St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

4th Sunday of Lent, C, 2016

When you feel wronged, what’s your reaction? I think for most of us it is righteous indignation.

We can identify with the elder son in today’s Gospel. We don’t understand why the father is throwing a banquet for his wayward son, especially when we’ve been good. We feel cheated, angry, resentful, and are prone to pouting or else figuratively or literally stamping our feet.

Sometimes we question God by saying, “I’ve been good. How come that person who is so much worse than I gets a free pass? What’s in it for me?” We often wonder about God’s justice. ---- Until we need God’s mercy.

3rd Sunday of Lent, C, 2016

How would you describe yourself? Think for a moment (pause about 15 seconds).

How many of us would describe ourselves as did Pope Francis when asked the same question: “I am a sinner.”

Well, of course, we know we’ve all made mistakes, hurt others, and ignored people’s legitimate needs. In other words, in these or in other ways, we all sinned. But to admit it freely and humbly, to say that defines who we are, that’s another thing completely.

They almost missed it. Maybe they were tired from the climb up the mountain, but they almost missed seeing Jesus in his glory and Moses and Elijah with him.

Peter, always wanting to act or say something, proposed setting up three tents, one for Jesus and one each for the two guests talking with him. Luke, giving an insight into Peter’s brashness, tells us that he didn’t know what he was saying. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last; but, that was Peter being Peter. Suddenly they were enveloped in a cloud from which came a voice: “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” God had the last word. They fell silent, even Peter. They realized they were in over their heads. They needed time to let it all sink in. They needed silence to understand Jesus from a new perspective.

How many times do we miss the glory of God that is all around us because we have our eyes shut? Or, do we just don’t want to see it because it upsets our well-ordered world we have created for ourselves?

What an ominous ending to today’s Gospel. Listen again:  “When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.”

When did the devil return? Perhaps it was at the time of Jesus’ great success as a teacher and a healer, when crowds were flocking to see and touch him. Perhaps it was the time when he multiplied the loaves and fish, and the people wanted to make him king. It could have been much later at the crucifixion when the crowd jeered he saved others, let him save himself by coming down off the cross. All were opportunities to tempt once again with power, prestige, and the preservation of his life.

Oh, the fickleness of the human heart!

We hear once again Jesus saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Then Luke adds: “All spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” I think that Luke was exaggerating when he said “all” for all immediately some in the crowd were suspicious of the hometown boy made good. “Isn’t the son of Joseph?” What is he doing attributing the description of the Messiah in Isaiah to himself?

Jesus doesn’t help matters any by pointing out that foreigners rather the residents of Israel were singled out for miracles in the past. The result? The “all spoke highly of him” becomes “they were all filled with fury”, drove him out of the town and wanted to kill him.

What if the wise men were wise women instead?

First of all, they would have gotten directions before setting off from the East and before arriving in Jerusalem; which means they would be in Bethlehem assisting in the birth of the baby. Then they probably would have cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought more practical gifts like diapers, baby wipes, and a binky.

But they were men undertaking a journey in search of something, of someone. And, in the end, they found him!

We, too, are on a journey, a journey called life. What or for whom are you searching? Have you’ve thought beyond social survival or success? Do you actively seek out God in your lives? Or do you coast along, waiting for God to get your attention in some sort of dramatic way?

What or for whom are you searching? I pray that you will find what you’re looking for at the end of your journey.

Special Activities

Dan Ferrari

Sister Jerilyn

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