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Lent

Just a Little Talk with Jesus Makes It Right – A Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent

March 18, 2017 8 Comments
Just a Little Talk with Jesus Makes It Right – A Homily for the Third Sunday of Lent

As we examine the Gospel for this weekend’s Mass we do well to understand that is about human desires and how the Lord reaches us through them. Prior to examining the text in detail, let’s consider a few things: What it is that really makes you happy? We desire so many things: food, water, shelter, […]

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Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

March 14, 2017 12 Comments
Why Did Jesus Die in His Thirties?

Why did Christ die in his early thirties rather than as an older man? This would have permitted Him more time to teach and to set forth His Church. St. Thomas Aquinas answered the question in the following way: Christ willed to suffer while yet young, for three reasons. First of all, to commend the […]

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Three Teachings on Temptation

March 7, 2017 1 Comment
Three Teachings on Temptation

Sunday’s Gospel about the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Satan evokes several questions. The answers I propose are not intended to be a theological treatise, but rather a pastoral reflection. I. Why does God permit temptation? God does not permit any evil or problem unless it can serve some greater good. In the […]

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The Truer Purpose of Fasting

March 5, 2017 5 Comments
The Truer Purpose of Fasting

There is an interesting passage in Isaiah, in which God turns the tables on us and reminds us of the truer purpose of fasting. The key verses come in Isaiah 58, but in order to see them in context, let’s first consider the whole passage. Thus says the Lord GOD: Cry out full-throated and unsparingly, […]

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The Battle Theme of Lent

March 2, 2017 4 Comments
The Battle Theme of Lent

A brief observation of the first two days in Lent reveals militaristic, even violent imagery in the battle against sin and the unruly passions of the flesh. The Collect (opening prayer) of Ash Wednesday provides an image of troops mustering for battle: Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of […]

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Choices Have Consequences

March 1, 2017 5 Comments
Choices Have Consequences

The themes of early Lent are pretty basic. The ashes of Ash Wednesday announce the simple truth that we are going to die and subsequently face judgment. Hence we need to repent and come to believe the good news that only Jesus can save us. The reading for Thursday after Ash Wednesday features Moses laying […]

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Four Immediate Results of Jesus’ Death on the Cross

March 25, 2016 4 Comments
Four Immediate Results of Jesus’ Death on the Cross

Let’s conclude our consideration of certain texts from the Passion Narratives with one that describes the aftermath of Jesus’ death. The Gospel of Matthew recounts four immediate results of Jesus’ death, and while they describe historical events, they also signal deeper spiritual truths. And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he […]

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There Was a Man Who Had Two Sons – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent

March 5, 2016 8 Comments
There Was a Man Who Had Two Sons – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent

Today’s Gospel is about a man who had two sons, both of whom forsook him and refused to relive in relationship with him. Although the sons seem to have very different personalities (one outwardly rebellious, the other outwardly obedient) they actually have similar internal struggles. In effect, neither one of them really wants a relationship […]

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