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"Of Divine Transformations"

Today's Mass Readings

Mark’s gospel, the shortest and the first to be written, describes all the resurrection appearances of Jesus in all but seven verses. Today's reading gives us these accounts. It is surprising that even after the resurrection, the disciples have to be rebuked by Jesus. In fact, througout Mark’s narration of the Jesus story, the disciples do come across as uncomprehending. Neither the words nor the miracles of Jesus do much for the disciples as God’s salvific work unfolds in their midst.

"His Resurrection is Our Hope"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus again reveals Himself to His disciples. He has been raised from the dead, and He continually appears to His disciples in His resurrected body. Jesus’ resurrection is the message Peter preaches to religious leaders of his day, in today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus’ resurrection is the message of Easter. Christ has been raised from the dead, alleluia, alleluia.

"O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!"

Today's Mass Readings

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Easter continues! In today’s adventure story from the Acts of the Apostles, we see attention focused on Peter and John because of a healing they have just done. Yet Peter and John take none of the glory for themselves, but instead redirect the attention. This healing is an attention-getter that allows them to communicate their important message: they are able to do what they do because of Jesus Christ. They use the opportunity to proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. But even more importantly, they use the opportunity to connect with their own Jewish roots. This Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God, the sign of God’s love to the world. Jesus, coming from this long line of people, is now for all, to be proclaimed to all who can hear

"The Stranger in Our Midst"

Today's Mass Readings
Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus is a very telling story. From the mood of the disciples we can conclude that there is much despair. Well, that is exactly what life is without God. And then, along comes a “Stranger.” The disciples do not recognize him, yet their hearts burn. They do not know the stranger and yet invite him to eat with them. He is the guest yet he is invited to break the bread. And suddenly, there is a deep, deep realization that God is “in their midst” more really than ever before.

What is it that defies reason and yet leads to conviction? The answer is faith.

"Baptism and Mission"

Today's Mass Readings

Alleluia! Easter is a time for rejoicing and celebrating Christ’s resurrection. In the reading from today’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene sees the risen Lord. Jesus appears to her, risen from the dead. The joy of the resurrection impels Mary to share this joy with the apostles. This sharing of Christ’s resurrection is an important Easter theme.

“He is Risen. Alleluia!”

Easter Sunday Readings

“He is Risen. Alleluia!”

The gospel reading recounting the resurrection appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene is a very moving episode. However, Mary’s resurrection experience was only the climax of her discipleship, preceded by other experiences. In fact, Mary had made a long journey of faith as far as her relationship with Jesus was concerned. There was a time when Mary did not know Jesus. Her life was her own affair. In fact, her life was not even her own; she was possessed by a legion. It was Jesus who had set her free. But once she was set free by Jesus she began to follow him. That is the first stage in her faith - ‘from not knowing to following Jesus’.

"Hopeful Expectation"

Reading: John 19:31-42

Once the Good Friday liturgy is completed, the next liturgical celebration is the Easter vigil celebration on Holy Saturday after sunset. The scraments are not celebrated on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The altar in churches throughout the world is left competely bare, without cloths, candles, or cross. The Church keeps all day Holy Saturday aside to reflect upon the mystery of Christ’s death. The Church, and indeed the whole earth maintain a deep silence. The Son of God sleeps within the earth. He enters the nether world to bring salvation to those of God’s righteous who stand in need of God’s once and for all redemption. The power of the redeeming death of Jesus must reache every corner of God’s creation.

"By His Stripes we are Healed"

Good Friday Readings

We call today Good Friday. At first glance it may be difficult to see why this Friday is good; it is a memorial of Jesus’ death by torture and crucifixion. The God who became a human because of His love for us, was tortured to death on a cross. And yet, it is especially in Jesus’ willingness to suffer and die for us that we can best see God’s love. God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us. This is not the tragic death of a friend, so much as the heroic self-sacrifice of the loving God who desires to be united with us so much so that Jesus sacrificed His life for us.

"Our Blessing-Cup is a Communion with the Blood of Christ"

Today's Mass Readings

On Holy Thursday we recall the last supper that Jesus celebrated the Passover with his apostles. This is day that Jesus instituted the Eucharist. The context is something familiar to the men gathered around him: a Passover seder, which they would have been celebrating all their lives. The first reading from Exodus describes how such a seder meal should happen. With Jesus at the Last Supper, this Passover meal takes on a new meaning. Jesus is the bread, Jesus is the wine, Jesus is the sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The Pain of Betrayal"

Today's Mass Readings

The plot thickens. The intrigue grows. The drama unfolds. The altar for the eternal sacrifice of Jesus is being prepared. With the Passover fast approaching, the entire Jewish nation was busy preparing for the feast. Only Jesus knew that the sacrificial lamb that would be offered was himself. Humanity still does not grasp the depths of this sacrifice… but Jesus does.

