SHOW AND NOT TELL

This reflection is based on John 14:23-29 for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

The so-called Last Discourse, from which today’s passage is taken, is probably the longest collection of teachings and sayings from the Lord. It’s even lengthier than the famous Sermon on the Mount. Compared to the three chapters of the Sermon in Matthew, the Last Discourse spans four in the Gospel according to John.

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THE PROBLEM WITH TRUTH (AND MY PROBLEM WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS)

This reflection is based on John 13:31-35 for the Fifth Easter of Sunday.

I begin with a confession: I had to read today’s Sunday Gospel several times before I managed to get into it. Don’t get me wrong. I do not disagree with the words of our Lord. On the contrary, these are, in fact, some of his most important–and at the time, revolutionary–teachings.

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Just listen:

“I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Continue reading THE PROBLEM WITH TRUTH (AND MY PROBLEM WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS)

UNSNATCHABLE

This reflection is based on the short Gospel passage John 10:27-30 for the 4th Sunday of Easter.

Never mind if I had just been recently traumatized by the finale of “The Walking Dead,” but I allowed a Jesuit friend to introduce me to yet another TV series called “The Family.” To my horror (but also secret delight!), the new TV series, which is still airing on ABC, is turning out to be just as disturbing and increasingly creepy.

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It’s about a young boy named Adam, who goes missing and is presumed have been murdered until he suddenly reappears ten years later. He has managed to escape from his captor and is reunited with his family. This happy turn of events notwithstanding, questions gradually appear one after the other. As new and unexpected pieces of information begin to surface, his family reluctantly begins to wonder if he really is the boy that he claims to be. I have to confess that even if some of the twists seem unbelievable, I’ve been hooked, and I’ve been coming back for more! Continue reading UNSNATCHABLE

THROUGH THE DULL AND THE BORING

The following reflection is based on John 21:1-19.

In our Gospel story today, Jesus does something extraordinarily ordinary: He cooks!

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I had never done any cooking in my life until a couple of years ago when I was studying in London. My new Superior then told me in no uncertain terms that I should, like every member of our community, take my turn to do the cooking for Sunday dinner.

When I protested that I could only scramble eggs, he dismissed my concern with a wave of his hand. When I suggested ordering pizza, he just walked away. Continue reading THROUGH THE DULL AND THE BORING

EASTER ALLERGY TEST

This reflection is based on John 20:19-31.

In our Lord’s resurrection appearances, all his closest friends and followers seem to have a hard time recognizing him. Either his risen body looks different or the eyes of his disciples have been at least initially veiled.

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Mary Magdalene mistakes him for a gardener whom she suspects of spiriting her Master’s body away from its tomb–that is, until he calls her by name in a tone that has always belonged only to him. Continue reading EASTER ALLERGY TEST