Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday
If there is a word that captures the spirit of Easter and spans the ages, it may be “vision.”  Vision can have many meanings of course.  Sometimes we hear of people “having visions,” which is often associated with extraordinary—even extraterrestrial—phenomena.  Such things are quite contrary to the Easter vision.

Today Scripture witnesses to us a vision that is better defined by “sight,” and its corollaries of “understanding” and “believing.”  In the Gospel, first Mary of Magdala, then Peter, and then “the other disciple” go to the tomb to “see.”   Each one “saw.”  The word is repeated at least four times.  In the end, they also “understood” and “believed” what before was unclear to them.  Acts tells us God granted that the raised Jesus be made “visible” in His glory to the ones who had been His companions in life.

The gift of sight that Jesus gave to His disciples allows them—and us—to “understand” our world and the universe in a whole new way.  Sight and understanding become “insight” at a whole new level. 

St. Paul writes: “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”  Often, in daily life (especially in an election year), we allow the hype about economic well-being and political expediency to govern our spiritual lives.  Here St. Paul is not “having visions.”  To the contrary, he is urging us to “see” deeply within, gain insight, into the reality of our/humankind’s true dignity as God's beloved children

Gracious God, grant us the grace to see ourselves as Your children and all people as our sisters and brothers.  Fill us with Your grace so as to “think of what is above” so that the risen Lord may be made manifest even in our own time and space. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our risen Lord.  Amen.

Fr. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. ’67, Edmundite Campus Ministry

First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel: John 20:1-9, Luke 24:1-12, or Luke 24:13-35
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
Once upon a time, a man found the egg of an eagle.  As it was still warm, the man took it and put it in the nest of one of his backyard chickens along with the other eggs.  After a period of time, the eaglet was hatched along with the other chicks.   He scratched the earth for worms, insects, and looked for corn.  He clucked and cackled as best as he could and thrashed his wings.  One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky.  It glided majestically among the powerful wind currents, soaring and swooping, scarcely beating its long golden wings.  The old eagle looked at it in awe and asked "what is that?"  "That is the eagle, the king of the birds," said one of his neighbors.  “He belongs to the sky and to the high places.  We belong to the earth, we are chickens." The old eagle knew this was true, and so it was he lived and died as a chicken.

Think of what happened to the disciples after the first Easter, after they finally accepted and believed in the resurrection that Jesus had told them about.  They came out of the upper room where they had huddled in fear, and they went to the ends of the earth.  They created a mighty Church.  They went from being people afraid of dying, to being people who offered their very lives to help others live lives of faith, and hope, and joy.  Happy Easter.

Lord Jesus, open my heart, my mind and my eyes to see this new vision of life that You have prepared for me and for all who believe.  Fill me with the faith, hope, and joy of resurrected life through Christ our Lord.

Fr. Michael Cronogue, S.S.E., Director of Vocations for the Society of Saint Edmund

First Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 20, 22
Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 16:5, 8-11
Third Reading: Exodus 14:15—15:1
(Psalm) Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18
Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-3, 4-6
Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4
Psalm 19:8-11
Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3-4
Eighth Reading: Romans 6:3-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday
“‘For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’”  This exchange in Jesus’ interrogation by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate has a special relevance for students, faculty, and staff engaged together in study, teaching, and all the services that support the mission of this college community:  “to testify to the truth.”  For Jesus, this mission meant the ultimate testimony, accepting the Cross.  He could have dodged it.  He could have avoided the confrontations with the authorities who monopolized the temple, or reaching out to the “unclean” whose demons imprisoned and isolated them, or choosing weak and confused disciples who, over and over, resisted any word from Him about a cross on the horizon, or this interrogation now before Caesar’s cynical agent.  “What is truth?” the agent asked.  It should have been a sincere question.  It is, in the end, the only question.  But Pilate made it a taunt.   “The way, the truth, and the life,” stood before Him and offered Him “the way, the truth, and the life.”  Too risky, thought Pilate, let’s not go there.  And us?  Isn’t every Good Friday a time for us who hear the Passion read (especially on a college campus) to stand with Jesus, in the faith that His Cross is not the defeat of Truth but its victory?

Lord Jesus, whose Cross points through the Good Friday darkness to the light of Easter morning, keep us on the way with You, all the way with You.  Amen.

