It's a stubborn point in fact that Christians profess the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This story is so familiar to us that we can sometimes lose sight of how stunning it must have been for Jesus' closest disciples to arrive at his burial place, only to find an empty tomb. For, as the Gospel writer John points out, they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead (Jn 20:9). Yet, what today we may take for granted, these same disciples - these Apostles of Jesus Christ - would later lay down their lives for the truth of what they believed, for the truth of what they professed, for the truth of who they would come to know as died, buried, and risen from the dead. The Christian martyrs down through the centuries are the heroic witnesses of this Profession of Faith. Jesus Christ invites each of us - He invites all of us - to new life. We begin by opening our hearts to him in the mystery of the Resurrection. Two-thousand years later there are many who, for whatever reasons, do not believe, they do not profess, they do not yet recognize with the eyes of faith. But we, by virtue of our baptism, are called to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ, truly risen from the dead for the salvation of the world, to the world that still lives in darkness. Jesus is the Light of the World. Easter morning he opened heaven for the salvation of all who come to believe in him. Be not afraid! Jesus is waiting for you when you find nothing else in this world satisfies you. For a Gospel reflection from John's account of the empty tomb please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark (14:1-15:47)
Today is Palm Sunday, which begins the holiest week of the year for Christians. The Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the Passion narrative, this year from the Gospel of Mark. As we enter Holy Week, let us reflect on the subtleties of the familiar story that culminates Easter Day. Let us not lose sight of each day this week, of each story line, of each character because Holy Week gives us the chance to reflect upon our own lives, to walk alongside Jesus, and to see ourselves within this Theo-drama. For a Gospel reflection from the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies (Jn 12:20-33)
Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent, a day we call Passion Sunday, which begins the last two weeks of Lent, a time also known as Passiontide. The Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the story of the hour that has long been anticipated by the Prophets; for Jesus answers Andrew and Phillip, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." As we enter the fifth week of Lent, today's readings are meant to remind us that the days are coming, as we read from the Prophet Jeremiah, when the Lord will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah; a covenant not like the one of their fathers; rather, it will be a law placed and written upon the hearts of man (cf. Jer 31:31-34). Today's Mass readings direct our attention once more to the fulfillment of God's promise we find in Jesus Christ. Let us continue our Lenten journey; let us open our hearts to Jesus. As Catholics we are invited each day to participate in the celebration of the Mass, to deepen our knowledge and understanding of scripture. It is in knowing God's word - letting his Word be written in our hearts - where we will encounter the complete and total fulfillment of God's promise: that he will be our God, and we will be his people (Ez 37:27) - and blessed are we indeed who are called to the Supper of the Lamb. It is here where heaven and earth collide and we meet Jesus in the Eucharist. Be not afraid! Jesus is waiting for you when you find nothing else in this world satisfies you. For a Gospel reflection from John 12:20-33 please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | God sent his Son so that the world might be saved through him (Jn 3:14-21)
Today, on this fourth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the story of the encounter of Jesus and Nicodemus. In it we hear what is, perhaps, the most famous verse in the New Testament. From John's third chapter of his Gospel we hear, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life" (Jn 3:16 RSV CE). As we enter the fourth week of Lent, today's readings are meant to remind us that salvation comes from Jesus Christ, who is the Incarnate Word - God Made Flesh. We are invited into the conversation with Nicodemus where Jesus tells that the Son of Man must be lifted up. For Nicodemus this is evocative of Moses lifting up the serpent in the desert for the Israelites. Let us continue our Lenten journey; let us open our hearts to Jesus. Let us lift up our hearts, for we "lift them up to the Lord." And let us give thanks, for it is "right and just" always and everywhere to give God thanks. We thank God for his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ; and we thank him that the instrument of torture lifted up the Son of Man, and became for us the instrument of our salvation. Thanks be to God! Be not afraid! Jesus is waiting for you when you find nothing else in this world satisfies you. For a Gospel reflection of Jesus instructing Nicodemus please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | Jesus cleansing the Temple (Jn 2:13-25)
Today, on this third Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the story of Jesus cleansing the Jerusalem Temple.
As we enter the third week of Lent, we are reminded to make room for God in our lives. We are invited to reflect: Do I make room for God each day? Am I bold enough to invite Jesus to cleanse my heart that I may be a temple, an indwelling of the Holy Spirit, fit for the living God?
Let us continue our Lenten journey; let us open our hearts to Jesus and ask him to cleanse us as he did the temple in Jerusalem, removing all that must be cleared and cleaned; not only that we may have room for God in our lives, but that God truly becomes the center of my life, where all else moves in relation to the center.
As Catholics we are invited this Lent to return to meet Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession. It is here where Jesus is waiting - acting in and through the priest, in persona Christi - to give us his sacrament of healing, helping us to be reconciled, healed. It is in and through the sacramental life, administered by Jesus through his Church that we're invited to participate to become who God wills us to be. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the cleansing of our temple that we may be made ready to receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist - thanks be to God!
Be not afraid! Jesus is waiting for you when you find nothing else in this world satisfies you.
For a Gospel reflection of Jesus cleansing the Jerusalem Temple please click on the image.
Peace be with you!