"In You, O LORD, I Take Refuge"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus predicts His betrayal by Judas, as well as Peter’s denial. This text for the Tuesday of Holy Week foreshadows Jesus’ experience on Good Friday. Judas, Jesus’ friend and one of the twelve apostles He appointed, will betray Jesus. Peter, another apostle and friend of Jesus, will deny Jesus three times. As we walk with Jesus throughout Holy Week, it would be good for us to reflect on the struggles He underwent. Jesus not only suffered lashings, crucifixion, and death, but also the rejection and betrayal of His closest friends.Perhaps Jesus prayed today's Psalm during these times:

"The Lord is My Light and My Salvation; Whom Shall I Fear?"

Today's Mass Readings

During this Holy Week, the last week before the unbounded joy of Easter, the Scripture readings turn our attention to Jesus’ divinity, while not drawing our attention away from his humanity. The first reading from Isaiah foreshadows Jesus as the servant-messiah, who saves his people by his own obedience to God’s will. In the Gospel, we see Jesus spending time with his close friends – Martha, Mary and Lazarus – in his last days.

"The Suffering Servant"

Sunday Mass Readings

Both the first reading and second reading talk about the “suffering servant.” There are four “servant songs” in the book of Isaiah that talk about the ideal servant leader: Is 42:1-7; (b) 49: 1-6; (c) 50: 4-9; and (d) 52:13 – 53:12). The servant leader is specially chosen by God to bring God’s saving grace to his people. The suffering servant accomplishes this mission by taking upon himself the suffering of the very people he comes to redeem.

"Streaming to the LORD’s Redemption"

Today's Mass Readings

It may not seem obvious, but the underlying theme of today’s readings is restoration and unity. We draw this conclusion from statements in each of the readings. Thus, Ezekiel 37:24 says, “My servant David shall be prince over them, and there shall be one shepherd for them all.” In the gospel reading, Caiaphas the high priest prophesies, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man [Jesus] should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish’ (Jn 11:49-50). John adds, “He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.

"In my distress I called upon the Lord"

Today's Mass Readings

In the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, the prophet laments about how he has been treated. By placing this passage with today’s reading from the Gospel of John, the Church invites us to see Jeremiah’s suffering in the light of Christ. Christ’s sufferings are thus likened to those of Jeremiah. We can understand at least one aspect of Christ’s sufferings from the context of Jeremiah’s life. Jeremiah was persecuted by his own people, because he was sent to preach against them. Jesus is likewise being persecuted by some of His own people because of His divine message, which was an affront to many in His audience.

"The Lord Remembers His Covenant For Ever"

Today's Mass Readings

It may seem that this theme of covenant is all-pervasive in today’s readings. Especially during this time of Lent, we recall God’s faithfulness to his people through all ages, from the beginning. The first passage, from Genesis, hence calls this to mind by telling the story of Abram (later Abraham). God promises to Abraham that he will keep the covenant forever, with all of Abraham’s descendants. This is meant to be a source of great hope, along with the psalm response, which explicitly remembers this covenant that God made with Abraham and Isaac.

"The TRUTH will set you FREE"

Today's Mass Readings

It seems like today’s gospel passage (Jn 8:31-42) is addressed to a group of people that consisted of both believers and non-believers. Thus v. 31 says, “Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We do not know how strongly the ones who believed in him did so, but there seems to be some trust in Jesus’ words. And then there were those who refused to believe and according to 8:37 were trying to kill Jesus.

"Hide not your face from me"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is cryptically telling His audience that He is approaching the time where He will be killed, and then He will be raised from the dead and ascend to the Father in Heaven. Some in His audience recognize that Jesus is speaking about His own death, and they are confused. Is He going to kill Himself? Jesus is of course predicting His crucifixion at the hands of the Romans.

"Feast of the Annunciation"

Today's Mass Readings

At first, it seems a little odd to celebrate the annunciation during this season of Lent. Yet, while we are immersed in this time of repentance, we are also nine months away from Christmas. So at a time when we fast in order to remember the loss of Jesus, he is at the same time never gone from us but rather intimately present.