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As I have been preparing for this week’s homily it struck me that our upcoming visits to the time of Jesus as seen through the Gospel according to John is a unique opportunity TO DO in contrast to GIVE UP something for lent.

It is customary for many to do penance during lent by forgoing a favorite food or activity. Once when I was a kid, I gave up watching the Toronto Maple Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada. Now this was in the mid-60’s when that was a real sacrifice but based on the teams play over the past 40 years many would think not watching the Leafs to be a reward contrary to a sacrifice.

I am going to encourage the people at mass this weekend to consider reading these three passages of John  as something TO DO for lent. By reading them I don’t  mean a quick skim of the passage but a real embrace of it.

Here is a Lenten TO DO Challenge to consider: Read the upcoming Gospel passage daily- watch the clip of the scene from the movie- write down the words or actions that have the most impact and determine what you would talk about if you had to give the homily on this Gospel.

Here is the rundown of the stories:

  • 3rd Sunday of Lent: The Samaritan Woman at the well- A story of personal conversations;
  • 4th Sunday of Lent:  the man born blind- A story of a community wrestling with conversion;
  • 5th Sunday of Lent: Raising Lazarus from the dead- The story of the universal truth of life everlasting.

Drop by each Monday for a clip of the reading from the movie The Gospel of John. On Tuesday the This Sunday post will feature the thoughts of several other preachers on the readings of the week.

Enjoy your TO DO challenge this lent.

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