Between this Goodbye and the Next Hello – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 16:15-20, Solemnity of the Ascension of The Lord This parting with the disciples as the Lord is taken up to heaven–that makes two goodbyes in a row. A little over a month earlier, they’ve just been through that long, emotional goodbye at the Last Supper, the night of the Lord’s arrest and the eve…

I was Ten when I met Jesus – Johnny Go, SJ

John 15:9-17, Sixth Sunday in Easter I was ten when I met Jesus, but I was too young to know. We were on our way to Baguio for the summer, and we had left the house right before sunrise. My parents would take us children there every year to escape the sweltering heat of Manila, and…

Branches – Johnny Go, SJ

John 15:1-8, Fifth Sunday of Lent Branches have stories to tell and lots of lessons to teach. The one year I lived in London, there was a tree outside my room window that I got to know pretty well. I used to sit before that tree, prayer book or coffee mug in hand. In the…

Easter Jesus – Johnny Go, SJ

Luke 24:35-48, Third Sunday of Easter Today we have yet another Easter appearance. From the different appearances the Risen Lord makes to his disciples, a pattern emerges. It is the same person, but somehow he looks different because all who have seen him don’t recognize him immediately–from Mary Magdalene outside the empty tomb to the…

What’s your “Unless” – Johnny Go, SJ

John 20:19-31, Divine Mercy Sunday It’s a well-known story. Thomas misses out on Jesus’ debut appearance to the disciples and hears them make the far-fetched claim that they “have seen the Lord!” It’s not the first time such a claim has been made: There are the women, those early Sunday morning visitors at the tomb probably…

Easter Fear or Joy – Johnny Go, SJ

John 20:1-9, Easter Sunday 2018 What is remarkable about this Gospel story is the emotion that the women experienced as a result of their discovery of the empty tomb: Fear. I wasn’t expecting that. We are told that the women were so afraid they said nothing to anyone– exactly the opposite of what the angels…

Among the Fickle Ground – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 11:1-10, Palm Sunday The event we recount–and reenact–on Palm Sunday was a highlight of sorts in our Lord’s Public Ministry. Reported in all four gospels, our Lord’s entry to Jerusalem is often prefixed with the adjective “triumphal” to express the exceptional welcome given to Jesus as he arrived in Jerusalem. The welcome must have been overwhelming,…

If You Wish – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 1:40-45, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Today’s reading may be interpreted as yet another healing miracle of our Lord that showcases his compassion for those who are marginalized in society. The worst part about being a leper during Jesus’ time, after all, was not so much the physical affliction as much as the social…

Where Does It Come From? – Johnny Go, SJ

Today’s Gospel is about the first–and lasting–impression that our Lord makes on people. And the impression that he makes on the people he interacts with–the lasting impression he leaves them with–is summarized by one recurring word: “Authority.” It’s funny because I would have expected a different kind of first or lasting impression. Perhaps holiness or kindness?…

The Endangered Art of Listening – Johnny Go, SJ

John 1:35-42, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time In the First Reading today, we have the somewhat charming story of young Samuel who mistakes God’s voice calling to him as coming from his master Eli. After being roused a third time from his sleep, Eli realizes it must be the Lord and directs Samuel to answer, “Speak,…

Gifts and Givers – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 2:1-12, Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord On this Feast of the Epiphany, we remember the visit of the magi–those astrologers (how many they were, we don’t know) who read the stars and were among the first to lay their eyes on Jesus.  They were not exactly kings, but they were certainly wise enough to…

How Can This Be? – Johnny Go, SJ

Luke 1:26-38, Fourth Sunday of Advent When the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her about God’s invitation, Mary asked one question: “How can this be?” When you think about it, it’s a perfectly normal and understandable question. First of all, it was an angel that visited her!  We have no idea what form the angel assumed…