Showing posts from March, 2011


Third Sunday of Lent (A)
March 27, 2011

I am no biblical scholar. I am just a teacher over the past 33 years and, as they say, "been there ... done that." And as a teacher, I would be a little annoyed with the woman at the well, if she were my student. First, she tended to be impertinent ... somewhat. Second, she had different questions about most everything, and they were quite desultory ... jumping from one topic to the other, and they could be a little off tangent.

But as teacher who might have little patience with silly questions, I find myself in awe at the great teacher who had answers to each and every question she posed - and more!

But first, I would like to speak about the little surprises that lead me, of all people, to ask silly questions, too. First and foremost, why would anyone go out to the well at midday to fetch water? As one who grew up in the boonies, where one had to fetch water from some place for daily use (there was no indoor plumbing to speak of!), one do…


2nd Sunday of Lent(A) March 20, 2011

Today's first reading waxes very hopeful. From a difficult command for Abram to "go forth" - thus, becoming the world's first migrant ever mentioned in any recorded account, a word of promise ensues from the mouth of God ... "I will bless you." On top of this was another promise ... "you will be a blessing."
Moving from one's land of birth, having to go far from familiar territory, and exchanging it for some uncertain place, sans all the familiar sights and smells, and sounds of home can never be less than traumatic for anyone. We feel it in the thousands of songs written, as much by those who were left behind longing for loved ones gone far, like the haunting and pleading "Ritorna a Sorrento," as those who have chosen to go some far and forlorn place, as in the longing and plaintive lines of "Arrivederci Roma!"
Leaving one's home is always a heart-breaking experience for anyone.
As I wr…


First Sunday of Lent (A) March 11, 2011

Everything happens for a purpose. Everything takes place for a reason. The Spirit, we are told today, “led Jesus to the desert to be tempted by the devil.” It was in the desert where Jesus was tempted, the very place where Jesus set out to do something good, the place where he fasted and prayed.
I guess this is what I want to emphasize today … behind every dark and menacing cloud lies a silver lining. Behind every temptation lies a potential triumph of grace, of freedom, and will power. The desert trap did not end up a pointless death trap, but the Lord trumped it and made it into a triumphant victory of grace and freedom.
Not one of my readers, least of all myself, can lay claim to not being, or not having been bothered by temptation. I know I am. Repeatedly. Daily. Constantly. I know this from personal experience. I know it, too, by vicarious experience. 29 years being a priest and 29 years being privy to the inner worlds of people have taught me,…


9th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) March 6, 2011

We live in a world fraught with necessary choices. On a daily basis, we are meant to make choices, whether we like it or not. We choose to get up promptly each morning and choose to get to work or get to school. On such occasions, we know we do have the freedom not to choose accordingly, but we also do know that if we make said choices, we actually increase, not diminish, our freedom. The choices that we make, albeit necessary ones, spell our future well-being and success, and increase our capacity to make further, more important, choices.
We have an example of one such major, important, and far-ranging choice that reverberates far into the future of each and everyone of us. Moses confronts us with it. He impresses upon us its value and importance when he counsels us to “take his words into our heart and soul,” and to “bind them at our wrist as a sign,” or hang it like a “pendant on our foreheads.”
In short, he advises us to “remember” and nev…