In the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter B, the Risen Lord commissions his disciples as witnesses. “And he said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things’ ” (Luke 24: 46-48). Jesus preached forgiveness during his public ministry. He taught his disciples to pray that God forgive them as they forgive others. The Risen Lord wants his disciples to witness to God’s loving forgiveness. Jesus taught me forgiveness through parenting. He helped me understand that I was not a perfect parent. I loved my children as I could. God forgave me for those times I did not. So I was better able to forgive others. Loving parents witness to God’s forgiveness by forgiving themselves and others. How do you witness to God’s loving forgiveness?

In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter B, the Risen Lord Jesus commissions the disciples sending them to represent him to the world. “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you’ ” (John 20: 19-21). By virtue of our baptism, Christ sends us into the world to represent him. St. Therese of Avila professed that Christ has no hands, no feet, no compassion, no body on earth but ours. For what does Christ send you?

In the Gospel for Easter Sunday: The Resurrection the Lord Mass for the Day B, Mary Magdala finds the empty tomb. She reports back to the disciples that Jesus’ body has been taken. Peter and the Beloved Disciple run to the tomb to see for themselves. “When Simon Peter arrived after [the Beloved Disciple], he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. When the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed” (John 20: 6-8). Christian witnesses are like the Beloved Disciple. He saw the empty tomb and believed in the resurrection of Jesus. I believe in the resurrection because I see the love of Jesus in others. The Risen Lord remains with us as we love one another. After a recent phone conversation with my son, he told me how much he loves talking to me. I experienced God’s loving care through my son. Others experience God’s love through us, especially those who have no one to take care of them. How do they see the Risen Lord in you?

In the Gospel for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion B, Jesus undergoes his passion and death. Facing death, Jesus seems abandoned and alone. His closest friends betray him, deny him, and leave him. The Jewish authorities plot his death. Soldiers, passersby, and religious people mock him on the cross. He prays to God to not forsake him. “At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,  ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?‘ which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ ” (Mark 15: 33-34) Yet Jesus is not abandoned and alone. A women anoints his head with costly ointment. The centurion acknowledges him as the Son of God. Joseph of Arimathea requests his body for a decent burial. God raises him from the dead. I left seminary after seven years of study. I felt abandoned and alone. I thought I had to make the decision all by myself. After forty years of marriage and three sons, I realize God had been with me all the time. How has your faith in God helped you when feeling abandoned and alone?

In the Gospel for the Fifth Sunday of Lent B, Jesus uses the image of a grain of wheat to explain the purpose of his death and resurrection. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be” (John 12: 23-26). Like the grain of wheat that must die to produce a seedling, Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. Through the Risen Lord, God reveals God’s saving love for everyone no matter what, even death. By the power of Christ, God loves us through our life’s struggles and through death. We serve Jesus by following his example of embracing suffering and death. Recently my son told me how much he was going to miss me when I died. I told him I have been loving him since before he was born and I will continue to love him even after I die. He thanked me for giving him hope. The Risen Christ gives us all hope that even death brings new life. Do you believe in life after death? What difference does this belief make in your life?

In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Lent B, Jesus continues to explain spiritual life to Nicodemus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3: 16). In Jesus, God suffers with us, even in death. God’s love embraces us through suffering and death into eternal life. God’s incredible love saves us and saves the world. How has God loved you through tough times? How have you loved others?

In the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent B, Jesus cleanses the Temple. “He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, ‘Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace’ ” (John 2: 14-16). Lent is a time of spiritual house cleaning. Christians clear the clutter blocking their way back to God. What can you do to make more room for the love of God and neighbor in your life?

In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent B, Jesus is transfigured. “Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, ‘Rabbi, it is good that we are here!’ ” (Mark 9: 2-5b). These disciples caught a glimpse of the glory of Jesus, God’s beloved son. Christians experience here and now the glory of Jesus in smiling faces, spouse’s love, children’s joy, parent’s care, charities’ food give-aways, protestor’s call for racial justice, and more. How do you here and now experience the glory of Jesus?

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent B recounts the temptation of Jesus. “The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him” (Mark 1: 12-13). God accompanied God’s beloved Son, Jesus, through his trials in the desert. God’s angels ministered to Jesus. God accompanies us through our life’s struggles. Who are the angels that minister to you? To whom do you minister?

In the Gospel for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time B, Jesus heals a leper. “[He] came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, ‘If you wish, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,  touched him, and said to him, ‘I do will it. Be made clean.’ The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean” (Mark 1: 40-42). OT Law required lepers to live outside the city separated from their loved ones. Jesus restored the man’s health and his relationship with his community. Declared clean (ritually pure) by the priest, the healed man could return to his family. Human relationships are messy. Illness, financial stress, grief, loneliness, addiction, past hurts can isolate us from one another. The healing power of Jesus can restore our loving relationships. Jesus can make us clean. What broken relationship in your life needs God’s healing. How?