Archive for February, 2012

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First Sunday of Lent

February 26, 2012

A SEASON OF TESTED PROMISES

Every year on the first Sunday of Lent, we hear of the temptations of Jesus and we are challenged to resist our own temptations concerning those things that draw us farther away from God. But Mark’s version is, by far, the shortest. And while Matthew and Luke’s accounts offer us a chance to reflect on the nature of our temptations, I believe Mark offers a different consideration.

The preaching of John, which we hear about in Mark, echoed by Jesus, invites all believers to consider where they place their loyalty. This same idea is understood in the description of the covenant between God and God’s creation.

Lent is our chance to evaluate our promises to God. Through the sacrifice of his own Son, God is very clear about what he is willing to do to keep his promises. What are you willing to do to keep your promises – the promises you made at baptism or your children’s baptism? The promises you made at your confirmation? Those you made at your wedding? What about the promises you made in your home – to each other?

We are told that recapturing these promises requires three things: prayer, fasting, almsgiving.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the First Sunday of Lent: (Genesis 9:8-15; Psalm 25; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15)

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 20, 2012

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING HEALED AND CURED

Thus says the Lord (through Isaiah) – remember not the events of the past; the things of long ago consider not; see I am doing something new!

Our message this Sunday is a hopeful one – a setting quite fitting just before we begin Lent.  It is one of sinfulness and forgiveness.

We hear in Isaiah, Though we have burdened God with our sins, God wipes them away.

In our second reading to the Corinthians, God is the God who says yes, contrary to our world that believes God is too often about no.  To the contrary Paul explains that God only says no to our no – to our sin.  God cannot say yes for us, but will create a space in which we will.

And in the Gospel, the paralytic is lowered in through the roof – healed and then cured.  And we are reminded, how much easier the forgiveness of sins comes for God than for us.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Isaiah 43:18-19,21-22,24b-25; Psalm 31, 2 Corinthians 1:18-22; Mark 2:1-12)

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 13, 2012

PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE

This Sunday, Paul and Jesus offer us clear methods on how we can be people of greater influence.  Through the Corinthians, Paul gives us a very clear list of instructions as to how we can better spread the Gospel with our lives.

In the Gospel, Jesus is moved with pity and stretches out his hand to heal the paralytic.  However, in doing so, he breaks through yet another societal custom which finds its basis in our first reading from Leviticus.

The challenge is to us is very simple, but not easy to follow:  influence is not only deeply personal, it often requires that we make ourselves vulnerable and get a little dirty in order to make a difference.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46; Psalm 32; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45)

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 5, 2012

THE MIRACLE OF MYSTICISM

For the last few weeks, we have been reading about the miracles of Jesus, and leaves us to question whether such miracles are possible today?  No doubt many in this room will say yes, but what about those outside these walls?  Do they see such “miracles” as we see them?

Certainly miracles occur.  They are literally millions of events that happen every year that leave us in awe and amazement.  Some defy the “Laws” of science; others do not, but they are clear signs that God is present in creation.  In this way, miracles are both feats of unexplained healings and timely answers to our prayers.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: (Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 147; I Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39)