Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent


Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

Jn 8:1-11


As we reflect upon this well-known passage from John’s Gospel, we perhaps look to determine which character we are in the story? Are we the scribes or the Pharisees who brought the woman and made her stand in the middle? We may be if we find that we are often pointing our fingers, calling out the faults of others, and loudly proclaiming when others fall short despite our own shortcomings. Are we the woman who sinned? Perhaps we often find ourselves acting in a way that we know we should not and questioning if we are worthy of forgiveness. Are we the man who got the woman in all the trouble? If the woman was truly “caught in the very act” seems to have somehow gone missing. If we shirk responsibility in our lives, we may very well be him. Or are we Jesus? The one who does not condemn; rather, he speaks out in defense of the woman, likely saving her life. He then challenges her to move forward from that moment and to change her path. As followers of Jesus, we know it is Christ that we should emulate. If we do not see ourselves as Jesus in this story, we should strive to hear his call for conversion and taking a new path to the woman echo through the ages to us today.


Make a perfect Act of Contrition.

Fr. Matthew R. Bailey, FCM
Vicar General : American National Catholic Church
Pastor : St. Joseph of Arimathea ANCC, Orange, CT

Published in: on March 27, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Fifth Sunday of Lent


Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

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.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

Jn 11:1-45


Today we reflect upon the story of Lazarus. It is a love story. A story of the love that Jesus had for Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary, and Martha. The parable of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, and that of Lazarus actually rising four days later in the midst of doubting people, parallels what we know about the crucifixion of Christ. Many questioned, as well, whether Jesus would resurrect three days after being put to death. “Lazarus come, out!” from behind the stone, as powerful as that may be, seems like a supernatural dress rehearsal for what was to come for Jesus and all of humankind, the promise of eternal salvation. If we listen closely to the Holy Spirit this Lenten season, we might be able to hear something like, “Jesus, come out! We are here waiting for your love and your mercy.”

In the story of Lazarus, the people waited for a miracle to believe, and it seemed like Jesus felt a need to prove his holiness to them so that they would believe. Recently, I asked a friend of mine, if he was going to be at mass on Sunday. He responded with a respectful, yet angry tone, stating, “I don’t know. God hasn’t done much for me lately, he hasn’t answered any of my prayers.” He did not show up at mass.


There is time this Lenten season to simply listen. What is the Holy Spirt suggesting to us? Where are we being guided? If we are open to receiving the word of God in our hearts, we have an opportunity to let our faith grow through spirit. If we wait for a miracle to happen before we are to honor God, we might find ourselves in the “desert” for a lot longer than 40 days and 40 nights! Faith, by its very nature, means that we love and worship God outside of miraculous signs. I wonder, though, if we listen closely enough, might we recognize the subtle miracles that often show up outside of our awareness? The miracle of someone’s smile, an act of kindness given or received, a sense of connection with a stranger, for example.

Jesus wept for Lazarus. Jesus weeps for all. If we listen, we’ll hear it, and know that this weeping is an outward expression of Jesus’ love for us. The Spirit of Christ is alive within us. Although at times it may be a struggle to feel the love of God, it has already been cast upon us. Let us open our hearts to receive this glorious love each day of Lent and thereafter.

James M. Conti, Seminarian, ANCC

Published in: on March 26, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord


The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Lk 1:26-38


Have you ever thought about how much God trusts you? We often think about our trust in God in ways like God’s existence, about the promise of what is to come after our life here ends, about the reality of the real presence. But have you ever looked at the other side of this and truly considered how much God trusts you? God trusts you with your relationships, the moments that happen in our lives, the people we encounter, and the opportunities we have. Sometimes we honor that trust and sometimes we don’t meet the mark.

Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, the day we remember the Lord saying to Our Blessed Lady (in so many words), ‘I trust you to be the vessel by which I will come into this world; the humanity of the person of God; the beginning of the road to salvation; the foot by which the head of Lucifer himself will be crushed under.’ Consider this, when God chose Mary, God had a pretty good idea that she was the right woman for the job. One of my favorite things about this Gospel reading is that Mary had a choice in the matter; and Our Blessed Mother said yes! She said a big yes! Not only said yes but she fully committed herself to God saying ‘I am yours, your will is mine’ – she trusted God and God trusted her.