Fr. Richard Berube, S.S.E. ’66, Emeritus Professor, Religious Studies

First Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel: John 18:1—19:42

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Thursday
As Christians, we are a marked people. By virtue of our baptism, we carry always with us a sign, an indentation, perhaps not visible to each other, but a sign that is understood and recognized by God. This understanding of being chosen, understood, and specially recognized by God hearkens back to the time of the Old Testament, to the time of Moses, when all the people of God bore the mark of the Blood of the Lamb. We see in tonight’s Gospel passage the figure of Jesus Christ, weighing in His own mind His own impending death, His own shedding of blood that will go on to be the marker of all generations and all peoples who believe in His message. We see Him not in a position of glory and power, as would befit the Son of God, but instead kneeling in humble service to His friends, the people He has spent so much time with and taught so much. His lesson to them and to us is that the best teaching comes from being an example, from truly living in practice the message of service and gentleness which is at the core of Christian belief. We would do well to meditate on this sense of being “marked,” how despite all of the difficulties that come from our volatile, earthbound hearts, the love of Christ has marked us, and stayed with us, and permeated us as the sun permeates the soil.

O God of mercy, You have ensured that Your love stays always within us, a love which the fires and storms of passion and anger can never fully cloud or destroy. Allow us the strength to recognize that we are called to be firmly in Your service, and through our own works of service allow us to recognize that we are marked with Your love in a special way. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Brother Michael Carter, S.S.E. ’12

First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-15

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday of Holy Week
Reading the Gospel today, I find myself crumbling as I hear Judas say, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” It’s Holy Week and every year I have high hopes for my Lenten journey—new resolve, renewed devotion…and most years I fall very short.  It’s all the little moments, for me, that add up to my betrayal, my choice to walk away from Jesus when I most want to be near.

There is real comfort and such intense love in the readings today.  No matter how great the suffering and loss, we will not be abandoned.  Jesus walked our walk, He has lived our pain.  The longing and searching for our God will not go unnoticed.  We will be given exactly what we need. 

Maybe we all have our Judas moments.  We fail.  We sin.  We walk away when we desperately need to draw near.   Easter is almost here.  We can all rise again.  We can bring our brokenness, our suffering, our longing with us this Good Friday and we will be given the chance to be renewed in the beauty and Light of Easter. 

“See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive!”

Jesus, open my heart.  Help me to see You in the midst of my everyday life that I might choose to draw near to You in every way.  Amen.

Meeghan Bird Matarazzo, ’97, Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday of Holy Week
The words of Isaiah announce to the people of God the joy-filled news of God’s love for them.  God promises to show His glory through His people Israel.  Isaiah rejoices in being the servant of God who will raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel to their Father. 

The psalm calls us to sing of God’s salvation.  There is great joy in understanding God as our refuge, our justice, our strength, our rescuer.  It proclaims the wondrous deeds of our God.

The words in Isaiah are fulfilled in the Gospel of John as Jesus reclines at table with His apostles at the last supper.  Jesus’ heart is clearly troubled as He faces the betrayal of one of His own.  As Jesus indicates His betrayer and Satan enters Judas, events begin to unfold.  In the midst of this, Jesus says to the men still at the table, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him.”  From the tragedy to come on Good Friday, God’s promise to His people is fulfilled. Our salvation is secured.

As we try to walk with You, Jesus, through the days that lead to Your crucifixion, remind us, Lord, of our constant need for Your saving work, Your undying love and the glory of the Father, the Son and the Spirit that is shared with us in the salvation You bring to us.

Stephanie Noakes, ’80, M’09, Office of Admission

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15, 17
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday of Holy Week
In today’s Scripture readings for the Monday of Holy Week, the theme of God’s Spirit spoke to me. In the first reading, it is said, “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my Spirit.” Then, in the Gospel, we are reminded of God’s great power in raising Lazarus from the dead. I couldn’t help but think of a song lyric from one of my favorite songs that proclaims “the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, the same power that commands the dead to wake, lives in us, lives in us.” Both the Bible passages and this song remind us of how powerful God truly is as He worked His miracles raising both Jesus and Lazarus from the dead. But what these sources also remind us is that this same power, God’s Spirit, lives inside our own hearts. God has given us His Spirit and works through us to be His hands and feet on earth. God’s tremendous power lives on through each and every one of us as we work “to open the eyes of the blind” not by our own ability and strength but by God’s power. Let us this week be inspired and humbled by the truth that God’s Spirit dwells in our hearts.

