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!
Gospel Reflections | The Transfiguration of The Lord (Mk 9:2-10)
Today, on this second Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. To a Jewish audience this story echoes of Moses in the Book of Exodus, where Moses comes down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, and "[Moses] did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD" (Ex 34:29). Here, in Mark's Gospel, we encounter what Matthew also recorded in his depiction of the Transfiguration event, "Jesus was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light" (cf. Mt 17:2). Jesus, joined by Peter, James, and John, encounters the law and the prophets of the Old Testament when then "Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus" (Mk 9:4). Today, as we enter the second week of Lent, we are reminded and given a glimpse of the glory to come in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are encouraged to call to mind what glory awaits for those who abide in the Lord. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. As we approach Easter we will find this promise fulfilled as he establishes his New Covenant. Let us continue on our Lenten journey; let us open our hearts to Jesus and encounter him in the Holy Scriptures; let us encounter him face-to-face as we receive him in the Eucharist in the Mass. Blessed are we indeed who are called to the Supper of the Lamb! For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | “I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” (Mt 10:34-11:1)
In the tenth chapter of Matthew's Gospel, "Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword." This is a striking statement from Jesus, no doubt. Although swords are most commonly associated with warfare, they were also used in other contexts ... So why is Jesus mentioning a sword? For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:24-29)
Then [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:27-28). For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!
Gospel Reflections | The Divinity of Jesus (Mt 10:37-42)
Still today there is confusion on this figure of Jesus Christ. Some wish to fashion him as just a great teacher, espousing great moral truths on how one should live out one's life and treat one's neighbor. But Jesus did not leave room for such an interpretation. He, in fact, spoke in the person of God. Even religious teachers like Buddha, or Muhammad, or Confucius did not claim to be God. But Jesus did. Though some wish to present Jesus as purely a "human Christ," a teacher and great prophet, a thorough biblical understanding of Jesus points to Jesus as fully human and fully divine - that He is God Incarnate; Jesus is the Word made flesh - in whom humanity's salvation rests. For a brief and interesting reflection on today's Gospel reading, please click on the image. Peace be with you!