Liturgy Reflection

Reflections on the Weekend liturgical readings

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 21, 2014

AnnunciationADVENT 2014: Gratefully anticipating the comings of Christ

This is the Fourth Sunday of Advent. The entrance antiphon names our Advent hope: “Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.” (Is 45: 8)

Today’s scriptures reveal a God who makes a home with us, One who takes on our very humanity to love us more completely, and does this with human consent and cooperation. Mary is an example of faithful discipleship, trusting God despite her doubts, and doing what is needed to make God's will a present reality. Like Mary, it’s up to us to prepare the way -- for God to make a home in our hearts and lives. How is the presence of Christ becoming real in you? How can we, the body of Christ, become light and life for the world?

Readings for this Sunday:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 14, 2014

Prepare the WayADVENT 2014: Gratefully anticipating the comings of Christ

Third Sunday of Advent: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near. (Phil 4: 4-5; today’s Entrance Antiphon). This third Sunday of Advent is also called “Gaudete” (“Rejoice”) Sunday. Today’s scriptures show us that we have great cause for joy - and that we’re called to share it. We are a people anointed by God and called by our baptism to bring joy to the poor, healing to the broken hearted, freedom to prisoners, a year of debt relief to everyone. These are just some of the ways that God enters our world. How are you aware of God coming into your life? For which of God’s gifts are you most grateful? How are you being invited to bring joy to those in need? Like John the Baptizer, we are called to testify to the light; may our Advent preparations help make God’s presence ever brighter in the darkest corners of our world.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: December 7, 2014

RoadADVENT 2014: Gratefully anticipating the comings of Christ

This is the Second Sunday of Advent: Today’s scriptures remind us that it is God who shepherds us, feeds us, gathers us, is faithful to divine promises, and baptizes us in the Holy Spirit. Like John the Baptizer, we continually prepare for divine presence by living with faithfulness and presence, by living with faithfulness and openness to God and one another. We “make straight the way of the Lord” by eagerly welcoming God’s abiding presence, fully receiving with gratitude God’s good gifts of justice and peace - and living them out. What helps you remain open to God’s gifts? How are you making ready for God to come into your heart, your home, your school or workplace in new ways?

Along with the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, give yourself the gift of prayer and reflection. Then you will be able to prepare your heart and mind to fully receive the many ways Christ comes to you, and discover how to live each day with gratitude and compassion. Remember to “seize the opportunities” for reflection that come as we wait – in while shopping, in traffic, check-out lines, while our goodies bake…

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 30, 2014

PotterADVENT 2014: Gratefully anticipating the comings of Christ

This is the First Sunday of Advent. Longing for God and fullness of life, we trust in the One who is shaping us as a potter shapes clay. We again undertake the Advent journey, a time of preparation and transformation to fully receive and embody the gifts we have been given, especially in Christ. Where are you longing for God’s “return”, for Christ’s presence in your life?

Along with the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, give yourself the gift of prayer and reflection. Then you will be able to prepare your heart and mind to fully receive the many ways Christ comes to you, and discover how to live each day with gratitude, compassion and joy.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 23, 2014

Christ the KingToday is the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. With our readings this Sunday, we come to the end (or is it a summation?) of the life and revelation of Jesus, the Christ, in our liturgical year and it ends with the image of the King of all - of all people - of all the universe - talking about whether we humans have gotten the point of it all. With today’s Gospel, this talk is taking place at the end of our time when the Son of Man comes.

Let’s talk first of the prophet Ezekiel, who sets up the whole issue of who is getting the point. In Ezekiel, it is God who speaks and claims the role of the good shepherd, the one who will rescue the sheep, pasture the sheep, seek the lost, bring back the strayed, bind the injured and heal the sick. And why is God proclaiming this role? Because the leaders in charge of the day, the other proclaimed “shepherds,” simply, and to the point, were not taking care of the sheep.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 16, 2014

TreasureThis is the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: The readings for this Sunday are excellent readings to ponder as we immerse ourselves in “stewardship”. How and why are we called to share our talents within and without our parish community of Epiphany? When we use our talents we are investing in the here and now. There is some risk involved. Often we do not see the fruit of our work but we trust that the good we do will bear fruit in God’s time. As disciples of Christ we must be about planting seeds of hope and love.

Readings for this Sunday:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 9, 2014

St. John Lateran - RomeToday is the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. In today’s readings, St. Paul tells the Corinthians, and us as well, the astonishing reality that we Christians are temples of God. Think about it the next time you use a mirror: God dwells in us! We are holy! What dignity we have!

This amazing fact brings with it a challenge: How deeply do we accept this truth? In other words, can others tell by our lives that God resides within us? That we are filled with God’s grace?

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: November 2, 2014

All SoulsToday’s celebration is the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed: “Let us remember lest we forget.”

Each Sunday at liturgy we celebrate the dying and rising of Christ. Today we remember all those who have gone before us. We commend all (family members, friends, coworkers etc.) to the mercy and graciousness of God. Knowledge of and belief in God’s love for all keeps us hopeful that our faithful departed are on their way to a life of eternity in God’s embrace.

Readings for this Sunday:

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 26, 2014

LoveThis is the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In other words, laws found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are dependent upon these two.

What about us? Catholic stewards, living in the 21st century who are Epiphany parishioners? We are challenged with the same truth Jesus gave the Pharisees – put God first above all with our whole selves, then reflect upon our love of others and ourselves.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: October 19, 2014

Roman CoinThis is the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We have all heard sayings that warn us about the power of money and that we cannot serve both God and money. Since Pope Francis began leading the church, he has had a lot to say about money, whether it is about rising income inequality, the devastation of unbridled capitalism, or our disposable culture, which disposes people in many ways.

Money appears as a topic in Matthew’s gospel today. Jesus is confronted by two powerful, and wealthy, groups who form an unlikely alliance to try and trap Jesus in his teaching. The Pharisees, who represent the nationalistic Jews who do not want to pay taxes, join with the Herodians, who are the custodians of, and collaborators with, the Roman Emperor, and therefore traitors to the people, holding them in a repressive occupation. So why would they join forces against Jesus?

Jesus has been preaching the Reign of God to the poor, who are to play a part in that reign, in fact who are to be an essential part of it. The Pharisees are threatened by this and would like to see trap Jesus before the tyranny of the empire. The Herodians are threatened because they do not want to have any kind of trouble with the movement Jesus seems to have stirred.

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