Brothers and Sisters,

Believing was a challenge in the early church, just as it is now. The first Christians struggled with how to understand the ongoing presence of Jesus. They came to know that they needed to be signs to others... to witness to and demonstrate peace, forgiveness and mercy. We have not seen him, but we have seen signs of his presence in others. Perhaps more importantly, others must see signs of his presence in us. Presence is mysterious and profound. When we experience it, we are called to pay it forward as we have received it.

 
 
Brothers and Sisters,

What does it take to believe in the Resurrection?  Many might respond saying, “If we had only been there.” If we had found the empty tomb, how would we have responded? As our Gospel reveals, all we have in this story is the account of reactions to that tomb, which changed people’s lives both then and now. Some who saw it believed that Jesus had risen. As we begin the Triduum, the most important three days, let us walk with our Lord and recount His trials, tribulations and suffering.
So that on Easter we may rejoice and ponder the blessings of this astounding mystery! 
 
 
Brothers and Sisters,

Each year Lent invites us to explore and meditate on aspects of how we live our life. How we live our life here has a profound effect on what life after death of our bodies will be. 
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, let us place our faith in Christ’s resurrection and the promise of life everlasting.

 
 
Brothers and Sisters,

As we continue our journey through this season of Lent, we are met with the question of who is worthy in God’s eyes. The Israelites and the Pharisees never thought David would be chosen king! Nor did they ever fathom that Jesus would heal the man born blind!  Their expectations were based on false beliefs. They didn't realize that God sees differently. 
Worthiness isn't found in reputation, pedigree or appearance.... but in one’s heart! Let us pray for purity of heart in ourselves and others so that we may welcome our Lord into our worthy hearts.
 
 
Brothers and Sisters,
As we enter into the Third Sunday of Lent our readings focus on water and on God’s self-revelation to seemingly unworthy people. Those who are in most need of help, who appear to be unworthy, are those to whom life is given: the doubtful, the sinners, the impatient grumblers, the wanderers. My prayer is that we all recognize our need for God’s grace and humbly open our hearts toward this transforming love.
 
 
Brothers and Sisters,

As we begin the second week of Lent, we encounter Abram moving to a new place, the disciples struggling to understand Jesus, and the early Christians trying to figure out how to live the Gospel. If our own understanding about who Jesus is remains a struggle with ongoing questions, let us not be discouraged. If our hearts are open, we can trust that there will be people and experiences to help us along the way. My Lenten prayers continue for open hearts and trust for all.
 
 
Brothers and Sisters,

The battle between good and evil is written large in literature, drama and religion. Our Sunday readings, indeed, all of Scripture, reveal a truth we know all too well. Even the best of us has experienced the powerful attraction to what we should not do. Our tradition tells us even more profoundly that the story is larger than temptation or failure. We hear, instead, what is possible: Grace, justification, obedience, righteousness and life are the real end of the story!  

 
 
Brothers and Sisters,

Our weekend readings make even more difficult demands on us regarding our behavior as Christians. We live in a culture where there is so much rhetoric about protecting oneself and one’s property, about guns and gated communities. How do we reconcile this with Jesus’ call to turn the other cheek and love one’s enemy? What does it take to embrace these teachings, which many of us... quite honestly... find foolish?  It's a very simple answer.... We need to stay rooted in Christ, to keep our trajectory always aimed toward heaven!  It is an easy solution, but very hard in "the doing".  I pray that we all may keep our focus on Christ and do as he taught us to do. 

 
 
Brothers and Sisters,
Our weekend readings build upon last week’s focus on expectations. Living the Christian life requires a deep sense of responsibility and a desire to go beyond the minimum of the law. Spiritual maturity and integrity lies somewhere between deadening legalism and a casual approach that mocks the rules and takes pride in “getting away with it.” We are given the freedom to act responsibly. Let us pray for the wisdom to discern what that means and to live accordingly.

 
 
Brothers and Sisters

What does it mean to be salt, light, a city built on a mountain?  Our weekend's readings remind us that, as baptized Christians, we can’t hide. God, who is a God of justice and mercy, had expectations of Israel. The Israelites weren’t off the hook regarding how they were to act, and neither are the followers of Jesus. God has expectations of us. People see us, they observe what we do and how we act. What are they seeing? We can’t be followers in name only!