We must forgive others if we want to be forgiven.

Tuesday, 3/1/16

It isn’t good for us to dwell on our past sins. God is merciful, and all he wants of us is that we put the past behind us, showering ourselves in his kindness, as we make good fresh starts.

There is one time, however, when we should remind ourselves of our past failings. That is when we are inclined to criticize another for the faults of which we have been guilty.

That is what Jesus is telling us in today’s parable. That is the bargain we make when we recite the Lord’s Prayer, saying,  ”Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

We must become real partakers in the Mass, not just spectators.

Monday, 2/28/16

We should reflect on how our Mass is deeply rooted in the Last Supper. We should , reflect on what Jesus meant by saying, “Do this in memory of me.”

The early Church knew that Jesus meant more than that use his exact words over the bread and wine. They knew that he wanted them to take full parts in his sacrifice.

The early Church had a handbook for properly conducting their religious rites. And it said this about taking part in the Mass:

“When you come together begin by confessing your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure; and if you have disagreements, settle them; so that they do not take away from your sacrifice.”  

At the Last Sipper Jesus said the set form of grace for meals It was itself a sacrificial prayer. It had three parts. In the first part, both the guests and host recalled God’s favors. In the second part, everyone brought themselves alive  to God’s presence among them. In the third part, the guests joined the host in making themselves into one pleasing gift to God.    

Eucharist means “a pleasing gift.” And, although we use it to refer to Jesus in the Blessed  Sacrament, that is only the half of it. The Eucharist is Christ in union with all the faithful who join him in giving themselves to God. If you do not become part of his Eucharist, you will remain spectators at Mass, rather than participants in the Mass.  

The Samaritan woman represents women with poor reputations, but real depth of soul.

Sunday, 2/28/16

While trips out to the well created social occasions for women, the woman in today's Gospel had to go out alone. She had been married five times, and at the time of this story, she was living with a man with whom she wasn't married. She was an old flirt whom people avoided. However, she was the first to size up Jesus at the Messiah.

John's Gospel had an underlying theme about the slowness of people to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. After he turned water into wine in Chapter Two, the best to be said about the Apostles was that "They began to believe in him." Nicodemus in Chapter Three would go no further than to say that Jesus must be a man come from God.

The woman at the well knew him to be the Messiah, and she went about the village, announcing his having come.

These story alerts us to the depth of soul we might find in people we look down on.

"I will go back to my Father."

Saturday, 2/27/16

A dozen year ago a girl in my Religion class, after raising her hand, informed me that she resented the church and her parents telling her what to do. She said, “You all should realize that it is my life, and I can do what I want with it.”

I answered her with St. Paul, Romans, 14:7. “No one lives as his own master, no one dies as his own master. While we live, we are responsible to the Lord. When we die, we die as his servants. Both in life and in death we are the Lord’s.”

That was doubly true for the Prodigal Son. Back at the time of Moses, the leaders of the twelve tribes drew straws for the tribal land that would belong to each; then the clan leaders in each tribe, and the family leaders in each clan, did the same. From then on no one had the right to sell family land fo0r the money that would come to them.  

Your life, your talents, your bankroll, are just yours on loan. If you have been squandering them, while you still have a little left, you must come to yourself, and with the Prodigal Son, you must, get up and go to your father and say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. Let me be on of your servants”