Archive for March, 2015


Palm Sunday & Earth Hour

March 29, 2015


This year, the beginning of Holy Week coincides with Earth Hour – the hour long observance of creation and dimming of lights around the world.

There are two brief reflections contained in this sound file:  the first was delivered on the vigil of Palm Sunday about what we have heard during these past 40 days; the second was delivered during a special Taizé prayer service during Earth Hour.

May we not forget that this week, we are not just united with Christians around the world; we are united with all of creation.


Fifth Sunday in Lent

March 22, 2015


It really is a very strange story, isn’t it? Not for the reasons the Pharisees would claim – the fact that a man was brought back to life, but because of how Jesus first responded.

When Jesus heard that Lazarus, this man that he loved was ill, he did not rush off to him – he waited for two days.

When he arrived, Martha came to him and confronted him on his delay. Jesus rather matter-of-factly assured her that Lazarus would live. And then Mary comes out and again confronts him about his delay – and she started to cry.

Then Jesus also begins to cry.

We read that it wasn’t because Lazarus died that Jesus cried, but because Mary cried. Clearly, Jesus did not mean to bring such angst upon Mary, but she did not understand what he knew.

Every single one of us here has experienced the delay or seemingly unresponsiveness of God.  This is a story about how we deal with waiting for Jesus.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Fifth Sunday of Lent (The Scrutinies) (Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45)


Fourth Sunday in Lent

March 15, 2015


Somewhere along the way, religious folk got into the business of judgment.   I guess it has really been with us all along. But if there is one central message in today’s readings, it is that we are rather unqualified to pass judgment on anyone, even ourselves.

In our first reading, Samuel thought the one to be anointed his successor would be among those with him – he didn’t even consider David, the youngest of the brothers. But God made it clear to Samuel that we do not see as God sees.

It is so hard for us to be present to someone or something and not at the same time pass some sort of judgment. But this judgment is most often the ego keeping busy. We are so action-oriented. So determined to be productive.   To make conclusions.   Can we not simply . . . be?

If we are to see the world as God sees it, then somehow we have to learn to see without acting. We have to learn to be present without any judgment at all.  The name we give to those moments in their many forms is prayer.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent (The Scrutinies) (1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41)


Third Sunday in Lent

March 3, 2015


Last week we heard about the Transfiguration – the glory of Christ revealed, which by consequences also reveals our own faults. If you recall, I compared to looking through a window on a bright sunny day. The dirt on the window is a distraction to the vision much like our sin is a distraction to our relationship with God.

Today’s readings pick up that theme, but if I were to use the same metaphor, caution us to focus – not on our imperfections – but on God.

This message is not conveyed by mountains as last week, but with water. In the desert, Moses calls forth water from the rock. At the well, Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman.  The water for which she asks is both life-giving and chaotic.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Third Sunday of Lent (The Scrutinies) (Exodus 17:3-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; John 4:5-42)


Second Sunday in Lent

March 1, 2015


Biblically speaking, mountains have always been a place where we go to find God. It is not hard to understand why – for they offer a view of the world that is often unobstructed and pristine.

While I imagine most of us have visited mountain tops in our own lives, unless you have climbed up and down one, you cannot completely understand it as the apostles did. It takes a lot of energy and endurance to climb and the more you carry, the harder you have to work.

The same can be said of our lives. The journey to God is also difficult and the less baggage you carry with you, the easier your ascent will be. We must learn to live in the moment and be prepared, but not worry to much about the path ahead.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Second Sunday of Lent (Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Psalm 116; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10)