P1000888Gospel Reflections

Our parish sends a weekly Gospel Reflection written by our clergy.

To sign up, either stop in the parish office to let them know you’d like to sign up, or click here and make sure you check the “Gospel Reflections” box.

Scroll below to read our most recent Gospel Reflections.

Gospel Reflection Feb 24 – Deacon Don

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, February 24

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 6:27 – 38

Gospel:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say,
love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give, and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

Reflection:
Today, power can come to us in many forms – misuse of money, influence, prestige, politics, and even bullying. We are confronted with it daily among our leaders and others around us. With expanding social media, we are experiencing a general decline in civility that now bombards us and our children today. There is a growing feeling of normalcy creeping into our behavior that, even a few years ago, would have been considered abhorrent. In general, we see the need to force others to accept what we want – without compromise or debate.

The Gospel today gives us an alternative kind of power. It is the power of love, forgiveness, and justice. Use of this kind of power provides benefit to both the giver and the receiver. This “turning the other cheek” business seems almost silly and hopelessly idealistic by today’s values. It seems perfectly natural to strike back and it seems even acceptable to strike first and often.

In reality, it requires more courage and strength to not hit back. Unfortunately, one bad act leads to another and then another until the original disagreement is lost amongst hate and retaliation. When Ireland was facing terrorism back in the 1970s, a poster was used to ask the terrorist: “You are ready to kill for peace, are you ready to die for it?” Unfortunately, leading examples of peace seem to die violently, such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Even at Jesus’ moment of death, he gave us his message of peace and forgiveness. Jesus’ notion of love wants us to restore life, truth, justice, and right relationships between people.

What the Gospel is saying is far from impossible or idealistic. It is a human truth from our very creation first lost in the garden of Eden and then restored with Jesus’ incarnation. It is really a question of our attitude and commitment to the Gospel. It is difficult, but no less than what is asked of us. The view of love here is not that of emotion or feelings, but one of conviction, forgiveness, and definitive action – to restore and to maintain human dignity and justice. Forgiveness in the Gospel always implies reconciliation. It also involves our active non-violent campaigning, sticking one’s neck out, and speaking out against injustice. Jesus is not offering us an option today but the only way that makes sense out from the current self-destructive path we may be on. It is the only way that is truly human.

Deacon Don Poirier

Gospel Reflection Feb 17 – Deacon Frank

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Gospel Reflection
February 17, 2019

Sunday, February 17

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 6:17, 20 – 26

Gospel:
Jesus came down with the twelve
and stood on a stretch of level ground
with a great crowd of his disciples
and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon.
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false
prophets in this way.”

Reflection:
Every red-blooded American believes in freedom of choice and the gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit happiness. Thanks to leaders such as those we will honor on Presidents Day weekend, we are proud to declare : “I can do what I want; it’s a free country.” This weekend’s Gospel reminds us that all choices are not the same. Some bring us blessing and some bring us woe.

When you go to Mass this weekend you will hear how Jesus inaugurated his ministry in the Gospel of Luke with a Sermon on the Plain, corresponding to the more recognizable Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus begins his discourse with four Beatitudes and four Woes. Jesus has a strange idea of what would lead to blessedness: “Blessed are you who are poor, who are hungry, who weep, who are hated and persecuted.” Jesus also had a strange list of things that would bring woes: riches, having a full stomach, laughter, popularity. Don’t these things constitute the American dream? Jesus promotes a diffrent dream: the kingdom of God, a great reward in heaven.

We are all searching for happiness. Jesus calls us to work with him to build a world of peace and happiness for all. May we pray for the spirit of discernment to help us to recognize the choices we have to make if we are to be the people God wants us to be. Believing in life through death gives us a different way of looking at how we use our freedoms. It means that the American dream may not be the most important thing for us to choose.

Deacon Frank Iannarino

Gospel Reflection Feb 10 – Sr. Teresa

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, February 10

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 5: 1 – 11

Gospel:
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening
to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.

Reflection:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
–Albert Einstein

What are we to do when what we have always done is no longer working?

Today’s Gospel carries such an important message for us. It was early morning; the fishermen had been fishing all night and had little to show for it. Jesus gets into one of the boats and urges Peter to go back out and, “Put out into the deep.” They objected but, because Jesus had commanded them to do so, Peter obeyed.

“Put out into the deep” is such a challenging and critical call for us at this moment in history. What are we to do in the face of the complex global, national and religious realities embroiling us today? What are we to do as we face very fragile and volatile economies, escalating acts of terrorism and senseless acts of violence, growing misguided notions of nationalism, advancements in science progressing faster than our code of ethics can address them, explosion of technologies, rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence, climate changes that threaten the survival of the planet as we know it? What are we to do?

What are we to do when the human concerns of immigration and migration are on the rise across the world as well as religious persecution, famine, natural disasters?
What are we to do?

What are we to do when “we have worked all night and have little to show for it”? I like that image: “We have worked all night. We have worked in darkness.” It is time to work in the light for the good of all.

