March 29, 2014

4th Sunday of Lent - A (March 30, 2014)

John 9: 1-41

I Am the Light of the World

The man who was born blind meets Jesus twice.  In the first encounter, he does not speak to Jesus.  Later, when asked, he knows his healer only by the human name "Jesus."  The second time he meets Jesus, he already professes his faith, and addresses him as "Lord."

The disciples themselves, speaking only once in the whole episode know Jesus only as a rabbi (v. 2).  They still have some "seeing" to do in order to recognize the full identity of Jesus.

The Pharisees, on the contrary, never speak with Jesus.  The irony is that they interrogate the man about Jesus.  They summon his parents and question them.  Yet, not even once do they ask Jesus, the target of their questioning.  

Consequently, at first, some of the Pharisees still acknowledge something miraculous about what Jesus has done in saying, "How can a sinful man do such signs?"

Yet, without an encounter with Jesus, they fail to see the light.  By the end, they all denounce Jesus as a sinner (v. 24) and reject any possibility of Divine power in what he has done.

One cannot see unless one comes to "the Light of the world."

March 22, 2014

3rd Sunday of Lent - A

The Savior’s Gifts

Jesus is the one who asks the Samaritan woman, an outsider, for a drink. 

Yet, it is Jesus who offers her three precious gifts. 

First, Jesus gives the water of eternal life.  We receive this gift in our baptism into his death and resurrection.

The second gift is the food that sustains Jesus himself.  His food is given to us when we do the Father’s will. 

The third gift is Jesus’ words of truth.  It is not just the words of truth that sees into the depths of our lives and our hearts.  It is the words that lead us to “worship the Father in Spirit and truth.”

And Jesus continues to reach out to us, the way he reached out to the Samaritan woman and her people, to give us these gifts – the gifts of eternal life. 

Like the Samaritan outsiders, may we recognize through these gifts that “this is truly the savior of the world.”

3rd Sunday of Lent - A (March 23, 2014)


March 14, 2014

2nd Sunday of Lent - A


If you wish…

Peter says to Jesus, “If you wish.”  But it is Peter who wishes to stay on the mountain forever.   Peter wants to stop in that glorious moment.

Jesus, on the contrary, is on his way to Jerusalem where the cross is waiting for him.  He would not stop there, in that glorious moment.

Jesus’ “if you wish” is to fulfill the Father’s will.

Jesus’ true glory comes only when he “has been raised from the dead” by the Father.  And that glory only comes after he has fulfilled the Father’s will with his death on the cross.

2nd Sunday of Lent - A (March 16, 2014)


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March 8, 2014

1st Sunday of Lent - A



“Jesus was hungry.”

It is a moment of vulnerability for Jesus.  And the tempter knows that.

The first temptation can happen when we are hungry in our body (hunger, thirst, physical exhaustion), in our heart (emotional exhaustion, stress, loneliness), in our mind (laziness, feeling stuck with unsolvable problems), or in our soul (spiritual dryness, doubt)…

The second temptation can happen when we are hungry for self-determination, for control of our own destiny, for a false sense of freedom from responsibilities and commitment, when we only think of ourselves, when we think we are our own gods.

The third temptation can happen when we are hungry for power, for domination, for popularity, for wealth, …

We know what Jesus did in that moment of vulnerability, and how he faced those temptations.  

1st Sunday of Lent - A (March 9, 2014)


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March 1, 2014

8th Sunday - A

Matthew 6: 24 – 34

Does that Measure up to God?

The word mammon is thought to come from a Hebrew word for “that in which on places trust.”  And it often refers to “wealth, money, property.”  [1] 

One of the invitations Jesus offers us in today’s Gospel passage is to examine ourselves in light of the question, “In what/whom do I place my trust?”

Would that thing or that person last forever?

Now, compare that thing or that person with God and the gift of life in God’s Kingdom, which God has already given to us, beginning in this earthly life.

[1]  Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew; Sacra Pagina Series.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 101.

8th Sunday - A (March 2, 2014)