Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: May 1, 2016

TCome, Holy Spirithis is the Sixth Sunday of Easter. Jesus says in today’s gospel, “Whoever loves me will keep my word.” The word of Jesus we are to keep is his command to love as he loves - not simply in words, but as love-in-action. Our love-in-action flows from the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and teaching us. “Believing” is an action, a response to the Holy Spirit’s promptings to be concerned about what really matters -- reconciliation, issues of justice and peace in the world, a concern for the poor, a respect for creation as a gift from God and a common home--a focus on a new world where “the presence and glory of God is everywhere.”

“Believers themselves must constantly feel challenged to live in a way consonant with their faith and not to contradict it by their actions. They need to be encouraged to be ever open to God’s grace and to draw constantly from their deepest convictions about love, justice and peace. ...the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (200, 216, Laudato Si)

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: April 24, 2016

Love one anotherThis is the Fifth Sunday of Easter. God is making something new in the world: a community bonded by mutual love. God’s dwelling is “with the human race,” so God is involved with the diverse things of the world. The Christian life is not simply about the next world: God is concerned with our daily life and our relationships. God is concerned with the works of justice and peace - with the work of social transformation and liberation for all men and women. By loving as Jesus did we are transformed, and thereby all the world. How have you experienced God in our local community? How is God calling us in the celebrations and struggles of community?

“Conversion...entails gratitude and gratuitousness, a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift, and that we are called quietly to imitate [God’s]generosity in self-sacrifice and good works... It also entails a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion. As believers, we do not look at the world from without but from within, conscious of the bonds with which the Father has linked us to all beings.” (Laudato Si, 220)

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: April 17, 2017

Eternal LIfeThis is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. Jesus is the Shepherd who leads us to springs of life-giving water and gives us eternal life. Eternal life involves a joy and life that comes in solidarity with others and from a relationship with a loving shepherd. It is a life which comes together in Christ not because we possess a spirituality of rugged individualism or a religion of “knowing it all” or a spirituality of “being better than others.” Joy and life flow from relationship – relationship in community – relationship fostered and nourished by a Good Shepherd whose desire is to bring all the sheep together into the fullness of life -- a relationship of justice and righteousness with people of “from every nation, race, people, and tongue,” where the whole of creation can give honor and praise.

Productive diversification offers the fullest possibilities to human ingenuity to create and innovate, while at the same time protecting the environment and creating more sources of employment. Such creativity would be a worthy expression of our most noble human qualities, for we would be striving intelligently, boldly and responsibly to promote a sustainable and equitable development within the context of a broader concept of quality of life.” (Laudato Si #192)

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: April 10, 2016

Feed my sheepThis is the Third Sunday of Easter. “If you love me...tend my sheep.” Faithful discipleship is not measured by absence of failure, but by openness to risen life and growing love for Christ which is expressed in the tangible caring for others. This means that we begin to see the risen Jesus in our “everyday” lives, that we allow ourselves to be fully nourished by Jesus (through his body and blood in the Eucharist, through his word) and gradually be transformed more and more into his risen presence for others. Who – or what aspect of creation—is Christ calling me to love right now? How?

“Disregard for the duty to cultivate and maintain a proper relationship with my neighbor, for whose care and custody I am responsible, ruins my relationship with my own self, with others, with God and with the earth. When all these relationships are neglected, when justice no longer dwells in the land, the Bible tells us that life itself is endangered…everything is interconnected, and…genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.” (Laudato Si, 70)

Sunday’s readings:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: April 3, 2016

Wide eyesThis is the Second Sunday of Easter. The Risen Christ “holds the keys of death” and unlocks the doors to new life for all. God takes what is flawed, useless and inconsequential – the rejected stone, our failing lives and diseased bodies, our doubting hearts – and makes them the cornerstone of faith and forgiveness. The Body of Christ is called to witness and celebrate what is happening: God’s victory over death, disease, sin and limitations. We are invited into the wonder felt by the disciples and early converts, “Look what’s happening!”

