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Showing posts from February, 2020

Saturday after Ash Wednesday - February 29

Isaiah 58:9-14 Luke 5:27-32 As I thought about writing this refl ection, I happened to be spending a few days out of town with my sisters. When I read aloud today’s gospel, one of them said: “Well, that’s about judgment and how we so often judge others – incorrectly.” In the fall of 2018, I attended the funeral of a young family friend who died accidentally while abroad. Kevin was an unconventional and searching soul who lived without a steady job or housing, or any of the things most of us consider essential. Kevin’s ways were often inexplicable but it was impossible not to love him. So on that day, the church was fi lled with heartache as the homilist told a story that will ever describe for me the gift that was Kevin. While on that trip abroad, Kevin found himself in Berlin’s city square, feeling lonely and far away from people he loved. As he wandered around, he saw a man sitting in the square, begging for money. Kevin watched the man for a while and then he approach

Friday after Ash Wednesday - February 28

Isaiah 58:1-9 Matthew 9:14-15 “A broken, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” Why is it that I need to be humbled? It might be that in my 6th decade I have fi lled my soul with so much that doesn’t refl ect God’s will that I have no room to accept God’s love. A glass that is already full can accept nothing more. I think it is easy to understand that when we sin, we choose to deny God’s love and need to be humbled. Whenever I am prideful it seems God has a way of letting me know it is not all about me. More subtly, I wonder about those areas of life that are not necessarily sinful, but when “wrongly ordered,” can distance me from God. In my case I think of my family. It is the most important thing in my life. But really, should it be? Here is my reasoning. If my family is at the pinnacle of my thoughts and actions then, in my arrogance, I work toward goals that will advance the material and or emotional well-being of my family. This “disordered” prioritizing makes p

Thursday after Ash Wednesday - February 27

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 Luke 9:22-25 I struggle with the notion in Deuteronomy that we will be rewarded with a long life if we obey God’s commandments. How many innocent children die every day? Their death cannot be a punishment for their behavior or their parent’s behavior. We all know very good people whose lives were tragically cut short – where was the fulfillment of this promise for them? I love the Gospel of Luke. It is so poetic, so beautifully written. And the language is so strong – we are urged to “deny [our] very self,” to “lose [our] life” for Jesus’ sake. Loving unconditionally and sacrifi cing yourself for others is really hard. We might need to come face-to-face with long-held beliefs that have become part of our identity. A free-market capitalist might need to embrace social programs. Someone who is pro-choice might need to embrace that life at all stages should be protected. A marriage traditionalist might need to learn to understand that love does not ha

Ash Wednesday – February 26

Joel 2:12-18 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 In today’s second reading, Paul pleads with the Corinthians to “be reconciled to God!” In Paul’s mind, reconciliation had far more signifi cant implications. I gather his message was a call to come together for a common purpose – to extend Christ’s mission in the world – while reconciling humanity with God. Like the Corinthians, we need to reconcile with God continuously for our own spiritual growth while serving as a personal witness to bring others to Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus challenges his disciples to give alms, pray, and fast without expecting credit in return. Instead, the disciples must have faith that “your Father, who sees what no man sees, will repay you.” Who can relate to that in a Catholic community? I find myself reflecting on the Visitation faith community’s common purpose. How do we bring others to Christ? Perhaps we do it by showing up for each other, our families, and ourselves without expecting anyth

Lent Begins Tomorrow

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Tomorrow, we begin the season of Lent. As has been our practice at Visitation for now 14 years, our Faith Formation Team has solicited reflections for each day of Lent and Triduum from members of our parish faith community. They are published in a booklet that is mailed to all registered parish households before Lent. As we did in 2020, we are also publishing the reflections on this blog. To protect the privacy of those writing the reflections in this public forum, we are not publishing names or biographical information online as we do in the print version. This blog is meant primarily as another means of access to the reflections for our parishioners who may appreciate the convenience of a direct link to the daily scripture readings online and access to the parishioner reflection in the same spot. It may also be handy for those times when one member of a household is traveling and may wish to keep up with the daily readings and reflections. Bookmark t