February 27, 2015
“Apart by Themselves”
We all have heard that Jesus allows Peter, James, and John witness the Transfiguration in order to prepare them for His Crucifixion. Moreover, as the leaders of the Twelve, their experience would help them strengthen their brothers.
We also know that they do not fulfill that special mission. In fact, they would soon join the other nine arguing who among them is the greatest (Same Chapter, just 20 or so verses later in v. 34). Worse, that was after Jesus had told them what would happen to him in Jerusalem for the second time.
Then, in Chapter 10, after Jesus has told them for the third time what awaits him in Jerusalem (10: 32 – 34), James and John themselves come and ask Jesus if they may sit one at his right and one at his left when Jesus comes “in his glory” (10: 37).
Praise God. The Lord patiently sustains them (or puts up with them). By God's grace, after the Resurrection, they truly witnessed to Jesus and the love and life he gave to them.
Maybe I should look at the special and privileged moments that the Lord has given to me, and ask myself how I have made use of them.
February 21, 2015
The Kingdom of God is at Hand
Jesus is in the desert for forty days. So was Israel for forty years.
It was in the desert where God revealed God's very self and God's plan of salvation to Israel through the covenant. It was also in the desert where Israel rejected God.
Now, in the desert, Jesus, the new Israel, has overcome Satan's temptation to accept God's plan of salvation.
Thus, the inauguration of the Kingdom of God.
And this year, by the way the Sunday readings occurred, we just finished reading the remainder of Chapter 1 of Mark. For 4 consecutive Sundays, we learned of Jesus calling people into a community (the call of the first disciples). With a sense of purpose and urgency, he goes about proclaiming the Kingdom. We saw him reaching out to those who are in need. His desire and mission are to bring people to the wholeness of God's Reign. His words, actions, and attitudes all proclaim God's time of fulfillment.
Lent offers us the opportunity to journey through our own desert. There are things the Lord is inviting each of us to leave behind so as to embrace the fulfillment of God's Kingdom. What are they?
What do I need to leave behind in order to embrace Christ's attitude and way of life, which are the reality of God's Kingdom.
 Frank Moloney, This is the Gospel of the Lord: Reflections of the Gospel Readings, Year B. Homebush, NSW, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1993; p. 88.
February 14, 2015
“I Do Will It”
Mark continues to portrays Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom of God. His proclamation of the Kingdom consists of more than words of preaching. His healing, his interaction with people, and particularly, his attitude towards the people are all parts of his proclamation of the Kingdom.
His attitude must have generated such a reputation that the man with leprosy feels that he can come to Jesus. By law, he is not even allowed to come near people. Yet, here, he even comes close and speaks to Jesus.
And Jesus' response to the man's explains further why Jesus has such attitude and such reputation. “I do will it. Be made clean.” The Greek verb thelo translated as “do will it” here can also be translated as “to have the intention or determination,” “to desire,” “to take delight in, have pleasure.” 
This attitude also explains why Jesus even touches the man.
The Lord's pleasure is not just to heal the man's physical illness. But by healing him of his leprosy, Jesus “restores the leper to his place among God's people.” 
That is the Lord's pleasure, delight, desire, and determination: to heal us, to make us clean, and to bring us back into God's family.
 Francis J. Moloney. The Gospel of Mark, A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002; p. 58
February 7, 2015
Mark 1: 29 – 39
Jesus In Our Homes
The passage begins with Jesus going from the synagogue to the house of Simon and Andrew. From the previous verses from this same Chapter 1 of Mark, which we heard proclaimed last Sunday, we learned that it was the Sabbath. (1: 21 - 28) .
This time setting is significant. On a sabbath day, Jesus touches a sick woman to heal her. He breaks at least two rules in this one act of healing, namely, “he could be accused of contracting uncleanness and violating the Sabbath.” 
The place setting also has its significance. Jesus visits a family in their time of need. And he spends time with them.
Jesus is present in our family, the fundamental fabric of human society that God the Father has created. Jesus risks misunderstanding and condemnation to be with us in our homes.
May we continue to find Jesus present to us in our families.
 & . Francis J. Moloney. The Gospel of Mark, A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002; p. 55.