Did He, or didn’t He? What difference does it make? During Lent, we’re being prepared for the question that will be put to us next: Did He, or didn’t He, rise from the dead? 

Jesus responds with radical, self-giving love

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Passion Sunday (Year C) April 1 (Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23:56)

Passion Sunday cannot be celebrated in isolation from the reality of our contemporary world. Part of this reality is violence and injustice in one form or another, nearly always answered in kind.

We author our own misfortune

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3rd Sunday of Lent (Year C) March 11 (Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15/1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12/Lk 13:1-9)

Many traditions insist that to name and define God is a form of betrayal, for whatever can be named and defined cannot be God. But that doesn’t stop us from trying our best to have a name and a face for God. Not only is it more personal, it also gives us (we think) a greater sense of possession and control.

God expects us to work

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Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year C), March 18 (Jos 5:9a, 10-12/2 Cor 5:17-21, Lk 15:1-3, 11-32)

The manna from heaven and the fruit of the Promised Land are both testimonies to God’s loving kindness and provident care. But they also testify to something else: human doubt and unbelief.

We author our own misfortune

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3rd Sunday of Lent (Year C) March 11 (Ex 3:1-8a, 13-15/1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12/Lk 13:1-9)

Many traditions insist that to name and define God is a form of betrayal, for whatever can be named and defined cannot be God. But that doesn’t stop us from trying our best to have a name and a face for God. Not only is it more personal, it also gives us (we think) a greater sense of possession and control.

What is truth?

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Myra was suffering profoundly. Some people blame themselves when life gets tough, taking everything inside. Some, like Myra, take everything outside, blaming everybody but themselves.

Real faith is trusting in God no matter what

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Second Sunday of Lent (Year C) March 4 (Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Phil 3:17-4:1; Lk 9:28b-36)

The people of the ancient world took their covenants, contracts and promises very seriously. No need for dense legal language, for the agreement was sealed in blood, carcasses and curses. At the end of this account of God’s covenant with Abraham, he is promised land — very specific land, where other people are already dwelling — and he is promised this land in perpetuity. 

God will not forget those who are faithful

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Many are accustomed to think of the New Testament as being theologically disengaged from the Old Testament, but nothing could be further from the truth.

We all share the same limitations

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Feb. 18 (1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-25; Psalm 103; 1 Corinthians 15:45-50; Luke 6:27-38)

Most of us love to see the movie villain get his or her comeuppance. There is a palpable sense of glee and satisfaction in the audience, sometimes even erupting into applause. Be honest: how many of us have fantasized about having our own enemy — whoever it might be — right where we want them? I think that is probably a common experience.

The God of life has final say

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Feb. 11 (Jeremiah 17:5-8; Psalm 1; 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20; Luke 6:17, 20-26)

Is trust in other people such a bad thing? Couldn’t our world use a bit more trust and less suspicion and cynicism? At first glance, the passage from Jeremiah seems to defy common sense. But if we read carefully, it is clear that trust is not the real issue. It is this: what is the source of your inspiration, power and strength?

Love and grace reach out to wherever there is need

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Jan. 28 (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19; Psalm 71; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:21-30)

Where do visionaries, reformers and prophets get their courage and perseverance? Their diaries and writings often reveal that they are quite ordinary people, with all the fears and weaknesses that are part of humanity. Many of them struggle with self-doubt, loneliness and fear. And yet they go on — they stand up for justice and compassion despite the opposition of the world and often their own co-religionists.