Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: February 14, 2016

Cross

Called to Conversion, Lent 2016: Christian Simplicity

This is the First Sunday of Lent. Lent is the time we are called to conversion - a change of heart and mind - leading us to a deeper baptismal commitment to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Today’s scriptures tell how God is to be known by each of us as the foundation of our lives. In the offering back to God the fruits of our lives (our baskets) we resist the temptation to think creation is to serve us only, that our lives are only for our pleasure and for our security. Jesus knows the temptations and walks this path with us. As part of our community Lenten practice we are invited to read and reflect on our Catholic teaching in LENT 4.5: Christian Simplicity. Our Lenten practice this week is about buying and eating our food responsibly. Pick up a packet, or check out www.lent45.org for more details.

Fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live... By freely embracing an act of self-denial for the sake of another, we make a statement that our brother or sister in need is not a stranger…” – Pope Benedict XVI

The Sunday Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: February 7, 2016

Catch of fishesThis Sunday is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The scriptures tell of the experience of God’s glory, the call to service discipleship, and the wholehearted response of some of our ancestors in faith. “Catch” defined as “to intercept and hold. ” Jesus “catches” us, transforms our lives, binds us to himself, and calls us to love and serve in the same way - to “catch” other people. Experiencing the presence of God, we become aware of our own limitations and sinfulness, but may we also be moved and strengthened once more to respond wholeheartedly to God’s call to love and serve.

Sunday’s Scripture Readings:

  • Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8. Isaiah experiences the divine call and responds to it: “Here I am; send me.”

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: January 31, 2016

LoveThis is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. God knows us! And God’s love never falters – no matter what! How do we respond in the face of such unending love? By passing on God’s amazing message of unfailing love. However, accepting God's call may mean confronting those who do not live according to the ways of truth and justice. Jeremiah discovered this, so did Jesus. May we be strengthened to be faithful to our calling, especially when it isn’t popular or easy, even in our own family and community…

The Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: January 24, 2016

Bring glad tidingsThis is the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time and the end of the week of prayer for Christian unity. Today we are reminded once again, that “The body is one but has many parts, all animated by the one Spirit.” We are the gathered people of God, One Body that walks with Jesus through his public ministry, coming to a deeper understanding through an attentive listening to the Word that Jesus proclaims through his life and actions. Both the Torah and Jesus' announcement of his mission remind us that peace, justice and healing are at the core of that practical living of the faith. We pray that all Christians may one day be fully united, and that until then we continue to work together and give witness to the One Spirit who calls and strengthens us all to be the love of Christ for the world.

Sunday’s Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: January 17, 2016

LoveThis is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. When we open ourselves to God’s actions within and around us, the most life-changing transformations can occur. Thus we become a community transformed by love - and given extravagant gifts of the Spirit! We are called to bring our best to the world, to transform it as well.

MLKMartin Luther King Jr. was a tireless advocate of transforming our world through the power of love.

“The ultimate weakness of violence

is that it is a descending spiral,

begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.

Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar,

but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

Through violence your murder the hater,

but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. . .

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,

adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do this.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do this.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Let us pray that our prayer this weekend opens us to the Spirit and strengthens us to bring transforming love to our families and our world so desperately in need.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: January 10, 2016

TBaptism of Jesushis is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. On this feast of the Baptism of Jesus, we witness his identity as Beloved Son of God manifested to all. Through our own baptism, we too share this divine identity. Jesus baptizes in water and in fire, and we become Spirit-filled people, renewed and reborn to make a welcome for all human beings into this new life of God. Baptism is the symbol of this new life; an “epiphany” of God in our lives. May we be heartened and strengthened to live out our baptismal call through lives of loving service.

Readings for this Sunday:

  • Is 40: 1-5, 9-11. Give comfort, make the way easy for the journey. God comes and cares for us.
  • Titus 2: 11-14; 3: 4-7. We are saved by a bath of rebirth in which Christ cleanses us to become a new people.
  • Lk 3: 15-16, 21-22. After being baptized, Jesus was praying and he received the Spirit. A voice said “with you I am well pleased.” It is Jesus who baptizes us with Spirit and with fire.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: January 3, 2016

AriseThis is the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Happy Feast Day! The Greek root words articulate some of the ways that the holy arrives in our midst. “Epiphanos” or “epiphaneia” means “manifestation,” “appearing,” “showing,” or “coming.” “Epiphaino:” to give light. “Epephanen:” to be revealed. Today we celebrate the appearing of Christ in the world and the arrival of wise ones, strangers from afar, who followed the star and welcomed the child.

MagiGod calls us to discern where the sacred shows forth, that we, too may welcome it into our lives, and share it with others. Wisdom knows the ways we sometimes look far and wide for the knowledge that is right at hand…and the one who took flesh reminds us that to those with eyes and hearts to perceive it, the holy appears in our midst, in our lives, and in our own selves.

The Spirit of Wisdom knows how each moment offers the possibility of an encounter that will draw our eyes from the far horizon toward the God who has already arrived in our midst. From dreams, stories, idle meanderings and purposeful questions come the messengers who point us toward the sacred guest sitting at the gate of our own soul, seeking the gift only we can offer. May our hearts and minds be open! May we welcome Christ into our hearts and lives, and shine forth the light, love and unique gifts God has given us!

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 27, 2015

Holy FamilyThis is the Feast of the Holy Family: The scriptures remind us that we are all God’s children - which means that our family is really much bigger than we sometimes consider. Think about our brothers and sisters in this space, and across the globe…Our family includes old, young and in-between; men and women, and all nationalities, political persuasions, vocations and personal viewpoints. Over and over the scriptures tell us that our relationships with each other and with God are interconnected. We’re in this together…so we pray that we help each other grow in wisdom, age and grace, as Jesus did with Mary and Joseph.

This Sunday’s readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 20, 2015

HopeThe Fourth Sunday of Advent. Because of God’s mercy, there is great reason for hope. God is with us, giving us a new future, so we don’t need to fear, no matter what the circumstances. Can we be open, like Elizabeth and Mary, to the future that God is bringing? How do we recognize the presence of Christ, who IS peace, coming among us?

Sunday's Readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 13, 2015

HopeThe Third Sunday of Advent. On this “Gaudete” Sunday, we are encouraged to rejoice. Because of God’s mercy, there is great reason for hope! God is right in our midst, giving us a new future even in times of hardship and tragedy. It is important for us to be open to the future that God is bringing, which includes mercy and love for all. “What must we do?” John the Baptist was asked. Act with mercy, justice and charity to those around us -- this is how we prepare for the coming of the Messiah. Then we won’t need to be anxious - we can rejoice that God is near!

The Readings:

  • Zephaniah 3:14-18a. God sings joyfully because of you – fear not! The Jerusalem Temple was intended to be a sign of a much deeper reality: “Your God is in your midst.” The chosen people are those who are aware of God's presence.
  • Isaiah 12:2-6. This poetic canticle expresses thanksgiving for God's saving presence.

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