5th Week of Lent, Thursday, Apr 2nd

Genesis 17:3-9 / John 8:51-59 
Jesus speaks about himself: “Before Abraham came to be, I AM.”

The unusual verbal formula “I AM” without a predicate is found often in John (e.g., 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58). It is also found in the synoptics (e.g., Mark 14:62, Matthew 14:27). The formula is the same one that Yahweh used to identify himself in a solemn, revelatory way in the Old Testament (e.g., Exodus 3:6,14; 20:2). Use of the formula places Jesus on a par with Yahweh himself.

Palm Sunday A - Liturgical Prayers


Introduction by the Celebrant

A. Jerusalem: Place Of Suffering And Of TriumphWe know from the school of life that not every day is a day of joy and bliss: there are also gloomy days of suffering, of disappointments and failure. But today, on Palm Sunday “of the Lord’s Passion,” we are told in no uncertain terms that this was the freely accepted lot of no less than Jesus himself. First, we see him acclaimed in a small triumph, but then we hear how he is led to his death. One week from now, on Easter Sunday, we will hear it clearly and emphatically stated that his death led to the triumph of his own resurrection; we will also hear of the forgiveness and life he brings us. We unite ourselves with Our Lord in his triumph and in his suffering and death and we pray that he will make our life and death as acceptable and meaningful as his.

5th Week of Lent, Wednesday, Apr 1st

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28 / John 8:31-42 
Jesus talks about his teaching: “Keep my word and you will know the truth.”

It has been said that some truths can be verified as being truthful only by living them out. Jesus has something like this in mind when he says in today’s reading: “If you live according to my teaching ... then you will know the truth.” In other words, the truth of what Jesus says will be discovered in the process of living it out. For example, by forgiving your enemy, you discover this is the right thing to do. By praying for those who wrong you, you discover this is the right thing to do. By not passing judgment on your neighbor, you discover this is the right thing to do.

Palm Sunday 2020

The iron stove glows red with fire,
Restrains the heat that I desire.
When I approach to warm my hands,
Respect is what the fire demands.
Too close, my skin begins to smart.
Too far, the cold creeps round my heart.

COVID Prayer 8: Treacherous Paths of Life

Dear Lord, our God,

You have shown through our life experiences that there was no rain that had not stopped, there was no flood that had not receded, there was no cyclone that had not eased, there was no night that had not brought a dawn, there was no war that had not ended and there was no pain that had not reduced. You’re the Lord of our dark nights, rainy or snowy days and the stony and thorny paths. But you have always led us beyond the pains, stones, thorns and dark nights. You have always held and supported us when our feet stumbled and trembled on the treacherous paths in life. Lead us onward these days with the hope and trust in you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

5th Week of Lent, Tuesday, Mar 31st

Numbers 21:4-9 / John 8:21-30
Jesus warns the Pharisees: “Where I am going, you cannot come.”

When Jesus said, “Where I am going you cannot come,” the Pharisees wondered if he was planning to take his own life. Rabbis held that people who took their life went to the deepest part of the nether world. This shows how terribly the Pharisees had misread Jesus and how far from the truth they were. What Jesus actually meant was that he was returning to his Father in heaven. Spiritual blindness is a terrible sin. It implies a deliberate closing of one’s eyes to the truth. This seems to have been the situation of the Pharisees. This is why Jesus told the Pharisees, “You will die in your sins.”

COVID: Prayer 6 – For Our Leaders

Dear Lord,

We are at a tricky, confused, complicated and yet a risky time of our lives. The leaders of our country and our state need to take accurate, well-informed and judicious decisions for the good of its citizens. Give us, O God, leaders whose hearts are large enough to match the breadth of our own souls and give us hearts broad enough to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

5th Week of Lent, Monday, Mar 30th

Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 / John 8:1-11 
People bring a sinner to Jesus: Jesus forgave the sinner.

These lines by an unknown poet strike a universal chord:
“How I wish that there was some wonderful place
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our headaches ...

COVID-19: Understanding it and Protecting Ourselves

Johns Hopkins University has sent this detailed note on avoiding the contagion:

 * The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code.  (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.

