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Kresta in the Afternoon – March 27, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 27, 2015

4:00 – Kresta Comments: Indiana Passes Controversial Religious Freedom Bill

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana is currently the subject of a firestorm of criticism. Yesterday, Pence signed a bill that allows companies to refuse services based on religious beliefs. Activists say the bill could be used as grounds for discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity. Al has comments.

4:20 – The Music of Matt Maher

Matt Maher is a contemporary Christian music artist, songwriter, and worship leader originally from Newfoundland, Canada. He has written and produced seven solo albums to date. Three of his albums have reached the Top 25 Christian Albums Billboard chart and four of his singles have reached the Top 25 Christian Songs chart. He is a practicing Catholic and is here today to discuss his faith, his music and his inspirations.

4:40 – TBA

5:00 – TBA

5:20 – ISIS Exposed

ISIS has shown it is determined to get America’s attention. It has proudly posted execution videos and called for faithful around the world to rise up and fight in their own countries. It rules more than eight million people in a territory the size of Indiana. Erick Stakelbeck joins us with the inside story of the self-proclaimed caliphate.


Kresta in the Afternoon – March 26, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 26, 2015

Direct to My Desk: Can you forgive an abusive parent who won’t repent? Why would someone intentionally crash a plane? What are the most common last regrets? What connections do atheists draw between Scientology and Christianity?

We have open lines today and we have a lot to talk about. It’s now believed that the plane crash in France was intentional. The Co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately flew the plane into a mountain. What do we know for sure? What can we speculate? What are you hearing from the media? We’ll also discuss an upcoming documentary on Scientology and connect it to other invented religions and the atheist argument that all religions are, in fact, invented and ludicrous. Additionally, we want your thoughts about the greatest regrets people express on their deathbed and the significance of a dying person’s last words. Finally, we’ll talk about forgiveness. How can you honor and forgive your parents if they were abusive? Can you or should you forgive someone who is unrepentant? We want to get your thoughts on all these questions. Give us a call at 877-573-7825.

Unbroken – An Al Kresta interview with Luke Zamperini

Released to theaters last Christmas, Unbroken is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, a former track star whose bomber went down in the Pacific Ocean during World War II. Zamperini survived 47 harrowing days adrift before being picked up by the Japanese and send to a POW camp, where he endured two and a half years of unimaginable psychological and physical torture. Louis’ son Luke Zamperini joins us to talk about the film and his father’s amazing story of faith and perseverance.


Kresta in the Afternoon – March 25, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 25, 2015

4:00 – “For All Find what they Truly Seek”

Nabeel Qureshi was raised in a devout and loving Muslim home and was passionate about his faith. He eventually discovered evidence of Jesus’s resurrection and divinity and was in a difficult position: he couldn’t deny the evidence, but he didn’t want to deny his family. Nabeel joins us today with the story of his dramatic and challenging journey.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: TBA

5:20 – “I am the Handmaid of the Lord”

We’re discussing the Feast of the Annunciation with Tim Staples and how Mary’s simple “yes” changed the course of history.


Kresta in the Afternoon – March 24, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 24, 2015

4:00 – Kresta Comments

Al has comments on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s “Jesus of Nazareth,” 15 Reasons Dads Matter and the Scientific Case for God.

4:20 – A Celebration of Peace through Music

A Celebration of Peace through Music is a special televised concert created by Sir Gilbert Levine that took place in Washington, D.C. last year. The concert featured the Krakow Philharmonic Choir, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Sir Levine led a moving multicultural tribute to three great spiritual leaders of our time: Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. The concert will be reaired this spring on radio and TV. Sir Levine joins us to talk about the concert and how he honors God through music.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: TBA

5:20 – Back to Basics: Forming Intentional Disciples

Consider the following statistics: Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. 10 percent of all American adults are ex-Catholics. Only 60 percent of Catholics believe in a personal God. As we’ve said before, we’re surrounded by Catholics who have been Sacramentalized but not Evangelized. A lot of people see this as a sign of the end, that the Church in the US is on the way out. Sherry Weddell sees it as an opportunity to regrow the Church on a solid foundation of committed, intentional Disciples of Christ. She joins us today.

Kresta in the Afternoon – March 23, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 23, 2015


4:00 – Zealous: Following Jesus with Guidance from St. Paul

On Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. In honor of this feast we talk to Mark Hart, coauthor of Zealous: Following Jesus with Guidance from St. Paul. Mark gives us a contemporary look at the basics of spiritual life through the lens of St. Paul’s epistles. Mark takes us on a deeper dive into Scripture to find answers to our faith’s timeless questions and internalize what God’s truth means for us.


4:40 – My Personal Conversion Story

Okan Kulan, a Turkish tour guide who works with Steve Ray, joins us in studio all the way from Istanbul. Okan has just entered full communion with the Catholic Church. He tells us his conversion story.


