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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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March 4, 2018 - Our Jar, His Well

Third Sunday of Lent – Year A Readings

Scripture Readings 

The story of the Samaritan woman is narrated by John as a personal conversion story. Even though John tells it as a personal story, he does not tell us the name of the woman. Perhaps John was being intentional. This way, this is the story of every person. Her story can be your story and mine as well. Like the Samaritan woman, we all have a jar. In this jar we keep that which is most precious to us – family, friends, job, home, possessions, hobbies. Sometimes, this jar might be empty. The jar describes us – it is the sum of all that we are. That day, the Samaritan woman came to fill her empty jar with water. The irony is that Jesus does not merely fill her jar. Rather, Jesus led her to the well. The jar… she left that at the feet of Jesus. What does this story mean for me? What could it mean for you? Three things: 

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