In September there was a story about a man who died after jumping into his septic tank. The man and his son, Joseph, were working in the yard when Joseph fell into the tank. The man jumped in to push his son out, but he died in the tank. Falling into a septic tank is a perfect image for what our sins do to us. On Good Friday, we remember that Jesus jumped into the darkness of sin in order to push us out.

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Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Readings).

August 5, 2010 was the day some insignificant men doing thankless work would become world-famous. That day portions of the San José Mine in Chile suddenly collapsed. The 120-year-old mine consisted of a miles of sloping tunnel that spiraled into the earth. The men working near the surface were able to escape but 33 men deep in the mine were completely cut off. Rescuers did not know if the men were alive but immediately began working to reach them. After two weeks of work, a borehole poked into an area of tunnel they thought the men might have access to. Mine engineers reported that they heard tapping on the drill bit. They pulled it out and found a note taped to the bit, written in bright red letters:

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Palm Sunday. Most everyone in today’s Gospel regrets their choices: Judas hangs himself, Peter weeps bitterly, Pilate washes his hands, and even the soldiers regret their choices. How can we live without regrets? By imitating Jesus and choosing the will of God the Father. (13 Apr 2014)

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Jesus comes into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey. He does not come in power to conquer the city, but He comes in humility and allows the people the freedom to choose whether they will accept Him or not. We need to walk with Jesus, not only when He is being praised by the crowd, but also when He is being hated and rejected. True friends are with one another in bad times as well as in good times, and we need to be true friends of Jesus. Jesus is a true friend of us; He is not only with us in the good times but He is especially close to us in our sufferings.

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Lent, 5th Sunday. Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. How often have we said that ourselves? The Bible takes great pains to emphasize out how much Jesus loved Lazarus. Jesus is his friend, and it’s never too late for Jesus, because there is no place he will not go for his friend.

Jesus stretches our faith so that it can grow and be ready for the challenges that are coming. His friendship will get us through everything, provided we are really friends with Him. Do we look forward to time with Him and make sacrifices to serve Him? Will he recognize us when he comes again? We know that Jesus will never forget a friend, but are we really friends with Jesus? 

(6 Apr 2014)

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Lent, 4th Sunday. Last week, the Gospel invited us to hear Jesus. This week we are invited to see Jesus. Through the light of Faith we can begin to see as God sees. The world looked at little David and saw the baby of the family. God looked at David and saw the future king of Israel. Do we actually see things as they really are? The world looked at the blind man and saw a sinner. God looked at the blind man and saw a son. What can we learn from the story?

  • The man was thought incurable. Jesus, the Creator, makes him new eyes.
  • Jesus heals because he wants a relationship with this man.
  • The man receives physical sight immediately, but his spiritual sight takes time. He begins to see Jesus, first as a prophet, and then as the Messiah.
  • Meanwhile, the Pharisees are blinded by their assumption that they already see clearly.

If we believe we see clearly, we are blind. Only if we are willing to admit we need God’s help will we begin to see as God sees. Open my eyes, Lord; help me to see Your face.

(30 Mar 2014)

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Lent is the way that Catholics prepare for the celebration of the Triduum (which means “three days”). The Triduum is the triple feast of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. These feasts commemorate the climax of the life of Jesus. Holy Thursday remembers the His famous last supper with his closest disciples, while Good Friday commemorates his arrest, trial, and death by crucifixion.  Easter Sunday is celebration of the day when Jesus rose from the dead, and it is the greatest Christian feast day of the whole year.

From the first centuries of Christianity, Christians prepared themselves for this feast by fasting beforehand. Good Friday is the chief day of fasting.  Fasting on this day expresses our sorrow for our personal sins, since Jesus died for our sins.  It also professes our solidarity with Jesus because we are choosing to suffer on the day he suffered.

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The gift of the Holy Spirit is the key to understanding the Gospel reading about the Samaritan woman at the well.  Jesus will give the gift of the Holy Spirit so that people will no longer worship on Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem, but they will worship the Father in and through the Holy Spirit.  The woman at the well does not know what she has been thirsting for her whole life, but she has been thirsting for the gift that only Jesus can give.

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Lent, 3rd Sunday. The Samaritan woman has a bit of a “reputation” around town, so imagine her surprise when a Jew treats her with dignity and respect. And then it turns out that He already knows all about her past, and He still loves her. Those things we think nobody knows? Jesus already knows.

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