Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths

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2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 9, 2012
Bar 5:1-9; Ps 126; Phil 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6

“All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Our readings today paint us a glorious picture of what the Lord will accomplish when he comes: the wrongs he will set right, the blessings he will bestow. The prophets Isaiah and Baruch were speaking to the People of Israel in a difficult time of suffering and exile, with their cities destroyed, their people separated from each other, and everything looking quite hopeless. And they promise: mourning and misery will change into splendor and glory; joy and peace, mercy and justice will be restored; when the Lord lays out the way back home. (more…)

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Easter Vigil: The Light of Christ shines in the darkness

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Easter Vigil, Year B: April 7, 2012
Gen 1:1–2:2; Exod 14:15–15:1; Isa 55:1-11; Rom 6:3-11; Mark 16:1-7

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia!

Those who are in RCIA this year have been counting down to this day for a long time. And as we listened to the first Old Testament reading, from the Book of Genesis, didn’t it feel like we were back in September again? For, just as then, we began with the Triune God speaking his word into the darkness“Let there be light”— and there was light. And so began God’s good creation—creating freely, out of love—to share his glorious goodness. (more…)

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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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…)

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…)

Cuando llegaron los magos, la Luz comenzó a brillar a todas las naciones

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La Epifanía del Señor: 8 Enero 2012
Is 60, 1-6; Sal 71; Ef 3, 2-3.5-6; Mt 2, 1-12

“La Iglesia es misionera por naturaleza,” escribió el Papa Beato Juan Pablo II hace 20 años. “La Iglesia es misionera por naturaleza.” Hemos visto a apóstoles, sacerdotes, religiosos, laicos sin número yendo—yendo a todas partes, a todas naciones—llevándoles el evangelio y el regalo preciosísimo de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Y hoy celebramos el principio de ese proyecto de que Cristo sea “Luz a las naciones”—cuando las naciones vinieron a él, en las personas de los magos.

¿Quiénes fueron esos magos? ¿De dónde vinieron? ¿Por qué siguieron la estrella a Belén? (more…)

The Magi hungered for the Light—and found him

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Epiphany of the Lord: Jan. 8, 2012
Isa 60:1-6; Ps 72; Eph 3:2-3, 5-6; Matt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

Who were these magi? How to we imagine them? What motivated them, inside, to make their journey?

I often enjoy looking at what ancient and medieval commentators had to say about the Scripture. Because they have thoughts and questions that are different from commentators today, which are often refreshing. (more…)