Extraordinary moment of prayer in pandemic times

Friday 27 March 2020, 18:00

Listening to the Word of God

The Holy Father:
In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
All - Amen.

COVID - 2: Prayer: Like the disciples in the boat - Terrified by the Storm

Dear Lord Jesus,

Truly, you are the Son of God. You have revealed your glory to us during the storms in our lives. Gigantic waves of illness and suffering have buffeted us. Howling gusts of confusion and distress due to the virus threaten to disturb our peace. Our vision is distorted by all kinds of terrifying news from across the world. Fear of the unknown and unseen cripples us.

COVID-19: Prayer- 4: You test us in the Crucible of Sorrow

Dear Lord,

You test us often in the crucible of sorrow and confirm us in fidelity. These days, you test our faithfulness through the corona virus. You kindle in us also the fire of your zeal.

Through the number of doctors, nurses, medical and social facilities and ministers, you send our people to witness to your love. When it is dark, you come as our light. When it is cold and desolate, you come as our warmth. When isolated and lonely, you come as our friend.

Giver of life, we ask not to be rescued from the frustration and anguish and the dying we surely must endure, but for the strength and courage we need to endure it with you in patience and joy.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

COVID-19 - Our Prayer in Confinement

Dear God,

Being alone is hard. We were created for community, not confinement.
But we’re grateful that no matter how alone we may feel, You never leave or forsake us. And, we’re grateful for technology that helps us stay in touch with each other.

Today, please remind us that this time of social distancing and isolation will not last forever.

Give us the strength to endure this difficult season, and deepen our connection with You and Your people.

Empower us with an extra dose of Your love, peace, hope and joy, because we need it. Remind us of Your promises, and please heal our land. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

4th Week of Lent, Saturday, Mar 28th

Jeremiah 11:18-20 / John 7:40-52 
The crowds speak out about Jesus: Some believed; others did not.

During his presidency, Andrew Jackson offered a pardon to a man who had been completely rehabilitated after committing a serious crime. But the man refused the pardon and insisted on staying in prison. He said that even if he was rehabilitated, he owed a great debt to society. Nothing Jackson, or anyone else, said could convince him to accept the pardon. The lawyers of the time even engaged in a famous debate to determine whether a pardon that was refused was a pardon. Many people in Jesus’ time were like that man. Nothing Jesus could say or do would convince some people to accept his message.

4th Week of Lent, Friday, Mar 27th

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22 / John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 
Jesus continues speaking to the Jews: “I did not come on my own.”

In 1945 Igor Gouzenko, a staff member of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, decided to defect to the Canadian government. He took with him secret documents exposing a Russian spy ring. Gouzenko was shocked to discover that the Canadians didn’t believe his story. It was too incredible. Finally, Ottawa police took Gouzenko into protective custody, but only after embassy goons broke into his apartment and wrecked it. Nothing is more painful or frustrating than trying to deal with people who find your message too incredible to believe. Jesus, too, knew this kind of pain and frustration. His message was also too incredible to believe.

COVID-19: Prayer for Our Leaders

Dear God,

All authority is Yours, but You have given authority to leaders to protect and guide us. 

Today, we ask that You would give all our leaders wisdom, discernment, strength, and resolve. Keep them healthy, safe, and rested so that they can continue to guide us through this troubling time.

Give our government leaders wisdom about what needs to be done to stop the virus and stabilize our economy.

Give our spiritual leaders Your discernment on how to meet people’s needs as they continue to glorify Your name and encourage the Church.

Give our medical leaders insight into how to stop the virus. Strengthen their resolve and honor their hard work in creating a treatment for COVID-19.

Give our civic leaders inspiration, courage, joy, and strength to meet the needs of their communities.

And help us, as leaders in our communities, to display courage, hope, generosity, and kindness. Would the way we honor others inspire those around us.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

4th Week of Lent, Thursday, Mar 26

Exodus 32:7-14 / John 5:31-47 
Jesus speaks to the Jews: “My works testify on my behalf.”

