Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year B) April 26 (Acts 4:7-12; Psalm 118; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18)
There is a rather cynical observation that no good deed ever goes unpunished. The incident in Acts seems to support those sentiments. No sooner had Peter healed a crippled man than he found himself under arrest and standing before the authorities to answer charges. He protested that they were merely doing a good deed and healing the poor man.
Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year B) March 29 (Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1-15:47)
Receiving instruction directly from God is not a ticket to an easy or conflict-free life. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah is a case in point. This Servant was most likely an unknown prophetic figure in the community of Israelite exiles in mid-sixth century B.C. Babylon. He must have been an exceptional individual, since he was the source of comfort and encouragement for so many.
Third Sunday of Lent (Year B) March 8 (Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-25; John 2:13-25)
The Ten Commandments are often viewed as obsolete and out of touch with the modern world. They are unfortunately treated as if they were the 10 suggestions rather than commandments. Even those who use them as weapons in the culture wars of our times are sometimes hard-pressed to name all of them.
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Feb. 15 (Leviticus 13:1-2, 45-46; Psalm 32; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45)
Those whom we despise, fear and exclude often reflect our own fear and lack of love. They show us who we are inside, and that is why we fear them so much. The ancient scourge of leprosy was a perfect example.
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Feb. 8 (Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 147; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39)
When things go reasonably well and we are basically happy, then life itself seems positive and even joyful. But when illness, personal failures, pain and misfortunes make their appearance, our world can change in an instant. Life can seem negative, painful, dreary and futile. Even the things that used to bring us joy lose their lustre.
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Feb. 1 (Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95; 1 Corinthians 7: 32-35; Mark 1:21-28)
Movements and new organizations often do not survive the death of the founder. Usually something vital is lost and the original charism begins to fade.