30 episodes

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your every day life.



“Seeking Truth” is an in depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture.

Sharon Doran Seeking Truth Catholic Bible Study - Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcasts Sharon Doran

    • Christianity
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your every day life.



“Seeking Truth” is an in depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture.

    An Advent Special – The Gospel of St. Luke – Chapter 1 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    An Advent Special – The Gospel of St. Luke – Chapter 1 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    An Advent Special – The Gospel of Luke – Chapter 1





    The Virgin Mary is at the center of the beginning of our lecture covering Luke 1. The church fathers, including Ambrose and Augustine, realized that Mary’s perpetual virginity was anticipated by the Old Testament prophets.  In Ezekiel 44, we read about the locked eastern gate of the sanctuary, which could only be entered by the messianic prince.  Mary is ever inviolate, even while giving birth to Jesus:  like light passing through glass, Jesus was born of Mary, whose virginal integrity remained preserved.  Mary serves as the gateway to heaven, through which passes Jesus.

    Luke 1 begins with an address to “Most excellent Theophilus,” who may be a specific high ranking official.  “Theophilus” also means beloved of God, and Luke might instead be writing an open letter the entire Christian community.  Luke provides the historical detail that Herod is king at the time Jesus’ birth.  Herod the Great, an Edomite, was not the legitimate ruler of Israel.  Rather, he was a puppet king propped up by the occupying Romans.  The Edomites were the descendants of Esau and the Israelites were the descendants of Jacob.  The two nations were forever in conflict ever since Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew and Jacob deceived his blind father, obtaining the blessing that was rightfully due to Esau.

    Many Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in Luke 1, most notably the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14, which announces that a virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son called Immanuel.  In addition, the mission of John the Baptist is foretold by the final prophet of the Old Testament, Malachi: “Behold, I will send you Eli′jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers (Mal 4: 5-6).”  Jesus himself describes John as “Elijah who is to come” (Mt 11: 14).

    Luke 1 begins with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John.  Elizabeth and Zechariah were righteous before the Lord, yet they had not yet been blessed with children.  Zechariah, a priest, was chosen by lot to pray within the Holy of Holies.  Ironically, during the time of Zechariah, the Ark of the Covenant is no longer present in the Holy of Holies, having been hidden by Jeremiah the prophet, never again to be found (2 Maccabees 2).   The angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah and echoes the words of Malachi, predicting the birth of John the Baptist, the Elijah yet to come.  Zechariah doubts Gabriel and is struck mute.  The last time Gabriel appeared was during the Babylonian exile when he told Daniel that it would be “70 weeks of years” of atonement for Israel.  Indeed, 490 years later, Jesus the Messiah ushers in the end of atonement for Israel.

    Luke 1 continues with the Annunciation to Mary.  The angel Gabriel again appears, this time to Mary, greeting her: “Hail, full of grace!”  The Greek word for this phrase is “kecharitomene” which means that Mary was full of grace, is full of grace and will be full of grace, which is a reference to her life-long sinless nature.   The angel tells Mary, “Be not afraid.”  These words of encouragement were given to Joshua, Gideon and Moses as they prepared for battle, indicating that while Gabriel was comforting Mary, he was also preparing her for the battle yet to come.

    Finally, the lecture concludes with a glimpse into the early life of Mary, drawing from the extra-biblical source “The Protoevangelium of James.”   While not part of the canon of inspired scripture, this text tells us of the early years of Mary.  From this text, we learn the names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anna.  According to “The Protoevangelium of James,” Joachim and Anna were childless and advanced in ye

    • 57 min
    An Advent Special – The Gospel of St. Luke – An Overview – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    An Advent Special – The Gospel of St. Luke – An Overview – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    An Advent Special – The Gospel of Luke – An Overview





    “We begin our study of the Gospel of Luke with an overview lecture, beginning with what we know about the author himself.  From the historian, Eusebius, we learn that Luke was a physician from Antioch, an ancient Greek city located in Asia Minor.  Antioch was the center of the early Church, and it was here that the followers of Jesus came to be known as “Christians.”  Luke, a companion of St. Paul, is responsible for the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which comprise the greatest percentage of the New Testament.

