Geeky Catholic Easter 2019

Gospel Reading: John 20:1-9

Highlight (from the Sequence): "Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning."

Reflection: I'm not exaggerating when I say that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important thing that has ever happened in human history. St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:17 that "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins." But how many of us take the resurrection for granted? If you've known since childhood that Jesus rose from the dead, it might not seem as amazing anymore. Easter Sunday following after Good Friday becomes just as natural as day following night.

Perhaps we can better understand Easter's significance if we try to look at it from the perspective of someone who didn't know it was coming. To the apostles, the death of Jesus on Good Friday must have been unimaginably tragic. It wasn't just the death of their friend…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: Palm Sunday 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 22:14-23:56

Highlight: "We have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."

Reflection: As we prepare to enter the Easter Triduum, and meditate on the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, let us take a moment to observe the contrast between Jesus and the two thieves on either side of him on Calvary Hill. When we fall - when we choose to sin instead of doing what is right - how do we react? Do we turn more fully away from Christ, or do we turn towards him? Do we become bitter because of the suffering that comes as a result of our sins, or do we turn towards the one who can relieve that suffering and forgive our sins?

Geeky Quote:
"If all was lost
There's more I gained
'Cause it led me back
To you."
               - Phineas T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner. Amen.

To get these short refle…

What Did We Just See?!? My thoughts on the Star Wars Episode IX Trailer

Thousands of Star Wars fans are gathered in Chicago right now for Star Wars: Celebration (which is a massive Star Wars convention, for those who might not know). They were just treated to an hour-long panel with J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and the cast of Episode IX, moderated by Stephen Colbert. The panel was streamed live online, and will probably be available to watch on YouTube soon, if not already. At the very end, everyone left the stage and they aired the very first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX.

Here's a link to the trailer, if you haven't seen it yet:

Below is my breakdown. For the purposes of this summary, anything in all-caps represents the text displayed during the trailer. Italics is voice-over, and plain text is descriptions of the visuals with my interpretation.

The Trailer
We start with a black screen.

Rey: [breathing, as if she had just been running.]

The shot opens up looking at Rey, standing in a desert. Is it Jakku …

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Fifth Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: John 8:1-11

Highlight: "Then Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you.'"

Reflection: When preparing this week's reflection, I was struck by the fact that this Gospel passage does not address whether or not the woman repented of her sin. This story is not about the woman's contrition or Christ's forgiveness. But it's not because those themes are insignificant; they can be found in plenty of other places in the Gospels. This passage is aimed at those of us who would act like the crowd, heaping judgment and rejection on those we deem to be "sinners." We are not sinless, and we do not see into the souls of the people we callously dismiss as sinners. So Christ tells us that it is not our responsibility to make sure that someone suffers for their sins. I shouldn't tailgate a driver who cuts me off in traffic. Nor should I harass someone online for making a comment I judge to be insensitive or immoral. God alone is Judge. We should f…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Fourth Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Highlight: "'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.' . . . But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him.'"

Reflection: The message of this parable is not just that God forgives us if we come back to him and repent; it is how he forgives us. No matter how spectacularly we fail, God will not only take us back, but he will celebrate our return. Take a moment to ponder the glory of God - the glory of one who can lift us from the lowest depths of sin to the eternal heights of heaven.

Geeky Quote: "He didn't chase them away. Even though he yelled at them. And was always mean. And he stole batteries he didn't need." "Well, of course not." - Rocket Raccoon and Peter Quill, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Prayer: Father, I have sinned against you so many times. Thank you for your infinite mercy, for always taking me back every time I stray. Amen.

To get t…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Third Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9

Highlight: "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?"

Reflection: Jesus gives us some great insight into the role of suffering in our lives. The fact that bad things happen to us does not necessarily mean that God is punishing us for something we've done. (The "problem of suffering" is a much larger issue, one which I have personally grappled with, and which I wouldn't be able to explain in a short reflection.) However, that does not mean that there is no punishment for sin. In other words, we shouldn't let suffering keep us from the righteous path, but we also shouldn't think that it is arbitrary, and act as if there will never be consequences for our actions.

Geeky Quote: "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." - The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Princess Bride

Prayer: Lord, give me the strength to persevere t…

Geeky Catholic Sunday: The Second Sunday of Lent 2019

Gospel Reading: Luke 9:28B-36

Highlight: "But he did not know what he was saying."

Reflection: Peter was so amazed by what he saw, that he started spouting off the first thing that came into his head. The experience was so wonderful that he didn't want it to end. So he proposed building tents so they could stay there on the mountain forever. I think that Peter, James, and John were given a taste of heaven on that mountain. Not just the image of Jesus in his glory, but the sensation of pure happiness and contentment. But it was not destined to last forever. They had to come back down the mountain. Jesus would go on to be arrested, tortured, and killed. The good news for us is that, if we are so blessed to experience a joy like the Transfiguration at the end of our lives, it will last forever. We can build all the tents we want, because we will never have to descend from the mountain.

Geeky Quote: "Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind: a song that seemed to co…