You may do your homework in whatever form is most convenient for you. You may simply write your name, the date of the class you missed, and the answers to the relevant questions on a blank piece of paper and give them to a team member at class. (Joseph Miller is our homework coordinator, so they’ll all get funneled to him.) You may cut-and-paste the questions into an email to Joseph, and then type your answers under the questions. (His email is firstname.lastname@example.org). Or you may use any other method that is convenient. We recommend that you do the homework while you watch the video, rather than watch the video first and try to do the questions later!
Homework for March 20, 2017 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 9: Catholic Social Teaching: Building a Civilization of Love)
1. How did that most excellent saint, Pope St. Gregory the Great, live out the Christian duty of love and service to others?
2. What Gospel episode gives us Jesus’ striking example of humble service to others?
3. The rest of the questions come from the interview with Jonathan Reyes. What were some examples of how early Christians lived out the life of Christian love?
4. What are some modern challenges to living out Catholic social teaching?
5. What should people do to live out the social teaching of the Catholic Church?
6. What are some broad areas in which Catholic social teaching affects our lives?
7. How do life issues and social-justice issues relate to each other?
Homework for March 6, 2017 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 8: A Love That Lasts: God’s Plan for Sexuality)
1. What did the Christians do with some pagan temples in Rome, like the Pantheon?
2. How does Sean Innerst describe the Catholic understanding of the sexual act, properly understood?
3. How does Innerst describe sex outside of marriage?
4. Why, in Jason Evert’s opinion, do many couples opt for cohabitation these days?
5. According to Innerst, what are the two critical dimensions of marital love? (This is also addressed later in the video by Mandy Cox.)
6. According to Mandy Cox, what is NFP? How does she describe it?
7. According to Mandy Cox, what is the problem with In Vitro Fertilization? What is missing?
8. In the summary, what are listed as the four characteristics of Christ’s love for us?
9. In the “Call to Conversion,” what suggestions do Jason and Crystalina offer for dealing with sexual temptation?
Homework for February 27, 2017 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 7 – A Love That Lasts)
1. According to Dr. Sri, what do the Greek words EROS and AGAPE mean? (The two concepts are fleshed out in Elizabeth Nava’s PowerPoint, which you can access by clicking here: 17. Discovering Authentic Love by Elizabeth Nava.)
2. In the interview with Leah Darrow, what does she say led her to get involved in “romantic” relationships that were devoid of love?
3. What made Leah Darrow change her approach to relationships?
4. What did Pope Saint John Paul II say about love?
Homework for February 20, 2017 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 6: A Catholic Moral Vision)
1. In the introduction to Part 1 of the video, Dr. Sri describes some of the classical virtues. What are they?
2. According to Chris Stefanick, what is the philosophy of “relativism”?
3. According to Chris Stefanick, what is the proper understanding of “tolerance,” as opposed to the modern understanding?
4. In Part 2 of the video, how does Tim Gray describe the relationship among moral law, freedom, and happiness?
5. According to Jared Staudt, what is virtue?
6. According to Jared Staudt, what are the three essential aspects of any moral choice?
7. According to Jared Staudt, what are the two kinds of sin?
8. Point 7 of the recap spells out the three elements of mortal sin. What are they?
9. In the “Call to Conversion” part of the video, Jim Beckman describes a four-step approach to the moral life using the acronym LAPS. What are those four steps?
Homework for February 13, 2017 class (The Stations of the Cross)
No written homework this week. (We are getting too easy on you!) However, if you missed the Stations of the Cross, we do encourage you to take a few minutes to read the meditations we used on February 13 and to get an idea of what it means to pray the Stations of the Cross. The meditations can be accessed here: short-meditations-on-the-stations-of-the-cross
Homework for February 6, 2017 class (The last seven of The Ten Commandments)
No written homework this week. However, if you missed class, please visit youtube.com and run a search for “Bishop Barron Ten Commandments.” The first result should be a short 13-minute video by Bishop Barron giving a short overview of The Ten Commandments.
