The Two Things We Need to Know about Forgiveness – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 18:21-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Today’s Sunday Gospel is about forgiveness: Peter, on the one hand, monitoring his quota on forgiveness, and our Lord, on the other, tossing all that accounting out the window by reminding us that by the way, we all of us are recipients of the Father’s boundless mercy, remember? Forgiveness is…

Empty Chair – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 16:21-27, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Sting sang a little-known, but heartbreaking song at the Oscars last February. The song is called “Empty Chair,” from the film, “Jim,” which is about the journalist James Foley, who had been beheaded by the Islamic State three years ago. The lines go: “And when the winter comes and…

Careful the Christ you Choose – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 16:13-20, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Here are two images that created some controversy a few years ago: The first, of course, is the poster for the movie “Da Vinci Code,” based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel.   The second is a fragment of a 1,700-year old papyrus that some scholars claim is the last…

The Art of Walking on Water – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 14:22-33, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time We’ve all heard that phrase “standing on solid ground.” Today’s Gospel is about anything but standing on solid ground. Do you remember ever feeling like you’ve run out of solid ground? One day you get out of bed, and for some reason, you feel completely unsure of your world, your life, and…

Only Jesus – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 17:1-9, The Transfiguration of Our Lord The Transfiguration of our Lord was–quite literally–“a brief shining moment.” It was that one fleeting moment when Jesus’ divinity–normally hidden during his earthly life–shone through, but only for one fleeting moment. One moment Jesus’ face was bright like the sun, and his clothes white as light as he…

Matthew 13:44-46, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time We have two very similar mini-parables in today’s Gospel reading, and the one thing they have in common is that their characters both find something and lose something. In the first one, a person digs up a valuable treasure in some field, and what does he do? He…

Listen to the Groaning – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 13:24-43, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul uses an intriguing description to refer to the sound of the Spirit praying in us: “The Spirit himself intercedes with “inexpressible groanings.” There’s a reason why the Apostle didn’t liken it to something more conventional and even appealing. Like why…

Alone Together – Johnny Go, SJ

John 6:51-58, Solemnity of the most Holy Body and Blood of Christ/Corpus Christi Sunday Sherry Turkle has a book called “Alone Together” The title is telling enough, but if there’s any doubt about what it means, the subtitle says it all: “Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.” We know what…

Horror Vacui – Johnny Go, SJ

John 20:1-9, Easter Vigil Two great mysteries bookend our Lord’s lives–and they feel so different from each other. At the beginning, of course, is the birth of our Lord, which we celebrate at Christmas, and in the end, we have his resurrection, which we commemorate today as Easter. The Christmas narrative seems to happen in…

Hitting Rock Bottom – Johnny Go, SJ

John 11:1-45, Fifth Sunday of Lent I was having brunch with a couple of good friends yesterday, and our conversation strayed into this matter of “hitting rock bottoms.” There are moments in our lives when, for different reasons, we find ourselves in the pits. Life feels like it’s in ruins; things have somehow fallen apart….

Where is your Siloam – Johnny Go, SJ

John 9:1-41, Fourth Sunday of Lent This healing miracle, unlike others, did not happen instantaneously. While the other healing of our Lord was achieved with almost just one word or a single touch, this one involved several steps–including the use of the bizarre mixture of saliva and spittle. But what struck me the most about…