Ben Akers

Ben Akers is the Director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and the Denver Catholic Catechetical School.

recent articles

The End of St. John the Baptist

 In my beginning is my end.  –T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets: “East Coker” St. John the Baptist’s origin and vocation, as recorded in the beginning of the fourth gospel, provides hints of his destiny.  In his beginning is his end. The fourth gospel declares that John’s vocation is “to bear witness” to the Messiah.  Within the … Read more

St. Mary Magdalene

“How beautiful […] are the feet of him who brings the gospel.” Isaiah 52:7 Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messianic age clearly echoed in the heart of the woman who anoints Christ’s feet early in his ministry.  As the scene unfolds, the evangelist Luke describes her as a “sinner” and “woman of the city” (Lk 7:37).  … Read more

St. Peter and St. Paul, the Fathers of Great Rome

 Peter and Paul, the Fathers of great Rome, Now sitting in the Senate of the skies, One by the cross, the other by the sword, Sent to their thrones on high, to Life’s eternal prize. Elpis, the wife of Boethius, sings the praises of St. Peter and St. Paul in her Latin poem, Decora lux … Read more

What the Thunder Said

After his wife’s death, Shakespeare’s Macbeth reflects on the futility of his ambition and his life: “It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.”  Macbeth’s lament stands in sharp contrast to the “sound and fury” signifying everything sounded by the “Son of Thunder,” St. John, apostle, … Read more

“Luke alone is with me.”

Before the basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls stands the imposing marble figure of Paul, his fiery eyes looking down upon the pilgrim and his hand firmly gripping the sword that brought about his death and symbolizes the Word he preached. As the visitor’s eyes look past the towering effigy towards the façade of … Read more

The Gift of God: How a Tax Collector Became an Evangelist

Oscar Wilde famously observed that “the only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future.”  This adage finds confirmation when applied to St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist. In trying to learn more about St. Matthew, as is the case with the other synoptic gospel writers, … Read more

St. Mark and Responding to the Rough Profession

“When we come to the service of Christ, we come to a rough profession.” The Jesuit poet and Elizabethan martyr, St. Robert Southwell, reminded his fellow prisoners of this sober truth in his “Epistle of Comfort.”  He composed the letter lest they, jailed for the Catholic Faith, be tempted to forget that the Cross is … Read more

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