Gen 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-18; Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
Today’s readings highlight Joseph and Jesus who came to greatness through slavery. Joseph and Jesus are similar in that they were betrayed by loved ones. Other similarities that grab my attention are the fact that both characters rose to help others through their adversity and that humans get sidetracked with over-comparing.
Jeremiah 17:5-10; Luke 16:19-31
The story of the rich man and the beggar at the gate is so familiar that it probably has lost its power to disturb us – as surely it should. Why? Well, there is no indication in the story that the rich man had broken any of the commandments – no indication that he even realized Lazarus lay in distress outside his door. So why this terrible reversal in the life after death? The message Jesus is conveying is not just that we should be generous. Of course we should! Not just that we should comfort those in need. Of course we should! It is much more.
Jeremiah 18:18-20; Matthew 20:17-28
One of my favorite things about today’s Gospel is the mother of the sons of Zebedee asking Jesus to give her sons prominent places in his kingdom. There’s a mom for you, willing to take matters into her own hands to make sure her sons have an equal chance, no matter the mutterings of the indignant apostles at the scene. Jesus says it’s his father’s decision, but he also warns all of them that his kingdom won’t be like what has gone before.
In the beginning of February 2018 a new Provincial Council of Mary, Queen of Apostles Province was appointed. The following are members of the Council:
Sr. Mary Grace Barile, Provincial Superior
Daniel 9:4b-10; Luke 6:36-38
Today’s gospel is from St. Luke’s “sermon on the plain” a parallel to St. Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. In these sermons, or collections of Jesus’ sayings, the Lord summarizes how he wants his followers to live their lives. The beatitudes contained in both these collections of sayings set the standard for discipleship, service of God, and love of the neighbor.
Our scriptural reading today is the end of that sermon on the plain and it effectively concludes these important words of Jesus as to how the disciple or we put into practice the spirit of Jesus in our dealings with one another and, ultimately, how we deal with God.
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; Matthew 23:1-12
Lent is a season for listening, as it is a time of renewing and re-greening one’s interior life. Six weeks is a long time to have one’s ear cocked for the slightest whisper or the loudest sound which suggests that God is afoot in your life and in your relationships. One of the central challenges of Lent is discerning and identifying the voice of God in the cacophonous sounds and competing slogans that surround each of us.
Genesis 22:1-2,9-13,15-18|Romans 8:31-34|Mark 9:2-10
By Lewis Bowman
Mountaineering is a transcendent experience. On a human level, we transcend the limitation of our fears, and discover the tenacity of the human spirit. As Edmund Hillary put it, 'It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.' But mountains have also long had a religious significance and have been regarded as places where God is encountered. From mountaintops, God reveals to Man that his human limitations and mortal fears can be transcended, and Man discovers the divine heights to which the human spirit can soar
Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Matthew 5:43-48
The reading from Matthew challenges us even beyond the faithfulness owed to those we love. Jesus speaks about a love that must go further than that involving those we love. He seems to be saying that loving those who love us is the easy part. We are called to do more. This last part makes me more mindful of how much I need God's love because I often find it hard to "lay in for the stay" even with those I love deeply.
Ezekiel 18:21-28; Matthew 5:20-26
I’m always a little taken aback when I read scripture readings like today…. The reading from Ezekiel seems so harsh and scary and yet the message is clear, “do what is right and just.” I am reminded of my need to pay attention to what God has told us and not to confuse civil law with God’s law(s). I thought about the death penalty when reading Ezekiel and how imposing this civil law defies God’s call for allowing people, who have committed grave acts of violence, to come to accept responsibility for their actions; to ask for forgiveness and then to choose to live according to God’s laws.
1 Peter 5:1-4; Matthew 16:13-19
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16
The feast of the Chair of Peter reminds us that our Lord gave Peter a unique role of servant leader for the Christian Community. Because of the struggles which have marred the Church over the years, there are Christian communities which reject the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, as the current occupant of the Chair of Peter. However, in some circles there is hope that our Lord's desire the night before he died that we all be one is closer than ever before: "I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." [John 17:21]