5:00 –Four Reasons why the New Evangelization Might Fail

The New Evangelization is essential to the future of the Church and the world. We’ve discussed the importance of and strategies for the New Evangelization at length. But what if it fails? Can it fail? Fr. Patrick Collins is here from Ireland with four obstacles that must be overcome in order for the New Evangelization to succeed.


Why Star Trek and Mr. Spock Matter

Kresta in the Afternoon – March 20, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 20, 2015


4:00 – From International Model to Joyful Catholic

Paul Darrow is another featured story in the film Desire for the Everlasting Hills, which explores the lives of Catholics who are same-sex attracted. He tells us how his life has been transformed by Christ.


5:00 – Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming your Life, Preparing for your Baby and Moving Forward with Faith in an Unplanned Pregnancy

When Chaunie Marie Brusie stared down at the pregnancy test her senior year of college and saw two tiny blue lines–a positive test–she knew the road forward would be filled with difficult decisions, but she rose to the challenge. Brusie graduated from college, got married, and became a labor and delivery nurse and vocal advocate for the millions of young women who experience unplanned pregnancies each year. In her debut book, Tiny Blue Lines, Brusie offers coaching to young women, reminding them that their plight is near to the heart of Mary and that there is healing to be found in such Catholic practices as the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Brusie provides lists, resources, humor, anecdotes, and spiritual inspiration to help women gracefully navigate this challenging terrain. Chaunie joins us today.


The Loud Silence of Saint Joseph

By Fr. Steve Grunow

Via WordonFire.org

“We can have recourse to many saints as our intercessors, but go especially to Joseph…” 
- St. Teresa of Avila

Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the guardian of the Christ-child.

The Gospels are very clear that Joseph is not the father of the Lord Jesus.  The child born of the Virgin Mary is God and has no earthly father.  The body of Christ’s human nature is created by what the scriptures describe as “the power of the Holy Spirit.”  If this explanation confounds us, we are rightly confounded.  Christ is like us inasmuch as shares with us a human nature and lives a real human life. And yet, Christ is unlike us inasmuch as he is the singular instance in which a divine nature and a human nature share communion in a divine person.

Simply expressed, Christ is God and man.  It is because of Christ’s willingness to accept a human nature with all its limitations that we are able to participate in his divine nature.  This participation, a gift given to us by Christ, is the most profound mystery of the Faith.

The mind can apprehend this mysterious revelation, even appreciate the “why” of it, but cannot fully understand the “how” of it all.

We can imagine that Joseph himself did not fully understand the circumstances surrounding Christ’s conception and birth, but he was able to love what he did not fully understand. It is in this love that both his faith and his sanctity are revealed.

The Scriptures for today’s solemnity are redolent of the Messianic expectations of Israel by which is meant the passionate belief professed by the descendents of Abraham that God would raise up from one of their own people a Savior who would manifest in word and deed the power of God.  The revelation of the Messiah would change Israel and the world forever.

The first scripture is a small section from the Second Book of Samuel that presents the prophet Nathan speaking to King David about his future heir.  David will have a son who will accomplish something that David will not.  What will the son of David do?  Build the Lord God a magnificent temple.

King David’s son, Solomon, would accomplish this feat and would do so with such glory that generations after its destruction, his temple is still remembered as one of the most glorious of all human artistic achievements.  However, the Church does not present this scripture from Second Samuel today so that we can remember Solomon, son of David, but Jesus, the Son of David!

Jesus, the Son of David, whose ancestry is traced back to Israel’s royal family through Joseph, is King David’s rightful heir.  Christ bears the legacy of Israel’s kingship and he build a temple.  But the temple Christ builds is greater than Solomon’s.  How so?  Because the temple of the Lord Jesus is the Body he reveals in the Incarnation.  God reveals himself in the human nature of Christ in a way that is likened to how the divine presence fills the sanctuary of Solomon’s temple with glory.

The second scripture for today presents an excerpt from St. Paul’s magnificent letter to the Romans.  The Letter to the Romans is St. Paul’s “magnum opus”, his crowning literary achievement.  The letter reads as an extended argument that the Apostle to the Gentiles is making on behalf of his conviction that the extraordinary revelation of Christ has had an extraordinary effect on Israel.  Israel has been transformed as a result of Christ’s revelation, and the Letter to the Romans is describing what Israel once was, is now, and will be in the future because of the Lord Jesus.

This particular scripture from Romans references Abraham, whose great story is told in the Old Testament Book of Genesis.  Abraham is the founding patriarch of God’s chosen people, a people who will take their name from Abraham’s grandson, who was called Jacob or Israel.  St. Paul cites the promise God made to Abraham that he would have limitless descendents who would all manifest the faith Abraham to the world.

