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Showing posts from March, 2016

2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Living in “Hollywood” we are very familiar with sequels.  When you have great characters involved in a great story, you almost naturally want to continue the journey… to see what happens next.  The same was true for Luke’s gospel.  After giving us the story of Jesus, perhaps the greatest story ever told, the people wanted to hear more.  So what does every author do when he knows he’s got a hit?  He gives us a sequel:  The Acts of the Apostles.  And one of the beauties of the Easter season is the opportunity we have to explore this story in place of the usual Hebrew Scriptures for our first reading.

The Word for the 2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) Acts 5:12-16
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19
John 20:19-31

In our first reading from Acts, we see Peter and the Apostles gathering in the Temple are (Solomon’s Portico).  None of the religious establishment dared to be present, but the people held them in great esteem.  The crowds continued to gr…

The Pascal Triduum and Easter Sunday 2016

Growing up Catholic I was always lead to believe that Easter was our most important holiday, and for us Easter meant Easter Sunday.  After all, that’s when the Easter Bunny left us treats.  As I grew into adulthood, however, with an ever growing understanding into the depth and breadth of our faith, I learned that Easter Sunday wasn’t our most important Liturgical celebration.  Instead that distinction falls on the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening… the conclusion of our Pascal Triduum.

The Word for Easter Sunday Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Colossians 3:1-4, OR 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9

While the readings for Easter Sunday are important, they are also just a very small piece of the story of our relationship with God.  It's like eating only one hors d'oeuvre at a banquet... it gives you a foretaste of the great food to come, but could hardly be considered nutritious or filling.  Unpacking the readings for this Sunday, like we do every week …

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

How quickly things can change.  One moment we are celebrating, and the next we are brought to shock and grief.  This is Palm Sunday.  The same crowd that cheered as Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem is the same crowd that only a few days later is shouting for his execution.  How can this be?  Our own recent history has similar moments… the September 11th terror attacks, the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger… for those who are older, the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor.  History defining moments that, for those who lived through them become emblazoned in their memories and can move an entire society to say, “everything is different now.”  This is Palm Sunday:

The Word for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion Luke 19:28-40
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11
Luke 22:14-23:56

As is our tradition, our gospel readings for Palm Sunday come from our Lectionary Cycle, which this year is from Luke (Cycle C)…

5th Sunday of Lent - Cycle C

Practice what you preach.  Pope Francis, in declaring this the Jubilee Year of Mercy, is teaching us the importance of doing just that… being a living example of God’s love and mercy.  In our readings this week we learn that righteousness without mercy is nothing short of being a bullying… beating up on others without consideration for the humanity of another and the context of their situation.  What would Jesus do?

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Lent Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Philippians 3:8-14
John 8:1-11

Our first reading is from Deutero or Second-Isaiah.  Israel is sitting in Exile in Babylon, and here the prophet is telling us that God sees the events of the past as just that… the past.  In other words, whatever sin the people of Israel may have committed in the past should be put aside.  God, who can make all things happen, sees a re-birth for his people.  “See, I am doing something new!”  God wants to end the cycle of sin and punishment and welcome his p…

4th Sunday of Lent - Cycle C

Reconciliation.  We Catholics know this word through the Sacrament of Reconciliation… what we used to call “confession” or “penance.”  The act of approaching God, through the priest, to seek forgiveness of our sins.  To let go of the baggage that prevents us from being in right relationship with God and his Church.  That reconciliation is what allows us to share in God’s glory, but seeking that reconciliation can also can be our greatest challenge.

The Word for the 4th Sunday of Lent Joshua 5:9a, 10-12
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

We open with a reading from the Book of Joshua.  Joshua, of course, the protégé of Moses who is tasked with leading the people into the Promised Land.  The passage opens with God telling Joshua “Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you.”  What does that mean?  Some other English translations of the Bible use the word “disgrace” or “shame.”  In other words, shame of having to live in slavery has now bee…