Prayer for Self-Dying (John 12:20-33): 29 March 2009 (Fifth Sunday of Lent)

Prayer for Self-Dying (John 12:20-33):  29 March 2009 (Fifth Sunday of Lent)

Today’s Readings

Dear Lord,

Today you speak once again about the grain of wheat that needs to die before it can bear fruit.  It’s a neat metaphor, but what it means–what it requires–is far from neat.  As is often the case, you are referring to yourself as well and the example you have lived, as we shall soon commemorate this coming Holy Week.  You are that grain of wheat that had to die to bear the fruits in us. Continue reading Prayer for Self-Dying (John 12:20-33): 29 March 2009 (Fifth Sunday of Lent)

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LIVING AMONG SERPENTS (John 3:14-21): 22 March 2009 (Fourth Sunday of Lent)

LIVING AMONG SERPENTS (John 3:14-21):  22 March 2009 (Fourth Sunday of Lent)

Today’s Readings

Dearest Lord,

In today’s Gospel, you compared yourself to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted in the desert:  The Israelites had found themselves in a desert teeming with serpents and were dying from their venomous bites.  But whoever looked upon the bronze serpent that you asked Moses to raise on a pole were miraculously healed. Continue reading LIVING AMONG SERPENTS (John 3:14-21): 22 March 2009 (Fourth Sunday of Lent)

ENTER MY HEART (John 2:13-25): 15 March 2009 (Third Sunday of Lent)

ENTER MY HEART (John 2:13-25):  15 March 2009 (Third Sunday of Lent)

Today’s Readings

Dear Jesus,

Is my heart a temple or a marketplace?

This morning I read about the Cleansing of the Temple, and I can’t help but feel disturbed. Did you really have to get that upset about what you saw in the temple?  It’s a little bit frightening to see you like this–driving out people, whip in hand.  This expression of anger is a far cry from your usual gentle and patient self, an image we all prefer for obvious reasons.   Continue reading ENTER MY HEART (John 2:13-25): 15 March 2009 (Third Sunday of Lent)

NOT COMING TO THE RESCUE (Gen 22:1-18): 08 March 2009 (Second Sunday of Lent)

NOT COMING TO THE RESCUE (Gen 22:1-18):  08 March 2009 (Second Sunday of Lent)

Today’s Readings

Dear God,

Sorry for saying this, but what Abraham went through wasn’t exactly cool.  For decades he and his wife Sarah waited for you to give them a son.  Finally, when Abraham was 100 years old (!), you gave Isaac to them.  But then after they raised their son and loved him, what did you decide one day? You decided to put Abraham to this test; you asked him to give Isaac up by himself sacrificing his son on the mountain.  You knew how tough this was because when you made your request, you referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only son, whom (he) loves.”  Talk about rubbing it in. Continue reading NOT COMING TO THE RESCUE (Gen 22:1-18): 08 March 2009 (Second Sunday of Lent)

AN INVITATION TO THE DESERT (Mark 1:12-15): 01 March 2009 (First Sunday of Lent)

AN INVITATION TO THE DESERT (Mark 1:12-15):  01 March 2009 (First Sunday of Lent)

Today’s Readings

Lord Jesus,

Why did you decide to begin your public ministry by going through the desert?  I fear the desert.  I’m afraid of its barrenness and its bareness.  I’m scared of going hungry there.

Something about going hungry brings out the worst in people, doesn’t it?  If it doesn’t kill you, the deprivation–whether self-imposed or not–can make us irritable or resentful.  I’m afraid that if I go hungry and stay hungry, I may not like the “me” that I see.  What was your point in going to the desert–not to mention stayingthere for 40 days and 40 nights–anyway? Continue reading AN INVITATION TO THE DESERT (Mark 1:12-15): 01 March 2009 (First Sunday of Lent)