Lent is a training camp and spiritual retreat for the whole Church, and it always begins with the same two lessons. On the first Sunday of Lent, we have the scene of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. This story teaches the first lesson: we must worship God alone and obey only His word. The second Sunday of Lent always brings us to the Transfiguration, which teaches the whole church lesson two: Jesus is the beloved Son of God, and we should listen to Him. During the rest of Lent, we will be sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His word.

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Lent, 2nd Sunday. Today we are privileged to be part of the inner circle of Jesus’ friends as we witness His true glory. Peter suggests they build three tents, but God has a better idea: we only need one tent because the beloved Son is enough.

Moses here symbolizes the Law and Elijah the Prophets. The Law showed the Israelites how to stay in right relationship with God and their neighbor. The Prophets called out the people when they cheated and stopped living in right relationship.

Jesus is the new Mediator, replacing both the Law and the Prophets. Right relationship with God happens not from following the Law but from following Jesus. The demands of the Catholic faith are meant to keep us in right relationship with God and neighbor. Like the Israelites, we have been cheating on our relationships. We let stuff get in the way of the people. Lent is a time to look at the stuff that clutters your heart. Clean out the stuff to make room for the amazing gift of Jesus. Listen as He tells us: Rise, and do not be afraid.

(16 Mar 2014)

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Genesis tells us about the most embarrassing moment in the world, the moment when Adam and Eve sinned. Adam and Eve’s mistake was to listen to the serpent instead of serving God; they did what seemed best to them rather than doing what God asked. The fundamental choice of our whole life is whether we are going to obey God or not, whether we will serve God and others or serve ourselves. In the desert, Jesus shows us how to do it the right way; Jesus refuses to serve Himself, because He is totally dedicated to serving God and others.

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Lent, 1st Sunday. Jesus shares with us his temptation by Satan. He had just been baptized by John and heard a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Now he goes out into the desert for 40 days and Satan tries to get him to doubt who He truly is. How often has Satan tricked you into doubting you are really a child of God? Satan tempts Jesus three different ways:

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In my homily on Ash Wednesday, I talked about how quickly everything in this world slips away, like sand that slips through our fingers. There is nothing we can do to hold on to anything. Everything fades, passes away, and crumbles into dust.

Those of you who are a little older know the feeling that life is slipping through your fingers: your health is weaker, you cannot do what you used to, maybe you are no longer able to drive or live in your own house and maybe your friends are passing away one by one. However, when those of us who are younger stop to think about it, we have also had these experiences. Friends we used to know have moved away or just drifted away, the good times from high school or college have passed behind us, and every day seems to go by so quickly.

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Ash Wednesday. What do we like about Pope Francis?

  • He lives a simple life.
  • He loves the poor.
  • He loves all people.

To sum it up, we love Pope Francis because he kind of looks like Jesus. He’s showing the Cardinals and the Vatican that they should live like Jesus. Every priest should kind of look like Jesus. And yes, every Christian is called to look like Jesus. This Lent, let’s imitate Pope Francis:

  • Fast from one luxury, so you can live a simpler life.
  • Give alms by finding one way to serve the poor, wherever you find them.
  • Pray a little more, so your life can be more full of God’s love for all people.

This Lent, lets each follow the example of Pope Francis and come to reflect in our own lives the Face of Jesus. (5 Mar 2014)

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As Americans, money is our national addiction. One of our national dreams is to strike it rich and figure out something to make our millions. Some people spend their whole working life following the money around from place to place. There is also another way that we follow the money around, and this is by trying to save money. It’s all a game, but the Gospel challenges us not to play this game and to focus our energy on what really matters.

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Ordinary Time, 8th Sunday. God provides so well that even charities like Feed my Starving Children have learned to depend on Providence. Yet we still worry about Monday. God is like a good parent: He gives us what we need, not what we want. Once when I was on retreat, God provided for me in a special way to let me know I could trust Him.

Today’s Gospel warns us: we say we trust God, but we really trust in Money. Money is something we can hold on to and it makes us feel powerful, secure, and valuable. But money will let us down. Trust God instead. He will provide everything you need, even something as simple as a backpack. (2 Mar 2014)

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