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Fifth Sunday in Lent

If I had to describe 2018 with one word, I’d use “unexpected.” Back on New Year’s Eve, I did not expect that we’d have a flood in the church basement. When that famous ball dropped in New York City, I did not imagine Puerto Ricans would still be without power today. When midnight struck, I hadn’t pondered that high school students would take a lead in gun control legislation. So far, it’s been a year filled with surprises. In today’s reading from John, we have an opportunity to explore God’s presence in the midst of the unexpected…

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Fourth Sunday in Lent

Today’s gospel reading has, arguably, the most recognizable verse in the Bible. On a long car trip, I usually see it posted on a billboard. At sports games, I see it on a poster. In confirmation class, I had to memorize it. It’s the infamous John 3:16. And, while today’s translation from the New Revised Standard Version was decent, I want to offer you an alternative translation from the original Greek. It goes like this, “For this is the way God loved the cosmos: to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life.”…

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Third Sunday in Lent

In my imagination I picture the scene from our Gospel reading today: the crowds of Jewish people coming from all over to make their sacrifices in the Temple, the mooing and cooing and baaing animals – unblemished of course – that  will be sacrificed, the money-changers waiting to convert foreign currency to the acceptable coinage for the Temple Tax.  Everything going according to plan, the way it was every year…

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