Seventy-nine-year-old Clara Hale has served as the foster mother to over 500 babies. “Mama Hale” takes care of babies of drug-addicted mothers until the mothers are able to take care of their babies themselves. Babies of drug-addicted mothers enter life with a drug dependency themselves. That’s what makes Mama Hale’s job so hard. “When a baby is crying for a drug,” she says, “all you can do is hold it close and say to it, ‘I

Annunciation-Mar 25

Annunciation, Wednesday, 25-03-20
Isaiah 7:10-14 / Hebrews 10:4-10 / Luke 1:26-38 

St. Augustine was quoted as saying: God does not ask of us the impossible. He may ask us to do the difficult thing, but He will make it possible. 

Lent 5th Sunday A: Liturgical Prayers

May the Spirit
who raised Jesus from the dead
be alive in you.
May we live Jesus’ life to the full now,
that we may be raised up on the last day.
May Jesus, the Lord of life, be always with you.

Lent 5th Sunday A - Lazarus is Raised

The five Sundays of Lent gives the picture of death and Resurrection in faith and in life.
1. The first two Sundays depict Jesus' own death and resurrection in daily life (Temptation/Desert/Rejection and Transfiguration / Mountain / Belovedness)
2. Then we have three Sundays with three scenarios of death and resurrection:
a. The Samaritan woman (sociological death to become the first missionary) - her faith in Jesus
b. The Blind man (Physical and spiritual death to growth in faith - he recognizes Jesus, the man, Jesus the prophet and then Jesus the Lord - daring missionary to proclaim the healing and the Lord despite threats of ostracism) - his faith
c. Lazarus - Physical death to actual resurrection - belovedness to Mary and Martha and to Jesus - their faith
d. Passion Sunday: Moving from another "mount" (donkey) to "crucify him". Life is a constant journey of baptism to the desert to the transfiguration to simple realities of our daily life and mission and occasional anniversaries and jubilees. That summarizes the Lenten season, I suppose.

-Tony Kayala, c.s.c.

4th Week of Lent, Tuesday, Mar 24th

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 / John 5:1-3, 5-16 
Jesus cures a man: The man never gave up hope.

Two frogs accidentally tumbled into a bucket of cream. They thrashed about for an hour, trying to make it up the side of the metal bucket. Exhausted, one of the frogs gasped, “It’s no use!” With that, he gave up and drowned in the cream. The second frog, however, struggled on. He thrashed and thrashed and thrashed about. Then, suddenly, he found himself sitting safely on a lump of butter. It was this kind of perseverance that the man in today’s gospel showed. For 38 years he sought to be cured. He never gave up.

4th Week of Lent, Monday, Mar 23rd

Isaiah 65:17-21 / John 4:43-54
Jesus saves a man’s son: The man trusted Jesus.

Years ago, there was a movie called Quo Vadis. Starring Deborah Kerr, it dealt with the persecution of Christians in ancient Rome. One day after a dangerous filming session, a reporter asked Deborah, “Weren’t you afraid when the lions rushed you in the arena?” Deborah replied, “Not at all! I’d read the script and I knew I’d be rescued.” This is the kind of childlike trust that the royal official had in Jesus’ promise: “Your son will live.”

Lent 4th Week: Mar 23-28

March 23 Monday (St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop): 
Catholic online video: Jn 4:43-54: 43 After the two days he departed to Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast, for they too had gone to the feast. 46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was a royal official whose son was ill.

Lent 4th Sunday A - Liturgical Prayers

We were darkness once
but now we are light in the Lord.
Wake up from your sleep,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.
May the light of Christ be always with you.

Prayer for Migrants

Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ.
You crossed every border between Divinity
and humanity to make your home with us.
Help us to welcome you in newcomers, migrants
and refugees.

3rd Week of Lent, Saturday, Mar 21

Hosea 5:15 -6:6 / Luke 18:9-14
 God speaks through Hosea; “I want love, not sacrifice.”

A news reporter was on assignment in Clay, Kentucky, in the 1960s. A black woman, named Gordon, was going to try to enroll her two children in an all-white school. On Sunday the reporter stopped in at the local white church, where worship was in full swing. The congregation was praying mightily and singing lustily. After the service one of the pillars of the white church talked to the reporter. He told the newsman that he would rather have his taxes tripled to pay for separate schools than have the races mixed in the same school.