Homework for January 30, 2017 class (The first three of The Ten Commandments)
We don’t have a video for this class, so I will try to find a suitable reading assignment to supply this week’s homework…
Homework for January 16 and January 23, 2017 classes (Symbolon Part 2, Video 5: Marriage and Holy Orders)
1. In Part 1 of the video, there’s an interview with Greg and Julie Alexander. When they sought advice from a priest about ending their marriage, what three questions did he ask them?
2. Julie Alexander lists three things that she and her husband learned about God’s plan for marriage. What are they?
3. In Part 2 of the video, we learn the three questions that a Catholic priest asks a couple during a Catholic wedding ceremony. What are they?
4. According to Sean Innerst, what is the first effect and grace of the sacrament of matrimony?
5. According to Innerst, what is the more proper name of an “annulment”?
6. According to Innerst, who can enter into a sacramental marriage?
7. Aside from marriage, what is the other sacrament of service to others? What are the three degree of “orders” or clergy in the Catholic Church?
8. According to Scott Sollum, what are two biblical examples of the laying on of hands that we still use in Holy Orders?
9. Why are Catholics priests and bishops celibate?
10. According to Mary Healy, why does the Catholic Church ordain only men?
Homework for January 9, 2017 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 4: Penance and Anointing of the Sick)
1. In Part 1 of the video, what parable beautifully portrays the mercy and forgiveness of God?
2. Dr. Sri asks Father Leo why we should go to a priest for confession rather than just confessing our sins directly to Jesus in private prayer. What is Father Leo’s answer?
3. What do we mean by “the seal of confession”?
4. From part 2 of the video, what words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of John are invoked several times as the biblical authority for the Sacrament of Confession?
5. What are some of the effects of the Sacrament of Confession?
6. According to Sister Nickel, why should we go to Confession frequently even if we aren’t conscious of any serious sins?
7. What are the five steps to receiving the Sacrament of Confession?
8. What are the effects of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?
Homework for January 2, 2017 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 3: A Walk Through the Mass)
1. At the beginning of Part 1 of the video, Dr. Sri describes a mosaic in a Roman basilica depicting a scene from the Book of Revelation. What truth about the Mass does this mosaic remind us of?
2. According to Scott Sollum, what is the heart of the Mass?
3. Moving to Part 2 of the video, what are the four basic parts of the Mass?
4. According to Sister Nickel, why do we capitalize “Word” when we refer to the “Liturgy of the Word”?
5. The Concluding Rites are a sending forth — what are we sent forth to do?
6. If we voluntarily miss Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation, without a serious reason for missing, what must we do before we receive Holy Communion again?
Homework for December 12, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 2: The Eucharist)
1. From Part 1 of the video: How did the Jews react to Jesus’ “Bread of Life” discourse found in chapter 6 of the Gospel of John?
2. According to Patrick Coffin, why would Jesus give Himself to us in the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist?
3. According to Part 2 of the video: For the Jews, what part of the Passover ritual symbolized the people’s communion with God?
4. What does the term “transubstantiation” mean?
5. What are the “two unities” that need to be present for someone to be properly disposed to receive Holy Communion?
6. In the final interview, what are some suggestions that are offered for improving our appreciation of the gift of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist?
Homework for December 5, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 1: The Sacraments, Baptism, and Confirmation)
1. In Part 1 of the video, we learn that early Christians were asked three questions when they were baptized. What were those questions?
2. According to Patrick Coffin, how are the sacraments uniquely fitted to our needs as creatures that are both physical and spiritual beings?
3. According to Part 2 of the video, the seven sacraments can be divided into three categories. What are the three categories, and which sacraments belong in each?
4. What are some of the effects of Baptism listed out in the video?
5. What is “Baptism of desire”? Who might experience Baptism of desire?
6. How is Confirmation related to Baptism?
7. What are some of the effects of Confirmation listed out in the video?
Homework for November 28, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 10: The Last Things)
1. In Part One of the video, what did ancient Christians call their burial grounds, in contrast to the pagans, and why?
2. What are some symbols that ancient Christians used to decorate the tombs of their dead?
3. According to the interview with Curtis Martin, what are the two possible eternal destinies for our immortal souls?
4. According to Part Two of the video, what is “the beatific vision”?
5. What is the “fire” of Purgatory “made of”?
6. Why do we pray for the dead?
7. What will happen at the general judgment, also known as the last judgment?
8. In the interview with Johnnette Benkovic, what are some of her suggestions for living our daily lives so that we are always drawing closer to God and to our eternal destiny in heaven?
