We Have a Choice

Posted on April 18, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, April 23, 2017,
2nd Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:42-47
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

All of the happenings in our world have people very concerned and worried. Whether its chemical weaponry, suicide bombers, religious persecution, or just violence in general, people—especially those who possess some kind of faith—are wondering what is God doing about all of this? Asking where God is when we experience hurtful and frightening things is normal. It may appear at first that God is deaf to our concerns, lacking empathy for our fears and suffering. Depending upon where people are on their faith journey, this apparent absence of God can easily lead them into a doubt where they begin to question the existence of God altogether.

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We Are an Easter People

Posted on April 16, 2017 by - Everyday Stewardship

Easter PeopleAt Easter, we celebrate that Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, conquered death, rose from the dead, and remains very much alive. To the world of non-believers: WHAT!?! It is quite a big reality to swallow. But for the believer, it is a reality that inspires us to the point where we find ourselves constantly sharing the Gospel with everyone we meet! Right?

So what does Easter mean to you? The question is not what do you believe. The question is what impact does Easter have on you? How do your actions demonstrate the power of Easter? What does it mean we you hear that we, the Church, are an Easter People?

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Lent Reflection: Easter Sunday

Posted on April 16, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 16, 2017
Lent Reflection: Easter Sunday (April 16, 2017) - ‘A Lamb the sheep redeems; Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciles sinners to the Father.’(Easter Sunday Sequence)

Reflection

We have here the beautiful pastoral image of the lamb saving the flock. We are more used to thinking of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who takes care of the sheep even to the point of laying down his life for them. Here we have the image of the most innocent being slaughtered to save the others. That, in the end, is what the Paschal mystery is all about. As the Communion antiphon puts it, “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed, alleluia; therefore let us keep the feast with the unleavened bread of purity and truth, alleluia, alleluia.”


Challenge

  • How will my life reflect the joy of the Resurrection today and for the next fifty days?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Holy Saturday

Posted on April 15, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 15, 2017
Lent Reflection: Holy Saturday (April 15, 2017) - ‘All time belongs to him and all the ages.’(Blessing of the Easter Candle)

Reflection

These words are usually heard in the church grounds or in the porch as the Easter candle is blessed. And we can miss them. All of the later readings at the Easter Vigil speak of God’s good time—the hymn of the seven days of creation from Genesis, the time of Israel’s deliverance from slavery, and the final frontier between time on earth and everlasting life mentioned in Paul’s Letter to the Romans. God has given us a life to live, not time to manage. So today is a good time to simply be thankful for time that is God’s gift to us.


Challenge

  • I give thanks for those who have shared their time with me with loving generosity.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Good Friday

Posted on April 14, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 14, 2017
Lent Reflection: Good Friday (April 14, 2017) - ‘Nicodemus ... also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds.’(John 19:39)

Reflection

Amidst the horror of the Passion and death of Jesus, we are back to another story of ointment today. We recall the incident in the house of Lazarus where one pound of ointment was scandalous and wasteful. Here, one of the secret followers of Jesus breaks cover and brings ten times that amount to anoint his body for burial. Perhaps one message here is: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” Regret and the grief of loss leap off the pages of the Gospel as the followers of Jesus feel that it is truly all over.


Challenge

  • Where and how do I pray?
  • What steps can I take in order to do my best for the living and the dead?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Holy Thursday

Posted on April 13, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 13, 2017
Lent Reflection: Holy Thursday (April 13, 2017) - ‘How shall I make a return to the LORD for all the good he has done for me?’(Psalm 116:12)

Reflection

Some might say that the simple answer to that question is, “You can’t.” In a way, that is true. How could we ever repay the Lord? But this is not a banking transaction with time limits and penalties of added interest. Jesus gives us a very simple instruction so that we can live out the love that he has shown us in sharing his life and love with us. He calls us to be foot washers. This powerful symbol of not being powerful sets the pathway for the Christian life. Some call it “servant leadership.”


Challenge

  • How am I called to serve?
  • How can I lead others to Christ?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Wednesday of Holy Week

Posted on April 12, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 12, 2017
Lent Reflection: Wednesday of Holy Week (April 12, 2017) - ‘Surely it is not I, Rabbi?’(Matthew 26:25)

Reflection

Today used to be known as “Spy Wednesday” as we read the account of Judas cutting a deal with the chief priests to hand Jesus over to them. Commentators tell us that thirty pieces of silver was the compensation paid to a slave owner by the owner of an ox if his beast gored a slave to death (Ex 21:32). So here we have the treasurer of the group of disciples squandering the life of his master for a paltry reward. Does that make his action better or worse than if he had been rewarded handsomely? What price are we prepared to pay to gain benefit for ourselves at the expense of our values?


Challenge

  • What am I prepared to compromise on for the greater good?
  • What am I prepared to defend at all costs?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The Paradox of Easter

Posted on April 11, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, April 16, 2017,
Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
John 20:1-9 or Matthew 28:1-10 or Luke 24:13-35

Our responsorial psalm sings: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.” Easter is a time that invites rejoicing, gladness, and celebration, even when our life events might not feel so joyful, happy, or worth celebrating. But isn’t that what the Resurrection of the Lord is all about? From death, God raised Jesus to new life. From arrest, false accusation, and crucifixion, God brought about freedom, truth, and an empty tomb. From sin and darkness, God made possible reconciliation and light. We celebrate a paradox today, but the paradox reveals the mystery that God does not give evil the last word. God’s unconditional, merciful love wins the day, and the dark nights of our lives. Offered to us all, we are asked to respond by clearing out the old yeast of malice, wickedness, sin, and darkness, to let God bake us into the bread of kindness, goodness, forgiveness, and light. This is the day to rejoice and be glad. This is a day for hope. (more…)

Lent Reflection: Tuesday of Holy Week

Posted on April 11, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 11, 2017
Lent Reflection: Tuesday of Holy Week (April 11, 2017) - ‘You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength.’(Isaiah 49:3-4)

Reflection

Here we have not so much the calm before the storm, as the edginess of wondering if the right decisions have been taken. As the story of the Passion begins, we ask ourselves if we too are exhausted by our efforts and just want the pressures to stop. If we are to be a light to the nations, what steps do we need to take so that the light is not snuffed out?


Challenge

  • Today I ask myself: what particular light am I able to shine in order to show others the glory of God?
  • I remember that a cluster of lights together shine even brighter than one flickering candle. Who can I work with in order to be supported, so that together we might shine even brighter?

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Lent Reflection: Monday of Holy Week

Posted on April 10, 2017 by - Lent Reflections

April 10, 2017
Lent Reflection: Monday of Holy Week (April 10, 2017) - ‘...The house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.’(John 12:3)

Reflection

It is perhaps hard for us to really appreciate how unseemly this incident was—the intimacy of a woman anointing the feet of a male dinner guest and wiping them with her hair. The disapproval of the extravagance by Judas, who of course had his own agenda, and the shocking revelation that in order to regain control of the people, the opponents of Jesus were going to kill Lazarus as well. If we were to use the metaphor of smells, the heavenly scent of the ointment could not mask the stench of greed and corruption.


Challenge

  • What challenges me in the story of the smells? What situations do I manipulate in order to come out “smelling of roses”? I ask forgiveness for these.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.