Sunday, March 13, 2016


On his way to defeat Goliath, David stopped by the river and collected five stones to use in battle. We have used this concept throughout Lent to focus on five spiritual practices aimed at helping us defeat the giants in our lives - sin, suffering, weakness, doubt, sadness, death. 

The Liturgy planning committee has done a phenomenal job in presenting Works of Mercy, Prayer and Scripture, the first three of our five stones. Reconciliation and Eucharist remain. 

Depending on which set of readings your particular Church decided to use for today, you heard either of the following two readings: 

Isaiah 43: 18 - 19
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the desert I make a way,
in the wasteland, rivers.

John 11: 39 - 44
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, 
“Lord, by now there will be a stench; 
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe 
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me; 
but because of the crowd here I have said this, 
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice, 
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands, 
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

We used the reading from Isaiah for prayer during our Faculty Meeting this past week. I had mentioned its selection stemmed from its reoccurrences in my life over the past few weeks. It sprung forth again - not only for me, but all of you as well! God is making something new. It is springing up in our midst. He is bringing water to the wasteland, a way to the wilderness.

Similarly, the Gospel for the Year A Scrutinies (for use with RCIA candidates), told the story of Lazarus. This miracle story, a moment of foreshadowing in the Gospels, speaks of new life as well. Jesus tells the disciples to roll away the stone. He calls out to Lazarus, "Come out!" Jesus ends in ordering, "Untie him and let him go." Jesus speaks these words to us as well:

"Come out of your grave of sin, suffering, weakness, doubt, sadness, death! Find new life in me! I am the Way. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Resurrection!

Untie the bands that hold you back. Come out of the darkness and into the light!" 

Be bold during these final two weeks of Lent. Put your rally caps on and get ready for a comeback for the ages. A true Cinderella story during March Madness! Your story. HIStory.
With Holy Week just around the corner, it's time to finish strong. UMD student Matt Muhich gives a game plan for winning.
Pick up your stones and fight - for joy, for life, for Him!

He is doing something AMAZING...perceive it and believe it!