What does Pentecost the feat mean to us?

05-20-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc

As one of the most important solemnities on the Church's calendar, it has a rich depth of meaning, but here is how Pope Benedict summarized it in 2012:

This Solemnity makes us remember and relive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the other disciples gathered in prayer with the Virgin Mary in the Upper Room (cf. Acts 2:1-11). Jesus, risen and ascended into Heaven, sent his Spirit to the Church so that every Christian might participate in his own divine life and become his valid witness in the world. The Holy Spirit, breaking into history, defeats aridity, opens hearts to hope, stimulates and fosters in us an interior maturity in our relationship with God and with our neighbor.


The Ascension of the Lord

05-13-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

This Sunday's Gospel is known as the "priestly prayer" of Jesus. The entire passage is Jesus entrusting us to the Father. "When I was with them I protected them ? I guarded them," Jesus says. He asks his Father, "Keep them in your name." In this prayer of Jesus, we see the paradoxical tension of our life as Christians in the world. He anticipates struggle for the believer. He describes it in strong words, words that could even appear frightening to the believer. "I gave them your word, and the world hated them." Not only that, but with our eyes on eternal life, we "do not belong to the world." And yet in the midst of those realities, Jesus doesn't take us out of the world. On the contrary, "as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world."


Sixth Sunday of Easter

05-06-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"I have called you friends." Authentic friendship can seem hard to come by these days, especially in our transient society. We move away from family, change jobs, switch parishes, and end up in entirely new places with entirely new people. When we look for new friends, we all have different qualities we're looking for. While we may think of certain standards of behavior necessary to be a "good" friend, we would hardly refer to them as rules or "commandments."


Fifth Sunday of Easter

04-29-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

Are you ready for a trim? In today's Gospel, we hear the familiar teaching of the vine and the branches. Jesus reminds us that if we remain close to him-living in humility, following God's law, loving our neighbor-we will notice a positive change in our life and the lives of those around us.


Fourth Sunday of Easter

04-22-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

Today's Gospel occurs in the middle of Jesus' ministry. At first, Jesus' words seem to be about the value of self-sacrifice in a leader. "I am the Good Shepherd. I will lay down my life for the sheep." The Apostles likely would have accepted these words easily enough. But then comes something more strange. "I lay down my life in order to take it up again. I have power to lay it down and power to take it up again." Only later, when Jesus opened the Scriptures to them after his resurrection, would the Apostles understand his words. Only then would they understand why such an act was necessary for the salvation of the world.


Third Sunday of Easter

04-15-2018Weekly Reflection©2018 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"Why do questions arise in your hearts?" After the Resurrection, the Apostles experienced their fair share of incredulity. Jesus had died-John had been there-and now the tomb was empty. What should they believe? Was the Jesus before them truly real? And who was Jesus really? It's no surprise that the Apostles were initially "startled and terrified" to the extent that they "thought that they were seeing a ghost." Jesus has compassion on his confused friends. Once he affirms his non-ghostly identity--"look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself"--Jesus gets down to business.


The Resurrection of the Lord

04-01-2018Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

The first light of Easter dawn had begun to creep over the horizon. The steadfast women from Friday's gory events are returning again to the body of their Lord. "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" How quickly we return to mundane concerns and how thoroughly God wants to surprise us! Imagine the utter shock upon seeing the stone rolled away, the tomb empty, and a stranger clothed in light proclaiming the impossible. "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here." He is risen indeed and the world will never be the same.