Obstacles to Christian Witness

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Below are some obstacles to Christian witness and conversion to the faith.  They are listed in two categories:  personal: emotional/intellectual and public/institutional.   Personal Factors Hardship and suffering in life including illness; loss of friends and loved ones, especially to death; disappointment in life goals; betrayal; anxiety from fear of…
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Virtual or Virtuous?

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The virtual environment has become pre-eminent in American life.  Young and old spend an enormous amount of time in front of a computer screen.  The word, virtual, in its use has become almost completely identified with the computer age in which we live.  Virtual is opposite the real physical environment. …
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Kensington II

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Some time ago, a young man approached me on the street to show me a picture of Christ rendered by Rembrandt.  He asked me, who is this?  Such was a perfect time for witness.  What would you have done in this situation?  We must always be ready to witness to…
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What is New is Old; What is Old is New

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The beginning of the Gospel according to Saint Mark does not include a birth story.  Accounts of the birth of Jesus are found in Matthew and Luke.  After the superscription in this shortest and oldest of the gospels are found passages from Exodus, Malachi, and Isaiah in the Old Testament…
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Evangelization in Kensington

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Kensington Avenue and the surrounding area is drug central on the eastern seaboard and in America. It is an extraordinary experience to drive on Kensington Avenue from Frankford Avenue to Lehigh Avenue and beyond.  The tourist (and I do not take the term lightly) will see many wonders:  tent encampments; …
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Gospel in Saint Mark

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The word, gospel, is used eight times in Mark, only seven times if you exclude 16: 15 that by many scholars is not regarded as part of the evangelist’s work, but a later addition.  Its first usage is at the very beginning of Mark where our narrator announces, “The beginning…
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To the Unknown God or a God Unknown

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When Saint Paul was visiting the Greek city of Athens during one of his missionary journeys, he noticed an altar dedicated “To the unknown god.”  In his address to the men of Athens on the Areopagus, he refers to this altar as testimony that the unknown god is in fact…
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Two Novels

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When I was a youth, two novels that I didn’t read until recently caught my attention, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, and Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger.  My interest in the first was stirred by an article I read long ago in Atlantic Monthly.  I had been repelled by…
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Authority

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These days, many American seem to have great trouble with authority of any kind whether it be religious, familial, educational, governmental, etc.  Some educational leaders and civil servants have supported this tendency of disrespect. The result of this erosion of respect for authority is increased public disorder, crime, and contempt…
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The World and the World

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In the Gospel of John, the Greek word for world can mean two things.  First, world describes the inhabited universe.  We humans are in and part of the world.  It is stated in this gospel that the world needs a Savior.  This implication connects it to the second meaning that…
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