Wednesday, March 30, 2011

April 3: Fourth Sunday of Lent

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel. 
Gospel:  John 9: 1-41 – Jesus heals the blind man

“I transcend the capacity of your eyes…” (Danielle Rose)

Sometimes our darkest moments are also our greatest opportunities for grace. We are often put in situations we don’t understand, facing circumstances we feel we don’t deserve and thinking that perhaps God is punishing us for some past sin we may have committed. Woe is me…indeed. But the reality of it all is that where we are is where we need to be at that very moment, and that our situations or circumstances are actually part of a process that will eventually lead us towards a greater blessing that God has in store for us…and perhaps even for those around us. If our hearts are open to His will, He will work in and through our lives (whether we know it or not). And in all likelihood, if we knew He was doing His work through us, we’d probably try to control things - try to make the situation end up in the best way that we see fit. But what God sees goes beyond what we’re even capable of seeing. It’s bigger than what we could ever imagine or even try to comprehend.

Have you ever had one of those amazing moments where God has sent you someone that works wonders in your life? Maybe it was through a family member, friend, loved one, or even a stranger that you have felt His presence during a very difficult time. Or, perhaps, you were that person for someone else. God uses these moments of grace to open the eyes of our hearts so that we can fully see His hand at work and experience His love. The blind young man in the Gospel lived in darkness every single day of his life, and Christ brought light into his world. The man was unknowingly being used as an instrument of hope through Christ’s love. And here we are now, reflecting on his life…you never know who your own lives will touch. The blessing of sight that he received that day helps to open the eyes of our hearts to see the splendor of God’s love, compassion, and grace. How can we as Catholics open our eyes and hearts to His awesome presence in our lives today, and in doing so, fully recognize and experience Christ’s light in the world?

“…I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see…” (John 1:39)

Natasha Asinas
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 27: Third Sunday of Lent

Holy Family Parish in South Pasadena has compiled an online journal with reflections from parishioners based on each day's readings during Lent.

The reflection for this Sunday can be found at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 20: Second Sunday of Lent

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel. 

Gospel:  Matthew 17: 1-9

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."

To experience the transfiguration means to penetrate the intimate relationship between Father and Son, until the point in which we could say: “I am God’s beloved.”   With the gift of life, we too have received God’s irrevocable love, but do we always recognize it?   When I can come to the point of accepting God’s love without hesitation, despite the betrayal of my sin, my infidelity and my hypocrisy; then I can accept God’s infinite loving mercy and kindness.

In the end, the greatest sadness for any person is to feel and believe they are not loved.  So let us ask ourselves…“Do I feel loved?  Can I give a name to one who loves me unconditionally?”  Often times we know that it is not easy to answer yes to these questions.  But today’s Gospel tells us that if we could not rely on any other person’s total capacity of love, there is someone who wants to “convince” us of His love.  God, with these words reveals a love and irrevocable decision for us of His unconditional fatherly love when He states “This is my beloved!”  Though God does not “need” our love to be complete, He desires it with passion so that we might be complete in Him.  

God realizes his dreams in us when we respond with the same love of the Son.  So I challenge you to ask yourself: how will I accept and respond to His all-embracing love in week ahead?

Sr. Bernadette Mota
St. Mary, Los Angeles

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 13: First Sunday of Lent

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel. 

Gospel:  Matthew 4:1-11

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus went to the desert for forty days and nights to pray. After the time of praying and fasting, he was then tempted by the devil. The devil first tempted him with food, then to use Jesus’ power to prove God would send angels to help Him if he jumped from the top of temple, and finally Satan offered Jesus all power and glory if he worshipped him alone.  To each temptation, Jesus held to what he knew was God’s will for him. 

As young adults, it’s difficult in this day to fall to the temptations of the secular world (the latest gadgets, fashion styles, cars, sex, etc.) and yet be able to live with strong Christian beliefs.  The word tempt in English usually means “to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.” However, the scriptural word used here also means test in the sense of proving and purifying someone to see if they are ready for the task at hand.  Each day, we encounter challenges and trials to live out the gospel, some bigger than others.  How can each and every one of us hold firm to our faith while in the midst of so many temptations this world offers?

Now as the season of Lent is upon us, we are not alone in our tests of faith.  In the words of St. Paul, “No testing [temptation] has overtaken you that is not common to everyone.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Just as Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, so are we in this season of Lent able to endure the trials of this life and rise with Him to the next.

Melinda Evangelista
St. John the Baptist, Baldwin Park