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

What is remarkable about this Gospel story is the emotion that the women experienced as a result of their discovery of the empty tomb: Fear.

I wasn’t expecting that.

We are told that the women were so afraid they said nothing to anyone– exactly the opposite of what the angels had requested them to do. Of course we know that they eventually overcame their fear and disclosed their discovery to the other disciples.

Easter is supposed to bring joy, but isn’t it funny that the initial reaction of the women was fear?

There is something about us that is reluctant–if not suspicious–about good news. It’s almost as if we are more accustomed
to fear and sadness than to joy. We often end up doing what the women did after their encounter with the angel: We flee from good news!

The poet Hafez has written a beautiful line that is worth thinking and praying about:


It’s hard to believe what the poet is telling us: that happiness has been pursuing us. It’s astonishing!

Too often it doesn’t feel that way at all! Happiness seems all too elusive.

But this brings us to one important truth: Happiness is a choice,
a decision we have to make, but too often we fail to make that decision.

Imagine Happiness running down the streets in pursuit of you,
as the poet Hafez says. Why would we be running away
from Happiness? Could we be pursuing something else that we are mistaking for Happiness?

Or, is there anything in our life that is keeping us from dropping
our fear, our anger, our sadness–or whatever else is getting in the way of joy.

What would we lose if we made the choice today–right here and right now–to leave all that behind and to be happy?

Let’s think about that. And if you can, do something about it.

This Easter, make the decision  to let Happiness find you.


2018 Online Holy Week Retreat

Pins of Light is pleased to announce this year’s online Holy Week Retreat: “CHOSEN: Stories, Silences, and Songs from Scripture”

Click HERE to join.


Now on its 11th year, this annual online Holy Week event gathers retreatants from different parts of the world as a faith community, praying together and sharing their reflections with one another.



This homily is based on Mark 11:1-10 on Palm Sunday.

The event we recount–and reenact–on Palm Sunday was a highlight of sorts in our Lord’s Public Ministry. Reported in all four gospels, our Lord’s entry to Jerusalem is often prefixed with the adjective “triumphal” to express the exceptional welcome given to Jesus as he arrived in Jerusalem.



Today’s homily for the Fifth Sunday of Lent is based on John 12:20-33.

Today the Lord speaks to us 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, Jesus is referring to himself as well and the example he have lived, as we shall soon commemorate this coming Holy Week.


The Lord is that grain of wheat that had to die to bear the fruits in us.



This homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent is from John 4:5-42.

Today’s gospel story is about thirst, hunger–and bewilderment.

A thirsty Jesus sits by the well and breaks a rule by speaking with a Samaritan Woman and asking her for a drink.  Initially bewildered, the woman is drawn to a discussion with the Lord that leaves her thirsting for the water that brings eternal life–and no less bewildered.  Later on, the disciples return with food and they are also bewildered when they see Jesus speaking with the Samaritan Woman.  But they are even more bewildered when the Lord refuses to eat, saying, “I have food you know not of.”