Archives for the month of: February, 2018

In the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent Cycle B, Jesus cleanses the Temple. The merchants wanted a sign to explain his actions. Jesus obliged. “ ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’  The Jews said, ‘This Temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?’  But he was speaking about the temple of his body.  Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this” (John 2: 19-22). As members of the Body of Christ, Christians are temples too. God dwelled in the Temple in Jerusalem. God dwells in Jesus, the New Temple. The Holy Spirit of Jesus dwells in us. I find it hard to believe that God is alive in me. I don’t always act like it. Yet Christ dwelling in me makes me holy. I am grateful for Christ’s love for me in spite of my shortcomings and sins. Christ’s love in my heart empowers me to love others. How are you a temple in which God’s love dwells?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent, Jesus is transfigured before his disciples.  Peter, James and John go to a high mountain with Jesus.  He appears to them in dazzling white clothes with Moses and Elijah.  Peter wants to stay and enjoy the glorious experience a little longer.  “Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.’  Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them” (Mark 9: 7-8).  The disciples glimpse the glory of Jesus.  They will not experience the full glory of Jesus until after his death and resurrection.  Jesus must come down the mountain and eventually face his death.  The disciples must follow his way of the cross.  I am in love with Jesus when life is going well.   My love falters when money is tight, family members do not talk to one another, a gunmen kills high school students, and other troubles come.  Yet Jesus is with us as much when times are bad.  Why do you rely on Jesus in tough times?

 

 

 

In the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent, Jesus begins his public ministry.  After his temptation in the desert, Jesus goes to “Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the gospel’ ” (Mark 1: 14b-15).  Jesus announces the beginning of the kingdom of God.  Through his public ministry, death, and resurrection, God reveals God’s power to save us.  Such good news demands a response.  Jesus wants us to live in loving relationships with God and others.  This life of love requires compassion for a grieving friend; gratitude for one’s food, clothing, and shelter; generosity for an unemployed neighbor; legal advocacy for the undocumented; forgiveness for a hurtful family member, and dependence on God’s care.  Do you believe in the gospel?  Do you live a life of love?  What needs to change?

 

In the Gospel for the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Jesus heals a leper.  “A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,  ‘If you wish, you can make me clean.’  Moved with pity, he [Jesus] 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: 40b-42).  Jesus has great compassion for the leper.  He touches him despite the ritual purity law prohibiting physical contact with a leper.  The leper suffers both a physical ailment of the skin and isolation from his family and friends.   Jesus cures his ailment and restores him to life with his community.  I have family and friends who are isolated by grief, loneliness, addiction, economic stress, and other maladies.  I know that poverty, racism, and anti immigrant sentiment isolates single mothers from full employment, children from a good education, and deported undocumented workers from their families.  As Jesus for others, Christians reach out in love to isolated people like these. How is Christ calling you to reach out in compassion to the isolated people you know?