Third Sunday of Easter • Year B

Jesus, ever the teacher, follows a pattern of behavior following his resurrection that is instructive. It both enlightens his disciples as to what has transpired and positions them to be commissioned as witnesses of those events. The pattern is this: appearances, failure to recognize him, reprimand of doubting, sharing of food, teaching the meaning of the Scriptures, and the subsequent experience of wonder and joy. This pattern has one goal: Resurrection followed death. Jesus’ insistence on this fact is pronounced: “Touch me and see, for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

Second Sunday of Easter • Year B

With everything going on in the world today, I believe we can all relate to the post-Resurrection experience of the early disciples. Their faith had been shaken during the arrest, crucifixion, and death of Jesus. Now many of them have trouble seeing and believing in the presence of the risen Lord.
We too may doubt, question, or even miss noticing the power of the Risen Christ at work in our world today, especially when we feel overwhelmed by the violence, natural disasters, and many evils that surrounds us.

Easter Sunday • Year B

Perhaps, as they run, a lot is taking place in their minds and hearts. Think about it, they have just witnessed this entire “holy week.” From the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem to shouts of “Hosanna!”, to the Last Supper and betrayal, to Good Friday which brought humiliation, condemnation, and, ultimately, execution. Understandably, there must be despair, hurt, hardship, grief, and confusion all at once. And it’s in mixed emotion that they run toward this tomb, not knowing what has happened. And they run anyway. Pulled and propelled by hope: hoping that something good has happened, hoping that Jesus may, just might, have risen, hoping as they run.

Palm Sunday • Year B

Jesus the Christ understands; he knows what it is to be human. You might remember that the Gospel a few Sundays ago noted that Jesus “did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.” That’s why he lovingly, mercifully sticks with us for the long haul. That’s what helps us make our way through the contrasts, the ups and downs of life, highlighted so starkly on this Palm Sunday. It really can feel like a roller coaster sometimes, can’t it? But Jesus proves that the ride is infinitely worthwhile!

Fourth Sunday of Lent • Year B

Today’s readings pour out an abundance of love. In the middle of this season of obedience through austerity, sacrifice, fasting, and charity, today’s scriptures boldly remind us of the depth and the breadth of God’s love for us. In fact, John’s Gospel quenches all of our human longing for acceptance, belonging, respect, and love. John’s Gospel tells us that actions of our prompt devotion and hopefulness of our eager faith find fulfillment in our lifelong love affair with the Creator of the Universe. Fewer words in scripture frame the mind of God and the incarnation of Jesus with such clarity and magnanimity as we hear today:

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.

Third Sunday of Lent • Year B

We proclaim our belief in Christ crucified every time we gather for the Eucharist. These days of Lent are for us a time to reaffirm that belief in Christ crucified. On Ash Wednesday, ashes in the form of a cross were imposed on our foreheads as we heard the words: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” We journey each week to Good Friday, our commemoration of the Crucifixion. Often during Lent we focus on renewing our lives as individuals. It is also a time for the church, our local communities and the church universal, to be renewed to be a sign of unity in this divided world and an instrument of God’s goodness and peace for all people.

Second Sunday of Lent • Year B

Even now, God’s glory shines in the darkest places of our lives: in times of distress, as Abraham experienced; in times of sorrow, suffering, war, pain, insecurity, and so forth. The glory of the Holy Trinity endures, shines forth even in the most difficult times of our lives, if we hold them up to the light of faith. Even now, we are given intimations, brief encounters, transfigurations of a lesser kind, as we confront the mystery of suffering. The Holy Trinity is truly for us.

First Sunday of Lent • Year B

Are we curious enough to enter into this Lenten season with open hearts and open minds, to hear the call to “repent, and believe in the gospel”? We enter into these forty days as a time of testing, of tribulation and purification. Any first-century Jew who heard this reading would’ve remembered the forty days and forty nights of the flood during the time of Noah. They would have also remembered the forty years of Israel in the desert; indeed a time of testing, tribulation and purification!

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year B

In the gospel story, Jesus told the cured man to tell no one anything, but to show himself to the priest. Sure, we know that the man was made clean of his leprosy. But something else happened in his encounter with Jesus. The man was touched by God. Let me say that again: The man was touched by God. And the need to show himself to the priest is a reminder of this. What did God do to this man? We don’t know because instead of telling no one anything the man went away and publicized the whole matter. I hope he found out. He was cured, but some other kind of healing took place because of God’s love. Such love always changes us. He became more like God.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time • Year B

One of the ways Jesus works is through the Body of Christ, which is the Church – the Christian community. St. Paul tells us that the community of the Church is the body of Christ, and Christ’s love and grace flow through it from one member to the other just as blood flows through our veins from one part of our body to the other.

At Mass, Jesus works in our hearts to heal and make us whole through His Holy Word. Jesus gives us the wisdom of God, healing, and consolation; he gives us words of guidance, and he gives us power through His Holy Word. We need to listen to the Word of God with the expectation and the hope that through that Word, he can touch our hearts in a healing and transforming way.