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"Something Greater than Solomon is Here"

Today's Mass Readings

The first reading from Exodus today sets up one of the most famous miracles of the Old Testament, namely, the parting of the Red Sea. For years the Israelite people had lived among the Egyptians, only to be enslaved by the Pharaoh because of his jealousy for their prosperity. During this time, many of the Israelites adopted practices of the Egyptians, such as worship of their gods rather than of their own God. Although they were enslaved, the Israelites were accustomed to that way of life. So it’s no wonder that the Israelites complain against Moses in today’s reading. They emphasize that they were perfectly willing to stay and serve the Egyptians, especially if the alternative is being killed by the Pharaoh’s army in the desert to which they had escaped. We see here the rather unsure faith of a people that have been enslaved for generations. Moses, must lead these people into developing a faith that is as sure as his own. The first reading ends by the Lord asserting that the Egyptians will know he is God by the miracle that is about to happen. God will now carry out what he had promised to Moses at the burning bush.

"He Who Does Justice Will Live in the Presence of the Lord"

Sunday Mass Readings

God promise to Abraham was fulfilled because of his generosity toward the strangers. Even though God had made the promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, this promise remained unfulfilled for many years. In frustration, Abraham even had a son through his salve woman, Hagar. But now time has come for that promise to be fulfilled. And strangely enough, God came in the form of a stranger to announce the good news. This incident makes me ask a question. What would have happened if Abraham did not receive the strangers of was inhospitable toward them? I think he would have missed God’s blessing.

“This Day Shall be a Memorial Feast for You"


Today's Mass Readings


Today's first reading is perhaps the most important Old Testament scripture from the perpsective of the life of the Church and its Eucharistc life. This is so because today's reading discribes the very first Passover. Because of the passover lamb, the people of Israel woud be spared, whereas, the first born of all Egyptians, including that of Pharoah, would face death.

“I AM WHO I AM"

Today's Mass Readings

What is God’s name? Abraham did not ask that question; Isaac did not ask that question and Jacob did not ask that question. Moses dared to ask that question, though not for his own sake but only to get the mission entrusted to him some credibility. God’s answer to him was evasive, “I am who I am.”

The inability to name God should be interpreted as God’s arrogance, but rather, God’s awesomeness. Human beings are creatures; God is Creator. There is a huge difference between the two. The Israelites realized that. They called God “Yahweh,” originally YHWH (the absence of any vowels symbolize the fact that God’s name is unpronounceable. Yahweh is a word play on the Hebrew equivalent of “I am who I am.” Translated into English it could mean “to be” or “he causes to be, ” in other words, eternal.

“The Lord is Kind and Merciful"

Today's Mass Readings

Of all ways in which God reveals his self in the Old Testament, the burning bush is perhaps the most spectacular and yet the most personal. As we read this reading, it is easy to get carried away with the burning bush, or God’s determination to save the people. However, equally significant is God’s self-revelation. God is Holy! Thus Moses is asked to take off his sandals. The cry of his people has become unbearable to God. Thus, as the Psalmist says in the Psalm response, “The Lord is kind and merciful.”

“Turn to the Lord in Your Need, and You Will Live"

Today's Mass Readings

The people of Israel finally end up becoming slaves to the Egyptians. They were slaves for almost four hundred years. But certain events must occur before they can be redeemed. Once again, as in the past, if God wanted God could free them with merely his words. But we must remember that God wants to build a Covenantal relationship with Israel. Thus God takes the first step (Moses is called into Midian). He then waits for human beings to make a free choice, so that God can redeem them.

“Our Help is in the Name of the Lord"

Today's Mass Readings

We begin our reflection in the second book of the Bible, the book of Exodus. Exodus literally means “departure.” Obviously, we are referring to the departure of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. However, the events preceding the “exodus” are the formative years of a people who develop a sense of identity, develop a relationship with God, come to know God as their redeemer, and learn to trust God in the same way that their fathers in faith, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had done.

“Do This and You Will Live"

Sunday Mass Readings


It is often the case in the gospels that when people asked Jesus a question, he often posed a counter question and drew the answer from the questioner. We have one such example in the gospel reading (Mt 11:25-27). When the scholar asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus asked him the question what the Law proposed. When the scholar gave the correct answer, Jesus responded with a statement that is important: “Do this and you will live.”

“Be Glad You Lowly Ones; May Your Hearts Be Glad"

Today's Mass Readings

Two events of significance occur in today’s first reading. First, Jacob forms his twelve sons into the twelve tribes of Israel. And then he dies. Second, Joseph assures his brothers that even as the governor in Egypt he would seek to settle accounts even though their father was now dead. Thus, after providing for the needs of his brothers as a sign of his genuineness, he himself dies. An entire epoch in the history of the people of God has concluded.

