Hidden Figures

Posted on March 7, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, March 12, 2017, 2nd Sunday of Lent

Genesis 12:1-4a
2 Timothy 1:8b-10
Matthew 17:1-9

Hidden Figures is a box office success! After the blunders at the Oscars, one could wonder if there wasn’t another in the omission of Hidden Figures. Perhaps there should be a category for the most “inspiring film.” The story of three brilliant black women mathematicians and their pivotal contributions to the NASA program encourages all to look beyond externals, to look beyond accepted stereotypes and prejudices, to think outside the box. Isn’t this a much needed message in our post-election world? (more…)

Who Do We Trust?

Posted on February 28, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, March 5, 2017, 1st Sunday of Lent

Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Romans 5:12-19 or 12, 17-19
Matthew 4:1-11

Who do you trust? In his book, Soul Cravings, Erwin McManus tells an exceptional story about his two-year-old son getting caught crawling up the stairs. During one of his escapades, the father caught his son midway up the stairs and firmly told him to get down. In a normal two-year-old manner, the child exclaimed, “Daddy, carry me.” This interaction continued for a while and McManus remarks, “Then it happened. I never would have expected it. It took me entirely by surprise. He jumped.” McManus reached out his hands and caught his son. (more…)

Do Not Worry

Posted on February 21, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, February 26, 2017, 8th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Isaiah 49:14-151
Corinthians 4:1-5
Matthew 6:24-34

Jesus tells us not to worry or be anxious at least four times in today’s Gospel. I don’t know about you but I find these words easier said than done. When deadlines loom or money seems short or I have done things I wish I could take back, I worry. Will I have enough time to finish this project? Will I have enough money to pay my bills? Will the person I’ve hurt forgive me? (more…)

A Challenge for Us All

Posted on February 14, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, February 19, 2017, 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time

There has been a surge of attention given to the WWII vets who are fast dying off. The remnant who are healthy enough are being taken in Honor Flights to the Washington DC WWII National War Memorial where their buses deposit their frail bodies. These gentlemen and women either walk or are wheeled to the negative pool where they can remember their contribution to America’s freedom. The large pavilion pillars marking the battle sites where many watched their buddies die, rise high into an open sky. It is all so surreal. Usually a state senator meets the vets to offer the gratitude of the country. After a lunch down in the district, they are flown back to their home state with awakened memories of harder days when the skies were blackened by grenades and gunfire. (more…)

The Path of Our Choices

Posted on February 7, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, February 12, 2017, 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

We have all had the experience of telling what we thought was a harmless white lie. It may have been to spare another person’s feelings or simply to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. Later on, however, it turned out that we had to tell other lies to cover our tracks or that others discovered the truth on their own. As a result, feelings were hurt or a friendship was damaged. What we thought was a harmless lie ended up causing us needless anguish.

On the other hand, we have also had the experience of doing a good deed. We may have given someone a hand with a project or listened to a friend’s problems. At the time, it seemed like a small gesture. Then, months and sometimes years later, that person reminded us of our good deed and told us how much it meant. What we thought was a trivial act of kindness turned out to touch someone profoundly. (more…)

Something Is Wrong

Posted on January 31, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, February 5, 2017, 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time

In 1989, Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willimon published what was for some a landmark work, Resident Aliens. Without going into too much detail, it asserted that the United States was no longer a Christian nation, if it really ever had been from the beginning, since we are a nation built on the foundation of freedom of all religion. The body of Christ then truly exists as a “colony” in a foreign land. The implication then was that Christians should be more concerned with the transformation of those in our places of worship instead of the state. As church, we needed to truly be Christ in a world that will never understand what that truly means. (more…)

Choosing Joy

Posted on January 17, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, January 22, 2017, 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

The call to repentance flew from the lips of John the Baptist and into our ears during Advent. Now, after our Christmas trees have been picked up from their inglorious positions on the curb; now, when the confetti of New Year’s Eve has been swept up; now, when we have witnessed an inauguration, we again hear the call to repentance, this time from the lips of Jesus. Is there a difference in those calls? What is God urging us to do? Urging—is there an urgency in these calls?

To begin with, there is a difference. John asks for a change of heart to prepare the way of the Lord. Level the hills! Fill in the valleys! He, the long-awaited one, is coming! Subsequently, Jesus urges repentance because “the kingdom is at hand.” It is here! (more…)

Who Are You?

Posted on January 10, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, January 15, 2017, 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

This weekend’s readings are all about knowing who you are. That being said, many reading this reflection may immediately react by saying that they know exactly who they are. But do you? We know the particulars of our lives, the nuances of our personalities, our successes, our weaknesses, and our personal histories. These traits define us and assist us in presenting ourselves to the world and interacting with others. But is this the end of the story? Who we really are is rooted in something we all share: baptism. (more…)

A Light for All Nations

Posted on January 3, 2017 by - Connect! Sunday Reflection

For Sunday, January 8, 2017, The Epiphany of the Lord

“See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples” (Is 60:2a). The news these days has been filled with darkness: the trial of a white man accused of shooting nine African American people in a Charleston, SC, church; the desire for and resistance to the living situations of Jews and Palestinians in Israel; the continued tragedies in the Middle East; fear of terrorist attacks in major cities around the world as we prepare to begin 2017; hate crimes increasing due to race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political stance; people continue to be martyred for their faith; and news about the deaths of respected entertainers and leaders. Darkness covers the earth. (more…)