Welcome to Lenten Reflections for 2014 authored by Barbara Quinn, RSCJ. Please join us each week for a new Reflection.
Lenten Reflections 2014
The rich Lenten journey has led us to the glorious feast of Easter celebrated the world over as bells sound and songs ring out and families and friends rejoice together. And yet, we cannot forget the multitudes of people and places in our world where such joy eludes them. How do we reconcile life unfolded in such stark contrast? I experienced a wonderful image several years ago that I believe offers some wisdom and hope in the face of this question. » Read more
Today, we stand on the threshold of the holiest week of the liturgical year, a week that unfolds the stories of profound darkness and death and the promise of light and life unimagined! Immediately, we feel psychological and spiritual whiplash as Jesus makes a royal entrance into Jerusalem to a chorus of “hosannas” only to be reduced to ultimate shame in the following days. And so we begin our journey with him. » Read more
Jesus does it again, this master storyteller. He teases our sure sighted perspective on life with a riddle as he weaves the story of the man born blind: “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.” What is Jesus thinking of in these two scenarios that seem light years apart? It sounds like a certain kind of seeing is bad and that a certain kind of blindness is good! Where do we begin? » Read more
Scripture scholar Sandra Schneider, IHM, takes a closer and more discerning look at the episode of the Samaritan woman using current exegetical tools, an exercise that yields deeper and broader layers of the story (The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture, 1999).
As Timothy writes in today’s second reading, we must be ready to “bear [our] share of hardship for the gospels” but not without God’s help and the grace of transfiguring experiences that shore us up with clear-sightedness and resolve, with insight, courage and fortitude. For ours is a God who “has saved us and called us to a holy life, not because of any merit of ours, but according to God’s own design – the grace held out to us in Christ Jesus.” God does not ask us to partner with Jesus in his mission without giving us what we need. But God does ask us to partner with Jesus because our teeming cities and towns and villages are filled with people’s cries of fear and hope, and joy and pain. » Read more
Today, in the Eucharistic liturgy of the first Sunday of Lent, we have two Scripture stories that are all too familiar to us. First, the book of Genesis offers us the classic story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they become aware of the fruit bearing tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Second, we have the epic drama of Jesus’ temptations in the Gospel of Matthew. But I suggest it is the middle reading, perhaps the less poetic reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans, that provides the clue, the fulcrum, the glue that holds the other two together. » Read more