Lent: Week 2

After years of living a pagan lifestyle and searching for the meaning of life in various ideologies (Manicheanism, Neo-Platonism, Skepticism), Augustine finally came to the Christian point of view.

Lent: Week 3

Three of the four gospel writers tell the story of the first time human beings were called to ascend a mountain to see the transfigured Jesus-God.

Lent: Week 4

In a sermon to his people in the fifth century Augustine said:

We are now travelers on a journey. We cannot stay in this place forever. We are on our way, not yet home.

Second Sunday of Lent – Year A

Homilists are often told to lead their homilies with a story as a means to connect their listeners to their message. This is part of a larger understanding of conveying any message. The internet and other means used by the media encourage all presenters nowadays to use stories to convey their messages.

First Sunday of Lent – Year A

In his Lenten message in 2011, Pope Benedict XVI said that “Lent teaches us how to live the love of Christ in an ever more radical way.” At the heart of our Lenten observance is the Spirit inviting us and guiding us to profoundly understand and realize the meaning of the Gospel of love. It prepares us for our encounter of Easter so that we would not only see the power of God over death, but also experience the depth of God’s love for us. We remember how the Son of God was willing to humble himself and die on the cross so that we may live.

Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year C

Building up the people of God and forming community are important tasks that face the Church in the 21st century. Many times we dismiss these tasks as we see them as the job of the ordained minister or religious. But we all are sent to preach the good news. It is not only an opportunity but a responsibility.

Palm Sunday – Year C

Every Christmas we display the Nativity set which reminds us of the cast of characters that form part of that story about the joy of birth. In today’s Passion account about suffering and death there are many parallels to the narrative of Jesus’ birth. The wooden contraption that holds the Savior is not a manger but a cross. The swaddling clothes of the newborn are replaced by the seamless tunic for which soldiers throw dice. There is no star of Bethlehem to illuminate the darkness; rather, there is only the darkness of Golgotha to cover the light of day. The lowing cattle are not there, but vultures of both the winged and human kind hover about. The shepherds and their sheep are replaced by the soldiers and their lances. The Kings from the East are gone with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; in their place stand the poor and empty-handed peasant friends of Jesus and two thieves. Mary is there again but this time she is not the young girl of eighteen filled with the joy of a newborn child. She is instead the fifty-something mother watching the death of her middle-aged son. Joseph her husband is gone; replaced by another Joseph, her son’s friend.

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C

Today’s gospel finds Christ writing in the dust. This is the only time that Christ writes.

Perhaps it was a “love letter in the sand” that Christ wrote, because in his very gentle way he forced the accusers to look at themselves first and ask themselves that all-important question, “Am I without sin myself so that I should throw the first stone?”

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year C

Imagine a couple on their 25th wedding anniversary. They have been together in good times and bad, raised children, stuck with it through arguments, sickness, and troubles at work and home. They built a home, supported each other when their parents died, celebrated together when their children married. and joyfully welcomed beautiful grandchildren. On the day of their silver anniversary, the husband comes home from work with a bouquet of roses and a bottle of champagne. He kisses his wife, hands her the flowers, pours the champagne, and offers a toast, saying that he couldn’t have wished for a better twenty-five years. His wife sips the champagne and responds, “Thanks, honey. But looking back, I think I definitely could have found someone better than you.”

Third Sunday of Lent – Year C

In the fifth century Saint Augustine gave the following warning to his people: “We know that the day of eternity is coming and it is good for us to know this. It is also good not to know exactly when it will come. This forces us to prepare for eternity by living a good life now. It is in our power now to decide whether our eternity will be in heaven or in hell. Right now is the time when we can determine what our eternity will be. God mercifully hides the moment when our earthly life will end but he even more mercifully delays its ending so that we can have more time now to prepare” (Commentary on Psalm 36/1, # 1).