We are entering into the holiest week of the year as we join Jesus for his final days of earthly life: partaking with his disciples at the Last Supper, grieving with his followers as he is led to the cross and crucified, waiting in silence as he lies in the grave, and then rejoicing with the whole world as he rises from the dead! I know this is a busy time - lots of preparation for Easter and family and travels...but in the midst of this week, take some time to join the Father in "paying a visit", if you will, to the grave of Jesus, so that come Easter Sunday you can experience in a new and deeper way the unbelievable power of the resurrection!
4th Sunday of Lent
A Catholic university professor once asked a group of his students how they would respond if they were to die that very night, appear before God, and be asked the question, "Why should I let you into heaven?" All the answers had one thing in common: they were all wrong. The answers revolved around the things we do for God. But the Good News of the Gospel is that it's all about what God has done for us! Jesus Christ came to this earth to carry the weight of our sins, to suffer and die for us, so that we could enjoy eternal life with Him! Any good that we do...it's because of what God first did for us!
3rd Sunday of Lent
In the Gospel today, as Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at the well, He proves how God is not slowed down in the slightest by our unworthiness or mistakes or sinfulness: God still thirsts for this woman's faith and trust. Even though she is in what we'd call today an "irregular marital situation" (married 5 times and currently living with a man who's not her husband) Jesus still offers to her the Holy Spirit. Jesus thirsts for each and every one of us, too - God thirsts for souls! Will you give Him a drink of yours?
2nd Sunday of Lent
In the Transfiguration, Peter, James and John glimpse for a moment Jesus as He truly is, in His radiant glory as God. The voice of the Father proclaims "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," and Jesus takes the compliment, allowing it to strengthen Him for his coming suffering and death in Jerusalem. By our baptism, we are made radiant as God's children as well, and the Father says to us, "You are my beloved child, with you I am well pleased!" Those words are meant to strengthen us for the struggles in life, not to be pushed out by all the excuses we come up with. Do you know how to take the compliment?
What if I told you there is no scientific discovery that can disrupt our faith? What if I told you that the Catholic Church LOVES science? What if I told you that most of what you've heard about science and faith is extremely misinformed? Join me for this 1 hour presentation and prepare to have your mind blown!
1st Sunday of Lent
Our readings today present us the with tale of 2 men: The 1st man - Adam - and the New Adam - Jesus Christ. Both are tempted by the serpent. The Old Adam falls and turns away from the Father; the New Adam stands strong in faithfulness to His Father. This Lent is a journey into the desert with Jesus. It will be a time of testing and temptation for us just as it was for Him. In the face of the temptations to come, will we be like the Old Adam, or the New Adam?
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus tells us in our Gospel this week not to be anxious about food, clothing, or tomorrow. There are so many things in life that we worry about...is it really that easy to just stop worrying? We worry when we feel alone, but Jesus challenges us this Sunday to "seek first the kingdom of God." We are made, as humans, for deep, rich relationships. When we seek a deep and rich relationship with God first (and then seek to honor the other relationships in our lives next), then all these things that used to cause us worry just won't worry us anymore.
This Lent, don't just give up chocolate or sweets, add something to your life in these amazing 40 days to bring you closer in your relationship with Jesus.
A resource you may find helpful: BestLentEver.com
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
What does Jesus mean when He says, "Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect"? The Greek word for perfect comes from the root word telos, meaning 'end'. The Greeks called something 'perfect', not because it was flawless, but if it fulfilled its end, if it did what it was made to do. God, from all eternity, is a deep, rich, loving, giving relationship. We humans are made in the image and likeness of God: we are made to have deep, rich, loving, giving relationships. When other things get in the way of our relationships - our job, our hobbies, our selfish interests - we are imperfect. When we put our relationships first - with God, our spouse, our kids, our families, our friends - even though we aren't flawless, we can still be perfect.
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the Old Testament God promised to Abraham a kingdom and a people. Last week Jesus began to fulfill that promise of a kingdom by beginning the calling of his 12 Apostles. These 12 would eventually form the Church - the new kingdom of God that will last into eternity. This week, Jesus describes the attributes of those who belong to this kingdom, what kingdom citizens look like: they look like the 8 beatitudes. How can I become more a kingdom citizen this week? And how can I help others to become more of a kingdom citizen this week?
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
God loves bringing light into the darkness, and especially light out of the darkness. Zebulun and Naphtali were the northern regions of Israel that were taken over by the Assyrians, and the people of God there lived under oppression for hundreds of years. It is precisely to this region that Jesus goes in our Gospel, announcing the kingdom of heaven and coming as light into the darkness. What is an area of your life that is a place of gloom, worry, anxiety, hopelessness, darkness? God has always been bringing light out of darkness, and maybe that's exactly what He wants to do for you!
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
"Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will."
Today the three wise men follow a star to the Savior of the world. Many people saw the star. The devout religious in Jerusalem knew the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem. Yet, it is only the three wise men who actually follow God's sign. Matthew Kelly says that "Wisdom is truth lived." And of all the people in our Gospel story, it is only the three magi that can be called wise. What are the signs God is placing in your life? When you see a star, do you follow it? "Wisdom is truth lived."
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God
Most Christian denominations hold onto what I will call a "Me & Jesus" view of heaven - that in heaven we are totally caught up in God and we are no longer involved with others on earth. As Catholics, however, we believe that we are still united with all those men and women of faith who have gone before us and are in heaven with God - it's always "Us & Jesus". So we can ask them to pray for us to God (just as we ask friends on earth to pray for us). On this celebration of the motherhood of Mary, let us ask for the prayers of our Mother in a special way!