Often we fail to see the Lord working in our lives. We can believe that all our gifts, all our blessings and talents are of our own making. But the truth is, it is always God working in and through us. Fr. Simon-Felix Michalski, O.P., reminds us to look for the Lord working in our lives and to try and see everything in a new and different way. We have to recognize like Stephen did, that God is at work and our ministry only bears fruit when rooted in Christ.
We are confronted with two different portrayals of lions today. On one hand, St. Mark, whose Feast is today, is portrayed as a lion. This symbolizes courage and bravery in the face of persecutions and anxieties. We’re all meant to be brave as we proclaim the Gospel. But we also see the Devil portrayed as a lion and the Devil is certainly not noble or brave. In fact, he is weak and he preys on the weak. Listen to Deacon Chris Johnson, O.P., break down what these opposing images mean for us and our faith life.
In our lives we are confronted with many worries, many problems. In the face of some of these problems we can feel powerless and ineffectual. But the response of Andrew in the Gospel gives us a hint at how we can respond.
The question posed by Nicodemus is one which we all ask in one way or another. How are we to know that the Spirit is really working in the world if we cannot see it and understand it? How are we to be born again in the Spirit if we don’t know anything about the Spirit?
It’s human to prefer the familiar and the known. We hesitate before stepping into an unknown or unfamiliar situation. And yet, Fr. Michael Mascari, O.P., reminds us that it is God who is in control.
Some of the hardest things we are asked to do as Christians is to accept both our need for mercy and to extend that mercy to others. Accepting and extending mercy means making ourselves vulnerable to others. Mercy means we have to have the humility to recognize our own mistakes. And mercy means we have to accept that this is what Jesus did and so we have to do the same. Deacon Christopher Johnson, O.P. makes it clear: when Jesus returned and appeared to the disciples in the locked room he gave them peace, forgiving them even though they had abandoned him.
Jesus Christ is risen indeed. The tomb is empty. This is the Good News which we are called to preach with joy and exultation. Alleluia!
In our Christian lives, and especially in these difficult times, we have to rely on the Cross of Jesus Christ. We have to make a leap of faith and trust in God’s promise and The Cross provides something for us to hang on to in the midst of our doubts and our tribulations. The Cross is hope. It is also encouragement. Each of us is asked by God to do some service, some act for God and for our neighbors. But often we fail to make the leap and we ask again and again: Who, me? Do you mean me, God?
Some stories are worth telling again. And the story of our Salvation is certainly one of those, Fr. Scott O’Brien, O.P., reminds us. Each year we hear the same readings, the same stories of Resurrection and the response of our ancestors in the Faith. And each time the story only grows, going deeper into our lives as we internalize the message of God’s love which is still pouring out to us today.
We live in uncertain times. This is not the Easter we wanted or planned for when we began the Lenten Season. COVID-19 has shattered our plans and expectations, Rev. Br. Christopher Johnson, O.P., says. And yet this uncertainty is the same uncertainty felt at the First Easter with the Apostles. And we like them are called to hope in the Lord who makes good even out of the darkest of our experiences.
We have hope and faith, not in something temporal, but in something salvific. A Better Forever promised to us by Christ when he rose from the dead and restored us to life.