Monday, September 1, 2014

Reflection: Matthew 6:31-34

Matthew 6:31-34 (Monday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time)

Today’s Gospel begins with the words: “Do not worry.” “Worry” is something that we human beings do all the time. We worry about the “big” things and rightly so. However, we often worry about the “little” things in life. Life would be so much better if we didn’t have so much to “worry” about! It is true that at times in our lives we do have significant difficulties or problems that we are rightly concerned about. However, worrying does not necessarily make life better. Our worry actually may intensify our concern. Perhaps the better action is to take our “worry” or “concern” to God and put it into God’s hands! Do we, do I, trust God enough to do that?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reflection: Matthew 16:21-27

Sunday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 16:21-27

The first sentence of the reading from Jeremiah is a real attention-getter. “You duped me O Lord and I let myself be duped!” When in your life have you felt betrayed or tricked by God? I would guess there has been at least one time in your life when you experienced the seeming absence of God. At these times in my life, my tendency is to distance myself from God! Why would I want to spend time with someone who seemingly “deserted” me?

The reality of life is that we often don’t feel God’s presence when we need it or desire it. It would be wonderful if we could magically make God appear whenever we want! However, it usually doesn’t happen that way. When I am feeling alone and in need, do I continue to trust that God is with me even though I don’t “feel” God present? These are the times when life truly is a “trust walk!” We don’t know, we don’t “feel” God, yet we continue to move ahead in trust. We are able to trust that the God who has been with us before IS with us now---even if we don’t sense God’s presence! May we pray for the grace to trust our God who loves us deeply in these times of seeming “absence!”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Reflection: 1st Corinthians: 1:26-31

Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time – 1st Corinthians: 1:26-31

St. Paul’s first words in today’s first reading are “consider your calling.” These are three simple words and yet they are very powerful! Ask yourself: what do you consider your call to be? All of us have a “calling!” For most of us, it won’t be a grand calling, such as preaching or healing or doing miraculous deeds. Yet God has called each one of us! Our call may be to be a loving parent or grandparent, a teacher, to truly notice others and give them the gift of our time and attention. In today’s busy world, one of the greatest gifts we can give another is simply to be present to them. In our busy and active world, we can forget or neglect those people we care for most deeply! Or we may neglect to spend any time with the God who loves us so deeply! What will be my choices today? What will be your choices today?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Reflection: Psalm 33

Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time – Psalm 33

The Psalm Response for today is a hymn of thanksgiving to our God who blesses us so abundantly. When I stop and think about it, I realize that I very seldom thank God for the abundant gifts that are given to me each day! I just take them for granted. Most of the gifts I receive during the day are not spectacular. Typically they are fairly ordinary: a thank you, a helping hand, a “how are you?” Yet these simple gifts from another speak of care, concern and thoughtfulness! Today may we strive to be awake to how God is present to us and is blessing us. Let us give thanks to God for the many gifts we will receive this day!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reflection: Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

Thursday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time – Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

The psalm response for today is a familiar one. It is a psalm of praising God’s name forever. Do we remember to praise God for the many blessings God has bestowed on us? In the midst of a busy life, we may not recognize the many ways that God blesses us all day long! Most often the blessings are simple: a hug from your child, a compliment from your spouse, a phone call from a friend or a beautiful summer day. It is so easy to miss the many ways God gifts us each day! Today let us open our minds and hearts to “see” God’s presence today---especially in the seemingly small ways!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reflection: Psalm 128:1

Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time – Psalm 128:1

The Psalm Response for today is from Psalm 128. The psalmist speaks of the blessing it is to “fear” God. Typically when we hear the word “fear” we understand the word to mean “being fearful” as in to be afraid, worried or nervous. However, when the psalmist speaks of “fearing the Lord,” he is speaking of a stance of awe, respect and honor! True “fear of the Lord” is a wonderful attitude to cultivate. Our God is not a God we need to be afraid of. Our God is kind, loving, and forgiving! In today’s world, those gifts are often in short supply. May we open our eyes and hearts to these gifts of God today. May we share these gifts with the people we encounter today!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Reflection: Matthew: 23:13-26

Tuesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew: 23:13-26 

The Gospel for today is the “woe to you” Gospel. In this reading, Jesus is berating the Scribes and Pharisees for being hypocrites! Jesus doesn’t get angry very often but when he does, he has good cause and his anger is justified. Jesus is telling the Pharisees to “get their own houses” in order rather than “judging” what other people are doing.

I assume that we also don’t like it when other people seem to be judging us. Yet it is so very easy to slip into judgment of others. Who are we to judge? We only know what we see! We truly don’t know what is going on in other peoples’ lives. Judgment of others is not ours to do! It is God’s to do. Today let us strive to catch our judgments of others and then let go of them!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reflection: Matthew 23:13-22

Monday of 21st Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 23:13-22 

Today’s Gospel is really a “downer!” It is the passage where Jesus is berating the scribes and the Pharisees. He is accusing them of being hypocrites. They act holy but often take advantage of those who have so much less than they do! Their actions do not always exemplify what they preach.

I would guess that at times, all of us have a “Pharisee” within us! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we always “practiced what we preached?” However, the reality is that, at times, we fail to do this. In a way, this can be a good thing! Knowing how we fail at times may enable us to be more understanding and compassionate when others fail. We are human after all! May we pray for the grace to forgive ourselves when we fail!