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April 8, 2018 - Feast of Mercy

Second Sunday of Easter (Or Sunday of Divine Mercy)

Scripture Readings

Once so often somebody comes into the confessional with such a sense of sorrow for sin, that they find it had to believe that God can forgive them and love them. This is not because they do not believe that God is all forgiving. The darkness they find themselves in, is a little too dark for them. For some reason they think that they do not deserve God’s forgiveness. I am saying to you today what I say to such penitents: “If you put all the sins that you have committed today together, you cannot beat God’s love and mercy. If you put all the sins you have committed your entire life together, you still cannot beat God’s love and mercy. If you put the sins of all the people in the entire world together, you still cannot beat God’s love and mercy. If you put all the sins of all the human beings from the beginning of creation to the end of the world, you still cannot beat God’s love and mercy. Now if you think that your sins are too much for God, then the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not for you! You can leave!” Nobody has ever left. Most of the time, by then, they are in tears and accept that they can be and are forgiven!

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April 1, 2018 - The Holy Exchange

Easter Sunday - The Resurrection of the Lord - The Mass of Easter Day

Scripture Readings

The story of Arnaud Beltrame has taken the world by storm. He is the 44 year old French Police officer who offered to exchange his life for a hostage in a recent armed struggle in a supermarket in France. After exchanging his life, he helped guide the special forces by leaving an open-line cell phone on a table. The terrorist was finally taken down but not before Arnaud was stabbed in the throat. On his deathbed, Beltrame received two sacraments - the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and the Sacrament of Marriage. His newly-wed wife said of him at his funeral that his heroic sacrifice was "the act of a policeman and the act of a Christian.” I call Arnaud’s act a “holy exchange.” 

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March 25, 2018 - Obedience is Salvation

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Scripture Readings

We are entering Holy Week. We are doing so as March Madness reaches it climax. Holy Week is the climax of the Church’s liturgical year. What shall we do? Holy Week or March Madness? Some might be asking the wrong question - “How can I squeeze Holy Week into March Madness? Do it the other way around, people of God! How can we squeeze March Madness into Holy Week? In reality, these two events need not be in competition. Holy Week is about the events of our salvation. March Madness is pure entertainment. We know, don’t we not, that March Madness will not save us! Salvation is at the foot of the cross!  

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March 18, 2017 - Death and Life

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year A Readings

Scripture Readings

I have had my share of funerals between both the parishes. There are many things I could say about each of these funerals. At one of them, the grand-daughter concluded her eulogy by saying what she would say to her grandpa when he was still alive. She said, “See you later, alligator.” Is it not precious that we can say that to each other as bury the people we love? Sometimes I think, though, that sometimes we take the reason for this hope for granted? Why is it that we can say, “See you later,” when people die? What did it take to get us to that hope? 

As Lent begins to come toward the end, the readings are gradually drawing our attention to the events of Holy Week and Easter – the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. However, we do not reflect on Christ’s death and resurrection for its own sake. The readings are also trying to communicate to us that our destinies are closely tied to the death and resurrection of Jesus. In fact, it is because of the death and resurrection of Jesus that this grand-daughter could say, “See you later, alligator,” to her deceased grandpa. There is a reason why we leave a graveside with hope.  It is because we believe in the words that Jesus said to Martha in today’s gospel reading, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” Jesus is the reason for our hope. 

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March 11, 2018 - "Lord, That I may See"

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year A Readings

Scripture Readings

John is an amazing story teller. This story of the healing of the blind man is very powerfully scripted. John has his purpose in writing the story. He wants the world to come to faith in Jesus Christ. But there is a problem - blindness. His deeper point is what might be harder for us to accept - that the blind person in the story is not just the man born blind. We might say that we get the irony in the story and that the real blind people in the story are the Pharisees who refuse to see Jesus as the Messiah. John is making an even more poignant point - that the real blind person might be you and me.

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