March 1, 2020
Click below for my reflection
March 1, 2020
Click below for my reflection
February 23, 2020
In the first reading written after the Exile in Babylon (500) BC, the people were asked to reflect on what it was to be holy.
While they had been in exile, many had given up on God and had taken on the gods and the life style of the pagans.
That can, at times, also be our situation in the pagan world of today.
God's people were reminded that Moses has told them that they were all called to be holy as God is holy and to love the other.
That reminder given by Moses was not just for the ancients, but is for every generation, even for each of us today.
St. Paul writes to the community in Corinth, where many divisions and conflicts were taking place.
He reminds them that in Baptism they were made temples or dwelling places for God. As the dwelling place of God they were to make God present in the world to all they encountered.
That message is for each of us today,
as baptized and chosen by God.
But how do we make God present in our world today?
In the Gospel we are given the answer.
It is given by the life of Jesus and is told by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
Here are some reminders of what He said and what we are to do....
All of the above, at times, may seem impossible.
...this is the love Jesus is talking about;
wishing the well being of the other,
even the one who hurts us.
It is an unconditional wish for the well being of the other, no matter who they are or what they have done.
It means being the first to forgive and to forget.
Jesus us gives us the example.
It is something that does seem impossible, and yet we know that is what we are called to do.
It is how we make the love, mercy, and compassion present in today's world.
We can deny that this is the call for each of us, or we can escape the call by saying that we love everyone and do not have enemies.
What a lie!
Enemies are a gift from God.
They help us to see the need for our own conversion of heart.
Don't be afraid to realize that even the ones we know and love can be the enemy at times.
It is in the conflicts, misunderstandings, disagreements, etc. in our lives, that we can see we do not have that love for the enemy.
Enemies help us to see that we still need to continue to pray for that gift of love, even to the enemy, even to the one we struggle with, even to the once who does not deserve mercy.
February 16, 2020
It is so easy to read these Commandments and not really understand how to apply them to ourselves. This Sunday's readings can help us to look a little deeper into how God, in His mercy, is helping us once again.
This prophet is addressing a people living in Egypt some 130 years or so before Christ. Many have lost all their heritage, their language (Hebrew) and their belief in God, instead they have turned to the pagan gods of the people they were living around. Sirach encouraged the people to return to God and to remember all that God had done for them in their history. But...God does not force anyone.
We can just look at the history of the Old Testament, of God's Chosen People, and see that He leaves them free. Is that not also true of us?
We are given the freedom to follow God or, like God's chosen people that Sirach was addressing, to follow the pagan gods.
For us today our pagan gods can be money, power, security, good health, popularity, sex, possessions etc.
Every day we are given a choice.
Will we follow the pagan gods that give temporary peace or follow our God who guarantees eternal peace???
St.Paul writes to his Christian Community living in the midst of pagans, of non believers, just like us today. He reinforces that they will not find the peace they want from the gods around them, but in the way of God, which even today the world does not understand or seek.
In the Gospel St. Mathew continues to give us another part of the Sermon on the Mount.
Are we willing to listen?
Or like the scribes and Pharisees, those who considered themselves very holy, close our ears and hearts.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we are doing a pretty good job, or that we just give up, by thinking that what God has given us and asked of us is impossible.
The Commandments were never given as laws we must continually try to follow. Rather, they are help us to see that we need to continually pray for the grace from God to convert and have the Commandments become a part of our lives.
I know for me, I need to continually ask God to convert my heart so that through his grace I can daily go out of my way for others.
Isn't that what the real purpose of the Commandments of God are about; to see our failures in some areas and to pray for the mercy and conversion God is always willing to give as He leads us to eternal peace, eternal life?
Every day and in every situation we need to again and again ask God for his gift of a change of heart, conversion, and to become what the response to this Sunday's Psalm 119 says...