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Father Bryan P. Babick

The light continues

Although the 50-day Easter season officially concludes with Pentecost, the legacy of the resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit manifests itself throughout the rest of the year in Catholic worship. Indeed, Easter and Pentecost may be called the foundation of all Catholic Liturgy. Though often dismissed as mere decoration to be overlooked, the […]

From barley to wheat through fire

The culmination of the Season of Easter is Pentecost. For many of the first Jewish Christians, Pentecost was the fulfillment of some of their most ancient and important celebrations. In Leviticus 23, God gave the Israelites a set of holy days to observe. Their most important was the Feast of Firstfruits during which they sacrificed […]

The transfer of feast days

As each Easter Sunday arrives, commemoration of the Ascension of Christ into heaven looms. In both the Nicene and Apostle’s Creed, the Ascension of Jesus is mentioned in close proximity to profession in the Lord’s resurrection. Traditionally it is believed that Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after the resurrection. St. Luke’s Gospel says that […]

The sprinkling of life

The Easter season places heavy emphasis on the first sacrament of baptism as the means by which God’s children are adopted in Christ. To emphasize this, the Church’s Liturgy provides the op­tion for the Sprinkling Rite to take the place of the Act of Penitence at the beginning of Mass. While this rite is always […]

The column of fire

As Lent gives way to Easter, the décor of our churches changes. Gone are the stark colors and sparse decorations and in come flowers and brighter color. While the flowers wilt, one constant throughout the Easter Season is the great paschal candle. The paschal candle normally remains at the baptismal font and is placed near […]

The providing test

For as long as humanity has dialogued with God, the debate about whether the divine tests His people has continued. Ancient pagans would sacrifice in order to appease their deities. They did not want the calamity they believed the gods could inflict. Sometimes they even sacrificed children. In the western world, belief in one God […]

The gender identity

Students were once taught that when referring to generic individuals in abstract situations, the masculine pronoun “he” was to be used. An example might be, “if someone has two apples, he has two snacks.” Over time, exclusive use of gender specific pronouns has become frowned upon. While such semantics have been the source of civil […]

Why is the Mass called a sacrifice?

One of the most consistent descriptions of the Mass through the centuries is to call it “the holy Sacrifice.” The sacrificial nature of the Mass has never been denied. Sacrifice was integral to the spiritual life of our Jewish ancestors. In promising an heir to Abram, God asks him to sacrifice an animal. Abram cuts […]

Christ is a gift, not a reward

The implications of the Christmas season continue throughout the liturgical year. One essential point made beautifully clear in the liturgical readings of Christmas is that God’s incarnation is no reward to humanity for its good behavior, but is instead a gift. Perhaps nowhere was this foreshadowed better than in the story of Abraham and Sarah, […]

The King’s judgement

This November has been unusual in that on three Sundays, the normal cycle of liturgical celebrations has been interrupted with beautiful feasts. All Souls Day was followed by the dedication of the pope’s cathedral, and we end the liturgical year with the celebration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The Solemnity of […]

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