“I will not leave you orphans…”

In today’s gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, “I will not leave you orphans…” In this time of so many ordeals, crises, and tragedies, how do these words sound to us? Do they sound discordant? Facetious? Comforting? Hopeful? Continue reading ““I will not leave you orphans…””

A frantic intentness outwards

Because today’s gospel reading is about Jesus meeting the disciples on the road to Emmanus, I’ve been remembering this painting that I saw during my latest visit to Paris.

Communion des Apôtres was painted by Henry Lerolle (1848-1929) in the year 1878 for Saint François-Xavier where it remains to this day. Continue reading “A frantic intentness outwards”

Palm Sunday & Paralipsis

Photo: Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Square in Rome in April 2015

Like many people around the world, I’m participating in the mass to the extent that livestream and personal intention makes possible. Today, my friends and I watched a live broadcast of Bishop Barron’s Sunday mass for Palm Sunday. And as usual, Bishop Barron gave a wonderful homily about the Passion narrative we heard in today’s gospel. While it’s a long gospel that offers us much upon which to reflect, I found it striking that Bishop Barron did not discuss the pandemic at all. Continue reading “Palm Sunday & Paralipsis”

“Do you want to be made well?”

I’ve always been struck by Jesus’ question to the man he encountered who had been paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus finds him at the pool called Bethesda and asks him, “Do you want to be made well?” (Today’s gospel, John 5:2-18)

The strange question would seem to elicit one obvious answer – ‘Yes.’ However, this is not what the man responds.

Instead he says, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”

Maybe this means what the man wanted was to have someone to help put him into the pool. Continue reading ““Do you want to be made well?””