Choosing Hope over Fear

Posted on November 8, 2016 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, November 13, 2016, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

There are many unpleasant facts of life we try to avoid thinking or talking about. First among these is our own death. Our life is precious, and we cannot bear the thought of losing it. Nonetheless it is a reality that we need to be aware of and come to terms with. As unpleasant as it may be to think about, it is unavoidable.

Every year in November with the days growing darker and winter fast approaching, we as a church reflect upon some disturbing and sometimes terrifying realities—our death and the end of the world. (more…)

Seeking New Band Members

Posted on November 3, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rock and Roll Hall of FameDuring one visit to Cleveland for a catechetical conference, I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. I love learning the stories of bands and how they rose to fame. I love to see artifacts of days gone by, sharing with me a time I have only heard stories about and some even reminding me of the days of my youth. But it is the music that makes it all worthy of my attention. Without the music, the stories and memories have no appeal to me or anyone else.

People who come together with a singular purpose create good music, the kind that people continue to listen to for generations. When you belong in a really good band, it is more than a job. You are a part of something larger than yourself and when working collectively with the other members of the band, you can become creators of something magical.

But when a good band breaks up, the magic ends. Sometimes it is due to inflated egos, inequity in finances, or mistrust. A band member may think they can just start another band or join an existing one and the new chemistry will again lead to the creation of good music. But too often, the result is never as good as imagined.

The Body of Christ is like a band that always is able to produce great music. The bandleader is always faithful and always has the best interest of the band in mind. If his band mates can steer clear of ego, jealously, and mistrust of one another, the band will persevere and continue to make a glorious sound. And even though that melody will always be pretty, it is most beautiful when the entire band is ready to give all they have for their leader. And those who will stay devoted to the band will one day rejoice in a heavenly hall of fame.

The Power of Our Actions

Posted on November 2, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

I Voted StickersI voted this morning. I have a confession: a part of me didn’t want to. But I do understand my obligation. Many people have gone before me, some to the point of sacrificing their lives, so that I could have this right. I was glad I did in the end.

Last night I went to Mass for All Saints Day. I have a confession: a part of me didn’t want to. But I do understand my obligation. Many people have gone before me, some to the point of sacrificing their lives, so that I could have this right. I was glad I did in the end.

Two actions in twenty-four hours. One action was participating in something that the whole world is talking about. The other action comparatively few are talking about it. People think one action is so very important that it could mean the end of the world as we know it. The other action many people do not even understand.

Which action do you think will have the greatest impact on the world in the end? Your answer just might give you a clue as to what you think is the MAIN THING.

The Courage that We Need

Posted on November 1, 2016 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, November 6, 2016, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

For about five years now, a new translation of the Mass has been implemented in parishes throughout the English-speaking world. It has been the most important change to the liturgy since it was first translated into English after the Second Vatican Council. The hope has been that by presenting a translation that is closer to the original Latin, we will gain a deeper understanding of the words we pray during Mass.

One of the interesting changes in wording that has taken place is to the Nicene Creed, which we pray together after the homily. The words “We believe” have been changed to (more…)

Put On Christ

Posted on November 1, 2016 by - Everyday Stewardship

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for All Saints Day

All Saints DayYears ago, we began having students at our parish school dress up like saints of their choosing in anticipation of All Saints Day. It was a more worthwhile learning experience than dressing up as superheroes and cartoon characters for Halloween.

You would have those would bring aluminum swords as St. Michael, bottles of water so they could try to baptize everyone like John the Baptist, and rubber snakes to drive out of Ireland like St. Patrick. The most creative might come to school covered in ash for St. Joan of Arc, or with fake eyeballs on a plate for St. Lucy.

For a day, they put on the dress and persona of a saint that had gone before us in faith. It was a learning experience, but also an exercise in spirituality. What attributes of the saint could they try to incorporate into their life? What kind of example were they to us all in our Christian walk?

As Christians, the fact is that everyday we put on Christ and should be walking around as imitators of our Lord. To be Christian is not to just be like Christ. We are called to be Christ to a world that needs to hear the Good News.

A stewardship way of life serves as an example to others of the transformative power of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that we live in such a way that those around no longer see us, but instead, Jesus. This is not costume contest or an opportunity for a school party. This is real life. Let us put on Christ each and every day and boldly play the role of a lifetime.