Lent: Daily Meditations, a Servant Book written by Father Thomas D. Williams.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, Sharing the Word and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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