Passion of the Lord (Good Friday) - April 7, 2023

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 John 18:1—19:42  Every morning when I go to Mass and the Priest asks for our intentions for the day, my response is for “wisdom, courage, comfort and trust.” Wisdom to fi gure out the answer, the courage to carry it out, and the comfort that it is the best solution and the trust to know God is guiding us in the best way. When I read the Psalms for today, I was taken back by David’s trust in the Lord to guide him and keep him safe. “In you, Lord, I take refuge”  A good friend coined this prayer when I was helping my parents navigate through my brother’s cancer. He passed away, but I continue to take comfort in those words and try daily to TRUST. Many people have commented on how they appreciate that petition so I continue to pray it.  There are big things and little things that come into our lives that require us to trust as David did. Some things are as small as smiling at the person at the traffic light or as big as standing up for another’s r

Mass of the Lord's Supper (Holy Thursday) - April 6, 2023

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 John 13:1-15  Sipping coffee, peeking at the wet blanket of snow through my blinds, I am filled with words. My mind fumbles wondering the feeling of the upper room that Passover night. I can only equate it to when a loved one is dying and all gather at some sacred place surrounded by family and friends sharing a meal. Mindful it is probably the last time to capture yet one more memory or another layer of love. Feelings of anticipatory grief, melancholy, laughter, spilled out and shared through story and humor. Were these the feelings echoed in the walls of the upper room?  Most of us by the time we are in our middle years have had the opportunity to journey with someone we love with many varieties of caregiving. I think of this part of life as the ‘washing of feet’. We model Christ and begin a journey with our parents or loved one when it is time to take them to the doctor, change their sheets, listen to their worries, hold their hand, get th

Wednesday of Holy Week - April 5, 2023

Isaiah 50:4-9a Matthew 26:14-25  In today’s readings, we are given stories of two people, one who would stick by the Lord no matter what and one who is willing to betray the Lord for material items. In Isaiah 50:4-9A, he speaks of how he will never rebel against God nor will he betray him; but in Matthew 26:14-25, Judas looks to hand over Jesus to the chief priests for silver. As we near the end of Holy Week and prepare for the Passion of Christ and his Resurrection three days later, it is easy to focus on the material things that we may have given up for Lent. It is easy to want to give up as the long forty days of Lent are coming to an end.  However, as much as we may want to go back to our material things or our other ways of life, today’s readings remind us to aspire to be like Isaiah, not turning our back on Christ. They remind us that what Jesus endured after Judas’s betrayal was horrible, but he did it to give us eternal life. We must appreciate what Jesus did for us, rather tha

Tuesday of Holy Week - April 4, 2023

Isaiah 49:1-6 John 13:21-33, 36-38  Today’s readings remind me of all that is hidden from us. And how much we are hidden from ourselves.  In Isaiah, the servant says, “I thought that I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly spent my strength.” Like we all do, the servant at one time felt that he was bereft of and hidden from God. Then, the servant declares that now he is a sharp-edged sword concealed in the shadow of His arm and a polished arrow hidden in His quiver. He has transformed from believing himself hidden from God to knowing that he is being hidden by God to be used to show his glory.  When I sit in Church, I marvel at your faces for I see you as hidden arrows and concealed swords to “make a light to the nations.” I wonder that you may not know, for I doubt it in myself, the extraordinary strength that you give to those around you. By your example of simply showing up, God makes you a rock of refuge, a stronghold of safety. Your presence in that space, even though we

Monday of Holy Week - April 3, 2023

Isaiah 42:1-7 John 12:1-11  One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more mindful about how I spend my time. When we started having kids, everyone was always telling us, “enjoy it while it lasts because they grow up so fast!” I’d look at my tiny baby and think, yeah okay, we’ve got a long way to go. Fast forward 6 years, we have a kindergartener, and I am constantly asking myself, “where did the time go!?!?”  This Gospel is a reminder to me that I need to take advantage of every moment just as Mary decided to take advantage of that special moment with Jesus when she anointed his feet. It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life and fi nd ourselves just going through the motions without putting much thought into the importance of our actions. When I am at church, am I really present? I often fi nd that my focus is on how my children are behaving and if they are disturbing the people around us. When I am at home, am I making the most of my time with my family? Sadly,

Palm Sunday - April 2, 2023

Matthew 21:1-11 Isaiah 50:4-7 Philippians 2:6-11 Matthew 26:14 - 27:66  Palm Sunday always begins with an account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem for the last time. Although much of his ministry seems to take place in the towns surrounding Jerusalem – in Bethany and Jericho, Capernaum and Magdala, Zephora and Samaria, and along the shores of the Galilean Sea - since Jesus was a child (Lk. 2:41ff ) he has traveled to the City on a Hill for the great feast days of his faith.  In preparation for this reflection, I’ve been meditating on this well-known scene of Jesus entering the Holy City on a donkey, welcomed with praise from the crowds, palms waving in the air. I close my eyes and hear the sound of Mariam’s tambourine and songs to Hosanna in the Highest. I feel bodies pressing up against me; all of us in this together, all of us here to see Jesus. I recall a School of Religion lesson by parishioner Phil Major where he compared Jesus’ entry to how a Roman military hero would have entered

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent - April 1, 2023

Ezekiel 37:21-28 John 11:45-56  In both the first reading and the Gospel today, the underlying theme I see is the struggle for power and the sides of that power that separate us. Through the prophet Ezekiel God is wanting to gather his people so they are not divided into two kingdoms. I would be remiss if I did not point out that obvious struggle that is still present in our society today. Republican, Democrat, right, left, gay, straight, black, white, rich, poor…it seems we are more divided than we have ever been.  I don’t know about you, but I crave peace in my own life. I do my best to listen to the other point of view and befriend those who have a different view than me. I don’t always succeed but I think God gives us grace for trying. Ultimately, he wants all people to share in his covenant of peace.  In the Gospel reading, the same struggle for power continues. The people in power were fearful of losing that power. They decided they were going to kill Jesus. In doing so, He would