April 29, 2017

3rd Sunday of Easter (April 30, 2017)


We Were Hoping

“Are you the only visitor…?,” asked Cleopas.

Cleopas forgets that he himself is a visitor. 

In fact, we are all visitors. 

Nothing, nobody in this earthly life of ours is permanent. 

Yet, don’t we all build so much of our hopes, dreams, and even our dependence, on the things and people of this passing world?  Like Cleopas and his friend, “we were hoping...”

Before recognizing Jesus, the two disciples felt hopeless.  But they had put their hope in the Redeemer of Israel.  And the Redeemer does not fail their hope.

The Redeemer is still and always with us.  He walks with us in our companions.  He speaks to us.  And he gives himself to us in the breaking of the bread. 

Our hope is in Him who has conquered death.


April 22, 2017

2nd Sunday of Easter (April 23, 2017)


How Merciful is God’s Mercy?

We might sometimes, or even often, limit God’s mercy to the forgiveness of our sins.  We think of it as a kind of pardon – similar to what given to a criminal after the person has served the deserved punishment.

It is true that we are all sinners who are repeatedly in need of God’s mercy and pardon.

But God’s mercy is not the same as our juridical system, in which the records of one’s crimes are kept – sometimes seemingly forever. 

God, in His great mercy, forgives our sins.  Moreover, God, in the death and resurrection of God’s only Son, has made us free children of God.  Thus, the profession of the First Letter of Peter (today’s 2nd Reading),   
“The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy, gave us a new birth to a living hope …, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”

That is the extent of God’s mercy.  

 Image source:  www.agnusday.org

April 15, 2017

Easter Sunday (April 16, 2017)



In today’s first reading, Peter testifies, “They put [Jesus] to death by hanging him on a tree.” (Acts 10: 39b)

The Romans reserved the capital punishment of crucifixion to slaves. 

The Jewish people, following the Law of Moses, consider one who die on a tree a curse.  In the Book of Deuteronomy, “anyone who is hanged is a curse of God” (21: 23).

The one who died the death of a punished slave is now the Victorious King.

The man who was a curse became a blessing for all, as Paul wrote, “Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13).

The power of God’s contradiction can already be seen in the courage newly discovered by the two disciples.  They, who three days ago ran for their lives, now run toward the tomb – the place of death.  There, they witnessed the victory of God.   

What are the contradictions of God in my life?  May I see the power of the Risen Christ in my life, particularly when I experience those contradictions.  

April 8, 2017

Palm Sunday, A (April 9, 2017)


The Humility of the Son of God – an Act of Love

One of the central themes of the celebration of Palm Sunday is the humility of the Son of God.

This theme is highlighted by two images or details. 

First, Jesus’ riding on a donkey entering Jerusalem.  A warrior or victorious king would ride on a horse or a horse-drawn chariot. 

Second, his crucifixion – the capital punishment reserved for slaves.

Thus, St. Paul’s reflection, “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, … emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; … he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

How great is God’s love for us! 

And may we learn from his humility and gentleness. 

 Image source:  www.agnusday.org

April 1, 2017

5th Sunday of Lent - A (April 2, 2017)


“I Am the Resurrection and the Life”

Death – an unavoidable reality that we all face.

In normal cycles of nature, to disasters, famines, wars, social and political crisis, moral failures, sins, sickness, and our own mortality, …

In spite of technological advances, social progress, discoveries, knowledge, and growth in all aspects of life, we still have to face evils and death. 

Just like us, Martha and Mary struggled with the death of their brother.  

To us, just as to them, Jesus reveals, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Lent offers us the opportunities to face our failures, shortcomings, weaknesses, and even death.  We then can appreciate more deeply the gift of life, both in this world and for all eternity, that God alone can give us in the death and resurrection of God’s only Son.

Image source:  Last image from www.cnn.com