In today’s Gospel we hear about those two disciples on the road to Emmaus who didn’t recognize Jesus even as they walked and talked with Him. How often do we not recognize Jesus within those we meet? Let us pray for eyes of faith, that we may never miss Jesus on our journey through this life.
Since the time of the apostles, our faith in Jesus has been transmitted and nurtured by those four signs of the church in today’s first reading. The early Christians “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.” Over 2,000 years later, we are called to this same life to be a sign of faith to others.
Christianity is summed up in this most ancient of feasts. What makes Jesus’ life and ministry unique and our lives meaningful is the Resurrection. We know that following Jesus is demanding, even costly. But there is much more … Jesus promises us life on the far horizon. His followers weren’t expecting it. Are we?
This Lenten season invites us to explore the meaning of life — our lives here and now and life after death. In a world where many have so little while a few have so much, we are called to embrace life as well as to ensure that precious resources are available for the most vulnerable. Mindful of the fragile balance in our earthly life, we place our faith in Christ’s resurrection and the promise of life everlasting upon death.
As we continue our journey through this season of Lent, we are met with the question of who is worthy in God’s eyes. Based on false expectations the Israelites and the Pharisees never thought David would be chosen king or that Jesus would heal the man born blind. Worthiness may be found not in reputation or pedigree or appearance, but in one’s heart.
Today we observe the Solemnity of the Institution of the Polish National Catholic Church. In the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel, we read “...[Jesus] said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His Name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Bishop Francis Hodur and the clergy and faithful united with him followed the leanings of the Lord Jesus Christ and organized this Catholic and Democratic Church. As the Church, let us rededicate ourselves to labor in the Lord’s vineyard and proclaim the Gospel to all nations and nationalities.
All three of today’s readings include a call from God – the call to Abraham to leave his homeland; in Paul’s letter to Timothy, the call to live a holy life; and, in the Gospel, the call from the clouds admonishing the disciples, and ourselves today, to listen to Jesus. Let us pray for our world, our Church, and ourselves that we may listen for His divine voice.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, Lent has begun. Today we hear two familiar scripture passages; the Genesis story of the first sin of Adam and Eve; and Matthew’s account of Jesus’ going out into the desert, where the Evil One tries to tempt Him to sin. Let us begin our worship today asking to be mindful of our sins and for the grace to repent.
Today we continue to hear Jesus teach His disciples – and us!– how we are to live. His teachings are simple, but sometimes difficult to remember and follow in our day-to-day life, especially if we are rushed, anxious or distressed. So let us continue to pray for that mindfulness that we need in order to live what we believe and act like the person we know we are called to be.
Today and for the next few weeks we will hear the preaching of Jesus — simple teachings for those who want to live a peace-filled, loving, satisfying life. Simple teachings, but difficult to remember and act on when we are rushed or stressed, or hurting. Let us quiet ourselves and pray for the grace to really listen today so that this week we may remember to act more like the person we want to be.
In a culture obsessed with strength and success, today’s readings are startling. The qualities and behaviors identified in the Beatitudes look nothing like economic, political or social strength. Instead, they appear to demonstrate weakness. Paul tells us that God chose the foolish, the weak, the lowly and despised to shame the wise and the strong. Those of us who say we follow Jesus have some soul-searching to do. How do the Beatitudes fit with our professional and life-style commitments? How willing are we to engage in the really hard practices? And what would it mean if we don’t want to?
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