Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B) March 10 (2 Chronicles 36:14-17a, 19-23; Psalm 137; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21)

Why had God allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed and the people to be driven into exile? The author of Chronicles was attempting to make sense of the devastation and ruin that had befallen his land and people. There was more than enough blame to go around. Both the priests and the people had fallen into corruption and pollution of the worst sort. In the eyes of the author, things like this do not just happen — there is always a cause, and most of the time the cause is human in origin.

A sacrament to recognize God’s healing love


Known by different names over the centuries — “anointing of the sick,” “extreme unction” and “last rites” — it was administered only at the point of death. The Church now teaches it “is not a sacrament intended only for those who are at the point of death. Hence, it is certain that as soon as any of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, this is already a suitable time for them to receive this sacrament.”

God's Word on Sunday: There can be no substitute for God


Third Sunday of Lent (Year B) March 3 (Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-25; John 2:13-25)

Many people do not know quite what to do with the Decalogue, aka the Ten Commandments. Some want to toss it out the window as irrelevant and outdated. Others will salute it and insist on its importance. Conservative “family values” politicians sometimes use it as a club to beat society, but when cornered, they are often unable to explain — or sometimes even to name — all 10 of the commandments. 

Meekness is the courage to accept God fully


A certain young woman had deep faith in God, but little connection with religion. Later she embraced Church life and revisited concepts, stories and Scripture passages she’d learned as a child and still understood in childish ways. She was astonished to discover one of the beatitudes declares: “Blessed are the meek” (Matthew 5:5).

God's Word on Sunday: We enter this world only by the grace of God


Second Sunday of Lent (Year B) Feb. 25 (Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Psalm 116; Romans 8:31b-35, 37; Mark 9:2-10)

The story of the sacrifice of Isaac is one of the weirdest and most disturbing stories in the Bible. Isaac was the long-promised son and heir — the promise that had kept Abraham and Sarah going for so many years. And now God was commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son — just like so many of the other forms of religious worship in that time.

God's Word on Sunday: In this world, no one is excluded from God’s care


First Sunday of Lent (Year B) Feb. 18 (Genesis 9:8-15; Psalm 25; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15)

Rainbows are beautiful to behold and often they are double or even triple in nature. Many hopes and dreams attach themselves to the rainbow — riches, happiness, acceptance and a better world someplace else. But it serves another purpose in Genesis — it is a memo or reminder to God of the covenant with Noah and his descendants. It reminds God not to destroy the Earth by water again — as if God needed reminders!

God's Word on Sunday: The ‘proper’ response is welcoming the other


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Feb. 11 (Leviticus 13:1-2, 45-46; Psalm 32; 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1; Mark 1:40-45)

People tend to fear what they do not understand or what is unfamiliar. The advanced stages of leprosy can be a very disturbing sight. Although the cure is now readily available, the disease is still active in some parts of the world. In its advanced stages, the sufferer loses fingers and extremities and their facial features are often disfigured. Leviticus dealt with the problem as best it could, calling for isolation and preventative measures.

God's Word on Sunday: We must always spread message of hope


Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Feb. 4 (Job 7:1-4. 6-7; Psalm 147; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39)

There are many who would empathize with Job’s bleak outlook on life. His days were filled with pain and struggle, and he could see no end to his situation. He questioned even the meaning or value of his life.

God is the bridge in all our relations


“Why can’t my spouse and I understand each other?” Even in the dearest of relationships, we might feel we can’t understand our husband, daughter, father or friend. 

God's Word on Sunday: We’re drawn to God through inspired words


Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Jan. 28 (Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28)

Who is the mystery prophet of whom Moses and God spoke? He was never named and virtually no clues or hints were given. This led to speculation throughout the centuries, with the prophetic label pinned on different candidates. In the New Testament, he is simply referred to as “the prophet coming into the world,” and many thought that Jesus fit the role perfectly.

God's Word on Sunday: In God’s way, mercy extends to all


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Jan. 24 (Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 25; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20)

This very abridged version of the story of Jonah omits some of the most important — and interesting — aspects of his prophetic ministry.