3rd Week of Lent, Friday, Mar 20

Hosea 14:2-10 / Mark 12:28-34 
God speaks through Hosea: Return to the Lord!
Father Malachi’s Miracle by Bruce Marshall has a moving scene of a priest trying to help a dying sailor make a good confession. The trouble is the sailor says he’s honestly not sorry for his many affairs in many ports. They are his only pleasant memories of an otherwise difficult life. Finally, in desperation, the priest says to the old sailor, “Are you sorry, at least, that you’re not sorry?” Sometimes it’s also hard for us to realize how badly we’ve failed God in our lives. As a result, we don’t feel repentant or any need to “return to the Lord.” If and when this happens to us, we should at least tell God we’re sorry that we aren’t sorry for our failure.

3rd Week of Lent, Wednesday, Mar 18

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 / Matthew 5:17-19

Moses instructs the people: “Don’t forget what your eyes have seen.”
Lewis Carroll’s famous book The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland has a lot of soft or low-key humor in it. An example is when the King tells the Queen about a terrifying moment he just had. “‘The horror of that moment,’ the King said, T shall never, never forget!’ ‘You will, though,’ the Queen said, ‘if you don’t make a memorandum of it.’” Moses makes the same point to the people as they are about to enter the Promised Land. Talking about the many things God has done for them, he says:

Pope Francis - Quotes

A beautiful message from Holy Father Pope Francis: he says, “Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is…Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.” Let us all remember then that every changing colour of a leaf is beautiful and every changing situation of life is meaningful, both need very clear vision. So do not grumble or complain, let us instead remember that Pain is a sign that we are alive, Problems are a sign that we are strong and Prayer is a sign we are not alone!! If we can acknowledge these truths and condition our hearts and minds, our lives will be more meaningful, different and worthwhile!! 

Lent 4th Sunday A - The Blind Man

(Laetare Sunday)

This Sunday is traditionally known as ‘Laetare Sunday’ from the opening word of the introit: Laetare lerusalem … (Be joyful 0 Jerusalem …) (Is 66:10-11), which has been retained as the entrance antiphon in the current Missal.  
 Watson had missed the most obvious:

Sherlock Holmes, the great detective who had solved many mysteries, and Dr. Watson, his companion, went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up and tell me what you see." Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars". Sherlock Holmes then said, "Well Watson, what does that tell you"? Watson pondered for a minute and then replied, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Chronologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you"? Sherlock Holmes responded, "Watson you idiot, someone has stolen our tent". Watson had missed the most obvious. He was clever enough to notice the complexities of the stars but he missed what was plain and simple.  Today’s Gospel reading is about a whole lot of people who miss the point. In Jesus’ healing of a blind man, the Pharisees missed the most evident point that it was a real miracle by divine intervention. (Rev. Gehardy).

Lent 3rd Week: March 16-21

March 16 Monday: Lk 4: 24-30: [23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, `Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in your own country.'”] 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 ……30…USCCB video reflections:

3rd Week of Lent, Tuesday, March 17

Daniel 3:25, 34-43 / Matthew 18:21-35

We can’t offer animal sacrifices: But we can offer a humble spirit.

A large truck got wedged in an underpass in a tiny western town. It couldn’t go forward or backward. Traffic was lined up for miles. Officials were at a loss at what to do. Finally, a little boy who’d been watching all the while said to one of the officials, “Want to know how to get the truck loose?” The official said in an irritated voice, “Yeah! I suppose you’ve got it all figured out.” “Well, I think so,” said the boy. “Just let a little air out of the truck’s tires.” The officials did, and it worked. Later, after the traffic began to move, the humbled official joked about the incident, saying, “The truck wasn’t the only one that got a little air taken out of its tires.”
How do we respond when someone lets a little air out of our tires and humbles us? Jesus said, “Learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit.” Matthew 11:29
Most of us have this experience of lending money to people. And most of the time, we end up so frustrated and feel like banging our heads against the wall. Because we lent the money so easily, but it came back to us with so much difficulty and so slowly, if ever at all. And of course, the higher the amount of money lent, the greater the frustration and the heart-ache. 
So, when it comes to talking about forgiveness, Jesus did not talk in abstract terms. He used this experience of loans and payment. Immediately we will know what it means to forgive. It is almost synonymous to writing off a debt. But to be able to write off a debt, it means that we have come to the realization and enlightenment that there is something beyond money.