  • What has stirred you to awe and wonder, and made you aware of God’s presence?
  • How do we allow the peace of Christ to be with us in the midst of everything life brings?
  • In what situations is God’s compassion stirring us to bring peace?

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: March 27, 2016

Empty TombSolemn Easter Vigil, March 27, 5:30 AM

We remember salvation history. light the new fire, bless the water, recall our own baptism, and hear the story of resurrection. By journeying with Christ through suffering and death, we find that love is the ultimate victor, bringing resurrection life. What new seed is coming to life you, and how are you nurturing it? How do we welcome the movement of the Spirit among us? What new life needs to be celebrated?

To deepen the new life begun at Easter, we invite you to continue your spiritual practices during the entire Easter Season. Pick up a “White Book” and “Beautiful Mercy” to help your prayer continue to deepen in this Year of Mercy.

Readings for the Easter Vigil:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: March 20, 2016

PalmThis is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. This Lent we’ve been trying to embrace Christian simplicity through a contemporary look at prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Abstaining from over-consuming or recklessly wasting God’s creation is essential for anyone striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Taking up the cross means making decisions to forgo self-centeredness and indifference to the needs of our world, and serving in love as Jesus did.

Jesus suffers, dies and is buried - all because no one - not the Jewish or Roman leadership nor the disciples- really understands the kingdom of God. Jesus continually teaches and shows how different God’s reign is - responding without violence and even forgiving the very ones who cause his suffering and death. What reigns in the kingdom of God is patience and caring, mercy and forgiveness, reconciliation, promise of full life and dying full of promise. And we are invited to follow, and join Christ through death to life in this communion of love.

This Holy Week, enter into the deepest mysteries of our faith and re-commit to the way of Christ.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: March 13, 2016

Jesus writitngCalled to Conversion, Lent 2016: Christian Simplicity

This is the 5th Sunday of Lent. Today, Isaiah reminds us of God's continuing presence among us and that we need only to notice, by that presence, God is always doing something new. Pope Francis in Laudato Si says something similar, “God is intimately present to each being; God's divine presence continues the work of creation and because of this, something new can always emerge.” This is borne out in the Gospel when some scribes bring before Christ a woman caught in adultery. Jesus is so totally present to the woman and the situation that, she walks away, free, unharmed and new. Our relationship with Jesus is not so much one of “measuring up” as of coming to our own truth as the woman and the scribes did.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: March 6, 2016.

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Called to Conversion, Lent 2016: Christian Simplicity

This is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday. On our pilgrimage of faith, we, like the Israelites, move through Exodus and Passover times, times of plenty and times of desperation. In our world, suffering happens; we all sin, “miss the mark” and fail. Thankfully we also can move with Christ through that suffering, and even death, into fullness of life. We can receive mercy, be reconciled, and come back to our true home.

Luke’s gospel continually invites us to welcome the outsiders, and challenges us to look at that which we have shut out or turned away. If we’re not clinging so tightly to our habits, judgments and justifications, we’re able to welcome the new – renewed life, a changed perspective, a stranger or foreigner, an unexpected gift… and maybe even one who has abandoned or betrayed us, as in today’s Prodigal story. Click here to read the full refelction...

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: February 28, 2016

CrossCalled to Conversion, Lent 2016: Christian Simplicity

This is the Third Sunday of Lent. The scriptures’ images of God’s presence in the burning bush, the faithful householder and hopeful gardener are signs of God’s mercy. God wants us to be fully who we are created to be, and gives us time to change our hearts and let our lives be transformed. This lent we are trying to live a more just and sustainable life-style. Our Lenten fast this week calls us to use water responsibly and gratefully, keeping in mind the many who suffer from lack of this essential resource. So as we continue our journey of following Jesus who promised a reward to those who would offer a cup of cold water to a thirsty person, let us look at ways to conserve and share this gift of God with others.

“Water is a vital element essential to survival; thus, everyone has a right to it...Water is not an unlimited resource. Its rational use in solidarity demands the collaboration of all people of good will with government institutions so as to ensure the effective protection of the environment, understood as a gift from God.” (Pope John Paul II)