Mark 4:21 Jesus said to the crowd : Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand?"
Yes Lord, I put Your Light on a lamp stand, because You are my Light and Your Words have EverlastingLife!!!
March 22, 2020
In this week’s Gospel, we have the story of Jesus healing a blind man. This story is well known by many to exemplify Jesus’ miracles and it is a more obvious way of viewing his divine nature, but there is so much more to it than that. Here, Jesus heals this man’s physical blindness to reveal and heal the Pharisees’ spiritual blindness. As most of the Gospels in Lent reflect, His miracles and lessons are preparations for before the Crucifixion. He knows that He needs to lay the foundations of faith before He dies. Here, Jesus does not want our preconceived ideas about holiness and God to get in the way of our relationship with Him. Even the disciples wanted to blame the man’s blindness on him and his family; they say it is a result of sin. We know now that obviously physical disabilities like that have no reason, but these were common beliefs at the time. Jesus attempts to dismantle that idea and discuss the important topic, the sin of everyone else, by saying “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Those around him do not seem to follow where Jesus is going with this and they continue to focus on the identity of the cured man; they discuss his past and where they have seen him before. The Pharisees also participate in this spiritual blindness. They focus on the fact that the man was healed on a Sabbath and not that Jesus was able to make a blind man see again. This shows how focused society was on the material world. Can we be like that today? Are we so focused on material matters in one’s life or our own lives that we fail to see the ways God connects us? The recent events regarding COVID-19 are scary and they worry many today. Hopefully something good can come out of it. Let us try to focus on what connects us all as human beings, while we all meditate in the safety of our homes. During these self-isolation periods, if you are able to participate, use this time to meditate and pray to God and ask for guidance. This is still Lent after all, albeit a hectic one, and we need to focus on the sorrows that will occur in the coming weeks. Let us also say a special prayer for all the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
March 15, 2020
Today’s Gospel is the famous story of the Samaritan woman at the well. We’ve all heard it before; it is one of Jesus’ conversion stories. However, the fact that the woman is a Samaritan makes is especially interesting and important. Samaritans and Jews were extremely divided and often times felt contempt for each other. The worshipped on different mountains, had different cultures, and many differences on religious beliefs. Jesus asking the woman for a drink shows and extension of peace on His part. At first the woman is confused and a bit hostile; she doesn’t understand why her cultural enemy is talking to her. Often times, when encountered with God, we push Him away. We do not know why He asks things of us, things that might make our lives harder. We refuse to give God what He asks for. But like He was in this narrative, Jesus is persistent and does not give up on us. Jesus gives the woman information about her life that no stranger could possibly know. He was able to predict the number of husbands she had. Yet again, the woman pushes Him away. She says “‘Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.’” She denies that Jesus is the living God He is talking about. Jesus, again, pushes harder for her. He tells her that the differences that separate the Jews and the Samaritans seem so important, but soon the differences will not matter. Worshipping and living the One True God is what is most important for humanity. This speech converted the woman and Jesus fully reveals that He is Christ. The disciples come and we see that they are amazed at who Jesus is conversing with. This shows that even Jesus’ closest friends did not understand His ministry. He gives them a mini lecture and uses the metaphor of sharing the work in regard to harvesting and plowing. Sharing food or work here equals sharing the faith. The Samaritan woman however told everyone in her town of Jesus and converted them all. We can see by listening to Jesus once, and choosing to follow him can affect all of those around us. This week try not only to follow Jesus’ word, but to share it with others. It is important we all worship God because a strong, faithful community is important to have. We can build each other up and challenge our faiths, make us grow closer to God. Let’s try to reflect on how we can bring Jesus to others.
- Maria G
March 8th, 2020
This week’s gospel comes from Matthew.
Today Jesus gives us a preview of the glory that is to come at the end of Lent! Jesus takes three disciples - Peter, James, and John – and shows them privately his transfiguration. This happens before the Passion; Jesus wants to warn His closest friends what is to come. Imagine the worry those disciples had for Jesus, the anxiety they endured in the coming weeks beforehand. These weeks were definitely trying on all of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus gives them the gift of viewing the transfiguration right before their eyes. Matthew gives us this wonderful description of the image, saying “his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.”
However, the men let this beautiful moment be clouded by fear. The men became overwhelmed at the presence of Moses, Elijah, and God the Father. Jesus lifts them from the ground where they fell and tells them “‘Rise, and do not be afraid.’”
Even when we are feeling most overwhelmed in our lives: when work demands too much and your children have a million events they need to be driven to, when everything that can and will go wrong does, we must remember that Jesus is with us the entire way. He can overcome everything. He does not want our fear, but our love.
When God wants to draw us nearer to Him, He shares intimate details. For example, in the Old Testament, He told Moses His name when revealing his mission. In today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals His most intimate form, his true form as the Son of Man, to bring us closer to Him.
In this Lenten season, our fasting and abstaining can become hard. I know I have already missed a few steps. We must remember that Jesus and all those in Heaven are rooting for us, even if we make a thousand mistakes along the way. Remember that Peter says now to Jesus, “‘Lord, it is good that we are here.If you wish, I will make three tents here,one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,’” yet not long later He denies Jesus three times. Even the best of the saints fail, but what makes them a saint is that they continue to get up and try again. They continue to have faith is God’s Mercy, in His help, and in His company. This week when reflecting on the Gospel, let us remember to not fear God, but to love Him, and to ask for His guidance whenever we need it. - Maria G
Sunday, March 1, 2020
There are times in our life when we feel like we are being tested to the hilt.We feel like the devil is after us.
Do not fret, Jesus Himself had gone through these times and it is shown in our gospel today.
So the devil tried in this reading to tempt Jesus on three occasions.
Jesus’ response is invaluable to every Christian who wants to persevere through the time oftesting unscathed and unmoved.
1. The devil says,
“If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
Of course Jesus is the Son of God, the devil's first manipulation is through questioning his identity.Jesus didn’t react to that, and instead of replying to the Devils dare to prove who He is….Jesus addresses it this way.
Only God’s Will matters.If God tells me to make these stones into bread I will, If God tells me to do anything I will do it, I will not do anything that is my own will (or the devil’s). It’s not the achievement of great or small that shows shows one is of God, but the one who does the Will of the Father.The food that nourishes everything in us is God’s Word.
2.The devil tells him to throw himself down the parapet of the temple and then manipulates scripture to show that if he says who he says he is he will not be harmed.
“He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
So here if you are rock solid in your identity, God will always protect you, why bring harm unto yourself to prove Gods protection?If you covenant with God, you don’t need to test God’s protection and You don’t need to test God’s love- you already have it.
3.He then showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, andsaid,
"All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.”
That one is a no brainer,serve God alone, His Kingdom will be yours too, and no kingdom or richness on earth can even come close to that.
If you know your identity as a Child of God and you know God’s identity as your Father then these things that Jesus respond back at the devil will be easy for you.
Remember that the pearl is something great to endure and fight for.
As we go into the desert of this Lenten pilgrimage, bring this with you every day.
-Do God’s will only,
-Know God protection over you (even if you don’t feel it)