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PRODUCE OR BE CUT DOWN!

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3rd SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR C March 3, 2013
PRODUCE OR BE CUT DOWN!
There is an element of fear and a deep sense of reality in the Gospel of today. Fear, for we are told about consequences, and the examples the Lord uses, are rather gory: the Galileans killed by Pilate, and the 18 people who perished in a disaster at Siloam. Unless we repent, we are told, we will all suffer a similar fate.
Consequences are not easy to understand in our times. We live in a time when there seems to be an infinite number of choices and alternatives to forestall or prevent unwanted consequences. I have two dogs right now, for example. Both are infested with ticks, big and voracious ones (garrapata, in Spanish). One can always pay for an injection that makes dogs’ blood poison for ticks. Nowadays, we can easily procures vaccines … one prevents polio; others prevent other diseases that used to be common in times past.
We have pills to control obesity; tablets to control blood sugar; and CCTV cameras to reign in b…

BELIEVE, STAND FIRM, LISTEN!

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2nd Sunday of Lent Year C February 24, 2013
BELIEVE, STAND FIRM, LISTEN!
There is no mistaking it. Abram was called, not just once. He was called to leave Ur. But it entailed further callings. It entailed much more than just dragging one’s feet away from home. Today, Abram is told to look up to the stars and believe in a promise – that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, and that God would make a covenant with his descendants.
Abram shone out in his faith. He believed. And he also obeyed. “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.”
But believing in God’s promise is no walk in the park. We all know that. We all know that Abram was eventually put to a big test. He would be asked later in his life to offer up his only son Isaac, just one of a series of seeming downturns or source of despondency in his life.
Doesn’t this remind you of Paul? Wasn’t he the one who was flogged, imprisoned, and suffered shipwrecks? But look at what he does.…

ADMIT. ACCLAIM. ACKNOWLEDGE

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First Sunday of Lent Year C February 17, 2013
ADMIT, ACCLAIM, ACKNOWLEDGE!
No less than the Lord Himself was tempted … not once, not twice, but thrice! This is a story we hear each year, always on the first Sunday of Lent, such as today. If you went to Mass last Ash Wednesday, you would remember the reminder: “Remember man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return!” That reminder, of course, is but one of several, including: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Reminders! … This is what and who we are as believers. We are a people of the reminder, a people of the memorial! This Eucharistic celebration, as you know, is an anamnesis – a memorial that, at one and the same time, looks back and looks towards the future.
What do we look back to? Let the first reading remind us … Like the Jews of old, we were once aliens living in a foreign land. We were (and still are!) sinners, who were once enslaved by sin, exiled … far from home. Don’t we all remember a time when we are under the cl…

DO NOT BE AFRAID!

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5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
February 10, 2013


DO NOT BE AFRAID!


It was definitely a religious experience of an extreme kind … awesome enough as to make Isaiah cry out: “Woe is me, I am doomed!” Jews of old then believed that no one sees God and still live! But Isaiah saw more than just God. He saw himself too, warts and all … “I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King the Lord of hosts!”


Isaiah was honest about what he saw in himself. No use pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes. No use denying it. But once he got to admit and accept what he was, something beautiful happened … For himself. For the people. For us all.


Isaiah himself without much fanfare tells us how: “I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?’ ‘Here I am, send me!’”


In the last two reflections over the past two Sundays, I have ranted about how difficult it is now to be a preacher of the Word. The world is satura…