Homework for November 21, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 9: Mary and the Saints)
1. In Part One of the video, what tradition in the Old Testament Kingdom of Israel helps explain why Catholics regard Mary as Queen of Heaven?
2. According to Curtis Martin, do we worship Mary and the saints the same way we worship God? What is our proper attitude towards Mary and the saints?
3. In part two of the video, we learn about the Hail Mary. What two New Testament stories are quoted in the first part of the Hail Mary?
4. What does the fancy theological term “theotokos” mean?
5. What does the term “the Immaculate Conception” mean?
6. What is the dogma of “the Assumption”?
7. In the interview with Julianne Miles, what reasons does she gives for recommending that we pray the Rosary?
Homework for November 14, 2016 class
We did not watch a Symbolon video for this class, so there is no written homework. We do ask you, however, to watch a YouTube video about the Beatitudes that we watched during class. If you go to YouTube.com and run a search for “robert barron beatitudes,” part 1 of the video should be at or near the top of the search results, and part 2 should be only one or two items below it. It is only about 18 minutes all totaled, and we think it will be well worth your time!
Homework for November 7, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 8: Why We Need the Church)
1. In Part One of the video, who is described as the early Bishop of Rome whose writings emphasized the importance of harmony and unity of all Christians throughout the Church?
2. Why, in Patrick Coffin’s view, is it insufficient just to read the Bible and have a personal relationship with Jesus? Why do we need the Church too?
3. In Part Two of the video, we learn the three visible elements of the Church. What are they?
4. What are the four “Marks of the Church”?
5. Why do we say that the Church is “holy” despite its being full of sinners?
6. What does the word “catholic” mean?
7. In her interview, Teresa Tomeo says that she was away from the Catholic Church for a while and tried many Protestant churches. What were the two problems she found with those churches?
8. What does it mean to be a “cafeteria Catholic”?
Homework for October 31, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 6: The Paschal Mystery)
1. In Part 1 of the video, we learn the context of Jesus’ words on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” What Jewish scripture was Jesus invoking? What did Jesus mean to convey by this?
2. In Part 2 of the video, what three points does R. Jared Staudt use to summarize the manner in which Jesus won our salvation on the cross?
3. What is the significance of the many animal sacrifices in the Old Testament?
4. What do we mean when we say that Jesus “descended into hell”?
5. Why is the Resurrection an essential part of the salvation story?
6. What is the significance of our own embrace of the cross and embrace of sacrificial love? What does St. Paul say about this in his letter to the Colossians?
7. What advice does Johnnette Benkovic offer to those who are dealing with tragedy or loss?
Homework for October 24, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 7: The Holy Spirit)
1. In Part 1 of the video, Johnnette Benkovic explains that the Holy Spirit sanctifies us principally through two sacraments. Which ones are they?
2. At the very beginning of Part 2, what are some of the biblical images of the Holy Spirit described by Dr. Sri?
3. Dr. Mark Giszczak lists out the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. What are they?
4. How does Dr. Giszczak explain or define “sanctifying grace”?
5. How does Dr. Michel Therrien describe grace to his class?
6. According to Dr. Giszczak, how do we initially receive justification? How do we continue in that state?
7. According to Dr. Sri, what Old Testament story does St. Paul use to describe the Christian doctrine of justification?
Homework for October 17, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 3: The Bible)
1. In part one of the video, Mary Healy offers some practical suggestions for how to begin reading the Bible. What are some of her suggestions?
2. Moving to part two of the video. How many books are in the Bible? How many are in the Old Testament? The New Testament?
3. The Old Testament can be divided into four parts. What are they?
4. The New Testament can be divided into five parts. What are they?
5. How is the Catholic Bible different from the Protestant Bible? Why are they different?
6. Towards the end of part two, one speaker says that Catholics don’t take the Bible “literally”; we take it “literarily.” What did he mean by that?
