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Allie Wing

Gospel Reflection Mar 18 – Deacon Frank + Operation Rice Bowl Week 5

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Sunday, March 18

Fifth Sunday of Lent

John 12: 20 – 33

Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”
Philip went and told Andrew;
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them,
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven,
“I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder;
but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered and said,
“This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world;
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself.”
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

We all experience grief, loss, or suffering at some point in our lives – favorite things that get broken, teams we don’t make, or jobs we don’t get, dreams delayed, or abandoned, broken relationships.  Some of these events shape our lives and others are momentarily jarring, but everyone has something. Jesus reminds us in the gospel this weekend that it’s right at these times that we may have to die to one thing and let go of it for God to do something new in our lives.

The symbol that Jesus offers us is that of the wheat grain that falls to the ground and dies.  It is only by falling on the ground and dying that the grain can yield a rich harvest.  In a similar way we are asked to follow Jesus as the one who dies on our behalf and in so dying draws all people to himself.

On this 5th Sunday of Lent, where we stand on the threshold of Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, may we contemplate the necessity of suffering in Jesus’ life – and in our own life – as we hear Jesus also say to us ‘…where I am, there also will my servant be…’

Deacon Frank Iannarino


Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, Jesus tells us to give special care to those who are most in need. He reminds us of our Christian duty to listen closely to those who often go unheard and to help those most vulnerable.

Encounter Alefa
Alefa is a mother, grandmother and farmer. She provides for her three children, three grandchildren and husband by selling her crops. If they fail during one of Malawi’s rainy seasons-or in a drought-her family goes hungry. One particularly difficult year, Alefa was forced to sell some of her land to make ends meet.

She knew she had to start planting crops that could withstand Malawi’s changing climate. So, she attended a CRS-sponsored seed fair, where farmers learn the best crops to plant for the upcoming year, and receive vouchers so they can choose the seeds and supplies they need. Besides rice, Alefa bought corn, cabbage and tomato seeds. This way, she can continue farming rice but also feel confident that, even if her rice fails, she will have other crops to sell.

“This harvest will provide food, shelter and education for my family,” she says. In a few short months, Alefa will be growing corn and harvesting hope.

Gospel Reflection Mar 11 – Sr. Teresa + Operation Rice Bowl Week 4

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Sunday, March 4

Fourth Sunday of Lent

John 3: 13 – 21

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Since the 1970s during big sports events, you frequently see people holding up a sign with John 3:16 written on it. It is imprinted on the bottom of paper bags and pop cans, on billboards and t-shirts, car stickers, etc. It began as an evangelizing tool used mostly by born again Christians and quickly grew in popularity.

Today, we have it enfolded in our reading for the 4th Sunday of Lent. In the reading I am also drawn to the interplay between light and darkness. It is not a question of one or the other. Light and darkness are intertwined in our lives. There is good darkness and there is unhealthy darkness. In the past two months we have walked around in great darkness. The death of Payton Young, and the sudden death of a young student at Coffman High School that affected so many of our young people and made all of us draw our children closer. The deaths of Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering from Westerville Police Department and then another school shooting that took the lives of 17 people in Parkland, Florida. This darkness was over all of us. There is so much unhealthy darkness in our world today because of bigotry, poverty, exclusivity, unbridled violence and the list could go on and on and it draws all of us into it.

There are many who choose unhealthy darkness– the darkness of greed, the darkness of power, racism, sexism and other addictions. Then there is the very personal darkness of our own choosing and making. It is that darkness that attempts to keep the light of Christ from burning in our lives. It is the darkness that tries to snuff out the Light of Christ. It might be the excessive amount of time spent on social media. It might be the darkness of unattended tension in a marriage or relationship. It might be the darkness of indifference towards religion. It might be ???… (we can all name our own darkness).

In the midst of nearly suffocating darkness, whether it be societal, cultural or personal — it would be easy to slip into the deeper darkness of hopelessness or despair. So easy to just give up. So tempting to just ignore it, be numb to it or become a part or perpetrator of it. Yet, we have John 3:16 to anchor us in hope.

God loved the world.
God sent a great light into the world.

We are called to keep pushing back the darkness by our work for peace, by our ministry to the poor and marginalized, and by our efforts to be public voices for those who have been silenced. We are called to push back the darkness when we stand with the immigrant. We push back the darkness when we pray with the dying, visit the sick or write to our political leaders. We push back the darkness when we are serious about developing and fostering a relationship with Jesus Christ. We push back the darkness when we pray for self and others. We push back the darkness when we refuse to allow any brokenness or sin in us or in our world to be more powerful than the Light of Christ. We push back the darkness in so many ways – some big and some small; some acknowledged and some never noticed. Walking in the Light of Christ (even when it seems but a flickering flame) is a deliberate choice. It is a choice we are called to make each day.