Lord, as we begin this Holy week, please open our hearts to be filled with Your Spirit. Please help us to desire to be the servant of whom You are pleased with as You work through us according to Your will. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Allison Shea, ’16

First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14
Gospel: John 12:1-11

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Passion Sunday
The Quiet after the Storm

At Mass today, the Passion from St. Luke’s Gospel will be read. Some will read it all the way though with just one voice. Others will read the Passion in parts, with the “crowd” carrying out its role among others. Some will even include a bit of drama, music, and staging. For me, the “how” of the proclamation doesn’t matter so much as the “why” of the proclamation.  There are all kinds of commentaries and homilies and sermons out there as to the “why” – a lot of which is online. I will leave them to you to discover and read. But there is one particular instruction that also gives direction on how to consider this narrative.

Following the Passion, the instructions for the Mass read, “After the narrative of the Passion, a brief homily should take place, if appropriate. A period of silence may also be observed.” Normally, the rubrics for the Mass are quite clear that a homily is to be preached and not omitted and no mention is made of the length of the homily as well. Perhaps this may be because a homily has already been preached at the beginning of Mass when the palms are blessed. Perhaps. But there may be something at work beyond that simple answer.

Could it be that we are being invited to simply encounter the Passion as it is, each in our own way, without much need for commentary? In the face of what we have heard, perhaps silent meditation is the best response.

After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.” (1 Kings 19: 12-13)

Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, Bishop of Burlington

Procession Gospel: Luke 19:28-40
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Luke 22:14—23:56

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday of the Fifth Week
Feast of Saint Joseph
Today, we are given three examples of “father”: St. Joseph, Abraham, and God Himself. God comes first, declaring He will take the child of David as His son, and establish His throne securely forever.

In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul writes about Abraham being justified and becoming a father, not just of the Jews but of many nations. This gift of a miracle lovingly done for him and Sarah rested, St. Paul emphasizes, not on observance of the Mosaic Law which did not yet exist, but on Abraham’s faith in God’s word. Abraham gripped this word with his whole heart believing that with God all things are possible, including the triumph of life over old age and decay.

The stage is now set Scripturally for Matthew’s account of Joseph where again love, trust, and faithfulness are revealed as central to God’s ongoing plan for us.  Matthew recounts what we can imagine Joseph’s shock, and certainly heartbreak, on learning that Mary is pregnant. Because of his love, Joseph seeks to spare Mary embarrassment and plans on ending their engagement privately. Happily, an angel gives Joseph the dramatic news about the special child Mary is carrying, allowing Joseph to follow his heart and take Mary to be his wife.

The world seems to work overtime suggesting love and faithfulness are sentimental illusions. Sadly, many find trusting in love so very difficult. The world needs more witnesses like Abraham and Joseph, witnesses we are called to become, who can offer encouragement by living lives animated by Love, a love made possible by trusting in God, regardless of what the world puts in front of us. 

Lord, please grant us the grace to believe in Your love for us in all seasons and all stages of our life’s journey home, where You dwell in communion with all Your saints.

Peter Tumulty, Professor of Philosophy, and Eleanor Tumulty
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
Second Reading: Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Luke 2:41-51a

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday of the Fifth Week
We have journeyed with the Lord during Lent for almost five weeks. A week from today, the Lord will be sentenced to death. The Gospel reading for today begins with Jesus’ adversaries getting ready to stone Him. They have found Jesus guilty of blasphemy. A few verses before, when prompted by these same people to say He was the Messiah, Jesus replied that He had told them but they did not believe Him. He also told them that the works He performed were the works of His Father. After that, Jesus gave the example of the Good Shepherd. Jesus claimed that “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn 10:27). And, to the detriment of His adversaries, Jesus told them that they were not part of the fold, because they would not believe. Jesus’ blasphemy, of which He was accused, came from equating Himself to God.

Jesus’ adversaries were blind and deaf. They were not able to hear and to see what Jesus was all about. They had the author of life in front of them, talking to them, and they could not see Him. They had the grace of listening to the Word of God directly from God. They had the opportunity to see God performing miracles right in front of them. Sadly, they were not able to recognize their God.

