Posts by Fr Dino Vanin

Our Shepherd

“I am the Good Shepherd.” This simple, yet most powerful statement, reveals the uniqueness of Jesus’ shepherding. Compelled by the realism imposed by life itself, we do not want to dwell on the fact that in countries where there are real shepherds, they raise sheep for profit. The most benevolent aspect of such profit is usually wool and milk. But eventually, sheep would have to be sold and butchered for human consumption. From what Jesus tells us about himself, we…

Jesus’ Endless Wedding Banquet

Almost every day the news media bring into our living rooms immediate images of harrowing pain, hardships, and death from our country and from other parts of the world. We love Jesus too much to be able to turn away from those horrible scenes unfazed, unaffected. The most painful aspect of our empathy for these unfortunate people must be our powerlessness to do something tangible and concrete to alleviate their suffering besides our thoughts and prayers, and the occasional donation. Our…

Peace Be With you

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19) The first thing that might strike us as relevant in this passage from our gospel passage for the Second Sunday of Easter could be that the doors of the Upper Room were locked. Yet also in this environment of defeatism, fear and…

Living The Life Of The Risen Lord

The Book of Genesis tells us that, at the end of each creation day, the Lord God, stepped back to admire his handiwork and declared it “good.” However, at the end of the sixth day in which he created male and female human beings, stepping back, the Lord God declared his masterpiece “very good.” This must have been the reason why, St. Irenaeus (130-202), bishop of Lyon, wrote this famous phrase: “Man fully alive is the glory of God.” St.…

The Beginning Of “Our Hour”

In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death… (Hebrews 5:7) This powerful statement underlines forcefully how close to our flesh, to our predicaments, to our fears, to our anguish God made himself in the flesh of his only begotten Son, Jesus. We must be heartened by Jesus’ loud cries and tears to ponder existential questions that we might…

Courageous Disciples

Decades ago, a familiar sign held by bold believers at major sports events, simply read “John 3:16.” For those unfamiliar with the Bible, it refers to these words: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” But what are we to understand by the words “everyone who believes in him?” Taking into consideration the pattern of Jesus’ public life and his horrific…

Good That We Are Here

The Preface of the Second Sunday of Lent tells us that the impressive display of breathtaking glory enveloping even the body of Jesus at the Transfiguration, was shown to Peter, James, and John to help them (and the rest of the group) to get over the scandal of the cross. (cf. Mark 9:2-10) To fully appreciate the intensity of our readings, we need to become a bit familiar with their colorful oriental symbolism. A high mountain: God reveals his presence on high…

Keeping Our Eyes on Jesus

The readings for the First Sunday of Lent leave us feeling uneasy, somewhat uncomfortable and with troubling questions in our minds. The first and second readings (Genesis 9:8-15 and 1 Peter 3:18-22) mention the global devastation caused by the flood survived solely by Noah and seven others. However, confronted by havoc, at times, we dare to question the promise made by God himself: …there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth…” (Genesis 9:11). The second reading also mentions the Risen Lord descending…

He Heals Our Inner Turmoil

The older we are the more evidence we accumulate to agree with Job and his assessment of life: So, I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. (Job 7:3) In painful situations stretched out over the years, one might feel pushed inexorably towards bitterness, cynicism, even near the brink of despair. Job, this iconic Old Testament figure of composure and dignified reaction to misfortunes and tragedies, proposes unconditional trust in God as the correct remedy to…

God’s Love

A prophet like me (Moses) will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen. (Deuteronomy 18:18) God has kept this promise by sending us THE Prophet, his only begotten Son Jesus Christ in human flesh. This event must become a mighty reason for rejoicing and celebrating. If God were to speak to us without the “screen” of his human flesh, we would die of fright. ‘Let us not again hear the voice of…

Holy Indifference

What is the message we should glean from the very familiar tale of the prophet Jonah? God loves and cares for everyone in the world and he wants everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth because all are meant to be his children forever.  Instead, Jonah was convinced that only the Israelites, the chosen people of God, were to be saved because only they were the objects of God’s care and love. So, as the story…

Speak Lord

So, they went and saw where Jesus was staying, and they stayed with him that day. (John 1:39) That must have been the best time of their whole life, the time spent “hanging out” with Jesus. This is the ideal picture of discipleship which the Gospel of John (1:35-42) has to offer, and it pairs up with the other fascinating picture offered by young Samuel (1 Samuel 3-10, 19) opening to the Lord and to the Lord’s voice. Speak, LORD, for…