“Trust in the LORD and Do Good"

Today's Mass Readings

Jacob’s trust in God and God’s care for Jacob are both showcased in today’s first reading (Gen 46:1-7, 28-30). As Israel (formerly Jacob) sets out for Egypt, he offered a sacrifice to his God. God in return appears to Israel in a dream and assured him that He would be with him. The promise of Israel a great nation is repeated again. God promises that God himself would go with him.

"Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life"


Today's Mass Readings

In today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we see another example of an individual who is about to enter into Christian Mystagogy. Like the Ethiopian eunuch from yesterday’s reading, Saul, who becomes known to the world as the Apostle Paul, is not yet following Jesus. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul does not yet understand the Old Testament in light of Christ. Unlike the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul is actively persecuting Christians. Also unlike the Ethiopian eunuch, Saul understands the Old Testament very well, at one level.

"Whoever Eats This Bread Will Live Forever"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus continues to emphasize what He has been explaining to the crowd and to His disciples in the Gospel readings this entire week. Namely, that He is the Bread of Life. Those who followed Moses and who at the manna in the wilderness all eventually died. Jesus informs His audience that if they eat of the Bread of Life, i.e. if they eat Jesus, they will not die but have eternal life. Jesus explains that the bread of which He speaks is His flesh.

"Be a Witness Today"

Today's Mass Readings

The Church celebrates the feast of Mark the evangelist, the author of the first gospel. Mark was in all probability a Gentile Christian who closely followed the apostle Peter. His gospel is addressed to a primarily to non-Jewish Christians who were facing persecution. Thus, Jesus is presented as one who accepts suffering as the cost for following God’s will.

"Imitation of Christ"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s first reading gives us the account of the first martyrdom in the early Christian Church. Stephen challenged the religious authorities to separate themselves from the line of those ancestors who persecuted the righteous prophets of their times. Jeremiah, for example, was one such presecuted prophet. But Stephen’s fiery speech only infuriated them further.

"Work for Food that Endures for Eternal Life"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus tells the crowd to work for food that endures for eternal life. Jesus is speaking about the Eucharist. The rest of this passage, entitled the Bread of Life Discourse, from John’s Gospel, deals with the Eucharist, where Jesus explains to the crowd and to His disciples that His flesh is real food, that His blood is real drink, and that both must be eaten and drunk. He is the bread of life.

"The Transforming Power of Love"

Today's Mass Readings

“Follow me.” These are the last words of Jesus to Peter in today’s gospel passage. But this was not the first time Peter was hearing these words. The last time Jesus told Peter, “Follow me” was by the shores of the lake of Galilee. A full three years have passed since then. And many things have happened in the span of these three years. When Jesus first came calling his disciples, Peter was among the first to be called. He had left his net and followed Jesus without hesitation. Peter got pretty close to Jesus and even became the spokesmen for others. He was the one to make the confession that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the Messiah. He was the one to whom Jesus said “Peter you are rock and on this rock I will build my church,” and to him was entrusted the keys of the kingdom. Peter rebuked Jesus when he told the disciples about his impending death. But when Jesus explained the necessity of the Messiah to suffer and die Peter vowed he would die with Jesus. And yet Peter denied him not once but three times.

"The Church Continues to Grow"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s first reading gives us a glimpse of the life of the earliest of Christian church – its problems and prospects. As the number of disciples began to grow, so did potential problems. Today’s first reading refers to complaints from the Hellenist widows that their needs were being ignored. The important dimension, however, is the manner in which this problem was resolved. The disciples called the community of disciples together and come up with a solution. This precedent will soon become a regular practice in the Church. The Council of Jerusalem in 51 AD would settle the Jewish-Gentile controversy, just as much the II Vatican Council, in 1965, would bring the Church in dialogue with the modern world. So far twenty-one councils have been held.

"Bread of Life; Bread for the World"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s reading from the Gospel of John is a great example of how God provides for us. The crowd following Jesus is hungry, so He multiplies bread and fish. Everyone is satisfied, and what’s more, there’s a surplus of food.

"Living the Easter Joy"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s gospel reading from John emphasizes Jesus’ divinity. We get a mystical sense of Jesus have coming from above and the Father giving everything over to the Son. And yet, despite this emphasis on divinity, we know that in this season of Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus which only came after his gruesome crucifixion. Jesus, the Son of God, actually died, and he died because of God’s great love for humankind. Jesus, who walked among us, is a very concrete way in which we understand what God was like. And in Jesus’ death we see that God is loving and self-sacrificing. He empties himself for us and it is in this emptying, this humbling, that the Son is exalted.

"Whoever Lives the Truth Comes to the Light"

Today's Mass Readings

Salvation is God’s gift in Jesus; but whether to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation remains a choice that every human person must consciously make. This could easily be the theme of today’s readings. Let us reflect on this theme reading by reading.