Look for the ways, the relationships, the encounters in your life that God has trusted you with. Some may appear (to you) as small and insignificant, but for others and for God, those moments may be of the utmost significance – linchpins are often tiny and easily overlooked but they really do make the world go round. Appreciate the trust God has for you, like our mother, live and work for our Lord in all that you do. In this Holy Lent we are called to refocus our lives on our Lord, to cut out the things that separate us from God, and to identify (and maintain) those things that align our lives to the example of Christ. Start inside, with your relationship with God! As that beautiful Marian hymn says, “Most blest of all women, you heard and believed.” Hear and believe that God is calling you to something amazing. That God is trusting you to do many amazing things, even though – especially in – those moments that may feel small or insignificant. Anything done for and in the love of our Lord is of the greatest importance!


May we hear God in our lives and believe. Cling to the love and protection of our Blessed Mother’s mantle; strive to love and serve our Lord with a fraction of our Mother’s devotion. Trust God honoring the trust God puts in you.

Cody Pucillo

Published in: on March 25, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent


Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30


In our Gospel today, we see how the people were divided in their opinions about Jesus. Some believed that He was a prophet, while others thought He was a troublemaker and sought to arrest Him.

I am amazed by the way in which Jesus was able to navigate this difficult situation. He did not shy away from controversy, but at the same time, He did not allow Himself to be drawn into unnecessary conflict. Instead, He spoke with wisdom and authority, and those who were open to His message were able to recognize the truth of His words.

Our goal should be to follow Jesus’ example of seeking to share the truth in a way that is both bold and compassionate. By doing so, we can help to bring about positive change in our communities and build bridges of understanding and reconciliation where there is division and conflict.


Let us learn from Jesus’ example and seek to navigate difficult situations in our own lives with wisdom and grace. We can do this by listening carefully to the opinions of others, speaking with kindness and respect, and seeking to find common ground wherever possible. It may also involve standing up for what we believe in, even if it means facing opposition or criticism.

Fr. Geety Reyes, FCM

Associate Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi ANCC

If you wish to read another reflection submitted by Fr. Roger Hernandez, please click here.

Published in: on March 24, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent


Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

Jn 5:31-47


In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds us that we can only know God through him, and it is John the Baptist who proclaims this testimony.

The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was heating up. The Pharisees lived their lives to impress each other: quoting scripture, praying in public, giving gifts in the temple for all to see – but having no love for sinners or anyone not like them. The Pharisees looked to each other to provide testimony on the lives they were living. Jesus explains to them that the only testimony that matters is that he is who he says he is. That testimony was provided by John the Baptist, a testimony provided to John by God. The Pharisees knew this testimony, they had received it from the very emissaries they sent to speak to John. But, after a while, like the Israelites in the desert worshipping the golden calf, they had lost sight of John’s testimony.

Christianity does not ask us “just to believe”. The faith of the Christian is based on truth. God’s proof to us is not the evidence of empirical science; it is in the history of those we are spiritually descended from, in which God has revealed himself; the testimony of Scripture, through which God has revealed his truth; and the intimate knowledge of the God of love reaching out to us so that we might trust him.


In a world of 24-hour news cycles, celebrity culture and increasing violence, especially against minorities and the disenfranchised, the testimony of John the Baptist is as relevant today as ever before. We are called to take this testimony, that Jesus is the Son of God and our hope for salvation, into the world, in our actions and good works. We are called to be the Voice in the Wilderness today, living proof of God’s everlasting and unconditional love.

Mary Hurley

ANCC Seminarian

Published in: on March 23, 2023 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die.

Jn 11:25a, 26


Jesus answered the Jews:
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus answered and said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”

Jn 5:17-30


One month ago, today we began our Lenten season reflections which leaves us with less than two weeks until the Easter season. So, just before we end our observance, we read Jesus declare the source of his authority, assert his ministry, and affirm his promise of life. This is the Jesus; this is the Christ we follow. He is the anointed one (Christ); we are his little anointed ones (Christians). At our baptism we were claimed for this identity. With grace, we accept this identity in our mature heart. As children of God and followers of Jesus Christ, this scripture message contains and affirms not only our identity but also our purpose. We chose to believe and in our belief, we chose our reality: to do the will of the one who sent us.

