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Sunday Scripture Reflection

We are God’s beloved

Why was Jesus baptized? Surely, not for the forgiveness of sins. Rather, by his baptism, Jesus identifies with us; he takes on our shortcomings. Through his baptism we identify with Jesus: the words spoken by God about Jesus—“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased”—are spoken about us as well. To know…

The Lord is with us!

In today’s gospel, Elizabeth sees and celebrates the presence of the Lord. It sounds so simple, really, but this recognition and rejoicing elude many of us. The Lord is present right here in our midst, and yet we miss him. Maybe we are focused on all that needs doing during this busy time, or perhaps…

There’s hope for us all!

It is sometimes difficult to understand the appeal of someone like John the Baptist. Who would want to go into the wilderness to hear some religious fanatic tell us to repent so that our sins might be forgiven? In our own lives, it is often an extraordinary event or situation that impels us to seek…

Jesus comes to the rescue

We seem fascinated with calamities and disasters on a grand scale. We’ve only to look at recent box office successes at the movies. Attracted to these end-of-the-world plots, we are also deeply terrorized, praying these graphic images on the screen will mercifully vanish. In today’s gospel, Jesus is using language and conveying images that are…

In your poverty, what do you still have?

A poor widow puts two small coins into the collection plate. Not much of an event, not much of a donation. However, Jesus immediately sees her real identity. Jesus loves her, in her poverty and in her radiance. Though neither materially poor nor widowed, I too am a “poor widow,” as perhaps are you. Like…

Fall in love with God!

The Great Commandment is at the heart of today’s readings. We hear it in Deuteronomy and then quoted by Jesus in Mark’s gospel. This declaration of God’s unity and call to love God with all our being and to love our neighbor as ourself is still central in Jewish worship today. It is called the…

Jesus calls us to discipleship

In today’s gospel, we encounter Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, sitting at the side of the road as Jesus makes his way to Jerusalem. The road is crowded with people hoping to get close to Jesus. Bartimaeus, hearing that Jesus is passing by, calls out loudly and insistently until Jesus responds. When Jesus calls, Bartimaeus enthusiastically…

Stop, listen, and see a new reality

We have so many ways of judging people—by wealth, education, religion, gender, appearance. I’ve caught myself being surprised by a word of wisdom where I least expected it and in doing so recognize my own prejudices. Today’s readings caution us about judgmental attitudes and actions that can block another’s path to God. Joshua wanted Moses…

There is more to the story!

Come away with me to Saint Peter’s Square. Look up and see the statue of Saint Peter dominating the whole place. Walk around the Basilica and try to count the references to Saint Peter. Bend low in the caves and try to catch a glimpse of his tomb. Here we begin to understand in a…