As we approach the Triduum, and as a way to evaluate our journey during this Lent, we could ask ourselves if we have been open to the grace of God during this season. We could look back and reflect to determine if we have been able to see and to hear the Lord in these five weeks of Lent.
Good and loving God, pour Your graces upon us that we are able to see and to hear Your voice in our lives. God of mercy, come and dwell in our hearts so we can be part of Your fold.

Fr. Lino Oropeza, S.S.E. ’11

First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-7
Gospel: John 10:31-42

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday of the Fifth Week
Today’s responsorial psalm, “The Lord remembers his covenant forever,” echoes the message to us from the Genesis passage assigned for today. In Genesis 17, Abram (meaning “high father), gets a name change to Abraham (meaning father of a multitude), which signifies a change of destiny for Abraham. God then makes a promise, “an everlasting pact,” to be Abraham’s God and the God of his descendants for generations to come. God extends this same covenant of faithfulness to all of us.  A promise of faithfulness in any loving relationship needs to be fully reciprocal, so during this Lenten season, let’s evaluate our own relationship to God.

How do we seek God and put ourselves in the presence of God? Is it through worship, prayer, the Eucharist, service to others through good works, regular expressions of gratitude, or showing kindness to others? Have we reciprocally made an everlasting pact with God?

Even if all of those efforts are made, can we really make a commitment to the unseen? We can through faith and with the help of today’s Gospel reading from John. In Jesus’ response to the literalist Pharisees, “Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM,” He reveals Himself as the Christ. I AM is the divine name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. No book in all of Scripture points out more plainly than John’s Gospel that Jesus is the Son of God. As someone who calls himself “Christian” or “Christ-like”, most of my knowledge of God is through the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus. May our relationships with God grow stronger during this season of Lent.

Gracious and loving God, help us to always remember Your everlasting covenant and to remain in Your presence in all that we do. We ask this through Your Son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Michael Samara, Academic Mentor/Campus Minister

First Reading: Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-9
Gospel: John 8:51-59

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday of the Fifth Week
We have two very different situations in the first reading and the Gospel. The first reading shows three believers in the God of Israel who are saved from death for their faith, while in the Gospel the descendants of these men are rebuked for their lack of faith and for being “slaves of sin.”  It makes me think about how people’s faith can change over time. Whether you’ve had powerful belief since you were born or discovered God at a certain point in your life, there must have been a time when you felt your faith was especially strong. In times like these, it can feel like you can do anything, even walk through fire without being burned. But over time, maybe as the cause for your initial burst of faith faded, God became less prominent while sin and doubt rose. It may have even come to the point where you were so distanced from your faith and so stuck in your new ways that you would reject and persecute someone who reminded you of what you needed to change.  The Jews in today’s Gospel wanted to silence Jesus to the point of killing Him because they were so resistant to His message. If you find any similarities to your own faith journey in rejecting the need to change your ways that are sinful or hurtful, let Lent be a time to redefine, revive, and strengthen your faith in God.

God, help us find new reasons and recall our old reasons to grow in faith in You. Amen.

Allie Novak, ’17

First Reading: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Psalm: Daniel 3:52-56
Gospel: John 8:31-42

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday of the Fifth Week
The end of our Lenten journey is in sight but we, like the ancient children of Israel who were grumbling on the Red Sea road, may lack the spiritual stamina to reach the “promised land” of Easter, especially when we realize that the commemoration of the Lord’s passion and death must precede celebration of the Lord’s resurrection at Easter.  Unlike the bronze serpent mounted on a pole by Moses at the Lord’s instruction to inspire the children of Israel to persevere, we, through God’s grace, have the image of our Lord as He Himself tells us in the Gospel:  “…when you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own but I say only what the Father taught me…” (John 8: 28).  Christ’s influence on one who becomes attuned to Him can be noticed in the figure of the Roman centurion Longinus, who, at the foot of the cross of Christ,  is said to have testified: “This man certainly was the Son of God!”  Today is his feast day.  Are we listening to the words Our Lord conveys to each of us, today, on our Lenten journey?  Success and redemption depend on our willingness to do so! 

Lord Jesus, You are our Savior and Your words are the key to our achieving everlasting life.  May we always be receptive to the inspiration You convey to each of us.  Speak, Lord, we Your servants are truly listening—awake, aware, and attentive to Your call!

James P. Conley,  Department of Classics

First Reading: Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 102:2-3, 16-21
Gospel: John 8:21-30

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website