Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Today’s readings I’m going to say something that is probably going to make you think I’ve lost my mind. And that is that the great sin of the rich man was not the sin of neglecting poor Lazarus. Sure, that was certainly bad, but his greatest sin, I think, was that he trusted in himself… Continue reading Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Ash Wednesday

Today’s readings Someone reminded me that last year, I proclaimed that Lent to be the “Lentiest Lent that ever Lented!”  Certainly we have just been through a very Lenty year, with the specter of a pandemic, the sadness of racial injustice and social unrest, the frustration of political rancor, and all the rest.  The arrival of Lent… Continue reading Ash Wednesday

The First Sunday of Lent

Today’s readings The devil wants more than anything for us to forget who we are.  He really didn’t care if Jesus ruined his fast by turning some stones into bread, or if he killed himself trying to test God, and he certainly had no intention of making him king of the world.  What he wanted, what he… Continue reading The First Sunday of Lent

Friday after Ash Wednesday

Today’s readings A lot of people say they aren’t giving up something for Lent, they’re just going to try to do something positive. I think that can be a little vague, to be honest. I usually tell people it doesn’t just have to be one or the other. Indeed, today’s Liturgy of the Word tells… Continue reading Friday after Ash Wednesday

Friday after Ash Wednesday

Today’s readings The prophets of the Old Testament were always pretty clear about the fact that God was sick and tired of people trying to claim righteousness but not really being righteous. The idea of keeping the letter but not the spirit of the Law, of fasting and praying with the express idea of getting… Continue reading Friday after Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Today’s readings Behold: now is the acceptable time! Behold: now is the day of salvation! This is the way the prophet Joel calls the Israelites, and all of us, to repentance.  Repentance is an important spiritual theme for Lent: in fact, if it were not for our need for repentance, we wouldn’t need Jesus, he… Continue reading Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Today’s readings Behold: now is the acceptable time! Behold: now is the day of salvation! We have come here today for all sorts of reasons. Lots of us may still have the remnants of old and bad teaching that you have to come to Church on Ash Wednesday or something horrible will happen to you,… Continue reading Ash Wednesday

Friday after Ash Wednesday

Today’s readings A lot of people say they aren’t giving up something for Lent, they’re just going to try to do something positive.  When it’s that vague, I often think that means they’re doing nothing at all for Lent, which is sad for them.  But, I usually tell people it doesn’t just have to be… Continue reading Friday after Ash Wednesday

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings Fasting, almsgiving and prayer are all staples of the Christian disciple’s life.  They are praiseworthy things, to be sure.  But Jesus reminds us in today’s Gospel reading that they are not things to be done for praise.  No one should even know that we have done these things, because in receiving praise for… Continue reading Wednesday of the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Today’s readings “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”  Some people – Catholics included – see the things that we Catholics do as external, and superfluous.  And indeed, when we do these things in perfunctory, rote kind of ways, then we are definitely missing the boat.  But all of these things can be… Continue reading Friday of the Third Week of Lent