Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 29, 2015

Advent WreathThe First Sunday of Advent. This is the beginning of a new liturgical year, the first Sunday of Advent, which calls us to prepare for Christ’s coming with expectant delight. Because of God’s mercy, there is great reason for hope! God is constantly giving us a new future - promised, but unknown - and Luke’s gospel encourages us stand up and look for the new thing God is doing, even through the suffering and tragedies we experience. Even the most insignificant person or difficult situation can be a bearer of God’s mercy. Are we open to the future that God is bringing, which includes mercy and love for all? May we be hope-filled and attentive to recognize Christ coming!


Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 22, 2015

Christ logoThis is the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We have experienced the presence and power of Christ, a king whose reign is not over territory but virtue, not about power but service, not wealth but grace. Jesus’ reign exists wherever people embody Jesus’ way of living and relating, and “belong to the truth.” May we be open to hear his voice and follow the way of the Spirit.

Readings for this Sunday:

  • Daniel 7:13-14. A vision of a true ruler, recognized by God, worthy of worship and deserving our service.
  • Revelation 1:5-8. Jesus has made us a royal nation of priests. The author expects Jesus, the faithful witness, to return in victorious triumph, revealing the meaning of the resurrection to all.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 15, 2015

ApocalypseThis is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Often times, preachers and people take from the Judeo and Christian scripture messages of fear and anxiety. When that is coupled with a litany of bad things happening in the world, one can feel overwhelmed and powerless. One can often wonder about that word “gospel” which means “good news” and ask, “what is so good about this news?” We can reject or avoid this kind of message, or perhaps grasp for God’s forgiveness hoping God will in the end save us.

This experience is often experienced when dealing with “apocalyptic” thinking that was popular in the first century AD, when people were experiencing very bad times. All of our readings today have some signs of such thinking. First, a bit of commentary what apocalyptic entails.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 8, 2015

Widow's MiteThis is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures remind us that it’s not the size of the gift that measures its value, but the depth of self-giving from which it comes. Are we quick to judge by appearances? How willing are we to give of our substance, to give our all to God and service of others, as Jesus did? Surrendering ourselves as disciples at the service of others and living a life of self-giving gains us true fullness of life. The true core of fitting worship is the interior, the state of our hearts and our willingness to give totally to God and the community.

Readings for this Sunday:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 1, 2015

All SaintsThis is the Feast of “All Saints,” which reminds us that “church” is a reality much bigger than our own community or even our own time. We are able to come to faith because of those “who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.” We do not face life alone, and are blessed by the Saints around us. We are challenged to ask ourselves: Are we continuing to grow spiritually, toward Godliness? How do we share this faith?

The readings:

  • Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14. These visions were intended, in their time, to offer hope of God’s protection to people being persecuted for their faith. Those “sealed” with the mark of the living God constitute a huge crowd of Jewish Christian believers (144,000 represented an immense number). Beyond these believers is another immense throng of Gentile believers “from every nation, race, people, and tongue” who join in sung worship of God and of the Lamb.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 25, 2015

Healing blind manThis is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our loving God hears us when we call, and wants us to be whole. Gratitude for the ways we have been gifted, nurtured and healed leads us to respond with faithful generosity. Offering ourselves to God in response to God’s call is both a tangible response to God for the gifts given to us and an opportunity to allow God to heal whatever is needed. We are challenged this week to take some time to discover God’s call, ask for and receive the grace needed to respond “yes,” then live it to the best of our abilities- which is stewardship.


Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 18, 2015

Take up your crossThis is the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Our mission—to be Christ for the world—is a right and duty of all the baptized. Who would think that glory comes out of self-giving, suffering and dying? We need God’s mercy because we so often wander from the path of true discipleship. May we give ourselves wholly to God’s plan and become a servant to all, as Jesus did.

Sunday’s Readings:

  • Isaiah 53:10-11. (The conclusion of the great Song of the Servant which we read on Good Friday.) Those who gives themselves as an offering for sin will see the light in fullness of days. Our discipleship takes us to the cross as well as the resurrection.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 11, 2015

Jesus and Young ManThis is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s gospel text portrays Jesus as not merely a teacher of the law but as Lord of the law. Gregory of Nazianzus (a 4th century theologian) explains that the use of the word “good” in the phrase “good teacher” is “applied absolutely to God and only derivatively to created goods. Human understanding is not enough. Rather, divine wisdom is needed to understand what is truly good.

As we near the end of our liturgical year, it is no accident that the cycle of readings turns our focus on the kingdom of God, on eternal life. Today, Jesus, the incarnate God, was asked what is needed to receive eternal life. His answer moves both his questioner and each of us far beyond whatever humanity teaches is good. Only God is good. All other good is less.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 4, 2015

Wedding ringThis is the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today, as in any time, we see the ranking of human beings. The rich are more important than the poor. The whiter one’s skin, the more superior one is. The ones who believe my way are saved while those who believe a different way are not. Arabs are less valued, evidenced graphically by the millions of refugees seeking safety and security as they flee home only to come face to face with a wall, be it a wall of stone or barbed wire, or a wall of dismissal or hatred. They are less value. It can often be heard that it is only the deserving poor who should get assistance. And, particularly poignant this month, which is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month as well as Respect Life month, women are debased and discarded, raped and beaten, lack rights and education, world-wide.

The readings this weekend are about the act of God creating and valuing. God values relationship and intimacy among humans and between humans and God. In the time of these writings, covering a vast period of time, women and children were considered less than human, were inferior or discounted and, worse, discarded. From the time Genesis was put together from different stories of creation, to the time of the Gospel or Mark, to the times of communities of followers of Jesus after he had been gone for a while, these readings are all about relationships, intimacy, respect, equality, value in the different contexts in which they were written. This is what matters to God and to Jesus.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: September 27, 2015

SpiritThis is the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Being a disciple demands radical choices about how we live and relate to others, and God isn’t bound by our thoughts of what is “proper.” We are challenged to see and live as Jesus did, identifying with the “least ones”-- the poor, the hungry, the stranger. How do we try to confine God by our ideas of how things should be? Discipleship is shown by behavior, not by belonging to any special group. Do our actions show that we are following Christ and living in the Spirit? Can we accept the notion of innocent riches?