Prayer for the Week (Jan. 19-Jan. 25)

Let us pray that we love God in all things and above all things: Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things that surpass our understanding. Pour into our hearts such love towards you that loving you above all else, we obtain your promises which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Sunday Reflection (January 19, 2020)

Jesus extends an invitation to you and me with the word, “come and see”(John 1:29-42). May we “go and see.” May we keep learning about the message of love and grace that makes a difference in our lives, and in the life of the world around us.
Through the Holy Spirit, we begin to understand what it is that Jesus reveals to us about God. Through the drawing of the Holy Spirit, we are invited to abide in Christ and become “Christ-like.”

Prayer for the Week (Jan. 12-Jan. 18)

Let us pray that as we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit: Father in heaven, you revealed Christ as your Son by the voice that spoke over the waters of the Jordan. May all who share in the sonship and daughtership of Christ follow his path of service to others, and thus reflect the glory of his kingdom unto the ends of the earth. This we ask through Christ our Lord who eternally dwells with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forevermore. Amen.

(Sunday Missal)

Prayer for the Week (Jan. 5-Jan. 11)

Let us pray to God our Father that Christ be the light of all: God of all nations, peoples and cultures, on the day of the Epiphany you made bright your light and your love destined for all. Guide us in the ways of your Son. May your kindly light shine everywhere, so that all peoples praise you in their own language and enrich your Church with their own gifts. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.

(Claretian Publications)

Sunday Reflection (January 5, 2020)

Imagine violent barbarians settling on the coast near you (and you thought we had immigration issues). What would you pray? God, sent those barbarians back across the sea from whence they came! God in your wrath destroy those pagan barbarians! God may those barbarians learn our language and become like us! What would you pray?

This very prayer was prayed as Barbarians swept across Western Europe: “Everlasting God, the radiance of faithful souls, you brought the nations to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. Fill the world with your glory, and show yourself to all the nations; through Christ who is the true light and the bright and morning star, even Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen (Latin Sacramentary, 5th-7th Cent. Alt.).

How successful was that ancient prayer? Consider that the language that we speak, English, is the linguistic descendant of the varieties of Anglo-Saxon. They later became Christianized and they are the linguistic ancestors of our language, English. Now you know how successful that ancient prayer was.

Having been enlightened and transformed by the light of God’s love, may God’s love shine forth through us. May those who have yet to embrace Christianity find the love and fellowship of God among us. May even our enemies see the light of God’s love through us.

The Wise Men began the procession of Gentiles to the God of Israel through Jesus Christ which is where we find ourselves: Gentiles embraced by the God of Israel through Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:1-12). Paul calls it a revealed mystery (Ephesians 3:1-12).

Sunday Reflection (December 29, 2019)

There was a song in the 1990s that raised a profound question:  “What If God Was One of Us?”  The one thing that differentiates Christianity from Judaism and Islam is that we believe that God, indeed, did become one of us in Jesus Christ.  The transcendent, hidden God is more fully revealed in Jesus of Nazareth who was empowered by the Holy Spirit and taught us to pray to our compassionate heavenly Father.  This laid the foundation for the development of the Christian belief called Trinity (John 1:1-14).

We know what God’s character is like through Jesus Christ, thus it is possible to see that God is not a God of violence.  The Old Testament ambivalence about a God of violence has come to an end with the revelation of God’s love in Jesus Christ.  We can no longer project our violent nature upon God.  God has shown us differently in Jesus Christ.  When God became one of us in Jesus Christ, God lifted up humanity to God as valued and worthy of friendship with God.

Prayer for the Week (Dec. 29-Jan. 4)

Let us pray with joy and hope as we celebrate the dawning of God’s Word in Jesus Christ:
God, you have wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it. Grant that we share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Through Christ who eternally dwells with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.

 (Sunday Missal)

Prayer for the Week (Dec. 15-Dec. 21)

Let us pray that people recognize Christ within us and among us: Lord of hope and joy, through the Holy Spirit you are near to us: May it become visible that Christ lives within us and among us when we are near to one another and bring hope and justice to the world, especially to the poor and to those who suffer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 (Claretian Communications)

Sunday Reflection (December 15, 2019)

No doubt, like John the Baptist, we may wonder when that purging judgment will come (Matthew 11:2-6). I do admit that it is easier to wish that all those other evil people be purged than we ourselves be purged. Nevertheless, rather than violence, retribution, and judgment, the inauguration of God’s kingdom is about healing and embracing the poor and defenseless. It was not the purging many expected.

Jesus came not to fulfill our desires for a messiah, but to change our notion of what a messiah is like. While waiting, plant seeds in hope of harvest, and do what Jesus did: Help one another, defend the defenseless, embrace the poor, love our enemies, and yes, forgive. In due time the harvest will come.

Sunday Reflection (December 8, 2019)

Happy Advent “you brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Soothing words from John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12). John challenges us to change our attitude and way of life. True repentance produces noticeable results in our dealings with others. I am convinced that our spiritual lives are one of continual repentance because perfection always eludes, yet we should not give up because of God’s grace.

God works with us in spite of our imperfection, and give us the joy and hope of repentance. The present and future have the possibility of being different in that repentance grants us the opportunity to reshape our present and our future. If we become spiritually haughty, we diminish the chance o reshape our present and our future. May we not be snugly comfortable with the way things are. May we continually repent and make the world a better place.