April 21, 2018

4th Sunday of Easter - B (April 22, 2018)

“There will be one flock, one shepherd”

“There will be one flock, one shepherd.”  Only then is the mission of Jesus completed.  That is the extent of God’s love for all.

As children of God, we are all given the privilege of sharing in that mission of Jesus.  Our mission is to bring the love of God to all, and to bring all into God’s family.

Hopefully, we will never treat our role as that of a hired hand.   

Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.  Pray that we embrace our vocation of sharing the Good Shepherd’s mission.  

Image source:  http://www.agnusday.org

April 14, 2018

3rd Sunday of Easter - B

“Touch Me and See”

The disciples knew Jesus both before and after his Passion and Resurrection.

But it was through meeting the Risen Christ that they received peace, joy, and courage to be his witnesses.  Without that, they were “troubled” and “questions arose in their hearts.”

We do not know Jesus before his Passion and Resurrection (the “historical Jesus”).  But we share the same privilege of with the disciples in meeting the Risen Christ in the community of believers, in his words of Scriptures, and in the breaking of the bread.

May we receive the same peace, joy, and courage in meeting the Risen Christ.  

Image source:  http://www.agnusday.org

April 7, 2018

2nd Sunday of Easter - B (April 8, 2018)

Jesus Shows the Disciples his Hands and his Side

When Jesus appears to the fearful disciples, “he shows them his hands and his side” and he said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Jesus’ pierced hands and side brings us to the moment of his crucifixion.

The Cross is indeed the summit of God’s love for humanity.   There, the price of our salvation.  In the Cross, and only in the Cross, we receive God’s gift of peace and forgiveness.

Image: Caravaggio, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, wikipedia.org


April 1, 2018

Go and Tell

The Easter message to the women was, “Go and tell.” 

This was the command to the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.  They were afraid, anxious, confused, and lost. 

Yet, they took that command to heart.  As a result of their message, we heard of the good news of Jesus’ victory over death.

This command, “Go and tell” must continue with us today.

Image source:  William-Adolphe_Bouguereau, Holy Women at the Tomb.  Wikipedia.

March 24, 2018

Palm Sunday - B (March 25, 2018)

Who Is My King?

During the time of Jesus, Palestine was under Roman rule.  Roman soldiers had their base in Caesarea Maritima, west of Jerusalem.  When the occupying forces marched into Jerusalem, they would want to show their military might.  For our interest, visualize the Roman cavalries on horses.  Moreover, in ancient cultures, a warrior king comes riding on horses.

The reading from Mark used today for the procession with palms tells us that Jesus comes into Jerusalem from Bethany to the east.  He rides on a colt as a king who comes in peace, not a warrior on a horse.

This king of peace conquers by his cross.  Thus, it is only on the cross where his true identity is revealed.  Witnessing his death, the centurion professed, “Truly this man was the son of God.”  (Mark 15:39)

I have to ask myself, who is the king that I follow in my life, in my thoughts, my attitude, my words, and actions?

Notes on geography are taken from John Petty, http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com

Image source: www.agnusday.org

March 17, 2018

5th Sunday of Lent - B (March 18. 2018)

Sir, We Would Like to See Jesus

“Some Greeks … came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, ‘Sir, we would like to see Jesus’.”

This identification of Philip is significant.  And like Philip, Andrew was also from Galilee and had a Greek name.  

By the standards of the Jews who were from Judea, Philip and Andrew would be considered a kind of third class Jews.  Judean Jews looked down upon Galilean Jews.  Worse, their Greek names suggest that their parents or ancestors must have either lived for a time outside of Palestine, or had adopted some gentile cultural practices. 

Yet, what certain people might have considered inferior helped Philip and Andrew bring outsiders to Jesus.  Those Greeks must have felt comfortable with Philip and Andrew.  The two had names that they could relate to.  Besides, Philip and Andrew probably spoke their language. 

Isn’t it an example of the last shall be first?

Or is it a case of “the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies and produces much fruits”?

Lent offers me a chance to have a clearer understanding of my true self, to die to what is superficial, and allow Jesus to use me, with all I am, as his instrument to draw others to him. 

Image source:  www.agnusday.org

March 11, 2018

4th Sunday of Lent - B (March 11, 2018)

Summit of God’s Love

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.”

Out of love for us, God gave his only Son.  Jesus came among us so that we might come to know God.  

He was “lifted up” so we might have “eternal life.”

The death of Jesus is thus the summit of God’s love.  There, God gave us his only Son so we sinners might now live as God’s children.