March 18, 2017

3rd Sunday of Lent - A (March 19, 2017)


A Public Sinner Becomes a Witness and Apostle

It is most likely that the town people know the Samaritan woman’s personal history, which is by no means exemplary. 

Yet, after meeting Jesus, she becomes a witness who leads others to him.  She even acknowledges publicly, “He told me everything I have done.” 

A public sinner becomes a disciple and an apostle – one who is sent as a witness to lead others to “the savior of the world.”

As disciples and apostles of Jesus, our credibility does not come from who we are, or our worthiness, or the lack of it.  While we must strive to become more authentic witnesses, our credibility comes from but the One who sends us – Jesus Christ.

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March 11, 2017

2nd Sunday of Lent - A (March 12, 2017)


“It Is Good that We Are Here”

The Transfiguration was a privileged experience of Jesus in his glory for Peter, James, and John.  Yet, all Jesus’ disciples of all times continue to encounter him
1.    In his words, confirmed by the voice from the bright cloud.
2.    In his Eucharist, his sacramental and real presence.
3.    In the members of his Body, the Church. 

On the third presence, it is Jesus, no longer in his glorious appearance, who touched the disciples, told them to rise, and “Do not be afraid.”  This Jesus “comes down from the mountain” with them as they continue their journey to the cross together.  [1]

It is indeed “good that we are here” where the Beloved Son of God is always with us.  

[1] Francis J. Moloney.  The Gospel of the Lord:  Reflections on the Gospel Readings: Year A.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992; p. 88-89.

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March 4, 2017

1st Sunday of Lent - A (March 5, 2017)


Whose It Is to Give

On “a very high mountain,” having shown Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,” the devil promises Jesus, “All these I shall give you if….”  It is an empty promise, because the kingdoms of the world are not really the devil’s to give.

At the end of the Gospel According to Matthew, after his crucifixion and death out of love and obedience to the Father, Jesus is again on a mountain with his disciples.  There, he tells them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (28:28) [1]

We see the contrast. 

Not just all the kingdoms of the earth, but even all power in heaven has now been given to Jesus.   All these belong to God who has given them to Jesus. 

May this season of Lent help us to recognize the empty promises that are presented to us.  And may we grow in confidence in God, who has given us life, and destined us for the life and glory that last forever.  

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February 25, 2017

8th Sunday - A (February 26, 2017)


What/Who Is First?

Lent is about to begin.  And today’s Gospel might be quite timely in giving us some orientation for our Lenten discernment. 

To put things in perspective, three verses prior to the beginning of this passage, Jesus tells his disciples, “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

What/Where is my treasure?

What priority do I give to God?

Do I seek first the Kingdom of God?  If not, then what/who is first?

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February 18, 2017

7th Sunday - A (February 19, 2017)


I Say to You …

The idea behind the rule “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is to ensure that revenge does not get out of hand (a kind of punishment that fits the crime).  It is for the preservation of a community and a tribe.

The law of Jesus goes beyond the benefits of one community or tribe, or even one people or one nation.  Jesus gives and is the new law of love for all humanity.  In Christ, all are brothers and sisters, children of the same Heavenly Father. 

Yet, in our world today, we, Christians included, might not even put a community first.  We often operate by the principle, “What’s in it for me.” 

As Jesus continues to teach the new law, today’s Gospel certainly offers us a chance for some examination of conscience. 

How am I living for all others the way Jesus Christ does?

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February 10, 2017

6th Sunday - A (February 12, 2017)

Matthew 5: 17-37

Who, not What, to Follow

Laws, rules, principles, customs, and regulations provide the necessary basics and foundations.  This can be seen in games, sports, music, arts, etc.  as well as in family life and all human relationships.

Let’s take the example of a sport.  There are certain rules that everybody needs to follow in the game.  Then there are the basic techniques, set plays, strategies, etc. 

A start athlete knows the rules, and masters the techniques and strategies.  Yet, he/she becomes a star for the creativity and moments of ingenuity. 

So it is with Christian spiritual life.

There are the basics, which the law, traditions, and principles provide, for all to observe. 

But it is Jesus Christ who inspires, and who is the supreme model for Christians to follow.  In this way, Christians continue to be the presence of Christ to others, the light of the world, and the salt of the earth (the theme which began with last week’s Gospel passage).

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February 4, 2017

5th Sunday - A (February 5, 2017)


Light of the World

When Matthew introduces Jesus’ public ministry, he identifies Jesus as the light, citing the Prophet Isaiah, “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” (4:16, the Gospel we heard 2 Sundays ago).

Today, Jesus calls us to be the light of the world.  He shares his mission with us [1].

In order to be the light of Christ to the world, we must live as he has lived. 

Looking at the Sunday Gospels continuously, the Beatitudes, which we heard last week, are our guides.  

We know that only Jesus lives the Beatitudes to perfection [2].  The better we live the Beatitudes, the brighter our reflection of Christ’s light. 

[2] . Saint Pope John Paul II. “The Beatitudes are a self-portrait of Christ.”  Tweeted by Rocco Palmo,

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