Welcome

These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Saturday, 06 March 2021 00:00

SATURDAY, WEEK II, LENT

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
(Lk 15:1-3,11-32)

The fifteenth chapter of Luke’s gospel is a marvel. It is framed by the eating and drinking with sinners. But what follows are three parables, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son (the Prodigal Son). In today’s reading we are treated to the Lost Son. The refusal of the elder son to join the banquet celebrating the return of the younger son ties in to the eating and drinking with sinners. Who are those in our church, in our community, in our world, that we would rather not have at the table? Why is it that so many in our world have no place at the table of the human family? Why do so many not feel welcomed?

Friday, 05 March 2021 00:00

FRIDAY, WEEK II, LENT

Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
 has become the cornerstone;
 by the Lord has this been done,
 and it is wonderful in our eyes?
(Mt 21:33-43,45-46)

This passage from Psalm 118 (Ps 118:22-23) is so important to early Christian preaching and teaching about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection that it is cited also in two other passages of the New Testament, Acts 4:11 and I Peter 2:7. It forms an essential part of the liturgy of Easter Sunday.

Thursday, 04 March 2021 00:00

THURSDAY, WEEK II, LENT

“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.”
(Lk 16:19-31)

In the first century, dogs were pets for sure . . . but the dogs in the street were scavengers. As Jesus tells the story, the rich man dies and is buried. The poor man dies . . . and the dogs get him. What a story . . . for all of us!

Wednesday, 03 March 2021 00:00

WEDNESDAY, WEEK II, LENT

"Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many." 
(Mt 20:17-28)

It was March 3, exactly 1,700 years ago today when Emperor Constantine decreed that the “venerable day of the sun,” the Roman dies solis, should be a day off, that is, a public holiday without labor. Christians had of course marked Sunday long before the year 321AD, as the day of Christ’s Resurrection. They had marked it such, however, while the day was a work-day. Constantine changed that, and Sunday now became recognized not only as a specifically Christian holy day but also as a day of public rest.

 

 

Thursday, 25 February 2021 00:00

THURSDAY, WEEK I, LENT

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
(Est C:12,14-16,23-25)

The story of Queen Esther is one of those fabulous Bible stories which captures the imagination. When faced with mortal anguish, Esther knows exactly what to do . . . she has recourse to the Lord . . . she prays, and the Lord triumphs! Today's picture is the painting of Queen Esther (1878) by Edwin Long.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021 00:00

WEDNESDAY, WEEK I, LENT

R. Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.’
R. Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
(Joel 2:12-13)

Even now . . . which means, that there’s still time. It’s never too late.

Media

Tuesday, 23 February 2021 00:00

TUESDAY, WEEK I, LENT

Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
        as we forgive those who trespass against us.
(Mt 6:7-15)

The prayer that Jesus gave us is full of lessons for us all. Not only do we ask for daily bread, we also ask for forgiveness, just as we forgive. And of course, that’s the kicker! To be forgiven, we must also forgive. As Jesus will point out to us: the measure with which you measure, will in turn be measured out to you. And so Lent calls us to be generous . . . generous in forgiving, generous in giving, generous in love.

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