Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 26, 2017

Good ShepherdThis is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Though Jesus has been raised to a throne of glory, he rules not as a monarch set apart in splendor nor a warrior bent on revenge. Christ cares especially for the weak and vulnerable, and reigns as a shepherd who seeks and rescues and lives with the flock - bringing them back, binding them up, strengthening them. We honor Christ by acknowledging that he is within all of us, and by responding with care and compassion to those in need. Who are the “least” among us to whom Jesus tells us to reach out? How will we respond to the needs of the least in works of both direct service and advocacy? May our lives be shaped by Christ’s teaching, that God’s reign may be built through what we have done for the least of our brothers and sisters.

The Lord will recognize us if we have recognized His face in the face of the hungry, the poor, the marginalized, the sick, and the lonely.” (Pope Francis)

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 19, 2017

TalentsThis is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. “Do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things!” (Pope Francis) Today’s gospel reminds us that God has entrusted, to each of us, many blessings - which we are called to use wisely. May our prayer strengthen our will to do so, open our hearts to the Spirit’s guidance in multiplying the gifts God’s providence has bestowed, and help awaken us to all the ways Christ comes to us.

The Sunday readings:

  • Proverbs 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31: A good partner is a precious gift in life. The praises of a "worthy wife" include an awareness that such a woman runs the home, cares for the poor, buys and sells property (a point excluded from this excerpt), and is faithful to the covenant. In other words, such a woman is involved in all aspects of daily life and lives always in faith. "Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates."
  • Thessalonians: 5:1-6: We do not know the day or time of Christ’s return. It is our determination that keeps that light of Christ burning until “that final day arrives”. How? We have been taught and supported by a Christian community and our God is faithful.
  • Matthew 25: 14-30: Our journey is one “from” God “to” God! Christians should make wise use of the gifts with which God has entrusted them. Our faith is expressed in our love of neighbors and ways that we respond to them. In our service to others, God’s gifts will produce fruit.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 12, 2017

Oil for your lampThis is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Jesus is coming - are you ready? The initiative is God’s, but we should always be ready to respond to the divine invitation. Though we know that what we’re doing now is part of life’s journey toward meeting Christ, our bridegroom, and being invited to the eternal feast, we often miss the ways Christ comes here and now. What helps you to be open to the voice of the Spirit in your “everyday” life? How would we live differently if we knew Christ was coming tonight?

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 5, 2017

Preach without wordsThis is the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. How often have we heard, “Practice what you preach!” We know that we should “walk the talk,” and that how we are reveals the truth about who we are – but it can be a real challenge! Christ is our true Teacher and Master, and living as a humble servant is simply living in right relationship with God and others, following the example of Jesus. So on this stewardship weekend, we have to ask ourselves: how are we choosing to give and serve – among our Epiphany community, in our family and in the larger community?

Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.(St. Francis of Assisi)

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 29, 2017

Love God and NeighborThis is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. What is the limit of love? What about for us, Epiphany parishioners and Catholic stewards, living in the 21st century? We are challenged with the same truth Jesus gave the Pharisees – love God above all, with our whole selves, and love our neighbor as ourselves. The real outpouring of love is in our actions. On this stewardship weekend, we are invited to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing ways God loves us. Then we’re asked to determine how we will share that love in our offerings of prayer, giving and sharing.

It’s a process. Entering into the greatest of love relationships with God, we acknowledge God’s incredible, head-over-heals love of us. Then, rooted in that reality, we can assess ourselves… Is God first in my life? Is God’s guidance the basis for my decisions? How much do I choose God’s love when assessing how to use the gifts God has given me? Are spending habits a reflection of God’s direction or my own? The natural outflow of putting God first is love of self and neighbor, and others benefit because of our response to God’s love. Each individual person’s love relationship with God naturally draws them to put their God-given gifts to use for others.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 22, 2017

Caesar and GodThis is the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. God is infinitely creative in working out God’s purposes - even using situations and people that might seem totally out of the box. Cyrus of Persia, a gentile ruler who neither knew nor believed in the God of Israel, was anointed by God to further God’s plan. When the Pharisees hope to corner Jesus on a tax issue, Jesus uses the situation to point to a deeper reality. As his entrappers supply a Roman coin (something a Jew should not be carrying since the inscribed image called Caesar divine), he responds “Repay to Caesar what belongs to him” --the coin with Caesar’s image. “Repay to God what belongs to God” --the human person stamped with God’s image. (Thanks to Fr. James Wallace for “Stamped in God’s image.”) Further, the gospel has come to us “not in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.” How are we being called to give ourselves to God and to God’s people? To love and serve especially the least among us, as Jesus? Do we rely on God’s power and the Spirit’s guidance?

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 15, 2017

Invite anyoneThis is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear in today’s scriptures that God invites all the peoples of the world to the feast. We pray that our community will be open to all who seek God, and adorned with the rich diversity that is the special gift of the Spirit. May we respond whole-heartedly to God’s invitation, and work to fulfill the prophet’s vision and Christ’s mission of opening the banquet to all.

This is a time not for ‘just words or mere talk’ but for ‘active and genuine’ commitment by Catholics in the United States to work with others to make a place at the table for all God's children.” (USCCB, 2002 A Place at the Table)

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 8, 2017

grape harvestThis is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures remind us of all God has created and nurtured in our world, and of the harvest God anticipates. Are we faithfully tending what God has planted in us, in our families and community? We can get discouraged by situations beyond our control – yet we are assured of God’s presence with us, and that God can bring forth “good fruit” in the most surprising ways. May our prayer today help us to recognize God’s work in and among us, and to feel God’s presence and peace in the midst of whatever life brings.

The Spirit gives us that wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and enables us to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity. To do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard, our hearts and minds must be kept in Jesus Christ by ‘the peace of God which passes all understanding.’ In this way our thoughts and plans will correspond to God’s dream: to form a holy people who are his own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God.” (Pope Francis, Mass to inaugurate Synod of Bishops on the family, Oct. 5, 2014)

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 1, 2017

All for LoveThis is the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures show that God’s mercy is way beyond our measure of fairness and vision of salvation. God goes to every length to reach us - even becoming human in Jesus Christ, who gave all - “emptied himself” - in love. Sinners indeed are the ones making it into the reign of God--and God constantly forgives and gives us chances to have fullness of life. Ultimately, though, it’s not what we say, but what we do, that counts. How have I experienced God’s forgiveness and gifts of “second chances”? Am I able to respond and share God’s great love and compassion?

Let us be renewed by God's mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.” — Pope Francis, Easter Urbi et Orbi message on March 31, 2013

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: September 24, 2017:

God's GenerosityThis is the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s readings highlight the abundance of God’s love and generosity. It’s a love that accepts us as we are and gifts us with a lavishness of grace that can draw us ever closer to God. They also challenge our sense of fairness, and remind us that God’s thoughts and ways are not always like ours. How are my ideas of fairness and justice “smaller” than God’s mercy? How is God inviting me to a spirit of generosity?

Desmond Tutu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sunday Readings:

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