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Friday of the Second Week of Lent - March 22, 2019

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28  Matthew 21:33-43,45-46
I have always liked when parables are read in the gospel reading at mass. I think this goes back to when I was a child attending mass. Parables helped me better understand God’s Word. In today’s parable, the landowner (God) provides everything to his tenants (us). When He sends His servant to collect the share at harvest time (kingdom of heaven) the servant is beaten, stoned and killed.After hearing this news, the landowner sent his son (Jesus) to collect the share of the harvest only to receive the same treatment from the tenants.
God has provided for us, given us free will and seen to our basic needs only to have us rebuke his efforts.God sent his son to earth only to be treated similarly to the landowner’s son.In this parable, Jesus foretold His fate--a powerful message that was not understood until later.
The gospel ends with one of my favorite lines. “The stone the builders rejected has become the corner stone.”This line has signi…
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Thursday of the Second Week of Lent - March 21, 2019

Jeremiah 17:5-10  Luke 16:19-31
"...Cursed is the one who trusts in man who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord." (Jeremiah 17:5).

Life is hard. Things are difficult. It is easy to succumb to life altering distractions when we are being pummeled by numerous catastrophes that occur within our own personal lives and the lives of others in the world. So how can we keep focused on God in the midst of these crises? For most of our lives, we experience what seems like a never-ending cycle of gloom, but we have the choice to keep our eyes focused on God. A great song that comes to mind when handling a dark situation is a song called Bring the Rain by MercyMe. The song reminds us that although bad situations make us feel alone and angry, they also are a means to come crawling back to God. The song beckons God to bring the rain in order to redirect our eyes after a bout of sorrow or discomfort.
Life certainly has its rewards, as well. In my own exper…

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent - March 20, 2019

Jeremiah 18:18-20  Matthew 20:17-28
During the Lenten season, it feels appropriate to renew a sense of service to family, community and the strengthening of faith.
What comes to mind in these passages is that to be truly a success in life is to put one’s talents at the service of others. In Matthew’s gospel, the mother petitions for her sons to be placed in a position of power. But Jesus insists on service and the gift of self, which they did not understand. This calls me to consider how we teach the importance of service to our children. Obviously one important way is by example. I have struggled with helping my children find their way to this independently.
I ask myself if the way I live in my community follows the advice of Jesus? I came to a revelation and a new way of looking at what my family does for others through our business. In creating a restaurant that has been a part of this community for 18 years, we have created a place that means different things to different people. Fo…

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent - March 19, 2019/Solemnity of St. Joseph

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16  Romans 4:13,16-18, 22  Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a  Luke 2:41-51a
Today’s readings are all about faith; whether it be the promise to Abraham and his descendants of inheriting God’s kingdom or the faith of St. Joseph who is told in his dream by the angel that Mary, his betrothed, is carrying a son conceived through the Holy Spirit.
St. Joseph has always been one of my favorite characters in the bible.He was a good, supportive, and hard-working man.Can you imagine for just one minute what he must have felt learning that Mary was with child?Most men of the time would have exposed her secret and left her subject to public humiliation or worse. Being a kind man, he simply planned to leave her quietly.However, he believed the angel’s words to be the words of God. Mary also demonstrated that same faith after being visited by the angel Gabriel.Her words to Gabriel were simply “may it be done to me accordingly to your word” (Luke 1:38).
We all feel at times that our fait…

Monday of the Second Week of Lent - March 18, 2019

Daniel 9: 4b-10  Luke 6:36-38
Daniel goes to great lengths to describe the sins of the people of Jerusalem. They have been wicked, done evil, departed from the Commandments, disobeyed God’s prophets to the point that God scattered the people far and wide. After making this confession, Daniel prays to live by the law God gave to his servants and prophets.

I believe this Scripture reading is both a confession and a prayer; confessing that God’s people have failed to follow the Commandments, but asking that God forgive them and give them the ability to abide by his laws. We might think of this reading as a prayer that could be incorporated in our own daily prayers.

We should also think about the fact that God is great and awesome and someone we should try to please. I am up early before sunrise about every morning and while I thank God for all He has given us – and He has given us much – I often fail to acknowledge my sinfulness and ask forgiveness. We could apply this prayer of Daniel ev…

Second Sunday of Lent - March 17, 2019

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18  Philippians 3:17-4:1  Luke 9:28b-36
When I was a child, some ninety years ago – before TV, X-boxes, iPhones and the like occupied the free time of youngsters – my siblings, cousins and I used to sit beneath the stars at night in wonder. We used to locate the Milky Way, yell out when we saw a fallings star and try to identify a planet or plane in the sky. In like manner, God called Abraham’s attention to this vast universe to demonstrate what God had in store for him.
In today’s gospel, Jesus is transfigured with Moses and Elijah before Peter, James and John. He gave them this other worldly experience illustrating the greatness and majesty of God – much like, but greater than, the wondrous universe of the stars – to show them what God had in store for them as followers of Jesus.
Transcendent experiences such as these gave Abraham and Jesus’ three disciples a vision of the power and majesty of God. These visions would help them see their everyday life as a small par…

Saturday of the First Week of Lent - March 16, 2019

Deuteronomy 26:16-19  Matthew 5:43-48

Rules, Rules Rules! The cardinal rule, the golden rule…the rule about wearing white after Labor Day. I like to bend some of the smaller insignificant, rules. The Dalai Lama said that we should learn the rules so we can break them effectively. In this way, I can do what I want and still “kind of” follow God’s will. Right?! No. Moses said God commands us to follow all the RULES!! Bending them to my benefit keeps me from being fully committed to God and others.

Two of Jesus’ commands are to love our enemy and pray for our persecutors. Those are hard rules to keep, but I see a parallel between God’s children and my own. Like all parents, Ken and I want our kids to get along with, love and forgive each other. We want them to be friends, involved in each other's lives even as they grow old. We make RULES to ensure this. We say, "You don't have to want to, you just have to cooperate." We hope that later in life they will do it becaus…