Five Ways to Live the Liturgy through the Readings during Holy Week Reply

For me the most beautiful liturgical time of the year has always been Holy Week. Through the readings at during daily Mass I can relive the unfolding drama of Christ’s Passion leading up to the climax of the Cross. Then after pondering those events in my heart outside the tomb on Holy Saturday, I awaken with deeper joy at the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Every year, although it’s the same story, I find myself accompanying Christ differently, depending on where I am in my own journey at the time, and how God speaks to me through the liturgy. I find he never stops speaking to me and revealing himself to me in different ways. This year, with the circumstances we’re living, I’m expecting Christ to reveal something great, More…

Jesus and You: The Raising of Lazarus from the Dead Reply

Today’s meditation on the Raising of Lazarus (John 11) is the last post in my series on the scrutinies, which began with the Third Sunday of Lent. I recommend reading the first post in the series, “What are the scrutinies?” before reading this one.

Meditation for the Fifth Sunday of Lent: the Third Scrutiny

Over the last two weeks, you were invited to place yourself in the shoes of a beloved soul, who had a unique encounter with Christ: two weeks ago, it was the Samaritan Woman at the Well; last week, the Man Born Blind. It is possible for you to do this, because you are the beloved soul in Christ’s eyes. It is he who invites you to this encounter. More…

Why Does God Allow It? Reply

Reflection on the Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

I went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past. But you lifted my life from the pit, Yahweh, my God.
(Jonah 2:7, The Jerusalem Bible (1966), English Translation, J.R.R. Tolkien)

The prayer of Jonah from the belly of a whale symbolizes Israel’s state of desolation, crying out to God in exile. More…

Christ Opens Your Eyes: the Healing of the Man Born Blind Reply

This post is part of a series on the scrutinies, which I began last week. You may want to read the first post in the series, “What are the scrutinies?” before reading this one.

Meditation for the Fourth Sunday of Lent: the Second Scrutiny

“As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.” (John 9:1)

Place yourself in the shoes of the blind man, for in today’s story, he is you. Jesus takes notice of you. Are you aware just how close he is to you now? What obstacles may be preventing you from seeing Jesus in your life? Humbly ask him to remove those obstacles that you may see him more clearly. More…

What Does God Want Us to See? 2

Reflection on the Readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday! (the Second Scrutiny)

I’ve got some good news: REJOICE! It’s Laetare Sunday! We are more than halfway through Lent.

On the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the Church invites us to celebrate Laetare Sunday as a liturgical way of saying “Lift up your eyes! See the light at the end of the tunnel!” This Sunday, Christ calls us to exercise our faith in a special way, by doing something that perhaps we tend not to even think about during Lent – Rejoice! Be Joyful!

Rejoice, you say?

Given the present state of circumstances, it’s understandable why some – perhaps many – of us aren’t feeling it, or can’t see it right now. If that’s a problem, then this Sunday’s readings were especially chosen for you. More…

Christ Reveals Himself to You: the Woman at the Well Reply

This post is part of a series on the scrutinies, which began earlier this week. I recommend reading the first post in the series, “What are the scrutinies?” before reading this one.

Meditation for the Third Sunday of Lent: the First Scrutiny

The shortest sentence in the Gospel is a solitary word our Lord uttered from the Cross: “Sitio,” in Latin, which translates into English as “I thirst.” (John 19:28)

With this word Jesus reveals how he, as God, longs to be in an intimate relationship with us. He thirsts for our souls. As a man, he shares in our sufferings, aches, and pains. When it comes to yearnings, nothing compares to thirst, because when you’re thirsty there’s only one thing on your mind until you get it, one thing that will satisfy you. Water. More…

Where Is God? Reply

Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent

In 2007, a book containing the letters of Mother Teresa was published under the title, Come Be My Light. Her writings revealed that this great saint, whose selfless actions taught the world that where there is love there is God, had great difficulty experiencing the presence of God in her own life.

While it may cause some of us to doubt, “If this woman couldn’t feel God’s presence, how can I?” I believe the truth of the matter is one of universal significance that makes Mother Teresa more relatable to all of us: we don’t always see the work of God in our lives; we don’t always feel him with us. More…

Who Is the God Who Is? Reply

Second Sunday of Lent

transfiguration-raphael-facebook

During Lent the Church invites us to reorient our lives. As a compass needs a true North in order to point us in the right direction, we too need an immutable point of reference to ensure that our lives are moving down the right path. The purpose of the Lenten season is to redirect our hearts and minds to God.

But isn’t it true that, as humans, we still have a hard time shifting the focus off ourselves, even during Lent? Is it not sometimes more about our holiness than it is about the God who makes us holy? This Sunday’s readings remind us where our focus needs to be by putting the spotlight where it should be, on God. More…

Why Can’t We Beat the Devil? 2

First Sunday of Lent

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Jesus, who conquers Satan, reaches out to Adam and proclaims his redemption.

If the connection between the first reading and the Gospel this Sunday is not immediately clear, the second reading from St. Paul spells it out for us. The first reading from Genesis 3 tells us how Adam fell to the devil’s temptation, whereas in Matthew 4 we read how Christ overcame that temptation. In Romans 5, Paul ties the two together, by explaining that Adam “is a type of the one who was to come,” and concludes: More…

Why Do We Make an Outward Display of Penance When Jesus Says Not to Do That in Today’s Gospel? 1

Ash Wednesday

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In today’s Gospel reading (Matt. 6:1-6, 16-18), Jesus says that we should not perform righteous deeds in order to be seen and then follows up on that with three examples to clarify what he means. At one point, he specifically says “anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting.” Shortly after hearing this Gospel passage, we have dark ashes rubbed on our forehead and wear them for the rest of the day for everyone to see. Why the contradiction? More…