Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

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:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: September 17, 2017

70 x 7 timesThis is the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The scriptures today remind us of God’s extravagant acts of mercy, and our charge to forgive others in the same way. Life in the church demands that we forgive one another not only because it is the compassionate thing to do, but because this is how God acts and expects us to act. Forgiveness is the only thing that can break the cycle of hate, fear and disunity. On this Catechetical Sunday as we renew our commitment to living as missionary disciples, may we be ready and willing to share the forgiveness and love we have so gratuitously received.

Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil.” (Pope St. John Paul II)

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: September 10, 2017

Many HandsThis is the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s gospel reminds us that wherever two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, Christ is present. Jesus teaches that those who go astray are not sinners to be punished nor enemies to be shunned, but cherished brothers and sisters whom we must seek out and reconcile with…a sin of one member affects the life of the whole community of the church. We are accountable to and for one another, and our manner of relating, reconciling and praying together reveals the living presence of Christ among us. May our prayer strengthen and guide us in loving our neighbor as ourselves, that we may bear witness to that love which is the fulfillment of the law.

The task which the Lord gives us… is the vocation to charity in which each of Christ’s disciples puts his or her entire life at his service, so to grow each day in love.” (Pope Francis, 9/4/2016)

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: September 3, 2017

Follow ChristThis is the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures remind us that inner transformation and the renewal of our minds must guide our discipleship -- not power, popularity or other human standards of success. With our God, life comes through death. It is not always easy to be faithful to God. Fidelity may require embarrassment, suffering, and even death—but death does not have the final word. May our community’s prayer strengthen us to take up our crosses and walk our path toward resurrection, as Jesus did.

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 27, 2017

Who do you say I am?This is the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s gospel question, “Who do you say I am?” and Jesus’ statement telling Peter who he really is - are vitally important for us, also. Who we say God is shapes our lives and values. But coming to know who we really are in God's eyes also shapes us... God sees more in us, as Jesus did in Peter, more than our weaknesses, mistakes, and sins. God wants us to know that we are beloved children of God. But there are many who have had neither the chance to know who God is, nor to know who they really are - who don't know that they have dignity, that they matter.

You and I, the Body of Christ who have had the privilege of coming to know who Jesus is and who we really are, have a mission to let every woman, man, and child - especially the most forgotten and vulnerable in our community and world - know the answer to these most important life questions.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 20, 2017

Canannite womanThis is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures remind us that God’s mercy is intended for all people, not just the “chosen few”, and challenge us to have conversations with God that are real and honest, as our conversations should be with each other. The mystery of God's plan is that God's reach is always wider than we might imagine. We are called to be courageously persistent and honest in our prayer, and open to embrace all people as equally beloved of God.

This is the mystery of our Church, that all men and women are brothers and sisters, all one in Christ, all bear the image of the Eternal God.” (U.S. Catholic Bishops, Brother and Sisters to Us, 1979)

Let us be renewed by God’s mercy…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)

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 13, 2017

God is presentThis is the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. How, when, and where do you encounter God? Elijah does not encounter God in the ways divine power is expected to be manifested, but in a “tiny whispering sound.” Peter encounters Jesus in a raging storm...but becomes frightened - and is saved when he comes as Jesus calls him. Somehow in the midst of all the storms and in the quietest whisper, God can be experienced, we can even grow in our faith, and we can take action as a follower of Christ.

Whether in dramatic or unassuming ways, God continually comes to us. God comes unceasingly in recognizable circumstances (like liturgy and personal prayer) and in unexpected ways (in those in need, in surprises, in the visits of loved ones). The real challenge is to perceive the many ways God comes to us and calls us every day - not usually as One walking on water, but as One dwelling in the other, particularly the other in need. Do we see and encounter Christ also in those calling for help?

Our life is not given to us like an opera libretto, in which all is written down; but it means going, walking, doing, searching, seeing. … We must enter into the adventure of the quest for meeting God; we must let God search and encounter us.” ― Pope Francis, A Big Heart Open to God: A Conversation with Pope Francis

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 6, 2017

TransfigurationThis Sunday we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. By an almost eerie coincidence - here in the midst of other cosmic events - this date is also the anniversary of the world’s birth into the atomic age at Hiroshima! The paradox of the brilliance of Christ transfigured, foretold in Daniel and revealed to Peter, James, and John on that holy mountain and the brilliant flash from that first nuclear blast, cannot be lost on us.

The white light which shone from Christ was a mere suggestion of that divine splendor and indescribable brilliance beyond all human comprehension. The white light which shone from the atomic explosion was an omen of the destructive force that is within human grasp! It is imperative that the horror of the latter be brought under the control of the glory of the former, the One whom the Father's voice declared: This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him. It is more urgent than ever that we listen to Him! At stake, the very future of our children, grandchildren, and planet.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: July 30, 2017

Where your treasure isThe 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The news around the world each day confronts us with images and stories that can push us to the core of our faith and conscience, and lead us to seek out meaning and understanding. This weekend’s scriptures offer us some insight into how we might see and respond to these realities. God offers King Solomon any gift, and Solomon asks that he be given an understanding heart to distinguish right from wrong. In the gospel reading, Jesus invites us to be a part of the kingdom of heaven, a reign of God on earth now and for all time. This is the true treasure, worth giving up all else. What do we truly treasure? Do we accept the “cost” of discipleship?

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: July 23, 2017

weeds and wheatThis is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The crowds listening to Jesus know that mustard seed is an invasive weed - no one would ever sow mustard seeds - except God! Today’s scriptures remind us that God’s love encompasses all, and reaches even those that are rejected...those who are on the fringes...those who are broken. God’s love reaches the divorced, the depressed, the homeless, the gay, the jobless and the addicted. Our personal weeds grow together with our wheat. Things cannot be sorted out cleanly now, however much we might like to do so. But God’s love reaches each of us as we are and fills us with forgiveness. This is freely given by God to all of us, and can’t be earned. All we are called to do is to be open to this incredible gift of God, and, in turn, to reach out to others with this same love.