Scripture Reflections

3rd Sunday of Easter: Luke 24:13-35

by Fr. Alcuin Hurl, FHS  |  04/26/2020  |  Scripture Reflections

In this Sunday's Gospel we see how two disciples go from the darkness of unbelief to the light of Easter faith through scripture and the breaking of the bread. What does this means for us? Well this is very good news because it shows us how we are invited to encounter the Risen Lord Jesus through word and sacrament as every Holy Mass. First, we see two disciples on Sunday evening walking away from Jerusalem. They have given up their hope that Jesus was the redeemer. A stranger suddenly walks next to them but their "eyes are closed" so they did not know it was Jesus. This is particularly remarkable because tradition holds that Cleopas was the brother of St. Joseph and he did not recognize his nephew.


2nd Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday): John 20: 19-31

by Fr. Alcuin Hurl, FHS  |  04/19/2020  |  Scripture Reflections

Last Sunday we began in the dark and saw how Mary Magdalen, Peter and the Beloved Disciple move toward Easter faith. Although Mary Magdalen returns and says: "I have seen the Lord" the disciples are still in the dark. It is evening on Easter Sunday and the disciples still remain locked in the upper room for fear of the Jewish authorities. But Jesus casts away this darkness by standing in their midst saying "Peace be with you." Peace or "Shalom" here means that man has been reconciled with the God. They have nothing to fear.


Tuesday of the Octave of Easter: John 20:11-18

by Fr. Alcuin Hurl, FHS  |  04/14/2020  |  Scripture Reflections

On Easter Sunday we were left with an empty tomb, burial clothes and the dim rays of Easter faith beginning to dawn in the hearts of the disciples. This week we see how Mary Magdalene and the disciples step into the full brightness of the light Easter faith a personal encounter with the Risen Lord. Even though we cannot see Jesus are we able to encounter the Risen Lord like the disciples? Let us turn to the Gospel and see.

While Peter and the Beloved Disciple depart, Mary Magdalene remains outside the tomb weeping. Despite the linen burial clothes left behind in the tomb she still thinks someone stole the body of Jesus. Mary then looks into the tomb and sees two angels in white who ask her why she is weeping. Mary here seems to be too overwhelmed with sorrow to be struck by fear at the sight of the angels which is the usual response in the Bible. It seems that Mary's deep love for Jesus makes her too focused on finding his body and too sad to be afraid.


Easter Sunday: John 20:1-9

by Fr. Alcuin Hurl, FHS  |  04/12/2020  |  Scripture Reflections

This Easter Sunday the tomb is empty yet so are our Churches. What does this mean?

This Lent we have seen how Jesus revealed himself to his disciples as the source of living water with his encounter with Samaritan woman at the well; as light of the world with the healing of the man born blind; as the Resurrection and the Life with the raising of Lazarus; and as the Messiah-King with his triumphal entrance into the east gate of Jerusalem on the back of a little donkey on Palm Sunday.


Fourth Sunday of Lent: John 9:1-41

by Fr. Alcuin Hurl, FHS  |  03/22/2020  |  Scripture Reflections

We are all the man born blind. Adam and Eve's decision to not walk on God's path for their life darkened their minds and twisted their hearts. We inherited our first parent's twisted darkness and we need the light. The Gospels tells us this Sunday that Jesus is the light. How do we get enlightened by Jesus and what happens when we do? The story of the man born blind answers these questions.

In the opening scene we see the darkness of the minds of the disciples who blindly assume that God cursed this man with blindness from birth due to either his sins or the sins of his parents. While they certainly have Psalm 103:8 memorized (The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…) they still have a servile fear of God as an arbitrary and angry Father who is out to get his kids if they don't read his mind and follow his rules perfectly. It is as if they think God is an alcoholic!