Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

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MARCH 29   FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT  

Readings: Ez 37:12-14/Rom 8:8-11/Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

And Jesus wept.  This is the shortest verse in all of scripture, but it tells us so much.  Our God weeps with us.  He is Lord of all, yet he knows each of us personally, intimately.   He is uniquely familiar with each of us as he is with his friends Martha and Mary.  Even though he knows he will raise Lazarus from the dead, he enters into the sorrow of Mary and Martha, the same way he wants to enter into our lives and our struggles.

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MARCH 22   FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT 

Readings: 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a/Eph 5:8-14/Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

Today's passage about the Jesus healing the man born blind is rich in symbolism and meaning.  There are images of light and dark, seeing and not seeing, understanding and confusion, strength and weakness.  I was struck this time by the manner of Christ's healing touch.  He could have just said a word or snapped his fingers and the man could have been healed.  Instead he makes clay with spittle and dirt and smeared it on his eyes and told him to go wash.  The blind man heard Jesus' voice and was felt his touch. In order to be healed, Jesus made him actively participate by having him go and wash. The healing was a true encounter between man and God.  We too can encounter Jesus this way in the Sacraments. We receive grace and healing through the physical elements of water, bread, wine, oil. Let us not take these encounters for granted but let us actively allow the Sacraments to transform us to be disciples of Christ.

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MARCH 15   THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT  

Readings: Ex 17:3-7/Rom 5:1-2, 5-8/Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

In today's Gospel, we read about the woman at the well. Jesus knows her better than she knows herself, and yet he shows his love for her. Through his conversation with her, he lets her know that she matters, and despite all the things she has done, she is loved. Isn't this what everyone thirsts for? Have you met Jesus like the woman at the well? Do you know how much you are loved? If not, spend some quiet time this week in his presence and ask him. If you have encountered Jesus like the woman at the well, share your story with others, and tell them what he has done for you so that they too may come to know him.

 
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MARCH 8   SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT  

Readings: Gn 12:1-4a/2 Tm 1:8b-10/Mt 17:1-9

Today's Gospel is the story of the Transfiguration. The apostles are given a glimpse of the Glory of God and Peter wants to build three tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus.  Peter wants to stay in the mountaintop experience, but God gives him and the others what they need for a purpose.  Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem and to the way of the cross and the apostles needed to be strengthened for the journey. We too receive mountaintop experiences, glimpses of God, perhaps in prayer, on retreat, in a well-timed word or passage of scripture that speaks to us.  But we cannot stay on that mountaintop.  We will have our own crosses to bear, our own struggles.  But the light we received on the mountaintop, we carry with us, to encourage us to remain faithful and to trust that God will not let us fall.

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