Jesus and Newtown

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3rd Sunday of Lent, Year C: March 3, 2013
Exod 3:1-8, 13-15; Ps 103; 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Luke 13:1-9

It seems that, at any given time, there is some recent tragedy that weighs upon Americans’ minds. Right now, surely it is the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last December. Before that, perhaps the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado; the shooting at Virginia Tech; Hurricane Katrina; the 2004 tsunami; September 11; Columbine; and so on, with great historical acts of genocide always looming in background. We feel anger and grief and pain; we ask deep questions, especially of God. And we might even wonder: What if someone had asked Jesus about one of these events? What would he have said? (more…)

In darkness, choosing the path to joy

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3rd Sunday of Advent, Year C: Dec. 16, 2012
Zeph 3:14-18; Isa 12; Phil 4:4-7; Luke 3:10-18

We hear St. Paul say in our second reading, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” Rejoice: Gaudete! It is from this verse that this Gaudete Sunday takes its name. But how should we take these words of his? Is this just superficial, like glitter or tinsel or wearing rose-colored vestments? Is St. Paul just an overly cheerful person, a Pollyanna?

No, St. Paul is writing this letter from prison! He is probably imprisoned in Rome and is awaiting trial; he doesn’t know whether he might be executed. (more…)