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Joseph and Jesus the Builders

Joseph was a royal figure, descended from David, and, therefore, able to make the claim to be the Messiah: the Lord’s anointed king. David had said that he wanted to build a temple or house for the Lord, but the Lord replied: “You shall not build me a house to dwell in. . . . Moreover I declare to you that the Lord will build you a house. ...

10 09 2020

Jesus’ Rite of Passage

The following is an adapted excerpt from Leaving Boyhood Behind by Jason Craig. Jesus went through the stages of a rite of passage, as the Gospel of Luke – the Gospel that gives the most details of Jesus' childhood – describes. The story of the boy Jesus in the Temple in particular shows that Jesus had to transition away from boyhood into the ...

03 23 2020

St. Joseph Formed Jesus as a Man

As I argue in the video and course Leaving Boyhood Behind, Jesus being lost in the Temple is the story Luke uses to mark the transition of Jesus away from his boyhood and toward his life as a man – it’s his rite of passage.  As he leaves the Temple with Mary and Joseph, we are told he went obediently and "lived there in subjection to them.” ...

03 21 2020

Jesus is My Neighbor, and He’s So Annoying

My sons and I have been trying for a while to memorize the classic Catholic lists while we milk cows every day.  Commandments, Beatitudes, Virtues, etc.  Things like that.  Lately we’re reviewing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, and they are quite the challenge, not because they’re esoteric and undoable, but because they are eminen...

01 16 2020

Masculinity Can’t Be Toxic, Because Jesus Was Male

Well, men, the American Phycological Association thinks that “traditional masculinity” is undoubtedly linked to “aggression and violence,” because, you know, men are bad.  This is coming on the heels of the #MeToo movement, mass shooters (which are overwhelming male), and other such examples that prove our “man problem” today is not ju...

02 01 2019

Are You a Whitewashed Tomb and Seeking Perfection?

Perfect. That word begins so softly but ends so sharply. It’s like kissing the mirror then taking a bite out of it. Perfectionism is something I’ve wrestled with my entire adult life. Well, let’s rope adolescence in there too because we all know high school was rough and middle school was just weird. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were...

08 22 2018

It’s a Long Race – Nobody Finishes it Alone

I met a wonderful man today. Well, the truth is that I’ve kind of known of this man for a while because he is a fellow parishioner, but today I got to know him a bit more and he touched my life in a small, yet meaningful way. For reasons of circumstance, we had an opportunity to connect on a personal level and I was nourished by it. As men from d...

07 25 2018

5 Reasons Christians Should Have Icons

When we look back in history, we see that Christians venerated icons, sacred images of Christ and the Saints, very early on. Paintings of Christ and other religious figures and symbols adorn the walls and sarcophagi in Christian catacombs dating back to the first century. Much has been written defending the Catholic Church’s veneration of icons b...

05 18 2018

What Makes Jesus Different from Other Religious “Founders?”

Several years ago, I came across the Christian rap song "Jesus is Alive" by Shai Linne.  The chorus to the song is very simple.  It lists several inspirational (and not so inspirational) historical figures, and states very matter-of-factly that each one of them “is dead.”  Shai Linne then contrasts our Lord with each figure by ending the cho...

04 09 2018

One Man’s Voice: The Transformational Exsultet

“Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven...” Few experiences in life compare with those precious moments of genuinely real and powerful transcendence. The man-made earthquake of the liftoff of the Space Shuttle from the Cape Canaveral launch pad as Mission Control counts down to zero and bids the astronauts a safe journey, a fond farewell...

03 30 2018

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