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Originally delivered on March 10, 1991
Readings: Chronicles 36:14-17, 19-23; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21
In today’s readings, we are reminded that God speaks to us in surprising ways and we must always be open to God’s speaking, especially when He speaks in strange or surprising ways. In the first reading, we learn that the chosen people and the priests turned their backs on God. In response, God got very angry and punishes them, until Cyrus, the King of the Persians and a pagan, persuades God’s people to repent. In the second reading, Paul tells us that when we do good deeds, it is God working through us achieving good in the human context. Finally, in the Gospel, we are challenged by John to remember that we need Jesus to be lifted up and saved. Fr. Healy asks us to wonder if perhaps these readings today tell us that God often speaks through unlikely or unwelcome channels or people, and if so, whether or not we are really listening.
Originally delivered on February 28, 1988
Readings: Genesis 22:12, 9, 10-13, 15-18; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10
In today’s Gospel, we see a glimpse of God’s glory. Like the three apostles with Jesus, we’re already believers and yet sometimes we need to be restored by God in order that we might continue carrying out the Good News. But today we are also reminded that in various challenges that face us, we can find glimpses of God there in our midst, especially as we reach out and help or console one another.
Originally delivered on February 21, 1988
Readings: Genesis 9:8-15; Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15
In the first reading we are reminded of the story of Noah’s ark to be saved at the time of the flood. And yet, despite this flood, we hear that God saved one family and the animals because of His love for His people. In return, we are to give glory to God for all that we have from God. We are responsible for God’s creation, including our sisters and brothers, the environment, and animals.
Originally delivered on February 14, 1988
Readings: Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46; Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45
In the first reading, we hear that the “unclean” should be set apart. But in the Gospel, we hear that Jesus touches the leper, and in doing so, serves as an example that we are to reach out to our sisters and brothers in need. We are reminded that in each era, there are those that people marginalize, such as Jews, those living with HIV/AIDS, physically challenged, and our elders. When we marginalize or overlook others, we are refusing to meet God because each person is a unique manifestation of God. We are challenged to look for God in the faces of those that we’d otherwise reject.
Originally delivered on February 7, 1988
Readings: Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39
In today’s liturgy, we are challenged to look at the quality of our prayers to see why, how, and when we pray. Perhaps more of our prayers are for ourselves rather than as Jesus taught us to pray. Do we only call out to God only when we need Him? Today, in the first reading, we are reminded of Job, who pitied himself. But in the Gospel, we hear of Jesus’ healing of the sick and hurting although His real purpose was to tell the people of the Good News of God’s infinite love and His love for us as His children. Everyday, we should try to purify our prayer from that of a petition to one of thanks for His love.