When we ask questions such as “Who am I? or “What is my purpose in life” I don’t know I am? I don’t know what my purpose is in life? we are also asking in these questions for validation of our life. These questions apply to anyone at any stage of life. So, what is the answer? The answer lies in that very decision to belief. Belief begets action. Ask not ‘what would Jesus do,’ but what are we going to do?


Each day we must affirm our belief to sustain our belief. You already do this every day. Every prayer you whisper in your heart is an act of love, an act of your belief. Bishop George taught me that my every action reflects my belief. So daily, at least for the remainder of this season of preparation, let us 1) say, “I am a child of God and with his grace I will do his will.” And 2) physically express God’s love to at least one of his children. Keep it simple. As Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Believe. Act.

Fr. John Bye-Torre, FCM
Fairfield, California

Published in: on March 22, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent


There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
“Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him,
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
“It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”
He answered them, “The man who made me well told me,
‘Take up your mat and walk.'”
They asked him,
“Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
“Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.

Jn 5:1-16


This Gospel passage opens with Jesus traveling to Jerusalem. When he arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered through the Sheep Gate, which was one of several entrances into Jerusalem. Near this gate was a pool called Bethsaida. This was a large area that had five entrances. These five entrances were filled with the sick, the lame, and the dying.

Lying at the Sheep Gate was a man who had been there for 38 years. Can you imagine yourself living in a public area for 38 years? Did the man not have any family?  Had his family rejected him?  Were they too poor to care for him?  Can you imagine not being a part of your family? The situation must have been difficult for this man, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Had the poor
man come to the Sheep Gate to beg or did he still have hope that one day he actually might be healed?

When Jesus came into Jerusalem, he saw the man lying on the floor.  Jesus could tell from the man’s debilitated appearance that he had been ill for many, many years.  Jesus quietly walked over to the man and asked him a simple but very powerful question: “Do you want to be well?”  I wonder if the man’s inner response was: “Well, of course, I want to be well! Who wouldn’t?”

The man did not answer the question that Jesus had posed. Rather, he said to Jesus: “I have no one to help me into the water when it is stirred up.”  He told Jesus that by the time he got to the pool, others had already gotten into the water and there was no room for him.  Jesus listened intently to the man and then quietly, yet powerfully told the man to stand up, take up his mat, and walk. Jesus did not do a dramatic healing.  Rather he quietly and lovingly spoke to the man.

The man immediately stands up, picks up his mat, and walks! It must have taken him a few moments to get his balance after not using his legs for such a long time.  What a life changing moment this was for the man!  He had been on the sidelines of life for many years.  Now he could be active and involved once again.  Maybe he could even have a trade and actually support his family.  No longer would he have to beg and be pitied.  Perhaps he would be able to help other people who were ill, poor, and unable to sustain themselves.

When Jesus spoke the words: “Rise, take up your mat and walk,” a whole new world opened up for this man. Those simple yet healing words changed the man and his life forever.  What a wonderful gift to receive!


Today, be open and listening to Jesus’ healing words for us.  May we be attentive and listen with the ear of our hearts.

Fr. Jim Jakubowski
St. Francis of Assisi
Glen Ridge, NJ

Published in: on March 21, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a


In these readings we hear that like a good and faithful Father we receive guidance from God. The decedents of David are also our spiritual fathers. We often refer to Mary as our heavenly Mother and while we have a heavenly Father, St. Joseph is in a way, our “heavenly step Father.” Like the honorable and God loving man that he was, he stepped up to accept the request from our God. He did not abandon Mary who graciously accepted what was asked of her. He stood by her and he was there for our Savior in his early years. He loved Him and nurtured Him as the head of the Holy Family. He served as an example of a loving father for us all.


We can use the example of Joseph in our daily lives. He showed us how to love and accept what is asked of us from God. He loved Jesus as his own and served as a patient and loving spouse to Mary. He is a model to all priests who call themselves Father just as Mary is an example of all who call themselves Mother. May we search our dreams for divine guidance from our heavenly Father and may St. Joseph help us be a person of quiet obedience and charity.