    The word “Gospel” means “Good News” and comes from the Greek word, “euangelion.”   During the first century, the fastest growing religion was the imperial cult of Roman emperor worship. The word “euangelion” took on religious significance with the announcement of the “good news” of a new emperor, a new “god.”  For Christians, however, the “euangelion” meant the “good news” of the new King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

    As a physician, Luke wrote his Gospel to bring the medicine needed for our wounded souls.  The new medicine came from the new tree of life, the cross, and the medicine of immortality is the Eucharist.  “Every time this mystery is celebrated, “the work of our redemption is carried on” and we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live forever in Jesus Christ (CCC 1405).”

    Through the incarnation, Christ joined in our humanity and introduced His kingdom to the world.  As the final High Priest, Jesus completes the perfect sacrifice on the cross.  God desires that we cooperate with His plan of salvation, joining in His suffering, to complete “what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church (Col 1:24).”  “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Eph 5:25-27).”

    Christ has cleansed the Church, making her holy, yet we know that the Church is made up of sinners in need of healing.  Jesus, the divine physician, has left us with the healing sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick.  What is hidden in shame and secrecy needs to be brought to the light so that healing can take place:  “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3:20-21).”

    Further details about St. Luke come from the Church Father St. Hippolytus, a disciple of Irenaeus, who was a disciple of Polycarp who followed St. John the Evangelist. Hippolytus tells us that Luke was one of the 70 disciples mentioned in Luke 10 who were sent out to spread the Good News to the surrounding countries.  These 70 were also the same disciples who walked away from Jesus when they could not understand Jesus’ command to eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6: 66).  Later, St. Mark was persuaded back to the fold by St. Peter and it was St. Paul who encouraged Luke to return as a follower of Jesus, and the two became great friends.

    As we will learn this year, despite being one of the Synoptics that “see together”, the Gospel of Luke has many unique stories not found in the other Gospels.  Luke likely personally interviewed Mary, bringing us the beautiful infancy narratives.  The stories behind the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, can all be found in the first two chapters of Luke.  From Luke, we receive the Canticles of Mary, Zechariah and Simeon.  O

    • 57 min
    ST-John Ep 25- John 12 – The Glory of the Lord part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    ST-John Ep 25- John 12 – The Glory of the Lord part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    Episode 25 – John 12: The Glory of the Lord part 1





    “John 12 begins just six days before Jesus’ final Passover on earth. Gathering with some of his disciples, Jesus is dining at the house of Lazarus, who had just been risen from the dead. Sharon gives us the background of typical Greco-Roman dining, where guests would recline at table to eat their meal, and afterward, would be entertained by musicians and sometimes even prostitutes. We recall King Herod, married illicitly to Herodias, who promised even half his kingdom to Herodias’ daughter Salome after she performed a seductive after-dinner dance. Prompted by her mother, Salome demands the head of John the Baptist, who had publicly criticized the marriage between Herod and Herodias. In some paintings, Salome is pictured with a vial of spikenard, a rare, expensive, richly aromatic oil.

    Sharon goes on to explain the significance of spikenard for a first-century Jewish girl. Spikenard was kept in an alabaster jar, and on her wedding night, the virgin bride would break open the jar, anoint her new groom, and consummate the wedding. With this background, we now better understand the beautiful meaning behind the actions of Mary of Bethany, who breaks open an enormous jar of spikenard, anoints the feet of Jesus, and then dries them with her hair. Mary desires to give everything to Jesus and enter into a spiritual marriage. She wants to lavish him with not only her most precious earthly gift, but even more, with the priceless gift of her total self: heart, mind, soul, and strength.

