Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 11, 2016

Gaudete SundayThis is the Third Sunday of Advent. Rejoice, don’t lose heart, on this Gaudete Sunday! Christ brings fullness of life for all, and offers the community of faith a vision of hope and harmony. We’re halfway through our season of Advent – but perhaps not through the flurry of all our Christmas preparations. Take a few moments to stop, to breathe, to reflect… How do we answer the question, “Are you the One…?” Allow yourself the space to encounter Christ in prayer and recognize him in good works--yours and others’. Take a few moments of quiet these busy days to become mindful of Christ’s presence and reflect on where Christ has been present throughout your day. As we hear the vision of healing, harmony and fullness of life for all, it is appropriate to celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of Sick and to bless our Healing Blankets. May our love and care support the healing that Christ brings. 

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 4, 2016

PrepareThis is the Second Sunday of Advent. Advent invites us to rekindle our Baptismal commitment to follow Christ and produce the good fruits of holiness and justice in our lives. In the midst of the busyness of our Christmas preparations, can we carve out some space each day to welcome the presence of Christ our Light within us and to greet that Light in the other who is less fortunate than we are? Let us be on fire with the wonder of this season, prepare to celebrate Christ’s incarnated Presence among us, and open ourselves to that purifying fire of His Holy Spirit that sets us afire anew for living the Gospel!

We are called to live our lives and continue our faith formation in the context of God’s vision of hope, justice and peace. That means we need to be “awake,” open to change, ready to repent and able to recognize the in-breaking of God. This happens in the ordinary experiences of our daily lives – as our holiday preparations include the poor and needy as well as our loved ones, as we extend our care beyond our inner circle, as we try to simplify so that we are not distracted from being attentive to Christ’s coming.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 27, 2016

advent StillnessThis is the beginning of a new liturgical year, the First Sunday of Advent, which calls us to continue our faith formation s and live our lives in the context of God’s vision of hope, justice and peace. That means we need to be “awake,” open to change, ready to repent and able to recognize the in-breaking of God. This happens in the ordinary experiences of our daily lives – as our holiday preparations include the poor and needy as well as our loved ones, as we extend our care beyond our inner circle, as we try to simplify so that we are not distracted from being attentive to Christ’s coming. In the fullness of this holiday time, how can we create some space to be able to encounter Christ? Where will we allow a bit of stillness so we can attend to God? Gospel living requires staying awake in order to live in the presence of God, which will usher in God’s reign of hope, justice, peace and harmony for all.

The Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 20, 2016

Christ the KingThis weekend marks the end of our liturgical year, with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. All the scriptures today invite us to find our power and strength in God – a God who rules over everything in a new way – a way of compassion and mercy – a way of empowerment and liberation – a way of solidarity and love. The rule of Jesus Christ contrasts sharply with the way political power is often used in our world. May our learning and transformation continue until the reign of God comes to fullness!

In the gospel, many people (and especially the leaders) sneer at Jesus – a king on the cross – a human person with no apparent power – a failure. Their concept of “kingship” is that of power over others or domination and control. However, the “kingship” of Jesus centers on relationship and community – service and solidarity – sacrifice and love. In the dialogue, we are reminded that true “kingship”,+ true authority is reflected in mercy. Jesus, in the midst of the pain of injustice and violence and criticism, in his time of suffering and death, proclaims mercy to the criminal.

In the second reading, Paul speaks of a peace that comes through the “blood of the cross.” In this time of war and terrorism, it is important for us to hear the call of God to a peace that comes through the Way of Jesus crucified – a peace that comes from a God who shares our struggles and our suffering.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 13, 2016

The Day of the LordToday is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. During these last weeks of our liturgical year we consider the “day of the Lord.” While every day is that day, we also believe that time itself is moving toward the full revelation of the reign of God. In today’s gospel Jesus lists signs of the end times – wars, insurrections, earthquakes, famine, plagues — which also describes our time, and human history as it has always been. Here and now, in these difficult times, we are called to be disciples. May our prayer and fellowship strengthen us to bring love and healing to nurture the full coming of the kingdom of God.

May the day come when international relationships will be characterized by respect and friendship, when mutual cooperation will be the hallmark of collaborative efforts, and when concerted effort for the betterment of all nations will be regarded as a duty by every nation.” — Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, 26 March 1967

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 6, 2016

God of the LivingThis is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures cause us to consider: what is really important? Is it the legalism that we observe in the question posed by the Sadducees? Is it the unwavering religious faith in the midst of persecution that we see in the mother and seven sons in the first reading? Is it a faith in the resurrection from the dead and an afterlife? Is it what Paul calls grace, which will “encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word?” Is it found in what we say we believe? Is it found in how we act?

In the gospel today, Jesus seems to be saying that it is to be found in more than just the immediate things around us – in what we consume or in the wealth or status that we accumulate. Jesus seems to be saying that it is to be found in more than just the afterlife – in some other world that is still to come. Jesus seems to say that what is important is to be found in the here and now as well as in the past and the future.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 30, 2016

Zaccheaus in a treeThe 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. This weekend’s scriptures remind us that the God who created the universe in all its immensity cares for each part of it, including the entire human family. Jesus makes a special point to encounter those sometimes least-expected in the reign of God – those like the tax collector, Zaccheaus. Jesus doesn’t condemn Zaccheaus, or demand him to change; but after his encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus is changed. Do we recognize how Jesus is calling us? How is Christ inviting us to serve? We add our prayers to those of Paul, that each of us continue to bring to fulfillment the gifts God has given to us.

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 23, 2016

God of JusticeThis is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures remind us that the prayer of the humble reaches God, and that our God is a “God of justice who knows no favorites.” What does justice look like today, especially in relationship to the poor, the oppressed, and the abandoned? Who are our favorites - do we, like God, take the side of the poor, working for justice for the most vulnerable? In receiving Eucharist we become the body of Christ, and together we can love and serve as Jesus. May others be able to recognize Christ in us by the way we live...

“Embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison…” Pope Francis Homily: March 19, 2013

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 16, 2016

PrayerThis is the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We need to pray, but prayer is more than a matter of words. Like the Gospel, it should be on our lips, in our minds, and in our hearts. As Moses, we may need to pray with our whole selves, and get support from the community. Paul encourages Christ’s followers to be rooted in the Scriptures and proclaim the gospel. Jesus in today’s gospel tells his disciples about the necessity to pray always and persistently. This is a good time to consider our prayer lives... What helps you maintain a constant connection with God? What kinds of prayer help you to listen to the Spirit?

Prayer is the primary work of the moral and religious life. The root of this life is a free and conscious relationship with God, which then directs everything. (Theophane the Recluse)

The Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 9, 2016

GratitudeThis is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures tell of God’s faithfulness, and God’s desire for us to be whole – to have fullness of life. God has given us so many gifts, but do we remember to give thanks? Take a few minutes to consider:

  • What is my greatest need for healing right now?
  • For what gifts in my life am I most grateful?

The Readings:

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