God so loved the world that God sent his son.
His son sends us to be witnesses of God’s love,
to be bearers of the light that the darkness cannot overcome.

Sister Teresa Tuite, OP


Call to Family, Community and Participation
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Call to Family, Community and Participation, we remember that human beings are social by nature-we need each other. We, like the early disciples, are called to come together and grow as a community-whether that community is in our classroom, workplace or family.

Encounter Andrise
“Education is the foundation of everything,” says Andrise, who’s been a first-grade teacher at a small Catholic school for 11 years. It’s the same school she attended from first through sixth grade, in the community she calls home in northern Haiti.

Andrise says the opportunities at Notre Dame set the course for her life. But a lot has changed since she was a student. New teaching techniques and resources are changing how students learn-and how teachers teach. “We use poems, dances, songs-all sorts of activities to help the students improve their literacy,” she says.

And Catholic Relief Services-working with the Catholic Education Commission in Haiti-is leading the way. Every student receives a new workbook to practice their reading and writing. This is a big change from before, when students had to copy notes from the board. “Now, all the students are able to learn at the same time,” Andrise says. And she benefits too-from ongoing teacher training. Last year, the parish priest named her Teacher of the Year.

The new techniques are working: Andrise’s classroom is a high-energy place, and the students love school-and her. “They call me ‘my mother,’ and I call them ‘my son, my daughter,” she says. “They’ve already promised that next year, when they’re in second grade, they’ll take time out of their recess to come and visit me.” For a teacher like Andrise, seeing the children grow not just as students, but as people, is the reason she goes to work each day.

Gospel Reflection Mar 4 – Msgr Hendricks + Operation Rice Bowl Week 3

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Sunday, March 4

Third Sunday of Lent

John 2: 13 – 25

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
many began to believe in his name
when they saw the signs he was doing.
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.

Jesus in the gospel has three conversations with Nicodemus. He is a leader of the Jewish governing body in Jerusalem. He comes to Jesus by night so he will not be discovered by the Jewish leaders and thus become an outcast by them. He comes because he is curious and because Jesus has overtaken his heart. He struggles, but is sincere in trying to come to faith. Tradition holds that he later became a believer, after the Resurrection of Jesus.

For the gospel of John, the image of the serpent in the desert would be known to Nicodemus and the story told repeatedly. Jesus in the gospel of John who like the golden serpent, is also lifted up on a pole (the cross) and brings healing and also redemption to the people of the world.

So we look to the Cross as a saving and loving event that brings us to eternal life.Monsignor Hendricks



Care for God’s Creation
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Care for God’s Creation, we remember that God created every plant, every mountaintop, every animal-everything. And God said that these things are good. We find God in these good things, and so we must take care of creation-for ourselves and for our entire human family.

Encounter Safiata
The dry and dusty climate of Burkina Faso means farming can be difficult. It means water can be hard to come by. And it means Safiata and her family often face hunger. Even though she had two plots of land to farm, the many months each year without rain made feeding her 9 children and 16 grandchildren a real challenge.

That’s why Catholic Relief Services is providing farmers like Safiata with more land to grow crops-like onions-that thrive in dry climates. And thanks to a CRS-sponsored irrigation system, she knows she’ll have access to water year-round. That means her crops will grow, and she’ll be able to sell some at the market. “I pay school fees thanks to selling the vegetables. The vegetables help solve the problems my family faces,” Safiata says.

Moreover, she can prepare for the future. Together with others, Safiata is putting a little of the income she earns from selling her crops at the market into a community savings pool. “If you face difficulties, the community will help you,” she says. Those who contribute can borrow money from the fund for emergencies, school fees for their children, or to build businesses.

Gospel Reflection Feb 25 – Deacon Chris + Operation Rice Bowl Week 2

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Sunday, February 25

Second Sunday of Lent

Mark 9: 2 – 10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Even though it is only the second Sunday of Lent, the Church is already talking to us about the Resurrection. Here we are at the beginning of this penitential season, and we are given the story of Christ’s Transfiguration. Jesus shows Peter, James, and John a glimpse of His eternal glory, the glory that He will fully claim after the Resurrection. So, why is the Church giving us this gospel when Easter is more than a month away?

