Lowering the barriers to Life

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5th Sunday of Lent, Year A: March 25, 2012
Ezek 37:12-14; Ps 130; Rom 8:8-11; John 11:1-45

Today is the third of three Sunday Masses in which those who are preparing for baptism at the Easter Vigil have been receiving the “Scrutinies.” And so, by design, the Gospel readings at these three Masses are stories in which our Lord Jesus has three key encounters with different persons. In these encounters, he reveals to them something about who they are—especially what has limited them, weighed them down, held them back; and about their unmet needs. And he reveals something about himself: who he is, what he can do, what he wants to do for them and for us. And so our Lord Jesus himself, though his Gospel, scrutinizes the hearts of these elect preparing for baptism; and, indeed, the hearts of each of us. (more…)

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Él permanece fiel

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IV Domingo de Cuaresma, Año B: 18 Marzo 2012
2 Cr 36, 14-16.19-23; Sal 136; Ef 2, 4-10; Jn 3, 14-21

Creo que el salmo de hoy debe tocar los corazones de todos que viven fuera de su hogar, de su patria. Este salmo recuerda la nostalgia que habían sentado los israelitas desterrados en Babilonia:

Junto a los ríos de Babilonia nos sentábamos a llorar… Decían los opresores: “Algún cantar de Sión, alegres, cántennos.” Pero, ¿cómo podríamos cantar un himno al Señor en tierra extraña?

Estas palabras pueden expresar el dolor o, a lo menos, el ansia, que sentimos cuando lo echamos a menos nuestro hogar. Y seguro que muchos aquí en esta Misa conocen ese sentimiento.

Pero creo que hay otro también por el cual sentimos nostalgia—aunque quizá no lo reconocemos bien. Ansiamos la solidez. (more…)

To see, and to see more deeply

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4th Sunday of Lent, Year A: March 18, 2012
1 Sam 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Ps 23; Eph 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

The sense of sight is something we value very highly. Sometimes teenagers and college students will ask each other the question, “If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would it be?” And eventually the question progresses to the two senses that most people value most highly: sight and hearing. And they ask, “If you had to lose your sight or your hearing, which would it be?” It’s a tough call to make; but most people will choose to lose their hearing and keep their sight. (more…)

Recuerda quién te liberó

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III Domingo de Cuaresma, Año B: 11 Marzo 2012
Ex 20, 1-17; Sal 18; 1 Cor 1, 22-25; Jn 2, 13-25

En el principio de los Diez Mandamientos, oímos que el Señor recuerda a su Pueblo quién es y quiénes son, por todo lo que les ha hecho. “Yo soy el Señor, tu Dios, que te sacó de la tierra de Egipto y de la esclavitud.” “Yo lo he hecho. Tú no te liberaste a ti mismo; ni ningún otro dios ni criatura. Yo te liberé. Yo te rescaté. Yo los formé a ustedes como un pueblo. Yo los guardé, yo los guié. Y yo les doy la tierra prometida. No lo hizo ningún otro, ni en el cielo, ni en la tierra, ni en el agua, ni debajo de la tierra. Yo te doy la plenitud del gozo. Yo te doy la integridad. Entonces no te vayas buscando a otros. Busca a mí.” (more…)

She thirsted for Living Water

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3rd Sunday of Lent, Year A: March 11, 2012
Exod 17:3-7; Ps 95; Rom 5:1-2, 5-8; John 4:5-42

She comes to the well alone, in the middle of the day, this woman of Samaria—and that’s the first sign that something is not right. Why didn’t she come in the cool of the morning, with the other women? Because, as we will learn, her life is scandalous in that small town. She has been married five times, and now she is living with a man who is not her husband.

She has been used and pushed aside by one man after another. And she is bruised and scarred; she is ashamed and afraid; she is condemned and rejected by others. And so it is no surprise that she has developed a hard, leathery shell, (more…)

Time for a little temple cleaning!

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3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B: March 11, 2012
Exod 20:1-17; Ps 19; 1 Cor 1:22-25; John 2:13-25

Our Lord Jesus understood human nature very well. But sometimes we need to take a closer look at ourselves: to look into our hearts and souls and see what’s going well, what’s going badly; what may have slipped, what needs to be improved; what needs to be brought to our Lord in sacramental confession, so that he can forgive and heal us. And Lent is a special season of the year for that. (more…)

A lamp shining in a dark place

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2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B: March 4, 2012
Gen 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Ps 116; Rom 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10

Surely the most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16. Seen on bumper stickers, t-shirts, and banners at televised sporting events, it reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” It is famous because it encapsulates so much of the Gospel: the immense love of God the Father; shown in his gift of God the Son, Jesus Christ; for the purpose of drawing us to eternal life. (more…)

Un amor generoso sin límites

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II Domingo de Cuaresma, Año B: 4 Marzo 2012
Gn 22, 1-2.9-13.15-18; Sal 115; Rom 8, 31-34; Mc 9, 2-10

¡Qué generosidad vemos en Dios! ¡Qué generosidad vemos en su creación del universo!—porque, en la eterna relación de amor en la Santísima Trinidad, sin ningún tipo de necesidad, con libertad creó al mundo, para compartir su bondad.

Y ¡qué generosidad vemos también en nuestra redención! Leemos en el Evangelio según San Juan: “Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo, que dio a su Hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que cree en Él, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna.” (Jn 3, 16) Dios Padre nos dio todo, sin retener a nada. (more…)