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

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DESERTION AND DENIALS, DOUBTS AND DISBELIEF

This reflection is based on Luke 24:35-48.

From all indication, what we have today is a happy reunion of sorts: The disciples, disheartened and even traumatized by the horrible crucifixion and death of their Master, suddenly find him once again in their midst. To prove that he’s no ghost, the Risen Lord shows them the wounds in his hands and feet, and even takes a little midnight snack before their very eyes (It must have been around midnight, the two disciples having interrupted their supper and hurried back from Emmaus).

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It’s Jesus’ way of telling his disciples: “It is I! I am real! And I’m back!”

Continue reading DESERTION AND DENIALS, DOUBTS AND DISBELIEF

WHAT’S YOUR “UNLESS”?

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

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It’s a well-known story. Thomas misses out on Jesus’ debut appearance to the disciples and hears them make the far-fetched claim that they “have seen the Lord!” It’s not the first time such a claim has been made: There are the women, those early Sunday morning visitors at the tomb probably with still too much tears and sleep in their eyes, and that couple back from Emmaus with tales of mysterious strangers and holy fire in their hearts! Continue reading WHAT’S YOUR “UNLESS”?

HOW FAST WOULD YOU RUN?

This homily is based on John 20:1-9.

There’s a lot of running that goes on at Easter. Every single account of that first Easter morning reports it. In today’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene discovers the stone rolled away from the tomb, and immediately she runs to Simon Peter, who, upon hearing her report, along with the beloved disciple, makes a run for the Lord’s burial place.

grafspoed_grt Continue reading HOW FAST WOULD YOU RUN?

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

This homily was delivered on 3 May 2014 based on Luke 24:13-35.

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when everything seems to have gone wrong? You wake up one day, and for some reason, your whole life lies in ruins. Your dreams have been shattered, and your heart is broken. Life in general has let you down, and the only option you feel that remains open for you is to give up or walk away as quickly as possible.

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Continue reading THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

HIS WOUNDS

This reflection on the Sunday of Divine Mercy is on John 20:19-31.

When I was 10, I cut myself doing an Art Project. I must have used the wrong tool or just made the wrong move, but before I knew it, my finger was bleeding. Profusely. Nobody else was in the room, and so I did what only a frightened 10-year old would do: I pretended it didn’t happen. To dull the pain, I shook my finger as vigorously as I could. But the pain didn’t go away, the bleeding didn’t stop, and I realized, to my horror, that I had splattered blood all over the furniture.

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Continue reading HIS WOUNDS

WHAT THE DISCIPLE SAW AND UNDERSTOOD

This homily was delivered on Easter Sunday, 20 April 2014, based on John 20:1-9.

Eugène Burnand: Peter and John Running to the Tomb
Eugène Burnand: Peter and John Running to the Tomb

This event is one of the earliest ones concerning the Resurrection; it happens early Easter morning. As we read from the Gospel, Mary Magdalene shows up at Jesus’ tomb while it is still dark, but is surprised and distressed to see the stone removed from Jesus’ tomb. So she rushes away to report this to Simon Peter and another disciple (whom many identify as the Evangelist) and tells them her very logical conclusion that the body of Jesus has been stolen.

Curious and disturbed about the news, the disciples decide to check it out for themselves. They’re understandably worried and clearly eager to find out because we’re told that they run to the tomb. In fact, the other disciple runs faster than Peter–either because he’s more fit or more desperate, we’re not sure–and arrives at the tomb first. We don’t know why, but probably out of courtesy, he does not go into the tomb until Peter gets there and in fact, he lets Peter go in first. 

Continue reading WHAT THE DISCIPLE SAW AND UNDERSTOOD