March 2018

Reflection March 31

2018-03-29T23:20:47-05:00March 31st, 2018|Reflections|

Holy Saturday
Mark 16:1-7

Today we have listened to Mark’s account of the resurrection.  It is short and sweet, and straight to the point. Three women came to the tomb where Jesus was buried. The tomb is open and the body is not there. They are greeted by a young man in a white robe who tells them Jesus has been raised from the dead. The women flee from the grave in stark terror. At that point the story ends abruptly. I think this abbreviated version is very uniquely suited for you and me. Mark does not offer much evidence for the resurrection – just an empty tomb. All the other gospels tell of visual sightings and verbal communication and even physical contact with the risen Christ. You and I never experienced any of that. Our personal experience is more in line with the account of Mark. Because we also have only been told that Jesus is risen.   ALLELUIA!

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Reflection March 30

2018-03-29T23:19:45-05:00March 30th, 2018|Reflections|

Good Friday
John 18:1-19:42

Today’s story begins in a garden and ends in a garden. In the opening scene Jesus is betrayed in a place very familiar to him and his followers. They were always seen with him in his lifetime but at this moment when he needed them most, they fled. In the closing scene Jesus is laid to rest in another garden by two men who were afraid to be seen with him in his lifetime but now minister to him in his death. And in between the two gardens were seen the people who loved him, and the ones who betrayed him, the Roman official whose child was ill, the fearful followers and the curious onlookers, the temple officials and the chief priests, the crowd he fed when they were hungry, those he listened to when their hearts were heavy, the ones he healed in their brokenness, and those he raised from the dead.  Many of them had a personal experience of him; some of them dreamt of knowing him better and there were those who were still a bit skeptical. Where are we?

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Reflection March 29

2018-03-28T22:25:31-05:00March 29th, 2018|Reflections|

John 13:1-15 –  Holy Thursday

Jesus had come to a complete awareness of who he is. And it seems that as a result of that knowledge, he very naturally picked up a towel and began to wash the feet of his disciples. This transition from the profound to the practical can be traced throughout the ministry of Jesus. In one symbolic act Jesus represents the whole of his saving ministry. He divests himself of his divine splendor; he performs the service of a slave – “he emptied himself.” Authentic Christianity always moves from the profound to the practical.

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Reflection March 28

2018-03-25T20:34:38-05:00March 28th, 2018|Reflections|

Matthew 26:14-25 – Wednesday of Holy Week

When Jesus reveals that one of the twelve will betray him, they reply one after the other, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” Only Judas replies differently: “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He calls Jesus (Rabbi) teacher, not Lord. Judas is moving away from the revelation of the Christ, not toward it. For him Jesus has become more human, a religious figure, a political figure, a teacher and not the Messiah. We need to ask ourselves– have we accepted Jesus totally as Messiah and Lord – how close are we to the kingdom. The Eucharist re­news the saving power of Jesus who was sent into the world, not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.

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Reflection March 27  

2018-03-25T20:28:50-05:00March 27th, 2018|Reflections|

John 13:21-33,36-38        Tuesday of Holy Week

Our Gospel reading for today puts Judas and Peter side by side. The sin of Judas was deliberate and calculated. It was carried out in cold blood. In the language of a court, the sin of Judas was “with malice aforethought.” The sin of Peter, on the other hand, was not at all intended. Peter was simply swept away in a moment of weakness. Judas gave up. He could see no way out, but to end it all. Peter took a different route. He waited. He waited in shame and despair, but he waited. And the opportunity came for him to make a new start. If we try to deal with our sins ourselves, they can destroy us.  If we take them to Jesus, he will forgive them and give us another chance.  The choice is ours.

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Reflection March 26 

2018-03-22T21:49:59-05:00March 26th, 2018|Reflections|

John 12:1-11     Monday of Holy Week

It was the day after Palm Sunday and storm clouds were gather­ing on the horizon. Jesus knew of the danger and traveled the short distance to Bethany where his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived. They happily arranged a dinner in his honor and in the midst of it Mary ap­proached him with a precious ointment and began to anoint his feet. Judas was disgusted. He did not want to waste the precious lotion on the Lord. The incident is in some ways an example of those who argue that religion should be a matter of good works rather than contemplation and worship of God. Certainly taking care of the poor is a Christian duty but so is our duty to spend some time in prayer to God, seeking to cleanse our souls of the residue of sin that we pick up as we trample through life.

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Reflection March 25 

2018-03-22T21:47:33-05:00March 25th, 2018|Reflections|

Mark 11:1-10   Palm Sunday

On Sunday Jesus was honored as he approached the eastern gate of the city riding on a donkey, and on Friday he was executed outside the western gate. He did not turn out to be the kind of Messiah they were expecting. How can we understand this week of irony, this week of agony? This is the week when the best of God and the worst of humanity collided. Every moment was filled with passion and significance. And you are I are all part of this drama. Our involvement in Christ’s passion may not be as intense as the people we read about in today’s passion. But it is a great opportunity for us to reexamine our lives and our relationship with Jesus Christ. Everyone in today’s gospel inter-acted with Jesus. Where are we in this story?

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Reflection March 28                     

2018-03-25T20:29:57-05:00March 25th, 2018|Reflections|

Matthew 26:14-25 –  Wednesday of Holy Week

When Jesus reveals that one of the twelve will betray him, they reply one after the other, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” Only Judas replies differently: “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He calls Jesus (Rabbi) teacher, not Lord. Judas is moving away from the revelation of the Christ, not toward it. For him Jesus has become more human, a religious figure, a political figure, a teacher and not the Messiah. We need to ask ourselves– have we accepted Jesus totally as Messiah and Lord – how close are we to the kingdom. The Eucharist re­news the saving power of Jesus who was sent into the world, not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through him.

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Reflection March 24

2018-03-22T21:44:43-05:00March 24th, 2018|Reflections|

John 11:45-56

We are all aware that it’s wrong to deceive other people; but I wonder if we have considered that it’s equally wrong to deceive ourselves. A sizeable share of human energy is spent on the sad art of self-..deception, manipulating our thoughts in order to justify the things we have done or plan to do. That is what the elders of Israel did to themselves. They decided to murder Jesus because for very personal reasons they wanted him out of the way. But instead of admitting that ugly truth, they convinced themselves that they were offering him as a sacrifice in the interest of national security. Jesus is no longer on trial, but we are. And the question is: Do we have the courage to tell ourselves the truth and to proclaim the truth?

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Reflection March 23

2018-03-22T21:43:25-05:00March 23rd, 2018|Reflections|

John 10:31-42 – Feast of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo

It seems that believing in Jesus would have been easier had we been alive when Jesus was alive on this earth. If we would have only seen him with our own eyes, if we had heard him with our own ears, then surely all of our doubts would have been transformed into instant faith. The basic truth of all of this is: it has never been easy to believe in Jesus. It isn’t now and it wasn’t then. Our faith does not come to us full-grown. Faith will grow until Jesus becomes more and more a part of us. It is a life-long process. We need to be patient and we need to believe. In the beginning Christianity was not a creed to be accepted. It was a way of living to be lived. And it still is.

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