The Holy Drama of Grace

03-19-2023Weekly Reflection

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. John 9:35–38.

This is the conclusion to the story of the healing of the man born blind. It is the fifth of seven signs (miracles) in John’s Gospel that point to the divinity of our Lord. This healing especially confirmed Jesus’ teaching from the previous chapter: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

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Living Water for a Thirsty Soul

03-12-2023Weekly Reflection

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”   John 4:5–7

Today, throughout the world, Catholic liturgies will celebrate the first of three Scrutinies of those adults who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. The word “scrutiny” comes from the Latin word scrutari which means an inquiry, close examination or search of something. It originally referred to rummaging through rubbish so as to find something of value. In a sense, this is what God does with all of us.

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Continuing the Mission

03-05-2023Weekly Reflection

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Matthew 17:1-3

This was not the first time that the Son of God spoke to Moses and Elijah on a high mountain. Recall that Moses was called up to Mount Sinai (also called Horeb) to be with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, during which time the finger of God inscribed the Law on tablets, given to Moses to give to the people.

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Forty Days = Your Entire Life

02-26-2023Weekly Reflection

At that time, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. Matthew 4:1–2

“Forty” is a significant number. In Scripture, it is used more than 145 different times. For example, the rain during the Great Flood lasted forty days and forty nights. Each time Moses went up Mount Sinai, he remained there for forty days and nights. The Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years. After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples for forty days before ascending into Heaven.

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Love of Neighbor

02-19-2023Weekly Reflection

The last two antitheses offered in the Sermon on the Mount deal with love of enemies. We should not look at “an eye for an eye” as an inordinately strict punishment. It is actually meant to limit acts of revenge by making sure the punishment is not excessive but fits the crime. However, Jesus asks His followers to take a different approach by resisting retaliation altogether. The response to a stronger person who slaps us on the cheek, takes us to court, or demands a service of us is not to resist. Similarly, for a weaker person, such as a beggar or borrower, we are to give him or her what he or she asks for. Those who are called to the Kingdom of    Heaven are to go beyond the way the world usually works and serve God’s Kingdom here on earth.

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The Fullness of Righteousness

02-12-2023Weekly Reflection

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20–22

The scribes and Pharisees were masters of the Old Law. Now that the Messiah had arrived, they were unwilling to go deeper and move beyond the Old Testament teachings that they often misrepresented. They preferred a black-and-white approach to morality that had been with them for centuries and did not want to change when presented with Jesus’ new and higher calling.

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In The Spotlight

02-05-2023Weekly Reflection

Our society loves celebrity. We love it so much that we’ve created a whole social class of them, people who are celebrated: celebrities. The place we often find them is “in the spotlight.” But in one of His usual twists on our usual assumptions about what is right and good, Jesus today informs us that we shouldn’t be in the spotlight, we should be the spotlight.

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