April 3, 2022
God's love, mercy, and forgiveness is always there for us, but the difficulty is that often we are not willing to admit our failures, our sins, and then we will not experience God's forgiveness.
April 3, 2022
Cycle C Mass without RCIA Cycle C is what we have been using this year.
Usually one Mass this Sunday will be for Cycle A with the RCIA those to be Baptized at Easter
Cycle A Mass with RCIA
Cycle C Mass without RCIA continues below
Cycle C Reflection continues below
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Latare Latin for
The liturgical color for this day
can be rose or continue with the Lenten violet
My reflection below is on the readings used at Mass without the RCIA Scrutinies or Cycle C
In the first reading we see that, after being freed from the slavery in Egypt, and after wondering for forty years in the desert God has brought his people to the land He had promised to give them.
God has provided food, manna and quail so that each person had just enough. Now Joshua, the successor of Moses, told them that this would stop now that they were about to enter the Promised Land.
They were to be given a land flowing with milk and honey.
Listen to my Homily from 2012
March 20, 2022
Without Catechumens Cycle C is used
Below if you attend a Mass with RCIA...Catechuments
Cycle A is used
Below is for those attending a Mass with those to be baptized at Easter and this will be a Mass with the Scrutinies
My Reflection below is for the Mass Readings without RCIA
As we listen to the readings for this Sunday, it is important to place ourselves as the ones being addressed and not just think of what happened as a story of long ago.
We are the Israelites in the first reading, we are the Corinthians in the second reading, we are the Jews Jesus is talking to in the Gospel.
The readings during Lent are to help each of us look more deeply into our spiritual lives and to grow, not by looking just at our successes,s but more importantly at our failures. That is where real growth begins and it does takes grace and courage to do this. That is what Lent is for. Courage!
God calls Moses to lead his people out of the slavery of Egypt. At last,
God will answer their pleas throughout generations. We all know the story that we hear again this Sunday. Every day God gives us a new Moses, Jesus Christ, to lead us out of our slavery, SIN. Everyday there is a way to receive mercy and forgiveness that Jesus has gained for each of us.
But, we need to heed what Saint Paul said in his letter that we hear at the Celebration of the Eucharist this Sunday. He reminds them and us not to become over confident just because we have been called at our Baptism by God. He reminds them of how the Israelites, even after being released from the slavery of Egypt, after being taken safely through the water and watching their enemy destroyed, after being feed and care for in their desert journey, they still turned from God to other pagan gods.
Do we, like the Israelites grumble when things don't go our way? In a difficult situation or with a difficult person do we doubt that God is there?
Like the Israelites it is so easy for each of us to turn to pagan gods, to idols, e.g. power, money, drugs legal or illegal, sex, etc. to take away the pain and doubt of our having to deal with the struggle or difficult situation, also known as the CROSS. It can be so easy to just give up, thinking we will never change.
But there is hope. God never gave up on the Israelites and He will not give up on us.
In the Gospel of Luke we hear Jesus tell the parable of the fig tree.
The owner wants to have the tree cut down because it has not produced figs.
What about us?
Are we producing spiritual fruit, spiritual figs, e.g. making God present to other through our life, not just words but also our actions???
He too, is willing to fertilize us and see if we can produce spiritual fruit.
God seems to fertilize us with situations and events in our lives that are not always what we would choose. Yet, if we think of them as manure from God, that can help us to produce spiritual figs, (mercy, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, etc.)
Perhaps the disciplines of Prayer, Fasting, and Alms Giving will all be manure to fertilize us and to help us to see more fully where we are spiritually.
Then we will truly experience the resurrection from sin. Everyday we have that opportunity. Let us never give up, but always we willing to start again and again.
Today He comes!!!
March 13, 2022
How is your Lent going so far?
Lent is that discipline of the Church to help us look at ourselves.
The request for more praying, fasting or giving up some things, and letting go of something especially money are all ways of helping us to see ourselves spiritually in an honest moment.
We may make discoveries about ourselves.
It is good to see that we fail spiritually at times and do need the help of God, who of course, has great compassion, mercy and love for all of us. That is what Lent is all about. We need God not because of our successes but because of our failures and sins.
When the struggles in our life appear, as they will for all of us, how do we react? Do we try to escape the cross, the struggles, the comfortableness. Do we turn to things that make us feel better in those times of difficulty?
A Reflection on this Sunday's Readings
if they are living as enemies of the cross.
Are they looking to be without problems and struggles?
Paul encourages them to look at his life and that of Christ.
There will be struggles, the cross.