Only then can we let go and move on. Similarly, to forgive someone who had done us great harm and hurt us grievously, it means that we have come to the realization and enlightenment that there is something beyond the anger, the pain and the hate.

Let us pray for this realization and enlightenment. Because it is a special grace from God. It is His healing love that is being poured into our hearts.


We don’t like too much – or not at all – to acknowledge it, but we have been forgiven a lot. Open, scandalous, upsetting sins... maybe not. Probably not. But scandalous in the sense of totally unexpected on the part of people who profess to be the sign of the Church, of Christ, of God... perhaps yes: antipathies, non-sharing, animosities, enmities nurtured for years, living side-by-side without genuine love and sharing, maybe yes... and to many or at least some the opposite of witnessing to what we profess to be, yes... Where is our forgiving others as God has forgiven us, as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer? 

Penitential Rite: 
-Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one, LHM
-For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins, CHM
-So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame, LHM

Opening Prayer 
Lord our God, we consider ourselves your chosen flock, the people who profess to be your sign of reconciliation. God, how poor we are! How often we fail you by forgiving by an act of condescension, as if we did a great favor to those who sought to be reconciled with us. Lord, help us to forgive the way and to the extent that you forgive us: unconditionally and totally, in the goodness of our hearts. Give us this greatness of heart through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The plea made by Azariah in the Book of Daniel, written in the second century before Christ, is full of pathos. The Jewish people have once again been subjected to ruthless invaders. Sacrifice is gone, leaving room only for an internal sacrifice of spirit. Sinfulness is recognized and forgiveness sought. Only one element is missing, one found repeatedly in New Testament requests for forgiveness. This added dimension is underscored in today’s Gospel parable. Forgiveness cannot be asked from God if we do not forgive others. And how often? “Seventy times seven,” which says forgiveness everywhere and always. Any minister of the gospel has met cases repeatedly. A very good person is approaching the end of life but needs to be reconciled with someone before the end. It may be a close family member or a childhood friend. But the sentiment is wholly in keeping with the Gospel teaching. It is expressed each time we recite the Lord’s Prayer as we ask for forgiveness in the measure to which we extend it. One hardly wants to think of the indictment involved in reciting this prayer while harboring hostility toward others. The fact is that we are all capable of hurting in word or deed. We can also find ourselves on the receiving end through the actions of others. When we are guilty, let us be quick to heal the breach. In so doing we are assured of God’s forgiveness in whatever circumstances. If Christ in his final sufferings can offer his prayer from the cross, “Father forgive them,” it is hard to imagine what excuse we might offer. The king in the parable forgives an indebted servant, canceling the debt entirely. But the same servant mistreats a fellow debtor, with no sense of compassion. Shylock still wants his “pound of flesh.” Yet as Portia says in the same Shakespearean drama: “The quality of mercy is not strained.” May those sentiments be our own. 

Points to Ponder 
To be forgiven and forgiving
Settling discord before prayer
Bearing grudges 

– That we may be patient with one another, as God has been patient with us, we pray:
– That we may forgive one another, as God has forgiven us, we pray:
– That we may keep loving one another, as God keeps loving us even when we have repeatedly hurt his love, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Merciful Father, we welcome your Son in these signs of bread and wine as the Lord of forgiveness who laid down his life for us. May we, whom you call your chosen ones, beloved and called to be holy, be found ready to forgive willingly, notwithstanding antipathies and hurt feelings, that we may be to one another the sign of your forgiveness which goes beyond our human feelings, as followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Prayer after Communion 
Lord, it is beautiful but hard to be the body of your Son, the sign of the forgiveness and life that he brings to the world. But give us the courage, notwithstanding and beyond our all too human feelings, sympathies and antipathies, to bring to all around us your message of love, tolerance, peace and joy, which you have given us here again through the body and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

We are people who have received forgiveness from the Lord, and, hopefully at times also from people. We should know also how to forgive, so that our praying in the Our Father may be truthful. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

3rd Week of Lent, Monday, Mar 16th

2 Kings 5:1-15 / Luke 4:24-30

Elisha tells Naaman to wash: Naaman expected something harder.