It is St. Paul’s conviction that it is Christ who delivers this promise, transforming Israel so that its numbers can truly be limitless and providing the means by which the God of Abraham would be known by the whole world.  How?  St. Paul sees all this happening in the Church, which is Israel transformed.  Christ has enabled the whole world to become, through the Church, descendents of Abraham and followers of the one, true God.

The Church gives the priest the option of choosing one of two Gospel passages for today.

One of these choices, from the Gospel of Luke, describes a curious event in which Joseph and the Virgin Mary lose the Christ child, only to find him in the temple of Jerusalem.

This particular Gospel hearkens to the theme of the reading for today from Second Samuel with its allusion to the temple.  Luke is comparing and contrasting the old and new temples- one built of stones and culture in the city of Jerusalem and the other built of flesh and divinity in the Body of Christ.  His message?  The true meaning and purpose of the old sanctuary can only be fully appreciated in relation to the new sanctuary. The God whom we seek can only be found in the temple of Christ’s Body.

The other Gospel for today is an excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew.  Thjs scripture makes it clear that the child born of the Virgin Mary is not the son of Joseph, or of any other man for that matter, but the Son of God.  In this respect, the Gospel of Matthew is not just hinting at Christ’s true identity, but he is, in the opening of his Gospel, revealing Christ’s identity explicitly.  Who is this Jesus?  He is God, and he has come for a particular purpose: “to save his people from their sins.”

The rest of the Gospel of Matthew will demonstrate how this salvation from sin actually happens, but what Matthew wants us to know from the beginning is that it is God who is acting to reveal himself in Christ.  The Gospel of Matthew, indeed all four Gospels, are telling us that God has revealed himself in Jesus of Nazareth, who appeared to be the son of Joseph, but who is in fact the God of Israel himself.

I have now told you a great deal about the Lord Jesus and very little about Saint Joseph, which might strike you as odd given that today is his great solemnity.

However, my inability to say all that much about Saint Joseph follows a lead from the Scriptures, which are mostly silent in regards to details about him.  After the story of Christ’s birth, Saint Joseph seems to disappear from the narrative of Christ’s life as it is recorded in the Gospels. Generations subsequent to the writers of the Gospels treasured many pious legends about Saint Joseph, and the Church assures us that he remains an actor in the life of the Church to this very day, but in terms of personal details, anecdotes, true life stories, there is silence.

Perhaps the silence of Saint Joseph is his most profound witness.

Saints are not celebrities, who leverage every detail about their lives as a means to be known and recognized.  A saint is someone who in their desire to be like Christ is able and willing to disappear into the mission God gives to them.  For some saints, this mission brings with it a great deal of attention.  But for most saints, the life of grace involves a much lower profile and a death to self which requires an immersion into the most ordinary of circumstances. These circumstances are accepted by the saint because they know that it is precisely in the experience of what is apparently ordinary that God is accomplishing extraordinary things.

Therefore, it is all of us, who right now find ourselves immersed in the mission to be the unnoticed saints of ordinary circumstances, who know that the silence of Saint Joseph speaks louder than any words.

Kresta in the Afternoon – March 19, 2015

Talking about the “Things That Matter Most” on March 19, 2015


4:00 – Why St. Joseph is not the Father of Jesus

St. Joseph is one of the most important, yet least known characters in Scripture. The man entrusted with the task of raising Christ only appears in a few scenes and is not mentioned after Jesus is found in the temple. It’s important to remember that Joseph was not Jesus’ actual father. We discuss the importance of St. Joseph’s role with Fr. Steve Grunow.

4:20 – The Donkey that No One would Ride

Anthony DeStefano gives us a dramatic reading of his children’s story about the humble life of the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.


4:40 – Do You Believe?

The creators of “God’s Not Dead” now bring you a film that will really make you consider your commitment to Christ. A variety of characters must face one simple, yet fateful question: Do You Believe? Nick speaks with the film’s director, Ted McGinley.


5:00 – Gallup Poll Shows Jump in People who are “Greatly Concerned” about Terrorism

A new Gallup poll shows that 51% of Americans worry a “great deal” about the possibility of a terrorist attack, a 12 percentage point climb from last year. John Kerry claimed last month that the world is safer now than it has been for years, a claim that contradicts US intelligence assessments showing that 2014 was the deadliest year for terrorism in the 45 years data has been collected. Meanwhile, at least 21 people were killed yesterday in Tunisia’s deadliest terrorist attack in years. We discuss the current state of international terrorism with Robert Spencer.


5:20 – Starbucks Brews Controversy with “Race Together” Campaign

Starbucks has encouraged its baristas to write “Race Together” on customer’s cups in the hopes that it will open the door to better discussions on race. There’s no doubt that race relations in the US are a far cry from where they should be, but what is the best strategy? We’ll discuss this with Harry Stein.

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