The reason is that the Cross is always linked to the Resurrection and the Resurrection is always linked with the Cross. As Catholics, the Cross and the Resurrection are two sides of the same coin. The season of Lent is a time for sacrifice and a time to acknowledge suffering in the world and in each of our lives. Everyone experiences suffering. But if we suffer with Jesus and allow Him to help us through it, it will not be the end of the story. The crosses that we encounter in our lives can purify us of selfishness and can lead us closer to Christ where we can experience the Joy of His Resurrection.

So, we make sacrifices during Lent in order that our lives may be transfigured. We strip away excesses so that we can refocus on what is most important, our relationship with Christ and eternal life. The essence of the Paschal Mystery is that Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection was our redemption. Therefore, we always remember the connection between the Cross and the Resurrection. Because His suffering and death would be meaningless without the Resurrection and there can be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.

Deacon Chris Tuttle

Gospel Reflection Feb 18 – Fr. Morris + Operation Rice Bowl Week 1

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Sunday, February 18

First Sunday of Lent

Mark 1: 12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

The familiar ritual of Ash Wednesday involves both a symbol and a word. As the sacramental of the blessed ashes is traced upon the forehead, the Church instructs the minister to say one of two possible formulas: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” or “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

The first formula is taken from the words that God pronounced to the disobedient Adam and Eve before they were cast out of Paradise: “By the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

The second formula is taken from today’s Gospel, as Jesus begins to proclaim the Good News. The time of fulfillment has come; the descendants of Adam and Eve will soon be freed from their mortal curse by repenting and believing in the Christ.

Lent begins with the words of the Fall and the Redemption, reminding us simultaneously of Death and Resurrection. It is a paradox that is only understood, only fully resolved, when at the Easter Vigil the deacon chants that most curious of Christian statements: “O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

Father Matthew Morris




Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Life and Dignity of the Human Person, Jesus reminds us that we are all made in God’s image and likeness. That means that every human being has a special value and a purpose. We need to care for each other so we can be the people God calls us to be.

Encounter Majd
Eight-year-old Majd thought his family was going on a picnic. His mother, Lamya, said they would be back home in a week. But when ISIS attacked their home in northern Iraq, the family fled for good.

“What worried me the most were the kids,” Lamya says. “Our life was stable and we were doing well; we had a very big house. Our children had everything they needed. But when we fled, I was not able to bring anything for them-not even food.”

Fortunately, the family found an apartment to rent with other displaced families. It is much smaller than the home they had, but it’s safer. The children enrolled in a CRS-sponsored school, where the routine provides hope, stability and a sense of belonging. “Education is very important,” says Lamya, especially in Iraqi culture.

Lamya received training from CRS and became a teacher at the school. Now she has hope for the future. “I really love children, so when I go to class I feel like I am with my family,” she says.

Her son, Majd, also loves going to school. “Majd is so motivated to go to school. He just wants it to be morning so he can go,” Lamya says. “He is relaxed, having fun and more confident.” For Majd, school means a normal life-now and in the future.

Gospel Reflection Feb 11 – Deacon Paul

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Sunday, February 11

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 1: 40 – 45

A leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched him, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.

He said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”

The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

“I do will it. Be made clean.” These are the beautiful and most comforting words spoken by Jesus in today’s Gospel to the leper who approached Him, knelt down begging Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus could have shown no greater expression of love and mercy than to reach out His hand to touch this unclean leper. By doing this, Jesus showed His great love and compassion for the needy leper. You see, no man would have dared touch this leper, knowing he might contract this dreadful disease. Only the compassionate Jesus would perform such an act of mercy upon a helpless beggar
Ever since Biblical times, people have been fearful of leprosy. Under Jewish law, no one could approach within six feet of the leper and when approaching, the leper was required to cry out “unclean, unclean.” Jesus not only heals the disease but He also cleanses the leper. By cleansing the leper, Jesus is providing a spiritual healing, as well as a physical healing.

Where leprosy is noticeable as an exterior disease of sores on the body, how many of us in turn fully recognize our own inner sores – our sins? For we may be unclean. Maybe we are defiled through having impure thoughts, anger, bitterness, lust, greed, pride, and hurtful actions towards others.

So, what can we take away from today’s Gospel from Mark? If we go to Jesus on our knees and beg for healing, we will assuredly receive it. We believe that Jesus has the greatest healing power of all – healing us from our sins – but He does not always heal our physical ailments. However, we must have faith and trust in Him to do what is right and good for us and to stand with us in our suffering.

As we quickly approach the season of Lent, with Ash Wednesday on February 14, let us be aware of our inner sores, let us be “touched” by Jesus and receive His forgiveness and healing by participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Let us kneel down and say to Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” I assure you that He will reply back to you with the same compassion He showed the leper and say, “I will do it, be made clean.”

Deacon Paul Zemanek