James Michener’s book The Source has a section that treats a time period that parallels the Old Testament era. One episode of that section deals with people in a place called Makor. They have just adopted a new god called Melak, who demands human sacrifice.

10 Good Opening Prayers for Funerals

Opening Prayers for Funerals

Losing a loved one can bring about an array of emotions and feelings. Making it through the grieving process starts with the memorial and burial as you carry onward to the next stages of coping. To ease the pain, here is a look at some good opening prayers for funerals to get you started.

Lent Sunday 3 A: Liturgical Prayers

Greeting (See Second Reading)
The love of God has been poured out into our hearts
by the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us.
May that love of God be always with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant (Two Options)

Lent 2nd Week, Saturday, Mar 14th

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 / Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 
Jesus teaches about forgiveness: “A man had two sons ...”

This parable contains two remarkable things. The first is the son’s demand for his inheritance. To demand one’s inheritance before the death of one’s parents was cruel. It was to rob them of their “social security.” The second is the father’s welcome of his son.

Lent 2nd Week, Friday, Mar 13th

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 / Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

Jesus teaches the people: “Hear another parable”

This parable reveals three important points. First, it reveals God’s patience. God gave the tenant farmers three chances, even in the face of violence. Second, it reveals Jesus’ uniqueness. Jesus is not just another prophet, like the other prophets (slaves). Third, it reveals our accountability. It shows that sooner or later we will be held accountable to God for our actions, just as the tenant farmers religious leaders) were held accountable for their actions.

Lent, 2nd Week,Thursday, Mar 12th

Jeremiah 17:5-10 / Luke 16:19-31 
Jesus talks about concern for the poor: He represents something totally new. He is the owner’s (God’s) own son.

“There was a rich man ...” It’s instructive to note what the sin of the rich man is in this parable. It’s not that he calls the police to have Lazarus removed from his gate. It’s not that he objects to giving Lazarus the scraps from his table. It’s not that he kicks Lazarus each time he passes him. What, then, is the rich man’s sin? The rich man’s sin is that he ignores Lazarus. His sin is that he doesn’t lift a finger to help him. His sin is that he closes his eyes to the fact that Lazarus exists. His sin is not what he does to Lazarus. Rather, it is what he doesn’t do for him.

Lent, 2nd Week, Wednesday, Mar 11th

Jeremiah 18:18-20 / Matthew 20:17-28
Jesus talks about greatness: “The greatest is the one who serves.”

Jesus turns the world’s value system upside down. He measures a person’s greatness very differently from the way the world does. The world measures personal greatness by the number of people one controls, by the number of degrees one holds, by the number of committees one chairs. Jesus considers such numbers to be irrelevant. For Jesus there’s only one set of numbers that has any value, and that is the number of people one helps. Service is the thing that counts with Jesus: a nurse’s service to patients, a pastor’s service to parishioners, a parent’s service to children.

Lent 3rd Sunday A - The Samaritan Woman

A Samaritan Woman Evangelist:

There is a Greek monastery at Mount Athos in which nothing female is allowed. Men can enter but not women, roosters but not hens, horses but not mares, bulls but not cows.  Armed guards patrol the border to insure that nothing feminine passes the gates.  It has been this way for more than 700 years. [Arnold Prater, The Presence, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993).]  Separate but definitely not equal: that has been the attitude toward women of many churches through the ages.  So, it's really remarkable that this particular Samaritan evangelist happens to be a woman.  She would be as surprised about it as anybody.  When she first met Jesus, she was surprised that even he talked to her.  Once converted, she became an evangelist, enthusiastically introducing Jesus to her fellow villagers. (Fr. Tony Kadavil)

Lent 2nd Wk - Mar 9-14

March 9-14: March 9 Monday (St. Frances of Rome, Religious) Video: 

March 9:  Lk 6:36-38: 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” USCCB video reflections: 

Lent 2nd Week , Tuesday, March 10th

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 / Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees: “They widen their phylacteries.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-6,8 reads: “Hear, 0 Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words....Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead.” which held tiny scrolls. The boxes were strapped to the left arm (signifying subjugation of the heart to God) and on the forehead (signifying subjugation of the mind to God).

