March 25, 2017

4th Sunday of Lent - A (March 26, 2017)


Open to Jesus

In this Gospel passage, we find two progressions – toward faith in Jesus and away from Jesus.

Those who oppose Jesus move away from him.  Initially, some of them are open to the possibility that Jesus might be from God based on what he could do.  In the end, they conclude that he is a sinner. 

The man born blind first refers to his healer as “the man called Jesus.”  Next, he proclaims, “He is a prophet.”  Then, he professes that Jesus is from God.  Finally, he addresses Jesus as Lord and worships him.

The key difference between those who oppose Jesus and the man born blind is the encounter with Jesus.  Ironically, Jesus’ opponents do not even once make any attempt to speak to him directly.  They question the man born blind more than once.  They even interrogate his parents.  But not Jesus. 

The man, on the contrary, speaks to Jesus when Jesus approaches him.  And he is willing to accept whatever Jesus will tell him.

The Lord Jesus always takes the first approach and speaks to us.  May we have our eyes open to see him, our ears open to listen to him, and our hearts open to accept, love, and worship him.  

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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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