It is part of our journey to eternal life. The disciples of Jesus could not believe that He would have to be rejected, suffer, and be crucified a horrible death. After all was He not the Messiah?
Jesus is well aware of how difficult it will be for them when they will have to face what seems like the loss of Jesus through suffering and death. For the disciples, that was not the way things were to go. The cross was disgrace, was failure.
Don't we too at times try to escape from the cross, from the struggles and we turn to all kinds of things to take our minds off of the cross, our struggles and difficulties?
We all know the story of the Transfiguration that is proclaimed to us in today's Gospel reading. To help his disciples understand that the cross is part of the way to eternal life, Jesus takes Peter, John, and James up the mountain to pray.
Up on the mountain, they experience that Jesus is God-messiah as He talks with Moses and Elijah. They all begin to get a glimmer of the fact that God has a plan and that includes the Cross, the struggles. Yet, when they are faced with the reality of the Cross, they all run away from Jesus.
Don't we do the same at times? When the struggles, the Cross, just seems like just to much to bear, we too run away, or find ways to escape, or perhaps even plea with God to take the cross away.
(later to be renamed Abraham)and made a covenant with him.
The way a covenant was made was to split an animal in two and walk through the two halves and say that if the pact, the covenant, was broken by the one who walked through the split animal, the same would happen to the one who broke the covenant. God walked through, but then placed Abram in a deep sleep so he would not have to walk through.
The pact covenant that God made was a promise of eternal life. The people in the time of Abraham believed that having ancestors meant eternal life. God tell Abram that he will have ancestors more numerous than the stars in the sky. He will have eternal life.
Abram believes that God will do it. Even as Abram continues on his journey with Sarah his wife who is barren and old, Abram believes. Even in being asked to kill his only son, Issac, Abram believes. Even in all the struggles of his journey in the desert, never knowing for sure where he is being led, he believes.
God has made that same covenant with each of us in our baptism when He called us by name. He has given us a way to eternal peace, eternal happiness, eternal life. And when we doubt, when we don't believe, when we fail and sin, He gives each of us a way back.
Pray that each of us may be given the grace, the courage to keep going in spite of the difficulties and even in moments the failures and sin.
It is through the Cross that we will come to the end of our earthly journey and reach eternal life.
Give us the courage not to run
when the Cross appears in our lives.
March 6, 2022
A Brief Reflection on the Journey of Lent
For some forty days we are asked to make the desert journey into Lent. Once again we have the opportunity to take the journey seriously, so we can make some spiritual discoveries about ourselves. Or we can just give up something and miss the whole meaning and opportunity this season brings us. We never know if we will have the opportunity to take this journey next year or not.
The same is true for us when we are uncomfortable. We are tempted to not trust God in a particular difficult situation. If we can only be comfortable. If we can only have what we desire, no matter the cost.
Jesus, as hungry as He was, says no to the temptation. He will only trust his Father who knows what is best even in this situation of hunger, suffering, and all that He faces.
Next the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says to him that if He will worship the devil, Jesus can have all this kingdom; He can have anything He wants-power, money, possessions, etc.
Jesus answers no, because again He recognized that all the things of this world will not guarantee eternal life. Doing the will of the Father is the way to eternal life. It is so easy to get caught up in thinking that material things will lead us to eternal peace.
The devil takes Jesus up high above Jerusalem and asks Him why He is suffering. All He needs to do is jump, and all the people below will see the angels save Him and everyone will know He truly is God. Make life easy. Why struggle?
We are giving the same temptations. If only people would respect me. If only they would understand me. If only.....if only.....etc
Whatever we decide to do for Lent perhaps will show us how weak we are. If we fail at what we decide to do, don't give up. Start again. There will be a great temptation to say, Well, I blew it. I might as well give up and wait for next year.
Reflection on the Readings for this Sunday
In the first reading, Moses speaks to the people and encourages them not to forget all that God has done for them, giving them freedom from Egypt and slavery, giving them the Promised Land, etc. He reminds them that they are to be faithful and remember all that God has done. At times they fail.
The same is true for us today. We have been given so much, our Baptism; we became a child of God and given eternal life. We have been called by name to make God present in a world, that today more and more rejects God.
The same is for us today. If we truly believe the words of this letter, then our lives will become more and more like Christ's, and we will make Him present in the world today through our actions and not just our words.
So, our journey begins...
Pray that our time in the desert of this Lent will help us by our prayer, fasting, and alms giving to look more deeply into our spiritual selves, our weaknesses, failures and sins, and be ready to experience our resurrection from sin, which is there for us at all times.