Today’s Gospel story of the death of Lazarus is a very touching and relevant one for us as we live through the covid-19 global health crisis. Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary were friends of Jesus. Jesus had visited their home and eaten at their table. When Lazarus […]
By Nancy Nobrega
In the First Reading, David was chosen by God but he was the most unlikely candidate. Jesse did not even include him in the group of sons from which Samuel was to choose. Samuel saw potential in all the sons but God clarified his choice of David because he looked not on his “outward” appearance. Then again Samuel included that David was “handsome”…“but the Lord looks on the heart”. What? So, it seems that although David was handsome God picked him anyway? I guess really God did not care what he looked like on the outside……that is the message. God looked at his heart and knew that David would hear His call and be a good King.
I have certainly not been chosen to be “a King”, but God has chosen me and all of you too and all of His children in this world that He created. He loves us all. In Baptism we have been chosen to be Priests, Prophets and Kings. I very much feel like an unlikely candidate. Why did God call my name and why did I hear him? I was Baptized as a child…was that an accident of my birth? There are no accidents. God has a plan. Who am I in God’s plan? Here we are together, supporting one another in the Mystical Body of Christ. God must have seen our hearts? Then again there are lots of people I know who have such good hearts and they don’t attend Mass, or even know God in any way. They don’t always hear His call…even if they are Baptized …or do they…or not yet? Such a mystery!
I am so grateful. Sitting in the pews at St. Basil’s really helps me with this. I see my fellow members of God’s family as folks like me…hearts like mine…who come to pray in thanksgiving, pray for help for themselves or others, and to praise God. Sometimes I can see their hearts weeping, sometimes I can see their hearts rejoicing and sometimes I see their hearts being peaceful in God’s presence and in the presence of the Mystical Body of Christ – all of us who support one another as we come together at St. Basil’s and then take that out into the world to support those who are not as fortunate as we are…those who don’t hear God’s words. We do this with the grace of the Holy Spirit and Father’s blessings. Such grace! We learn and are nurtured just by being in the presence and grace of this wonderful Mystical body! Such a gift!
Our wonderful Candidates and Catechumens have missed their First Scrutiny because of these trying times. We acknowledge them in our loving prayers. Even though we are not together in body we are together in Spirit. We are all part of God’s plan so this can only be correct. They have heard God call their name and are full of wonder and have chosen to follow.
Sofia Cavalletti explains it so well when she says ”We can compare wonder to a magnet…it is situated ahead of us and attracts us with irresistible force toward the object of our astonishment…”. Hearing God’s voice is quite astonishing! In the Gospel today John uses the word “astonishing” to describe Jesus’ miracle. Cavalletti is describing the wonder that children feel in relationship with God. We are all God’s children and experiencing the wonder of our Candidates and Catechumens in our RCIA program has been such a blessing to me. Let us welcome these new members of our Mystical Body as we pray for them and see their hearts with God’s eyes, each one different, each one supporting as we support them…as we go forward…hearing God’s words…being His bridge to others …connecting all hearts…with wonder and astonishment with the grace of the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful that I hear God’s word and so grateful to know that I am part of His plan. I am so grateful that I can experience this through my brothers and sisters in Christ. Such a mystery
At the Well By Michael Pirri This weekends Gospel reading focuses on Jesus’ interaction with a Samaritan woman coming to draw water at Jacob’s well. I always wondered how it was that these two should happen to meet, both unaccompanied. It’s important to note two aspects that make this interaction so significant. This is a woman of Samaria, most likely of very low social standing – why else would she be coming unaccompanied to a very deep well in the hot sun of midday (It was extremely uncommon for women to travel unaccompanied)? Further, a Samaritan woman, even of very high social standing, would not typically interact with non-Samaritans, like Jesus. How is it that both of these people, who usually travel accompanied, should meet on their own? The water imagery in this Gospel passage is vivid. The Samaritan woman’s thirst is physical, she comes to the well to draw water. A persons physical needs are met through much difficulty: the well is deep. The living water offered by Jesus is like a wellspring, gushing up from the ground. How is it that we, like the samaritan woman, can encounter Christ and learn to seek out the living water too? This imagery is reinforced in one of the responsorial canticles from the Easter Vigil: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12.3) In the same way that woman comes to the well to draw water, Jesus comes too. He comes thirsty not only for us and our salvation, but also to supply our needs, to be the wellspring in this Lenten desert. Sunday’s Readings: Exodus 17.3-7 Psalm 95 Romans 5.1-2, 5-8 John 4.5-42
The Lenten Journey… One Day at a Time By Kevin Kelly, SJ Last Sunday our focus was on temptation: how Jesus overcomes his temptations in the desert; how Adam and Eve failed to overcome theirs; and how we must better understand and recognize our own if we are to face them and turn them over to God. Now that we are into our full Lenten stride, we might be struggling to adhere to the promises we made, feeling overwhelmed by old and maybe new temptations, and beginning to doubt our ability to face the things that need transformation in our lives. Today, we experience Jesus’ Transfiguration. Our readings provide hope for us just when we might be starting to lose it. They encourage us to take one day at a time… to face our challenges and desire to chance and grow not all at once, but bit by bit. In the reading from Genesis, Abram is told to leave everything behind and build “a great nation”. Even though God assures him that God will be with him, Abram must have felt overwhelmed. However, jumping to the end of the story, we know Abram learns to trust and do God’s will. In the Epistle, we see both Paul and Timothy facing their own struggles: Paul is aging and in prison and Timothy is being challenged to accept God’s call to be a leader in the Church. Taking on leadership and growing old are real challenges that must be faced and accepted over time, through prayer and God’s grace. Finally, we see the disciples completely overwhelmed, watching Jesus, the man with whom they have put their faith, their trust and their lives, transfigured before them. It must have been terrifying; they don’t know how to respond. Jesus tells them to keep it to themselves, to go slowly, to trust that, with time, they will come to understand who he is and what he will call them to do. That’s what Jesus encourages us to do too: to be patient, to be gentle with ourselves, and to go slowly… trusting that he will carry us along if we turn our lives over to him. Sunday’s Readings: Genesis 12.1-4 Psalm 33 2 Timothy 1.8-10 Matthew 17.1-9