Rev. Fr. Richard Sinacola
Pastor, St. Giles ANCC

Published in: on March 20, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Fourth Sunday of Lent


As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned;
it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.
Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He replied,
“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes
and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’
So I went there and washed and was able to see.”
And they said to him, “Where is he?”
He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe
that he had been blind and gained his sight
until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.
They asked them,
“Is this your son, who you say was born blind?
How does he now see?”
His parents answered and said,
“We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
We do not know how he sees now,
nor do we know who opened his eyes.
Ask him, he is of age;
he can speak for himself.”
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews,
for the Jews had already agreed
that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ,
he would be expelled from the synagogue.
For this reason his parents said,
“He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind
and said to him, “Give God the praise!
We know that this man is a sinner.”
He replied,
“If he is a sinner, I do not know.
One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
So they said to him,
“What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?”
He answered them,
“I told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again?
Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
They ridiculed him and said,
“You are that man’s disciple;
we are disciples of Moses!
We know that God spoke to Moses,
but we do not know where this one is from.”
The man answered and said to them,
“This is what is so amazing,
that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners,
but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.
It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.
If this man were not from God,
he would not be able to do anything.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him,
the one speaking with you is he.”
He said,
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
Then Jesus said,
“I came into this world for judgment,
so that those who do not see might see,
and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this
and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
Jesus said to them,
“If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Jn 9:1-41


In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man born blind, “so that the works f God might be made visible through him.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful of Jesus would heal each one of us of our blindness? We might have the physical gift of sight, but, this sight doesn’t guarantee that we are able to see what is essential in life. All of us have our own blind spots. It may be blindness to those living in poverty, the homeless, new migrants, those who are sick, the hungry, even the abandoned in care facilities or in prison with no one to visit them. What might be your blind spot? What is the blind spot that you want Jesus to heal?


Today, reflect on your blind spots. At times our blind spots protect and keep us safe (in our own minds). Yet our blind spots may also keep us from seeing the beauty in the world an in the people we meet each day. Ask Jesus to open your eyes and your heart to each person and situation you encounter today. Beauty is all around us! Love is all around us! God’s Grace is all around us! Don’t let your blind spots keep you from experiencing all of the beauty in others, the world, and yourself!

Fr. James Jakubowski

Pastoral Associate, St. Francis of Assisi ANCC

Published in: on March 19, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent


Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Lk 18:9-14


Have you ever heard someone say the need to make an appearance at a function or event. They want to be seen by their boss or someone else in authority. For them it is not the event or function that is important but to be seen by who they think is important. They may want to be seen so that they may be thought as important by being at the function.

We hear about two people who have gone into the temple to pray. One though it was more important to show that their attitude was better than their peers. They wanted to be seen in the temple they weren’t so interested in communicating with God. Look at what he said he was comparing himself to others rather than asking God to help him grow closer to God. Have we ever done that? Have we lost that opportunity to get closer to God or maybe those in our life.

The other person in the parable today recognized that they had limitations in his life and recognized the needed to grow because we were too busy with our own importance. The reality is that God is calling us to be in relationship with God and to make this world a better place. We need to remember we will eventually have to stand before our God and answer how we have made a positive change in this world. God will not care if we have been seen by the right or important people. Jesus was seen by those who were not important in his world. When we make changes in our life, we have an effect in our lives and the lives of others. We look out instead of in unlike the first person who was looking in at himself.

Lent is a time when we are called to change and move closer to God and others. If we are focused on how we are going to make a difference in this world we will be doing God’s work. The Pharisee missed his opportunity to growth and change in his life and make a difference in his world. We need to be like the tax collector and recognize what needs changing in our life and begin that process of growing.


During this season of Lent, have we recognized what needs changing in our life? What have we done so far or how do we plan to begin the process of growing? Take time today to reflect on it.

Fr. Tony Martinez
Associate Pastor
Holy Family – Las Cruces, NM

Published in: on March 18, 2023 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
%d bloggers like this: