Thursday, March 25, 2010


MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK... (Is.42,1-7;John 12,1-11)The cloud covers the house...the cloud of the cross. Did Mary know what she was doing? Did she realize that in the anointing she was announcing the death of Jesus? So many unusual things: the anointing of the feet instead of the head...the drying of the feet with her hair…using so much of the precious anointment that the house was filled with its fragrance...These unusual things speak to us about the fact that something is hidden within them. The death. What was He thinking as Mary performed the washing? Nothing is said. His silence is the voice to which we must listen to. His heart must have been sad even a little frightened. The touch of His dear friend gave Him consolation.
Did John want to say something beyond the literal? We look at the word ”house” and how John uses it in other places. It is the presence of God, and whoever is with God is in His “house.” .God is present and the fragrance is His glory. But who is anointed? It is the entire Christ and therefore in this act we also are anointed into His death; we are anointed into the Passover which He will walk. We have become dwellers in the “house” and the glory of the Head is within all the members. It also means that as we celebrate the sacred mysteries of this week, we are not only celebrating or remembering Christ’s but also our own. In some mystical way, we have been joined to Him so that the path He walks we also walk. The anointment of the Spirit has come upon us...
1: Do you welcome the Lord into your home and anoint Him with the oil of friendship?

TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK... (Is.49,1-6;John 13, 21-33,36-38) A night of contrast .”it was night” words which tell us of sin, of betrayal. They ring with the absence of God…God is light; God is brightness and sunshine; God is being able to see. Night is selfishness; night envelops one so that there is separation. Night is sad; light is joy. Night has no hope; light is hope. Night is walking in the human condition; light is walking with God.
“It was night” is man separated from God. But then the Lord speaks: now is the Son of Man glorified...
The mysterious words “Son of Man” that contain within them the very meaning of who the Lord is: God and Man. He has walked with them.. Many times they did not understand who He was. Now in this, the “night” who He is will shine through. The astounding paradox: night is no longer night but light. Absence is no longer absence but presence. The glory of the Lord, which is the presence of God among men, will shine through. In what people see as the dark, His death, at that very moment His glory will shine through. On the Cross, we see God.
The seasons of the Church’s year each have their own meaning. Easter is the day of days...It is the day which goes so far beyond anything which the human mind can grasp that we stand with our mouths open in awe and wonder. It is the day when we look at our lives and remember that the night which we may have to walk in is only the threshold of the glory which is to come. The sadness-joy, hope-despair, success-failures of life are all wrapped in the great mystery which the Lord unfolded for us when He said: Now is the Son of Many glorified.
1: Have you ever been in the “night” and then be led to the “light?”

WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK... (Is.50,4-9;Matt.26,14-25) ”Thirty pieces of silver,” the price of a slave...The words of Isaac are fulfilled. The “servant” that mysterious figure of whom he speaks is realized in the flesh. That servant, one of the great hopes of Israel, is here. The words come back. He will take upon himself our sins; he did not shield his face from buffets and spitting; he gave his back to those who beat him...All the words are fulfilled.
It is so humbling with all our pride, and sometimes haughtiness, to accept the fact that God became a servant He gave his life as only a servant can do. We should look at the Lord as redeemer, as King. Then to realize that He is redeemer and King only as servant. Once again, the profundity of this week staggers us. God is our servant.
His life is not His own. His life is for us. He who is the master of all, the beginning and the end of all creation, the center, subjects himself to the created. His life is not something to be held onto but must be surrendered if those whom He has come to serve are to have life. We see in this scene much more than simply betrayal. The mystery of the meaning of life comes through. We live not only for ourselves but for others
1: What do think of the Lord as your servant?


HOLY THURSDAY... (Ex.12,1-6,11-14;1Cor.11,23-26;John 13,1-15)The Eucharist. So many images come to mind. Service, community, presence, gift, honor and glory...Where do we begin? Where do we put ourselves in this scene? Is it gathered round the table enjoying?.Is it with the apron on washing the feet of our brothers and sisters? Is it looking forward to what this evening means: suffering, death and most happily resurrection? Are our hearts heavy because we know the master is leaving but do not as yet know how? Are they happy because they realize the gift which has been given them? They have just received the bread of life, they have been given the command: do this in memory of me. Something special…they do not yet fully understand. The Master teaches them the meaning of the evening: He washes their feet. The servant/master gives the sign of love. He gives life through the Eucharist, so they must give life to one another. To be “this evening” in memory of Him..
The “upper room”...A room which resounds with the hearts of all humanity. The evening, done in time and place and yet going so far beyond time and space that our minds stand in humble acceptance, and that is all. The room and what it means has come down to us in the acts of the martyrs; it has come to us in the thousands upon thousands who have dedicated their lives to the Lord. This room comes to us in the love which is shared between husbands and wives between parents and children; it comes to us with a friend helping a friend…with the gentle hands of a nurse giving comfort to a patient…This evening and the Eucharist are all about us…and more than that this evening is still yearning to be brought to life in our lives.
Holy Thursday is not celebrated as a date past but rather as a date yet to be lived.
1: Simply ask yourself the question: what does the Eucharist mean to me?

GOOD FRIDAY... (Is.52,13-53,12;Heb.4,14-16;John 18,1-19) Silence...The scourging is finished. The long walk to Calvary has ended. The sound of the nails biting into his flesh no longer penetrate the air...the crowds look. His mother and a few friends, at a distance, cry. Then the words come: It is finished. But is it?
As we go through this day, wrapped in the sadness of separation colored by hope, as we walk the Passion with Him, is it finished, or is it just beginning? In finishing His work the beginning for the rest of us is in sight.
He begins, in this finishing, something new. The splendor of creation, the meaning of what it is to be human, suffering, not as a curse, but as life giving. It is not yet finished because what happened on that hill so many years ago still has to become alive in the lives of those who say: I believe. The cross is not finished; it has to be made present to the world around us. In finishing, He has just begun. It is not the end but rather the entrance to a new road of living.
It is paradoxical that death brings so much newness. It is the great paradox that in defeat there is victory, that in the shattered body on the cross is the glory and the presence of God...It is something which makes the mind bow to think that He who is the beginning and end of all things subjected Himself to those whom He created...We look at the cross in this moment of silence, and we see ourselves. We see the shattered broken people so much in need of healing. We look at the cross and we see love. We look at the Cross and see that He has come down to heal us and in showing that we are loved gives us the greatest healing.
It is finished, and only begun...
1: Look at the Cross and see the love of God…

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Woman caught in adultery


We know where it is going to end....there is a quiet yearning to get it done...but Jesus chooses different ways. He wants to show the confrontation that He and his message will always have with the world, and with the two sides of who we are....the one who walks in the light and the one who hides in the darkness.

MONDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT… Dan.13,41-62; John 8,12-20) The irony is strong. Here is Jesus the “new temple,” standing in the Temple which He will replace...Here is Jesus in the very spot where discerning who He is should be so easy, and yet they do not see. Here is the light shinning brightly so that all may see, only to be met by blindness of heart....The light shines so brightly and yet no one sees. So many reasons to see the place, the words ...The light never goes out, the light which is Christ always stands before people trying to break through the darkness of sin induced darkness. To see the light we are asked to put, as the old expression goes, two and two together. This is where the people in the Temple completely missed the boat. They did not stop to reflect on their tradition, or what Jesus had said at other times. They took the words but not the meaning. They could repeat the words but not the message. For us, it is obvious what Jesus is saying...perhaps there is even something in our hearts which says: how foolish those people were. Is He looking down on me and saying the same thing? Is He wondering why I missed the light so often in my life.
Is He standing in the Temple of the world in which I live, and I do not see Him? The darkness which He has to penetrate is as real today as it was then....Perhaps I am more guilty. I know He is the light, I have accepted that, and yet so often I prefer the dark...
1:Do you see all of nature as the great hymn of praise ?

TUESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT… (Num.21,4-9;John 8,21-30) People listen to the same words...”many came to believe in Him” and at the same time other hearts remained hard....Can I ask the question; why did they believe? What did they hear that turned their hearts to Him? Maybe for each there is a different answer. The personal touching of our hearts by the Lord...He comes the way we need Him...He comes to respond to the individual yearnings of the human spirit...Some see and understand beyond just the appearances...others are trapped in the material world. To some the brightness of hope fulfilled shines forth while others look for something or someone to remove the emptiness...They can not accept the gift which has been given. He says: I AM…some hear those words others hear something else: what I am... Some were quiet, standing on the periphery of the conversation but listening and taking things into their hearts....others were too busy talking they had no time to listen....some were holding on to the security of their thoughts afraid to let go ...Others let the freshness come in and reached out for something new...Some put their trust in politics others put theirs in the Lord.
1: What does it mean to you to say “Christ is our hope?”

WEDNESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT… (Dan.3,14-20;John 8,31-42)A willingness to listen is not enough...The word which Our Lord preaches must be the food of our existence. To live in the real world is to be free. When we live our lives in a world of our own making, we are not be free.
The real is what brings out the greatness of the human spirit...the false captures us. But what is real, or what is truth? The definition corresponds to various experiences...It is a nice day...true. People do bad things...true. We can limit the definition to the material the world of sensual perception.
There is another world, a world we cannot see but is just as real. As a matter of fact it is “more real” than the material one in which we have to make our way. It is the world of God-the ultimate truth the ultimate reality because He does not have any of the limitations of “our world”.
It is this truth, this reality which sets us free. Why? What is it about this truth which is so powerful that we are free? At the bottom line freedom is simply the ability to love. The more one loves the freer one becomes. This truth of God brings us into contact with the boundless love which God has for us. The deeper we immerse ourselves in this love the more the strings of this world are cut away ...We start forgetting ourselves and our own little interests, we begin to walk in the sunshine of the love of God...That is freedom. That is what the Word which Our Lord gives us and which He wants us to make our food offers.
1: What word of God has struck you during Lent?

THURSDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT... THE SOLEMINITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION (Is.7:1014; Heb.10:4-10; Luke 1;26-38) It begins…With the “let it be done to me” the plan of God for our salvation becomes present. Mary with her yes says that all people have a place in God’s plan. She knew who she was, she knew that her life had a meaning which even she did not know completely. This is the great lesson of the Annunciation by saying yes to who we are we make Christ present in the world.
. (refusing to go further...The security is threatened. We know that there is an invitation to go beyond
, to take a step into that world which we do not know but which beckons. The structures upon which so much of our lives are founded hold us back ...The courage is lacking but more importantly the dream is not there. To be able to dream of something beyond what we see and hear, to be able to dream that all reality is not boxed in this world, to be able to dream that God has a dream for us...that dream is what goes’s word if nothing else puts before us the one offering the dream and those refusing it. To dream and to live that dream, this is the gift which the Lord gives.
1: has there been a time when you thought God was asking you to do something but you held back because of fear?

FRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT... (Jer.20,10-13;John 10,31-42) There is something very humbling about this scene. I place myself as one of the inquisitors of Jesus...I have seen His works in my own life....sometimes in small ways, at other times in ways which truly stagger me by their power. At times the works are like a gentle breeze almost unnoticed, at other times they are like the thunder coming from the mountains...The humbling point comes in when I sit back and reflect on the one simple fact: this is the Lord, the God working in a weak not very worthy human being. It is the Lord, the almighty, taking a piece of clay and molding it into the image which He wants...It is the Lord of all creation, looking down on one of His created and doing great things within him.
Today’s scene reflects that part of me which has such a difficult time accepting the fact that God walks with me and works within me. I can not be too hard on the inquistors…because often times I am one of them…the fact that God is with me is too powerful, almost frightening, and yet that is what the Lord is asking us to accept. Getting caught up in the same irony: the problem is not what the scribes and Pharisees say it is.
They say that Jesus-although He is nothing but a man makes Himself out to be God; when in fact the reality is that although He is God, he shows Himself as a true man. They got the situation backwards. Perhaps they were afraid; perhaps it was just too much for them; perhaps they wanted a different “God” to be with them; perhaps they were blind. These all sound so familiar when I look at my own life.
1: What great thing has God done through you?

SATURDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK… (Ez.37,21-28;John 11,45-56) The poor Pharisees...trying to solve the things of God with human reason...I hear their talk and can not help but think how fallible we are. There was Caiphas advocating the death of Jesus and at the same time prophesying what that death would mean: for the nation to gather into one the dispersed children of God...I wonder if Caiphas now is in heaven, I certainly hope so. He is looking down on this scene and hopefully having a good laugh at himself ...wondering how he got entangled in discerning the things of God with simply human reason.
Maybe he is laughing at the great joke that took place ...He thought he had everything under control; the logic was perfect: if Jesus dies the Romans will leave them alone...human logic falls right on its face. Caiphas from whereever he is now can see it. At least I hope he is enjoying the situation.
Unfortunately, we do not see the irony that clearly yet. There is an arrogance at times the way we look at situations thinking that we are in perfect control. Because we have thought it out, that is the way it is going to be...Then God comes and does something...just to remind us of who is really in charge. We see also that the plans of people are not in accordance with God’s desires. It is once again so easy for us to make ourselves the center, thinking that we are the ones who determine the right and the wrong.
Once again, fear seems to be predominant...It colors the way we think. The subtle fears, that come into our lives and we are not even conscience of can control us. Pray to be freed from the fears which prevent us from seeing the things of God.

Friday, March 12, 2010


The Gospel in most parishoners will be the parable of the Prodigal Son. We are all familiar with the message. Thanks to the wonders of modern tech. we are able to listen to Pope Benedicts insights into this beautiful reflection on the love of God...It only takes about five minutes. Since the Holy Father's homily is so beautiful I decided that my homily would be something similar to a fire cracker going off after an atomic explosion.

Don't forget to link onto the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry web or someone you know may be interested.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK....(Is.65,17-21;John 4,43-54)The first reading from Deutero-Isaiah rings out with the hymn of new life...All the limitations under which we live now will disappear. The incompleteness of who we are will find its fulfillment in the days of the Messiah. The days of fulfillment are when life is no longer clouded by pain, death and all the results of sin in which we now walk . It is almost too good to be true..this dream which God gives us through the prophet. Just reflect: no longer shall the sound of weeping be live to be a hundred...looking forward to these great days.
In the Gospel, we have the stamp of this promise in the very person of the Lord. He is the One who will bring this great day about. The weeping of the father has been turned to joy, the death of the son has been changed to life, the bleakness of the first part of the Gospel grows into the joy of the end. Christ indeed has made all things new. But it is still a path to be walked, what He has done in the world must become a reality.
This would bring us to how we look at history. Is it circular? or is it linear? Does it just keep going around or is it headed someplace? Today’s Word reminds us that the life which the Lord has come to give is growing in the world; it is headed towards its final realization.
1: Do you look at your life as an active participant in the ever unfolding plan of God?

TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT (Ez.47,1-9,12; John5,1-16)From the New Temple, Jesus shall flow the life giving water, the Holy Spirit. The life of God shall come to us...But what is this life? We look at the man healed.
He was crippled and could not go into the life giving waters...The promise of wholeness which they offered was blocked to him. He sat there helpless, powerless to do anything. He could only wait and hope and yes, weep .Then one day the promise was fulfilled. He was put into the waters by a man he did not know. He could walk, he could take his place in society…No longer was he the crippled person to be looked on with pity....No longer was he the peripheral person whose existence was acknowledged only begrudgingly but now became very active in life. This is one aspect of Our Lord as life-giver...He heals us so that we become players on the field of life and not just passive spectators. The doubts, the fears, the lack of confidence which hold us back from being who we can be are healed by the water of the Spirit which comes from the Lord.
He takes us by the hand and gently puts us into this water...We have been bathed by it But a gift given must also be received. To be given this healing means that we have to walk in the fresh air of what it means…to be convinced that the Lord has so definitively entered our lives that we are different and do have a strength, that even though we are not completely healed we are healed to the extent that He wants us to be. To accept this gift ...perhaps the greatest example which the man in today’s Gospel gives us is this: he walked, he used the new life given to him.
1: Did the Lord ever pick you up and place in the life giving waters?

WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK... (Is.49,8-15;John5,17-30)Continuing the general theme of Jesus as life giver we come to a different nuance in today’s Gospel. Before going further it would be good if we reminded ourselves of a very basic principle. Every time Jesus tells us about the relationship He has with the Father, He is telling us about our relationship with the Father. Not in exactly the same way because He is by nature and we are by adoption. This principle is very important for us to penetrate the words of the Gospels.
In the mystical words of today’s Gospel which soar almost beyond our reach because they delve into the very mystery of who God is, Jesus tells us about relationship. That very special relationship between the Father and Himself. It is a relationship like no other because it is founded on the complete identity of nature which we call the Trinity. It is the perfect love relationship because it is God loving God; there can be nothing more perfect. A very important aspect of any love though is that it has to “explode” in one way or another. It can not be confined but must extend an invitation for others to share in this love. We see this in families that always seem open to receiving others,;we see it in people who have “I want to share myself with you and I want you to share yourself with me” written on their foreheads.
It is to this love community that Jesus has come to invite us to share...”the man who hears my word and has faith in him who sent me possesses eternal life.” Jesus speaks the Word, the sharing of God with us. That is what words do...and in possessing the words of another, what we do is to accept that person into our hearts in a special way. In receiving the words of Jesus,eternal life is ours.
The two dimensions of this expression must be considered. The one is future: we live the Word and we will attain the fulfillment of the promise. The second is present:. eternal is the meaning of God; life is relationship. Therefore in the present, what Jesus is calling us to do is to look at our lives as so intimately wrapped up in the life of God that we truly share His life on earth.
This of course has the implication that we live our lives looking forward to the fullness of the community of love to which we have been called .The things we do are stones along the path .Each stone is important and should shout in some way that it is very important because it is heading to God and because it shares now the very life of God.
1: What does identity with the Lord mean to you?

THURSDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK....(Ez.32,7-14;John5,31-47) Does the life which God has given me as a gift belong to only me or is there hidden within the daily activities another meaning? Today’s Gospel gives us a hint and much more than a hint. It tells us about being sent; it tells us about doing things and saying things which proclaim the love of God. Today’s Gospel tells us about the Father looking down on the common things and sometime the big things we do and say as being blessed by Him. Life is made up of so many tasks, so many things to be done, we loose the beauty of what they are. We place the ordinary in the category of not important, almost doubting whether God could care over these things which really seem so secular. For those living their lives of faith,there is a desire to do great things for the Lord and the ordinary are simply to get through.
It seems to me that the Lord is saying something altogether different. Each and every one of us has been sent by God. This is the mystical meaning of what it means to say “I am alive.” We have been placed on this earth for a reason. The point of frustration comes in when we look for the reason in the dramatic and do not see the excitement of the small things we do every day as the living out of this mission. In the works which we do, in faith and love, the Father does give testimony to us. Life becomes a beautiful hymn of praise, even with all its disappointments, heartaches and frustrations...Beauty is something God-made and not man made.
As we go about our lives doing those things which we are called to do we should let God make them beautiful.
1:Do you believe that because you do them the ordinary things of life are holy?

FRIDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK... The Feast of St. .Joseph, the Husband of Mary (2Sam.7:74-5,12-14a,16; Rom.4:13,16-18, 22; Matt.1:16, 18-21, 24a) The doors are open to many possibilities in reflecting on this feast. Joseph calls us to look at our faith, our commitments, our courage. He challenges us to listen to our dreams. What strikes me now about Joseph is that he is a man who tried to do the best he could. Many times he was not sure , there were times when he just did not understand, but he kept on going.
(Wis.2,1,12-22;John7,1-2,10,25-30) They see but they do not see, they hear but they do not hear...The gift of life is before them but they refuse to accept it. How easy it is for them to rationalize away that which God wants to give them. He reminds them who He is, but still they do not see… perhaps a few do. Is Jesus playing on the word “know”? They “know” him in one sense…Where He was born, what He has been doing. But He is asking them to know Him in a different sense. To come into contact with who He is. To experience His life inside of themselves...This they can not do.
As I read the Gospel, the word “evangelization” kept coming to mind. I know about Jesus ...Has this knowledge led to a deeper relationship with Him or am I content with the just “knowing about” Him? As I read, it was not too difficult for me to place myself in the crowd and repeat the words they said.
This is easy. It is not easy to see the Lord for who He is: the one sent to give life. It is easy to see Him as the carpenter’s son; it is not easy to see Him as equal to the Father. To go beyond the material- what we see and hear and feel and to go to that world to which He asks us, we will see things not seen, hear things not spoken, and feel his presence.
1: Are you satisfied in knowing about Jesus or are you searching to know Him?

SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK... (Jer.11,18-20;John 7,40-53) The crowd is divided...Is it not the same today? The voice of Jesus breaks through and causes division. Those who believe and those who do not...But more subtly and certainly more dangerous is the fact that instead of denying Christ today many people think they speak for Christ. The division which we face today, is not between believer and non-believer, but rather between those who say “this is the prophet, this is the Messiah” and those who look another way.
Another way of looking at the Gospel is the enthusiasm of the crowd…They were not passive in the face of Jesus…they were looking, searching for someone and their words can easily be interpreted as the cries of those longing for the fulfillment of their hope. The attitude of the Pharisees on the other hand is that of fear, despair and blindness, ...The Gospel is placing before us those two parts of who we are...The open, searching longing individual and the one who at times is closed, without hope. The image of that part of myself willing to let go courageously and that part which cannot let go fearful. Fear seems to run through the Gospel. It is almost as if the word is constantly drawing a comparison between those who are not afraid and those who are… between those for whom power of any

Friday, March 5, 2010


I realize that many of you may not be able to volunteer. However, you may know a young person who is interested in taking a break after graduating from college. You may know someone who is interested in doing something different for a year. If you know someone like this the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry may be what he/she is looking for. Click on the link for more information. It is really a good thing...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT (2Kings5,1-15;Lk.4,24-30)The first reading has always intrigued me. How one young girl could start the “ball rolling”. She says her thing, and then is quickly forgotten by all. But if it was not for her nothing would have happened. The fact that the general listened to her is also surprising. Not too many generals would do that.
I think of the girl with admiration. She did not forget her tradition. She was a captive in a foreign land and remembered who she was.
As we live in the foreign land of life, looking forward to going to our true home, do we remember? She knew the ways of her people. Not only did she know, but she wanted to share. She was quite convinced that what she had was good and was meant for everyone. She did not wait to be asked but rather saw the opportunity and did what was right. She was committed to the ways of her fathers and was not embarrassed at all to let everyone know.
This young girl whose name has not even been passed on to us shared her tradition and her God with people and as a result great things did indeed happen. So often I have wished that I could be like her. She is indeed a model for those who ant to spread the Good News.

TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK... (Dan.3,25,34-43;Matt.18,21-35)The girl remembered and the unjust servant forgot. As the girl is a model of those who remember their God so the unjust servant is a model of those who soon forget the goodness of God. These two people, the girl and the servant, come back to back almost as though the Word is trying to remind us that we have both of them within us. We are the coin with two sides. The one is thankful, remembering, convinced. The other forgetful, closed in a jail of selfishness. The one is courageous, the other afraid. The one side of us is going out to people and helping them, the other using and abusing them.
They seem always to be fighting for our soul. We want the good but so often the other wins out. We want to walk in the fresh sunshine of a heart singing thanks to God, of a heart filled with the memories of His goodness to us...But the other side is there trying to pull us away, clouding the sunshine, dimming the memory...Lent is the time of the year to remember, to be thankful, to let that side of who we are burst forth.
1:Are you using Lent to become who God has made you?

WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK .(Dt.4,1,5-9;Matt.5,17-19)The words from the Book of Deuteronomy :“ Hear the decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live”...That you may live pop off the page. What do they mean? What is the connection between obedience to the law of God and life? There is no doubt that such a connection exists...One way would be to say: eternal life is the reward of keeping the commandments. This is true but is there perhaps another meaning? Do we have to look forward to death before this promise is fulfilled? To live means to enter into a relationship. The decrees of God are what bound us to this relationship with Him. To live means really to be free and to be able to love. That is what God is talking about when He says “that you may live...His ways are the ways to love and freedom which are the two signs of human life.
To love means to be able to cast aside the “I” and to look at another, but not only to look at the other but much more importantly to look in the same direction as the other. We can state this by simply saying: to share the dream of the other. To be free is to have this love to motivate us that the shackles of selfishness are done away. To obey the commandments is not simply some sort of blind obedience but rather it is sharing the dream which God has for us.
Lent can be a time of entering into more and more this dream of God .
1: What does God expect of you and what do you expect of God?

THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK The Feast of St. .Joseph, the Husband of Mary (2Sam.7:74-5,12-14a,16; Rom.4:13,16-18, 22; Matt.1:16, 18-21, 24a) The doors are open to many possibilities in reflecting on this feast. Joseph calls us to look at our faith, our commitments, our courage. He challenges us to listen to our dreams. What strikes me now about Joseph is that he is a man who tried to do the best he could. Many times he was not sure , there were times when he just did not understand, but he kept on going.
THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT (Jer.7,23-28; Lk.11,14-23) Some would say that the ultimate sin is to attribute to the devil that which is being done by the working of the Holy Spirit. This is what happened in today’s Gospel…They look at the good things which Jesus was doing and could not or would not accept them as the working of God so they had to explain them another way. They were afraid that if they accepted them they would have to acknowledge who Jesus was and therefore their power would be ended with. He presented a threat to who they thought they were and consequently he had to be denied. The deeds of God were cast aside because of selfishness, fear and envy.
When we see good in the world, do we say this is the work of God, give thanks and rejoice or do we try to hide it? This is especially true when it comes to dealing with and perception of other people. The gifts ,which God gives to other people, special talents, intelligence, good looks, may intimidate us . There is the danger of seeing them not as the working of God but rather as threats to who we are. Sometimes they present such a threat that we start talking about the person to diminish the gift and to make ourselves feel better. Instead can look at the gift and thank God for it. In so doing we will eventually come to realize our own gifts and give thanks for them. If we see the working of God in other people it becomes so much easier to see the working of God in our own lives.
1: Do you thank God for the gifts He has given to other people even if these gifts may intimidate you?

FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT (Hosea14,2-10; Mark 12,28-34 ”I will be like the dew for Israel.”What a marvelously beautiful image of God. The morning dew makes things fresh, gives them life and the strength to go through the heat of the day to make things blossom. God explains who He is in so many ways, ways that we come into contact with everyday. Rock, water, wind, sun, are all concrete ways which in God describes Himself and they are all invitations to grow a little more in love. The little things speak so loudly and we are so deaf. Things we see and touch and hear every day are lost because they are not “new”. They become old; what a shame. What a shame the marvel of running water, the briskness of a spring day, the gentle wind of summer, are not seen as the images of God among us.
If these become “old” then it is really possible that we become “old” in the sense that we no longer see the newness which God is working in us. This constant unfolding of the “I” which God created and still creates. If I can look at myself and see something new every day then I can look at the things around me and see the newness, conversely, if I see the newness of things everyday then I will see my own newness. The dew of God’s love makes all things blossom.
1: Has God ever made you “new?”

SATURDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK... (Hosea6,1-6;Lk.18,9-14) Appropriation is taking something which belongs to another and claiming it as your own. Today’s Gospel reminds us very forcefully how easy it is for us to appropriate what is God’s as our own. It would have been so simple if the first man was doing something wrong...But he wasn’t he was doing all the right things. Perhaps if we had been there we would say: “what a good man.” It wasn’t so much that he was bragging, it was just that he was taking the working of God within himself and saying that it was his work. The real sin was not that he bragged but rather that he did not acclaim his dependence on God. His prayer would have been so much nicer if he had said: I thank you God that you have given me the grace not to be crooked or adulterous, I thank you Lord that you have looked down on my weakness and given me the strength to fast twice a week and to be generous with what I own. I thank you Lord for the grace of seeing the publican and reminding me that the only things I can claim for myself is my sin and that everything else comes from you. The publican has reminded me of my poorness and that in bragging what I am really doing is just recounting your astounding deeds in my life” The Gospel reminds us that even the good things we do for God are really only our response to what God is calling us to do...Everything begins with Him and ends with Him.