Lent 2nd Week, Monday, Mar 9th

Daniel 9:4-10 / Luke 6:36-38

Jesus teaches his disciples: “Stop judging and you will not be judged.”

A young businessman began dating a charming young actress. The relationship developed to the point that the businessman was pondering marriage. So, he hired a detective agency to investigate the actress. He wanted to make absolutely sure that there was nothing in her past that would embarrass him. The agency assigned to the case an agent who was told nothing of the client’s identity. When the agent filed his report, it read: “The lady is a tremendous young woman, except for one blemish. Recently she has been keeping company with a businessman of questionable reputation.”

1st Week of Lent, Saturday - Mar 7th

Deut 26:16-19 / Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus teaches about love: Pray for your persecutors"

A father and his son were traveling by bus. The father inadvertently violated a minor safety regulation. The bus driver went berserk. He verbally abused the father, humiliating him in front of his little son and the rest of the passengers. After it was all over, the boy said to his father, “Dad, you didn't have to take that He was out of line.”

1st Week of Lent, Friday - Mar 6th

Ezekiel 18:21-28 / Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus teaches about anger: “The angry person is liable to judgment.” 

1st Week of Lent, Thursday - Mar 5th

Esther 4:10-12,17-19 / Matthew 7:7-12
Jesus talks about prayer: "Ask and it will be given to you."

March 2-7: Reflections

March 2 Monday: Matthew 25: 31-46: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 …46 USCCB video reflections:

Lent 2nd Sunday A - Transfiguration

Opening Story:

1) The Samurai Warrior and the Zen Master 

One day, a Samurai warrior went to a Zen master for instruction. "Please," the huge man asked in a thundering voice that was used to instant obedience, "teach me about heaven and hell."
The master scowled at the swordsman, then broke into mocking laughter. "Me, teach you about heaven and hell? I wouldn't waste a moment trying to instruct the brain of an overweight ignoramus like you! How dare you ask me for such a lofty insight?" 

Lent 2nd Sunday A: Liturgical Prayers

1. The Mountain Experience
2. A Face Transformed Greeting (See Second Reading)

When our Savior Christ Jesus appeared, he abolished death and proclaimed the Good News of life and immortality. May his grace and light be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Lent 1st Week - Wednesday

1st Week of Lent, Wednesday, Mar 4
Jonah 3:1-10 / Luke 11:29-32

People asked Jesus for a sign
“No sign will be given." 
The sign of Jonah was the radical conversion of the Ninevites as a result of Jonah’s preaching. The Ninevites underwent a radical conversion because they heard God's voice in Jonah's. The reason they converted was that their ears and hearts were open to what Jonah had to say. The Jews weren't converted when they heard Jesus preach because they didn't recognize God's voice in his. And the reason they didn't do this was that their ears and hearts were closed to what Jesus had to say. If the Jews had opened their hearts to Jesus’ preaching, they too would have seen the "sign of Jonah,” a radical conversion of themselves and their brothers and sisters.

Who hurts you? Abraham Lincoln

When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker.  And, naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president.   On the first day, as Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up.  He was a very rich aristocrat.  He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.”  And the whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

Lent 1st Week, Tuesday, Mar 3

Jesus teaches about prayer:  “This is how you are to pray."

Two men were arguing about religion. As the argument heated up, the one man shouted at the other,
"1'll bet five bucks you don’t even know the Lord’s Prayer.” "I’ll take that bet," the other shouted.
Then he began praying, "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” The other man looked at him in amazement and said, "III be darned! You win! I didn't think you knew it.”
Sometimes we might just as well be praying “Now I lay me down to sleep” as praying the Lord's Prayer. For we pray it without really thinking about what we are saying.