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…)

The raising of Lazarus and the problem of evil

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5th Sunday of Lent, Year A: April 10, 2011
Ezek 37:12-14; Ps 130; Rom 8:8-11; John 11:1-45

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

This cry, which we hear from the lips of both Martha and Mary, is in essence the same cry that we hear from so many in our world—and even from ourselves. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Cried out when a loved one dies: especially a child; a baby; an adult who is still too young. When a freak accident takes away something forever. When a job is lost: suddenly, unfairly, that you needed. (more…)