The Nativity of Our Lord

12-31-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." Merry Christmas! Jesus is born! Today we rejoice that this new life, this infant God, has come to be "the light of the human race." He is here to shine in the darkness of our sin and sadness, to bring joy and peace in place of sorrow. We celebrate this day with all the energy we have because we know that Christmas truly means good news! Many of us have topped our trees with a bright star that helps to light up our homes, especially at nighttime. These stars should be more than just plastic decorations, however! They should also shine as reminders to us of the Star of Bethlehem that announced the coming of Christ. What better way to welcome the Light of the World than with that magnificent star?


Fourth Sunday of Advent

12-24-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc

"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." Today is the last Sunday of the Advent season, and we hear in the Gospel the anticipation of the feast we will celebrate in just one day. Christmas is coming! Jesus is on his way! We have had weeks to prepare for this momentous occasion, and now we are on the very verge of its arrival. The children in our midst can hardly contain their excitement as they wait to wake up on Christmas morning. The thrill of this coming moment is meant to remind us of the joy and anticipation we should all feel as we await the coming of Christ. Yes, Christmas is a great feast, but there is more here than a remembrance of the past or a fabulous party in the present. There is a looking-ahead as well. We celebrate as we anticipate.



12-17-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

In the same sentence where he reminds his listeners that he has cured the blind, the lame, the deaf, the sick, and even raised the dead, Jesus concludes by adding, "The poor have the good news proclaimed to them." How did that make the list of supernatural cures? What's so miraculous about good news? The poor are not just those in physical poverty, but those whose sins have impoverished their souls. This of course applies to us. The poverty of our own sinfulness can be overcome by the forgiveness offered to us in Christ. Because of this, we have cause to rejoice!


Second Sunday Of Advent

12-10-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him." John the Baptist commanded quite a crowd. What was the attraction? Was it his unusual appearance-clothed in camel's hair? Perhaps it was his bizarre eating habits-feeding on locusts and wild honey. Or maybe people were captivated by the Baptist's remarkable humility in the face of such huge popularity-"I am not worthy."


First Sunday of Advent

12-03-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

Each year, this season of Advent comes around. We bless one candle each week in Advent. Let us ask God to bless our family on this First Sunday of Advent:


Our Lord Jesus Christ

11-26-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me." Today we celebrate the feast of an unusual kind of king. Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, does not run his kingdom in the standard fashion. Instead of insisting upon the pomp and circumstance that usually surrounds earthly royalty, Jesus has a different focus. He thinks not of himself, but of those he loves. And in today's Gospel, his interest is especially focused on the poor and suffering in our midst.


33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-19-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money." This servant was scared. He didn't want to take any risks and just wanted to play everything safe. As he confesses to his master, "Out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground." And the master was not pleased. The other servants who invested the money he gave them were richly rewarded for their efforts to produce more. But this servant was punished for letting his fear rule the day. What factors are keeping us from making a return on God's investment in us?


32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-12-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"But the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps." The foolish versus the wise. Today's parable sets these two groups in stark contrast to one another. Two crowds of young women wait for a wedding feast. One group comes prepared for the unexpected, the other just assumes everything will go according to schedule. But it doesn't! The Bridegroom is late, and the foolish virgins are left out in the dark--literally--while the wise ones enjoy the feast inside.

The lesson here is not just about having foresight and gathering the corresponding equipment. It's about being ready for the second coming of Christ. Jesus himself is the "Bridegroom." Traditionally we refer to the Church as the "Bride of Christ" and we, as the people of God who constitute the Church, are even now awaiting the real feast, the culmination of time when Jesus returns. But are we standing among the wise or the foolish as we wait?


30st Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-05-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"For they preach but they do not practice." The scribes and Pharisees may be the ones Jesus was speaking about in today's Gospel, but we must be careful not to dismiss his words when it comes to our own actions. Jesus offered a difficult challenge to those honor-seekers that we must also heed when he said, "The greatest among you must be your servant." This is not the way the world usually works. Generally speaking, the idea of being a servant is considered inferior to being someone who has risen to high levels of leadership or status. But Jesus wants people in positions of authority to selflessly serve those over whom they have influence. And he insists that the leaders who establish laws, rules, and guidelines do not excuse themselves from following their own directives! "Practice what you preach," as the saying goes.


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-29-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." Jesus gives us a simple moral principle in today's Gospel. He speaks about two kinds of love: love of God and love of neighbor. He tells us that all the other laws and teachings of our faith fall under these two headings. So if we can master these, we will be in good spiritual shape!


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-22-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." The Pharisees, full of malice, were trying to "entrap Jesus in speech." They concocted a question that flattered him, saying, "You teach the way of God in accordance with the truth," but which also put him in a position to be in big trouble if he challenged the Roman laws. Jesus, of course, escaped the trap with his brilliant reply. We can appreciate the wisdom of his response, but more importantly, we can appreciate what it means for us. To repay to Caesar, in this case, meant to give appropriate allegiance to the secular authorities. We too are under such authority, and although Uncle Sam is different than Caesar in countless ways, the fact remains that as constituents of this country who enjoy its many benefits, we are also called to extend a certain kind of tribute to our government.


27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-15-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

"Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit." The chief priests and elders listening to Jesus must have been furious. After telling the parable about the tenants who abused the owner's property and killed his son, Jesus had a tough lesson to teach. He compared the Jewish leaders to these terrible tenants. They, like the selfish workers in the vineyard, were guilty of not respecting proper authority and of trying to seize control--not of grapes, in this case, but of religious matters. In short, they were not bearing fruit for God's kingdom, but only for their own prestige and privilege.


Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

10-01-2017Weekly Reflection©2017 Liturgical Publications, Inc.

In the middle of winter, when life seems to be frozen and gone, the church asks us to pray. On the anniversary of the Supreme Court case titled Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion, we are called to pray in a special way for the protection of the unborn, in a very real way the very image of the helpless. We know winter causes life to slow down, but we are a people of faith and believe that life, in all its wonder, is worthy of our protection. Perhaps giving of your time or money to a local adoption agency is a way you may protect an unborn child. We need to let people know there are more options and that abortion is never considered as an option.