April 18, 2015

3rd Sunday of Easter - B

Luke 24: 35-48

“In the Breaking of Bread”

Jesus makes himself known to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus in the breaking of bread.  Luke writes, “It happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”  (24: 31-32).

In today’s Gospel passage, which follows the Emmaus event, the two recount that experience to the other disciples.

Once the two have recognized the Risen Christ in the breaking of the break, they also recall how their hearts were “burning within [them] when he spoke to [them] on the way and opened the scriptures to [them].”

Then, the Risen Christ appears to the whole group.  He now speaks, and again, shares a meal with them.

It is still our privilege today to have the Risen Christ in our midst.  In the celebration of the Mass, he continues to stir up our hearts with his words and opens our eyes with his broken bread. 

At the end of this Gospel passage, Christ asks us to be witnesses of Him who suffered and rose.

Once our hearts have been stirred with His words and our eyes have been opened with His Breaking of the Bread, we are sent to witness to Risen Christ in the broken members of his Body.  This is the same Christ, yet in a different way of being the Broken Bread. 

Let’s pray for the grace to recognize the Risen Christ in those who are His broken body.  

3rd Sunday of Easter - B (April 19, 2015)


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

April 11, 2015

2nd Sunday of Easter - B

"Peace Be With You"

The disciples receive the gift of peace when the Risen Christ speaks to them and allow them to touch his hands and his side.
The Risen Christ continues to give us the same gift of peace when He speaks to us and when He allows us to touch His Body.
Isn't this the reality of the Mass? There, the Risen Christ speaks to us, and we are privileged to touch Him both in His Eucharistic Body and in His mystical Body, the Church.
"Peace be with you."

April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday - B

Mark 16: 1 – 7

“He Has Been Raised”

Mark draws our attention to the two sentences with the verbs in the passive voice.  First, “the stone had been rolled back.”  Second, the words of the young man in white robe, “He has been raised.”

The women know about the stone that covers the entrance to the tomb.  Yet, they go there without any plan of what to do with the stone, which is “very large.” 

Without mentioning the actor, Mark uses the technique known as “divine passive” in Scripture writing.  It implies the action of God.

God acts when we, humans, are not qualified, prepared, or up to the task.  God’s action is always beyond our understanding.

And that the stone has been rolled back prepares the readers, and even calls us to a greater act of God – raising Jesus from the dead.

We cannot, and at times, are not willing, to save ourselves from evils and sins.  And certainly, we are not capable of freeing ourselves from death. 

It is God, who our of mercy and love for us, raises us to new life and the raising of Christ from the dead. 

Easter Sunday - B (April 5, 2015)


(Gospel Reading for Easter Vigil, Year B)

MK 16:1-7

When the sabbath was over, 
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome 
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, 
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 
‘He is going before you to Galilee; 
there you will see him, as he told you.’”

Image source:  The Two Marys, by Bartolomeo Schedoni (1578-1615)

March 28, 2015

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - B


Truly This Man Was the Son of God”

During the two trials in front of the Sanhedrin and Pilate, Jesus speaks only twice, one to the high priest, the other to Pilate.

Pilate asks if he is the king of the Jews, and Jesus' reply could sound ambiguous, “You say so.”

But to the high priest's question, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?,” Jesus' answer is crystal clear and affirmative, “I am.”

This identity of Jesus as the Son of God is proclaimed, again in affirmative tone, by the centurion, after his death on the cross, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

In Mark's Gospel, “The Son of God” is the central identity of Jesus. In fact, Mark begins his Gospel clearly stating his theme, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (1:1)

And this identity cannot be understood apart from the cross.

St. Paul understood this, as he wrote to in the Letter to the Philippians, “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (2nd Reading of Palm Sunday)

As an act of Divine Love, the Cross became the instrument of our salvation.

By His Cross, we are saved!

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - B (March 29, 2015)


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