Saturday-4th Week of Lent

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jeremiah 11:18-20  +  John 7:40-53
April 1, 2017

“‘…let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more.’”

Of the four major Old Testament prophets, Isaiah tends to be associated with the Season of Advent, and Jeremiah with Lent.  The life of  a prophet is never easy, but were we to define the prophet by hardships leveled against him, Jeremiah would be the prophet par excellence. Continue reading

Friday-4th Week of Lent

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Wisdom 2:1,12-22  +  John 7:1-2,10,25-30
March 31, 2017

“…but no one laid a hand upon Him, because His Hour had not yet come.”

Today’s First Reading, from the Old Testament Book of Wisdom, sounds as if it could have been written by one of the four evangelists in the Passion narratives.  The First Reading seems exactly what those who plotted Jesus’ death would have said as they explained to themselves their rationale for His crucifixion. Continue reading

Thursday-4th Week of Lent

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Exodus 32:7-14  +  John 5:31-47
March 30, 2017

“‘But I have testimony greater than John’s.’”

Jesus mentions a number of “witnesses” that He has:  John the Baptist; the works that the Father gave Him; “the Father who sent me”; and the Scriptures.  And what do these witness to about Jesus:  that He ran a red light?  that’s He’s a nice guy?  that He’s the son of Mary?  Jesus elaborates for us, in speaking about the witness of His works:  “these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” Continue reading

Wednesday-4th Week of Lent

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Isaiah 49:8-15  +  John 5:17-30
March 29, 2017

“‘My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.’”

It’s common for Jesus, following a miracle/sign, to teach at length.  Today’s Gospel passage is part of a larger teaching discourse.  What is Jesus teaching us here?  The first two verses set up further conflict between Jesus and the Jewish officials.  Through the rest of the passage, Jesus explores his claims. Continue reading

Tuesday-4th Week of Lent

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12  +  John 5:1-16
March 28, 2017

“Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.”

Today’s Gospel passage narrates the “third sign” of John’s account.  Each of these seven signs (from John 2-12) bring us closer to Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection.

This third sign is like the second in that Jesus demonstrates the immediacy of His divine power.  The ill man explains that he has not been cured because he cannot reach the healing waters.  But Jesus does not help the man into the waters.  He does not even explain that the waters are unnecessary for the man’s healing.  Jesus simply says, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Continue reading

The 4th Sunday of Lent [A]

The Fourth Sunday of Lent [A]
1 Sam 16:1,6-7,10-13  +  Eph 5:8-14  +  Jn 9:1-41
March 26, 2017

“He guides me in right paths for His Name’s sake.”

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is commonly called “Good Shepherd Sunday”.  Every year on that Sunday, the Gospel passage is taken from the tenth chapter of St. John’s Gospel account.  In that chapter, Jesus describes Himself at length as “the good shepherd” and even as “the gate for the sheep”.  But today, on this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we also hear about the Good Shepherd, though from the Old Testament rather than the New.  Today’s Responsorial Psalm is the most beloved out of all 150 psalms:  that is, the 23rd Psalm.

At first hearing, it might not seem that this psalm connects with the other three Scripture passages proclaimed today.  It is true that in today’s First Reading, the young man David is described as “tending the sheep”, and is plucked from this role to be anointed the king—that is, the shepherd—of God’s People.  But for the most part, today’s Scripture passages focus on another theme:  blindness. Continue reading

Monday-4th Week of Lent

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Isaiah 65:17-21  +  John 4:43-54
March 27, 2017

“Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth….”

In the First Reading, Isaiah reminds us that what we are getting ready for is something unprecedented.  Lent is a preparation for the final days of Holy Week, called the “Sacred Triduum”.  The Latin word triduum simply means “three days”.  Within these three days, the Lord creates a new heavens and a new earth. Continue reading

The 4th Sunday of Lent [A]

The Fourth Sunday of Lent [A]
1 Sam 16:1,6-7,10-13  +  Eph 5:8-14  +  Jn 9:1-41
March 26, 2017

“He guides me in right paths for His Name’s sake.”

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is popularly called “Good Shepherd Sunday”.  Every year on that Sunday the Gospel passage is taken from the tenth chapter of St. John’s Gospel account, where Jesus describes Himself at length as “the good shepherd” and even as “the gate for the sheep”.  But today, on this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we also hear about the Good Shepherd, though from the Old Testament rather than the New.  Today’s Responsorial Psalm is the most beloved song of the Psalter:  the 23rd Psalm. Continue reading

The Annunciation

The Annunciation of the Lord
Isa 7:10-14;8:10  +  Heb 10:4-10  +  Lk 1:26-38
March 25, 2017

“‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.’”

Nine months before the Nativity of the Lord is celebrated on December 25, the Church celebrates His conception within the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We should not be distracted by the fact that this solemnity of the Annunciation falls during the midst of the holy season of Lent.  On the contrary, we ought to reflect on the relationship between today’s feast and the holy season within which it’s celebrated. Continue reading

Friday – 3rd Week of Lent

Friday of the Third Week of Lent
Hosea 14:2-10  +  Mark 12:28-34
March 24, 2017

“‘There is no other commandment greater than these.’”

The scribe’s insight, that “to love [the Lord] with all our heart, with all our thoughts and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves” are “worth more than any burnt offering or sacrifice”… is worth a closer look, because this insight helps us understand what Jesus did for us on Mount Calvary. Continue reading