    Clarifying a common misconception, Sharon explains that Mary of Bethany is not the same person as Mary Magdalene or one of several other Mary’s found elsewhere in the Bible. Spikenard was also used for burial anointing, but having just seen her brother rise from the dead, Mary knows Jesus will also rise and have no need for the burial anointing. Instead, Mary anoints Jesus now as her spiritual spouse. Sharon then moves on to the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, showing how Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah 9, entering into his kingship riding atop a donkey. To reach Jerusalem, Jesus would have processed through Bethany and Bethphage. Sharon unlocks the importance of Bethphage, also known as the House of Un-ripened Figs. Despite being a few miles outside the city walls, Bethphage was still considered to be part of Jerusalem and was home to two members holding seats in the Sanhedrin. The irony of Jesus processing past this town is profound: any judicial order to execute a rebellious leader had to be made in Bethphage. Today Jesus rides triumphantly past Bethphage; in just a few short days, his execution will be confirmed in Bethphage. ”



    Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

    For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

    “Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

    • 30 min
    ST-John Ep 24- John 11- I AM the Resurrection part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    ST-John Ep 24- John 11- I AM the Resurrection part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    Episode 24 – John 11:  I AM the Resurrection part 2





    “And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead.” With these words, we conclude our profession of faith at mass each week and today’s lesson is a very important teaching on this fundamental Catholic belief. In John 11, we read about the 5th sign (the raising of Lazarus) and the 7th “I Am” statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.”

    The resurrection of Lazarus not only foreshadows the resurrection of Christ, but it is also a confirmation of the universal resurrection of the dead. Sharon reminds us of other resurrections found in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Elijah raises the son of the Zarephath widow, Elisha raises the son of the Shunammite woman and a dead man comes to life when he is buried next to the bones of Elisha. In the New Testament, Jesus raises not only Lazarus but also the daughter of Jarius and the son of the widow of Nain. In Acts of Apostles, Peter raises Tabitha (aka Dorcas) and Paul raises Eutychus.

    The raising of the dead, particularly Lazarus, confirms our hope for the universal resurrection of the dead prophesied in Ezekiel 37. Sharon emphasizes a fundamental tenant of our faith: at the second coming of Jesus Christ, we will all experience a bodily resurrection, either to the resurrection of life in heaven or to the resurrection of condemnation in hell. We will be reunited with either our glorified or condemned bodies.

    Looking more closely at the story of Lazarus, Sharon teaches us that John is theological and not necessarily chronological in how he presents the life of Jesus. The theme of the resurrection of the dead is found elsewhere in John’ Gospel: “the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (5:28-29).” As when he healed the man born blind, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead so that God will be glorified. This miracle is deeply personal for Jesus. He could have chosen to spare Lazarus from death, healing him from afar, just as he did with the royal official’s son in John 4. Instead, he enters into the suffering of Mary and Martha, weeping for the friends he loves so dearly. As a result of the fall, death entered the world, separating humanity from the Father.

    Through the death and resurrection of Christ, death no longer separates us from the Father; death becomes the gateway back to the Father. When Christ comes again, those dead in Christ will rise first and their glorified bodies will be reunited with their souls in heaven and so we can with great hope profess at mass: “And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come!”



     

    Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

    For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

    “Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

    • 30 min
    ST-John Ep 23- John 11 – I AM the Resurrection part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    ST-John Ep 23- John 11 – I AM the Resurrection part 1 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    Episode 23 – John 11:  I AM the Resurrection part 1





    “And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead.” With these words, we conclude our profession of faith at mass each week and today’s lesson is a very important teaching on this fundamental Catholic belief. In John 11, we read about the 5th sign (the raising of Lazarus) and the 7th “I Am” statement: “I am the resurrection and the life.”

    The resurrection of Lazarus not only foreshadows the resurrection of Christ but it is also a confirmation of the universal resurrection of the dead. Sharon reminds us of other resurrections found in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Elijah raises the son of the Zarephath widow, Elisha raises the son of the Shunammite woman and a dead man comes to life when he is buried next to the bones of Elisha. In the New Testament, Jesus raises not only Lazarus, but also the daughter of Jarius and the son of widow of Nain. In Acts of Apostles, Peter raises Tabitha (aka Dorcas) and Paul raises Eutychus.