Homework for October 10, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 5: Who Is Jesus?)
1. According to Curtis Martin, how is Jesus different from all other religious leaders?
2. What word do we use to express the fact that God took on flesh and became man?
3. Give a few examples of how Jesus demonstrated His divinity.
4. What does the fancy term “hypostatic union” mean in plain English?
5. In Dr. Sri’s interview what Lisa Cotter, what are some of her suggestions for living our lives to reflect that we have accepted Jesus as Lord?
Homework for October 3, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 4: The Story of Salvation)
(Note that we have temporarily skipped video 3.)
1. From part one of the video — what are “original sin” and “concupiscence”?
2. From part two of the video, what are the three parts or phases or chapters of the Story of Salvation?
3. What does the word “catholic” mean?
4. What are the three promises that God made to Abraham that chart out the future course of Salvation History?
5. Why did God become man? That is, why was it necessary for God to become man in order to bring about our redemption?
6. In the striking image of Salvation History given to us by St. Ignatius of Loyola, what are the two kingdoms that are perpetually at war throughout human history?
Homework for Sept. 26, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 2: Divine Revelation)
1. In part 1 of the video, what image or metaphor connects the Apostle Peter to the prime ministers of the ancient kings of the Kingdom of Israel?
2. In part 2 of the video, what do we learn is the literal meaning of the word “revelation”?
3. What (or who) is the fullness of God’s divine revelation?
4. What are the two elements of the “deposit of faith”?
5. What is the “magisterium” of the Church?
6. What does the term sola Scriptura mean? What are the problems with sola Scriptura?
7. What is “Sacred Tradition”?
8. What are the three “dimensions” of divine revelation, which are compared to the three legs of a stool?
Homework for Sept. 19, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 1, Video 1: The Journey of Faith)
1. In part 1 of the video, what steps does Father Leo recommend if we want to grow in our friendship with the Lord?
2. From part 2 of the video, how did the early Christians make sure they were really following what Jesus and the Apostles had taught?
3. What was a “symbolon” in the ancient world?
4. What was God’s reason for creating us?
5. What has God revealed about Himself?
6. What human relationship is like a window into the inner life of the Holy Trinity?
Homework for March 14, 2016 class (Symbolon Part 2, Video 10: Catholic Social Teaching: Protecting the Dignity of the Human Person)
1. According to Jared Staudt, how do priests and lay Catholics fulfill their differing Christian responsibilities?
2. According to Jonathan Reyes, why isn’t Catholic social teaching just for Catholics?
3. Fill in the blank. According to Jared Staudt, modern culture is opposed to Catholic social teaching on some points — so much so that Pope St. John Paul II once called modern culture a “culture of ______.”
4. Why, according to Lucas Pollice, is abortion always and everywhere wrong?
5. According to Jared Staudt and Edward Sri, what are the characteristics of the individual human family that make it so important?
6. According to Magdalena Gutierrez, how does our faith affect our approach to voting?
7. How does Michel Therrien describe modern American culture?
8. What is Michel Therrien’s advice for people seeking to live out Catholic social teaching?
Homework for November 23, 2015 class (The Beatitudes)
We did not have a Symbolon video with tonight’s class, so instead we ask you to read the book chapter that you can open by clicking here: Happy Are We, and then answer the following questions. If you can’t access the book chapter by clicking on the link, please send me an email, and I’ll bring you a copy next week.
1. What Old Testament event was Jesus deliberately echoing when he preached the Sermon on the Mount? (page 38)
2. How do the modern understanding of freedom and the biblical understanding differ? (pages 39-40)
3. Which beatitude does the author describe as “the heart of the matter,” and why? (pages 41-42)
4. What four things do we typically try to replace God with? What do we call the errant desire for these things? (page 43)
5. What did Jesus mean by “love” when He said, “love your enemies”? (page 48)
6. What is the flaw in the character of the older son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son? (page 54)
7. What are the two greatest of the Jewish laws, according to Jesus? And which parable most powerfully illustrates those two great laws? (pages 55-56)