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4th Sunday in Lent: Life’s meaning and purpose

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For we are what He has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Eph 2:10) Today is Laetare Sunday. It is so designated because Laetare is the first word of the Introit or Entrance Antiphon of the Mass: Laetare Jerusalem; Rejoice Jerusalem, and all who love her. In the middle of this penitential season of Lent, as we hasten towards the celebration of the Paschal Triduum with prompt devotion ... (Continue reading)

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3rd Sunday in Lent: The Sacred Temple

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Zeal for your house will consume me (Jn 2:17). The Gospel records something uncharacteristic: the anger of Christ our Lord. It is a righteous anger, born of our Lord’s zeal for the House of the Lord. "Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!" (Jn 2:16). The cleansing of the Temple, as this incident is often referred to, effectively speaks to the nature and purpose of worship and by extension, places of worship, a church. At an even ... (Continue reading)

2nd Sunday in Lent: The glory of the crucified Christ

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On the second Sunday in Lent we always read the Gospel of the Transfiguration of our Lord. We do so in order that our focus may be directed towards the glory of Easter and our Lord’s victory over sin and death by His glorious Resurrection. Our Lenten penance is not an end in itself but a means to an end; that cleansed of our faults and sanctified in both body and mind we might more fully appreciate and participate in ... (Continue reading)

1st Sunday in Lent: Willing obedience

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After Jesus was baptized, the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan (Mk 1:12). On Ash Wednesday we began the observance of the holy season of Lent with the imposition of blessed ashes, an external sign of our interior resolve to undertake Lenten penance; so that with purified minds and bodies we may celebrate the Paschal Mystery at Easter. The Passion and Death of Jesus bring His public life to an end. ... (Continue reading)

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6th Sunday: Be made clean!

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Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean! (Mk 1:41) This Sunday’s Gospel reading, in continuation with last Sunday’s text, describes another healing—a miracle. In fact, in the Gospel of St. Mark which we are reading this year, the miracles of Jesus comprise one fourth of the entire text. Jesus, we are told, is moved with pity; touches the leper, heals him, and instructs him to fulfill the ... (Continue reading)

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5th Sunday: Poverty, humility, service.

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I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may share in its blessings (1 Cor 9:23). Last Sunday, in a presentation given at the end of Mass, you were asked a rhetorical question: What is the best kept secret of the Catholic Church? The response was the Church’s corpus of teaching on social issues. We were reminded that beginning with the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, which addressed the challenges of industrialization and the ... (Continue reading)

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4th Sunday: Listen to the voice of the Lord

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They were astounded at his teaching for he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes (Mk 1:21). As we commemorate the mysteries of our Lord’s public life and ministry, the Gospel text of today’s Mass invites us to see in Jesus the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy: "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own kin; you shall heed such a prophet" (18:18). ... (Continue reading)

Here is the Lamb of God

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Look, here is the Lamb of God. (Jn 1:35) This declaration made by John the Baptist and which we hear before the reception of Holy Communion at every Mass is a succinct summary of the mission of the Messiah. Last Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of our Lord’s Baptism, the inauguration of His Mission as Suffering Servant and so marked the beginning of His public life, which ended with His Sacrificial Death upon the Cross; the fullest manifestation or theophany of ... (Continue reading)

Behold the true Jordan

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I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness (Is 42:6-7). An ancient antiphon from the Liturgy of the Hours for the Feast of the Epiphany places today’s Feast of our Lord’s Baptism and the Christmas Mystery within the context of God’s manifestation of His saving purpose to humanity. "Three mysteries mark this ... (Continue reading)

Our Lady and the Octave of Christmas

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Hail, holy Mother! The Child to whom you gave birth is the King of Heaven and earth forever. Christmas is a Solemnity with an Octave. This means that for eight days the Sacred Liturgy celebrates the Mystery of Christmas. The last day of the Octave is kept as the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, which celebrates the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the oldest of all Marian feasts. It celebrates not only our Lady’s unique ... (Continue reading)

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