    The raising of the dead, particularly Lazarus, confirms our hope for the universal resurrection of the dead prophesied in Ezekiel 37. Sharon emphasizes a fundamental tenant of our faith: at the second coming of Jesus Christ, we will all experience a bodily resurrection, either to the resurrection of life in heaven or to the resurrection of condemnation in hell. We will be reunited with either our glorified or condemned bodies.

    Looking more closely at the story of Lazarus, Sharon teaches us that John is theological and not necessarily chronological in how he presents the life of Jesus. The theme of the resurrection of the dead is found elsewhere in John’ Gospel: “the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (5:28-29).” As when he healed the man born blind, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead so that God will be glorified. This miracle is deeply personal for Jesus. He could have chosen to spare Lazarus from death, healing him from afar, just as he did with the royal official’s son in John 4. Instead, he enters into the suffering of Mary and Martha, weeping for the friends he loves so dearly. As a result of the fall, death entered the world, separating humanity from the Father.

    Through the death and resurrection of Christ, death no longer separates us from the Father; death becomes the gateway back to the Father. When Christ comes again, those dead in Christ will rise first and their glorified bodies will be reunited with their souls in heaven and so we can with great hope profess at mass: “And I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come!”



     

    Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

    For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

    “Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to www.seekingtruth.net

    • 30 min
    ST-John Ep 22 – John 10 The Good Shepherd part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    ST-John Ep 22 – John 10 The Good Shepherd part 2 – The Gospel of St. John – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – Discerning Hearts Podcast

    Episode 22 – John 10:  The Good Shepherd part 2





    In this next chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus reveals two more “I am” statements:  I am the gate, and I am the good shepherd.  To help us better understand this beautiful imagery, Sharon teaches us about shepherding in Biblical times.  Many of the great figures of the Bible were shepherds, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David.  We recall the interesting story of Jacob who used his expertise in animal husbandry to breed a line of sheep that exists to this day.

    Throughout scripture, we see a multitude of references to shepherds, and how a good shepherd protected his sheep, binding wounds, rescuing from danger, gathering together, seeking the lost.  Psalm 23 is a wonderful example of imagery that describes the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep, a clear metaphor of our relationship with the Lord.  The shepherd carried a rod to ward off predators or count sheep and staff to draw his sheep close. As our shepherds, the Bishops carry a crosier staff, which is a visual reminder of their duty to provide the proper teaching necessary to ward off sin.  The shepherd carried a horn filled with oil to soothe wounds and ward off insidious diseases.  Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and at the Chrism Mass, the bishop breathes the Holy Spirit into the oil that will be used for anointing.  Oil is also a reminder of the bishop’s duty to identify the prevalent sins of current times and treat these diseases quickly, preventing infection from spreading throughout his flock.

    To help us understand Jesus as “the gate” Sharon teaches us more about the nature of shepherding.  At night, the shepherd guided his flock into an enclosed pen and would sleep at the entrance, acting as the gate through which no predator or thief could enter.  Jesus is the singular gate to the Kingdom, through which is the sure way to salvation.  The shepherd would literally lay down his life to protect his flock, unlike the hireling who would abandon the sheep at the first sign of danger.  The hirelings at the time of Christ were the corrupt Jewish leaders who conspired with the worldly powers to maintain their power and influence.

    Sharon concludes with a history lesson that puts this in proper context.  During the Greek occupation of Israel, a civil war broke out between Jews faithful to Mosaic law and the apostates who abandoned their faith to curry favor with the Greeks.  Led by the Hasmonean’s, the faithful Jews were victorious over their unfaithful countrymen and also successfully drove out the Greeks.   Building upon their success, the Hasmoneans forced conversion to Judaism upon the surrounding gentile nations.  One of these nations was Edom, the descendants of Esau.   A notable Edomite was Herod the Great, who married a Hasmonean princess, only to slaughter her remaining kinsmen, establishing a dynasty in servitude to the world power of Rome.  The Sadducees, who followed only Torah and did not believe in the resurrection, came into existence during this period, and became a powerful influence at the time of Christ, only to fade into oblivion after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.



     

    Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

    For more in this series visit the Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran Discerning Hearts page

    “Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation...

    • 30 min

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