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.
While the March wind was rustling everything in its way in Belize, the UAC members held their National Assembly on 28 February 2020 in the presence of Ms. Donatella Acerbi, President of the GCC-UAC, Sr. Izabela Swierad, SAC, Superior General and Sr. Josephina D’ Souza, SAC Vice General. All the members gathered in the auditorium of Pallotti High School and deliberated on the matters in a spirit of collegiality. It was also a historical moment for the members as they elected the new National Coordination Council of Belize.
Guided by the theme “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of strength, love and self-control (2 Tim 1, 7), the two General Councillors, Sr. Liberata Niyongira, accompanied by Sr. Honorata Lyimo, set out for the General visitation to the communities of the Saint John Paul II Delegation in Cameroon from 23 January - 14 February 2020. The Delegature consists of 16 sisters, 11 Polish missionaries, 5 native sisters, 1 novice in International Novitiate and 4 postulants.
Keep your eyes fixed
on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified,
let yourself be saved over again.
We begin another Lent: a unique time of grace that invites us to deeper reflection on Christs´ Paschal Mystery. Our personal and community life - through baptism and consecration - is marked so much by the events of Jesus´ Death and Resurrection, that this mystery is its center. It is the heart and the source that constantly brings us the gift of new life, freed from sin and death.
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.
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.
Genesis 12:1-4;2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9
Fear. For almost everyone of us, it is a part of life, maybe a gnawing uneasiness, maybe a denied memory, maybe even a panic that paralyzes. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of risk, fear of looking foolish, fear of forgiving and fear of being forgiven, fear of speaking out and fear of standing silent--there are probably as many fears as there are possible human actions. What each of them has in common is a basic lack of trust in God's faithful love and endless generosity.
Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus challenges us in today’s Gospel to strive for the perfection of the children of God, which is to love as God loves – to love all, even our enemies. As I prayed with this scripture, I found myself thinking, “But, I don’t have any enemies.” I am not a diplomat, nor have I been in a gang, and I have escaped any family feuds. Then, I realized that in many ways, I have created enemies by the barriers I place between others and myself. Sometimes these barriers represent my insecurities about my abilities, my fear of rejection, or my desire to safeguard my reputation.
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.