When we first read or heard the gospel today, we might have missed a very important little phrase: “Jesus got into their boat.” It was early morning, “probably the crack of dawn.” It was when the darkness of night was giving way to the light of day. It is time to let Jesus into the boat. It is time to be guided by the light of Christ. For surely, what we have always done is not working and, in some instances, are making things worse. There seems to be little to show for all our efforts. The issues of the day call for something new and demand of us serious thought and reflection. We need to find a newer way of deeply listening to each other. Listening from a place of respect for the other, rather than a position of defensiveness, arrogance or self-interest.

Our times, perhaps more than any other time in history, require the best of our thinking, deep prayer and serious communal reflection and discernment. It is not time to divide the people of the world, but rather, these times call for a gathering of people who have at the heart of their deliberations the COMMON GOOD, the common good for all of God’s people.

We will be building the bridge as we walk across the chasms that have divided us, as we, with Jesus in our boat, “put out into the deep” and struggle again for the deeper meaning of the Our Father. Time to live and act what we profess – God is our father and we are brother and sister to each other. Today and every day we are called to let Jesus into our boat and “put out into the deep” with faith and courage.

Take some time to reflect upon your life and our lives in the world community and ask yourself- “who is in my boat?” Is there any room in my boat for Jesus? Do I need to get rid of some stuff (things, attitudes, biases, fear etc.) to make room for Jesus in the boat?

— Sister Teresa Tuite, OP

Gospel Reflection Feb 3 – Msgr. Hendricks

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Gospel Reflection
February 3, 2019

Sunday, February 3

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 4: 21 – 30

Gospel:
Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say,
‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'”
And he said, “Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection:

The prophet Jeremiah, Jesus, and St. Paul all suffered rejection for the message they preached. All three preached the same message, the truth that God Himself gave to the world. The rejection they all suffered and the casting outside of the community they all endured, was buoyed up by their constant trust and faith in the living God who spoke to them about how much God loved the world but desired for people and the world to turn away from self and give one’s heart and soul to God first and foremost.

The message of the gospel today not only underscores that claim, but also assures that the message of Jesus is meant for the whole world, even for those who have not yet heard the name of Jesus.

As St. Paul today gives us the beautiful passage on what love is, we recognize that God is Love and we are simply asked to live a life knowing that Jesus is beside us always. As St. Paul, Jeremiah and Jesus knew, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” Love never ends because God is Love.

Gospel Reflection Jan 20 – Deacon Alfonso

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Gospel Reflection
January 20, 2019

Sunday, January 20

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

John 2: 1 – 11

Gospel:
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told the them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
– although the servers who had drawn the water knew -,
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

Reflection:

“Coming down” from the Holidays is probably the best way to describe our present situation. We come down from the hype and excitement of Christmas and all it’s wonder, anticipation and excitement. It seems that this annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ the God-man fascinates us so much that we lose an awareness of the mundanities of the routines of life. But alas, here we are, back to the ordinary. And though we may be tempted to think that we have exhausted our joy and enthusiasm for the year, today’s Gospel reminds us that Jesus Christ arrives to meet us and fill our life when we believe our energies have been exhausted. Not only does our reading show that he can provide abundance in our need but that his provisions are greater than anything we try to muster on our own. The color the church uses for Ordinary Time is green. Let us consider that in the uneventfulness of life there are many opportunities to grow, to in a certain sense become green as a verdant field. All this renewal and growth is available to us through our communion with the saints, the sacraments and our daily encounter with the bridegroom Jesus Christ, who fills our life with the greater joy.

Deacon Alfonso Gámez Alanís

Gospel Reflection Jan 13 – Deacon Don

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, January 13

The Baptism of the Lord

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Gospel:
The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”

Reflection:
With the Baptism of Jesus, the Christmas season ends. During this brief season, we celebrate three revelations:
Christmas – God comes to us in human form to experience all we experience except sin.
Epiphany – God comes to bring a message of universal salvation as described by the arrival of the Magi from the East.
Baptism of Jesus – God is seen as specially present in Jesus and working in him and through him.
So, why did Jesus, who is sinless, need to be Baptized? While the Scripture writers each describe the passage essentially the same way, it is a not story you would use to market an all-powerful and sinless god. Quite the opposite – this god is weak and would not be impressive to those hearing his word. However, this is precisely what takes place in the Baptism of Our Lord! With this event, Jesus reveals much as to how he intends to operate with us in his public life. He slips into the water with other sinners to humble himself with other sinners while remaining sinless – a profound expression of His solidarity with us. This is sharp contrast to John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets, who preaches that the Lord will come upon us with his winnowing fan to separate the wheat from the chaff. But God comes down and stands with us sinners. If this is so, then our Baptism is our response that we will stand with Him.

Today is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our own baptism. It is not simply a one and done event that happened long ago, when God and the world asked nothing from us. It is a new beginning and a lifelong journey. It is our response to God, who chose us to participate and be galvanized to the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are forever bonded to the Body of Christ. Our baptism is a live and on-going organic event. It involves our active participation in the life of the Church and not just passive membership. Each one of us is called to be a living witness to the Gospel. Our baptism is an uninterrupted call to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Today is a great day to re-affirm our readiness to carry on His work. For if we do not carry on His work in response to our baptism, much of His work will simply remain unfinished. What we do and how we respond to this call does indeed – make a difference.

Deacon Don Poirier