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…

Happy Feast of the Annunciation! Reply

Teaching from home these days has been a learning experience. I’ve managed to adapt my lessons into online presentations, and from the feedback I have gotten back from the students so far, they seem to be learning. Thank God.

I feel I’ve dropped the ball in other areas, though, since I have this blog about Catholic liturgy and I didn’t post anything for St. Patrick’s Day or the Solemnity of St. Joseph. I could not let today’s Solemnity go by without publishing something. 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…

Who Is the God Who Is? Reply

Second Sunday of Lent

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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 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…

What Is the Purpose of the Law? Reply

Reflection on the Readings for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Moses Breaking the Ten Commandments,” Rembrandt

At first glance, Jesus comes out swinging in this Sunday’s Gospel reading: I have not come to abolish the law but to TIGHTEN THE SCREWS!

No. That’s not what he says. He says that he comes to fulfill it. In other words, he plans to bring God’s plan to its fruition. To understand just what that means, we need to know what the point of the law is in the first place.

The purpose of the law is to teach. What does the law teach us? More…

What Does the Temple Mean for Us Christians? Reply

 

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

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This Sunday’s Gospel reading contains a hymn many people pray before going to bed at night, the Canticle of Simeon.

“Now, Lord, you may let your servant go in peace,
according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

More…

People in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light Reply

Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Dark to Light” Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Jan 25, 2020 — Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Photo taken by Alison Stone

And God said, “Let there be light,”
and there was light.
God saw that the light was good,
and he separated the light from the darkness.

When I teach Sacred Scripture to high school students, I like to have them draw the ‘Six Days of Creation’ as I read aloud from Genesis 1. I tell them to divide their paper into six boxes, like a comic strip, and then draw what they hear while I read. As they continue to draw, I read the account for each day two or three times before proceeding to the next day, so as to give them time to illustrate each section. When I get to ‘Day Four’ I read the following: More…