Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 21

Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 21

Sometimes we hesitate to bring our needs to God. Why? Often the reasons are two: (1) we don’t think God is interested in us. We are too small, too unimportant; (2) we have been unfaithful in the past and can’t guarantee we won’t sin in the future. But both these attitudes are refuted by Jesus’s comparing his Shepherd’s love for us to the love Father and Son have for each other. They attend to each other, delight in each other, give themselves trustfully to each other. To say it’s “quality love” would be an understatement. It’s stronger and more consistent than anything we can imagine. So, when Jesus says to us, “I am the Good Shepherd,” he’s saying an astonishing and marvelous thing.

Third Sunday of Easter, April 14

Third Sunday of Easter, April 14

He explains the Scriptures to them, instructing them how “everything written about me the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” An explanation of why the Messiah had to suffer was necessary, since the common understanding of the Messiah was that he would be triumphant and his glory widely acknowledged. Then Jesus takes a further step. What happened to him in Jerusalem cannot be limited to Jerusalem nor even to Judah.That is why we have the long Easter season–to give us time to let the empty tomb experience blossom forth into an encounter with the risen Lord who lordship is in this world now. 

Second Sunday of Easter, April 7

Second Sunday of Easter, April 7

Our life is a gift of God, though we often take it for granted. He gives the church the power to forgive sins. In the sixteenth century, the Council of Trent taught that Jesus’s words authorize the sacrament of penance. The sacrament of penance is a gift to the entire church. All of us can practice Jesus’s forgiveness when we forgive others, as the prayer, the Our Father, reminds us. And each of us can be an instrument of peace, as the prayer of St. Francis reminds us. We are represented in this scene by the apostles and through them we have this privilege of bringing God’s breath into our families and the world beyond.
That is why we have the long Easter season–to give us time to let the empty tomb experience blossom forth into an encounter with the risen Lord who lordship is in this world now. 

Easter Sunday, March 31

Easter Sunday, March 31

The disciples initially stood in front of an empty tomb, which stunned them and led them to shed their gloomy and defeatist thoughts. More was needed, of course, namely, the Spirit’s touch and personal encounter with Jesus. But they started to listen and be open and began to realize that something great had happened, even if all the details were murky. For most of us, this indirect and slow route will be our route. It begins with an “empty tomb,” not necessarily the vision of the risen Christ, but something that brings us up short. Then comes the spirit’s touch, and then the encounter with Christ, risen from the dead.

That is why we have the long Easter season–to give us time to let the empty tomb experience blossom forth into an encounter with the risen Lord who lordship is in this world now. 

Palm Sunday, March 24

Palm Sunday, March 24

Yet the darkest shadow across Palm Sunday is the passion account (this year Mark 14:1-15:47 long form) read in the liturgy, Jesus’s humiliation, abandonment by the Father and his disciples, and a criminal’s death!