Monthly Archives: April 2010

Fourth Sunday – Easter Cycle C

25 April 2010

Reflecting on Acts 13:14, 43-52

What profoundly Good News the Gospel is for those who are poor in spirit.  Listen to the stories of those who stepped into baptismal fonts at Easter Vigils all around the world this year:

The Good Shepherd

I was hungry for more in my life, and learning about Jesus fed me.

No one ever exposed me to the spiritual life when I was growing up. When my friend talked to me about his faith, I knew how much I wanted that for myself.

My soul craved the beauty and depth of the Catholic faith.  For example, no one ever gave me saints before.  Now I have all of them as my friends.  And, of course, there is the Eucharist.

Sometimes I wonder if we “cradle Catholics” are like the Jews whom Paul and Barnabas encountered on their missionary journeys.  Nobody could give them anything new and wonderful because they were already the “experts” on how God works.  And so they missed Jesus, the fulfillment of everything they had longed for!  But the soul-starved Gentiles, empty in a Roman world of gods and goddesses, recognized their Savior and rejoiced that they could be part of him.   What good shepherds those early Christians were for those who were outside the sheepfold.

Listen to the stories of those who have just joined us.  They are wake-up calls for all of us who were carried to the font as babies and have never truly appreciated the faith for which others have longed.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

Who are the people who have shepherded you in the faith?

Above: Anonymous French painter c 1970’s painted this scene for the Jesus Mafa project in North Camaroon.



Third Sunday – Easter Cycle C

18 April 2010

Reflecting on John 21:1-19

He came to us again this morning.  We were out in the boat, the seven of us, still fishing.  Still fishing, even after everything that’s happened!  But we were restless.  Afterwards, we talked about how we had sensed him there by the water, sensed a change in the way the sea moved when he was near.  Mary of Magdala told us it must have been the same feeling she had when she went back to the tomb that day.  First she saw two angels in the tomb, but she sensed that Someone even greater was there.  She turned, and there he was, waiting for her.  But even she didn’t recognize him at first!  But of course when he called her by her name―that beloved voice, saying her name―she knew it could only be him.

The Catch of Fish

That’s how we felt, too.  It could only be Jesus calling us, telling us where to find the fish.  Only Jesus at the charcoal fire as we, famished, pulled our huge catch to shore.  Only Jesus loving Simon Peter back to life.

Do we love you, Jesus?  You know we do.  And we promise to keep fishing, pulling all the nations, all who will ever recognize and love your voice, into your wide net of love.   Only you know how far and high and wide and deep is your endless net.   Only you know where all those who secretly long for you are waiting.

Only you know how hungry we are.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

Do you know someone who is longing to be found by the Church?

Second Sunday – Easter Cycle C

11 April 2010

Reflecting on John 20:19-31, Rev. 1:17-19

Mercy.  Can you feel it?  It’s getting ready to explode all around us.  This cold, long winter is finally giving way to spring.  Without seeing it, we believed that new life was secretly budding on trees that, just a short time ago, appeared forever barren.  Some of us have needed to touch the branches ourselves, to put our hands on the tiny buds, to hold the tiny crocus peeking out of the ground.  But even our winter-hard hearts know mercy when we see it.

Doubting Thomas

Resurrection is tricky business.  Our eyes tell us one thing―no; let’s not even mention the messages of death that want to hijack our joy.  They get enough of our spirit, right?  But still, we could believe the Easter Gospel so much more easily if we had been in that upper room, or at the empty tomb, or one of those who were healed by the shadow of Peter, the Forgiven One.

We trust the testimony of the eyewitnesses, of course.  But how much more blessed is our own experience of the Risen One!  We see him and know him whenever mercy, undeserved and so desperately desired, whispers our name.  So watch carefully and remember what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.

Mercy abounds.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

In what ways have you experienced mercy so great that you knew that Jesus was alive?

(Caravaggio painting c.1601)

Easter Sunday – Cycle C

4 April 2010

Our story seems like nonsense, and a lot of people don’t believe us.  But the women who came to the tomb found it empty.  Peter and the disciple Jesus loved found it empty.  And since that day, we have experienced the Risen Lord too.  We didn’t see it ourselves, but we know the tomb is empty.

The Tomb is Empty

And so we will no longer seek the living among the dead.  We won’t go to the places of death that lure us.  We won’t smack our lips over the demise of those who have hurt us.  We won’t be quick to take affront, quick to pin the blame, quick to take what’s ours.

Our hearts are changed this time.  We will greet the outsider at the well.  We will dance at the coming-home parties of all lost sons and daughters. We will take off the death clothes of those whom Jesus has called back from the grave. We will declare a moratorium on all stone-throwing for the rest of our lives.

When Christ our life appears, we too will appear with him in glory.  But it won’t be the fullness of Easter until all tombs are empty.   So, come you flowers!  Come, you bird nests and robin’s eggs!  Come, you seeds beneath the winter snows!  Bring in Easter again, with all its truths and abundant promises.  And we’ll do our part to bring Easter too.  For Christ our Passover Lamb has been raised.

Therefore, let us keep the feast.

Sharing God’s Word at Home:

What “place of slavery” are your ready to leave for good?