The Reason for Our Hope

Sixth Sunday of Easter (A): 1 Peter 3:15-18

“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence”. – 1 Peter 3:15

“I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”
― Harriet Tubman

You may have noticed an unusual thing about the Scripture readings during this Easter season. The second reading has been taken, not from one of the letters of St. Paul, but from the First Letter of St. Peter. There is a good reason for this. This letter would make an excellent Easter Vigil homily, as it reads like it is addressed to people who have just been baptized. It has many allusions to baptism. It offers encouragement as well as reminders that both joy and struggle are to be expected for all who follow the way of Christ. This was necessary, as sporadic persecutions of Christians had already begun in the eastern Mediterranean world.  Continue reading “The Reason for Our Hope”

From Shame To Joy: The Road to Emmaus

Third Sunday of Easter (A): Luke 24:13-35

You find the sparrow that falls
When boughs break, to you she calls
With broken wing, still she sings
You find the sparrow that falls

– from The Language of Flowers, by Connie Dover

In my last episode, I spoke of how Thomas and the other disciples were able to meet the Risen Lord through his wounds. They had learned that they were far more vulnerable and wounded than they knew. The wounds of the Risen Lord gave them hope.  Continue reading “From Shame To Joy: The Road to Emmaus”

Joining Mercy’s Team

Divine Mercy Sunday (A)

Looking back on my life as a child, it’s interesting to note how much of my interaction with other children took place in the context of games. That may be true for many of you as well. Card games, board games, ping pong, the early video games – and those were just the indoor games. There was baseball, basketball, dodgeball, “It”, marbles, and other outdoor games. There were a few games we made up or adapted with a few rules of our own.  Continue reading “Joining Mercy’s Team”

Going Back

Friday of the Octave of Easter: John 21:1-14

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus was once quoted as saying, “You can’t step into the same river twice”. For one thing, a river is always moving and, therefore, always changing. By the time you step into it again, it isn’t quite the same river. Then again, when you step into the river a second time, you aren’t the same you. Our minds and bodies are also moving, changing, learning from experience, maturing and aging.

Yet, we often feel the desire to step into some old river a second time. Some married couples may celebrate an anniversary by going back to some place that was significant early in their relationship. People often return to their high schools or colleges for reunions, or just to see what the place looks like now and to recall some events. Others who have moved far from their birthplaces may feel a desire to go back for a visit, for the same reasons.  Continue reading “Going Back”

Waiting in Hope

Tuesday of the Octave of Easter

Our soul waits for the Lord,
  who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us
  who have put our hope in you.   Psalm 33:20, 22


With the coming of Easter, our Lenten observances are completed. During Lent, we may have given up something we like, or we may have taken on some additional devotion or charitable work. Or perhaps we have tried to correct some bad habit, or do something that expresses Christian faith and love in a concrete way. Lent may have been for us a time for repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. Continue reading “Waiting in Hope”