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Showing posts from March, 2020
Numbers 21:4-9 Psalm 102 John 8:21-30 “But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!’” In punishment, the Lord sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died.”…When I read the first part of today’s scripture passage from the book of Numbers, I didn’t like it at all – complaining people, angry God killing them with bites from fiery snakes. This isn’t the way I like to think about God. But as I delved further, I found it to be an amazing reading, for me at least. “Then the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned in complaining against the Lord and you. Pray to the Lord to take the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people...” This reading spoke to me about complaining and about praying. Since I received my cancer diagnosis last year, I have learne

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent - March 30

Daniel 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62 John 8:1-20 As we reflected on the passage from John’s Gospel, we had several observations. First, and what cannot go unnoticed, is the mercy and kindness of Jesus toward the accused adulterer. He does not condemn the sinner, but he does condemn the sin and makes clear his expectation: “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.” That’s the real battle, right? On one hand, the knowledge that Jesus forgives our sin gives us comfort. On the other hand, we know we shouldn’t sin – that was his direction to the adulterer. As Christians, we are challenged to recognize our sin and do better. In that regard, our other observation in this passage is on the reaction of the adulterer herself. Note that she does not argue with Jesus or justify her actions. It may be easy to try to justify many, if not all, of our sins (if we try hard enough). In this day in age, that is far too common. As busy parents of five, something that really sunk in for us as we reflecte

Fifth Sunday of Lent - March 29

Ezekiel 37:12-14 Romans 8:8-11 John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45 Within this famously dramatic gospel in which Jesus promises eternal life and performs the spectacular miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, is the equally intriguing subplot of Jesus exhibiting his own humanity and emotion. At first, we see a supremely confident, seemingly arrogant Jesus who, despite urgent messages from Mary and Martha imploring him to come save their dying brother, stays away from Judea while Lazarus suffers and finally dies. By Jesus’ own words, this appears to be a calculated delay. “For your sakes, I am glad I was not there, that you may come to believe” ( Jn. 11:15). Like a playwright using a first act to heighten the drama of a second, John’s Jesus lets Lazarus die, giving him the opportunity to raise his friend from the dead. Yet, when he finally arrives at Bethany four days after Lazarus has died, the Gospel writer shows us a very different Jesus. Immediately upon arrival he is met by a d

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 28

Jeremiah 11:18-20 John 7:40-53 Today’s Gospel starts with a large crowd gathered around Jesus and the Pharisees, who are having a discussion. Many in the crowd believed He was either the Messiah or the Prophet. However, others were doubtful. After all, the scriptures said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, but Jesus had come from Galilee. Many in the crowd, including the chief priests, wanted the guards to arrest him. The guards were unsure of what to do. He was unlike anyone they had ever met. They were amazed and in awe of this man. The chief priests saw Jesus as a threat to their power. However, one chief priest, Nicodemus, defended Jesus, pointing out he hadn’t broken any laws. After taunting Nicodemus, the other chief priests left Jesus alone. After reading this Gospel, I think about being in the Pharisees’ shoes. Am I quick to judge? Am I too critical of others with a different faith or set of beliefs than mine? Do I speak up and defend others, even when it’s uncomfort

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 27

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22 Psalm 34 John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 I have to be honest, I really had no idea what this passage meant. I must have read it 30 times. So, I did what any deep thinker of my generation does…I googled it. Unfortunately, that didn’t help much either. Much like sports and politics, there are a lot of opinions when it comes to biblical scripture. Did you know that there are comment sections online when you google scripture? Everyone has an opinion. I spent a lot of time reading various takes on what the passage meant and how I can relate it to my life and the lives of others. Just as I was about to give up, one phrase at the end jumped out at me, “And they knew not the hidden counsels of God”. How appropriate, even “they” did not understand God and his teachings, I’m not alone in the understanding of God, faith and its mysteries. I began to realize that understanding God takes work. Much like the work I did in trying to understand this passage. Understanding God is not simply

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 26

Exodus 32:7-14 John 5:31-47 “I see how stiff-necked this people is, said the Lord to Moses.” This phrase always stands out to me. It is a reminder to trust God! My type A personality that likes to plan, start projects and organize things makes me feel like I alone am in charge of my life and future. That’s just my own arrogance and pride. My “stiff neck” does not allow me to look up to God in heaven and REST in the knowledge that God’s got this! When my 5 children were young, I was “large and in charge” of the direction of my family. We very abruptly were faced with the most challenging time of our lives. My kind, funny and wonderful husband suffered some kind of mental breakdown with severe depression (to this day I still, unsuccessfully, try to give a name to what exactly happened). Our divorce, and later the suicide of this sweet man caused many sleepless nights of trying to reason and plan our path back to a happy family. During this time I was given the advice to talk to an

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord - March 25

Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10 Hebrews 10:4-10 Luke 1:26-38 Today’s reading from Isaiah caused something of a stir back in the early 1950’s. This passage is generally accepted as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus. However, the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible (completed in 1952) did not translate the Hebrew word almah as “virgin” or “maiden” in the prophecy. Instead, it translates the description as “young woman.” This altered vocabulary did not change the understanding of the verse in any significant way; scholars still agreed that this was a messianic prophecy. However, the different translation caused quite an uproar among certain fundamentalist Christians, some of whom went as far as to burn copies of the RSV in protest. Immediately prior to the prophecy in Isaiah, King Ahaz is commanded to ask for a sign. He declines, quoting scripture back to God’s prophet (Deuteronomy 6:16) and is chastised for trying God’s patience. I find it ironic that several millennia later we a

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 24

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 John 5:1-16 Last summer I had the privilege of helping lead a group of young women on a service project in New York. This opened the door for me to the Catholic Worker movement at St. Joseph House in the lower east side of Manhattan. The house sits at the center of east 1st street and serves a community of friends. Occupying the five-story tenement house founded by Dorothy Day are about fifteen devoted workers who live and bunk together. Our two-day experience at this house opened a newfound friendship with several of the workers, volunteers, and guests who gather every morning for the soup line. I could not quite fi nd the exact words to describe my experience there so I decided to go back a month later on my own to stay and work at the house for a weekend. It was at that time that I was able to connect and open my heart to people I had just met - sick, homeless, tired strangers. The house opened wide their doors to me – offering a bed in a shared room, food fro

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 23

Isaiah 65:17-21 John 4:43-54 “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you do not believe.” This powerful statement by Jesus in today’s gospel calls us to reflect on our faith and our tendency to doubt what we cannot see. The royal offi cial has faith and hope that Jesus can heal his son, but doubts Jesus’ power until he experiences it. We can often find ourselves searching for how God is working in our life, especially during the more challenging times. It can be easier to feel like our faith is strong and unwavering during those times in our life that are joy-filled and when we have experienced a “sign” of God’s love. “Signs and wonders” of God’s love and grace can come in many different forms. Whether it is truly appreciating a beautiful sunset or connecting with a friend who gives you just the right advice that you are seeking; signs are around us. However, we can find ourselves distracted by our daily lives (work, kids, activities, etc.) which can make it hard to be open to

Fourth Sunday of Lent - March 22

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a Ephesians 5:8-14 John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38 In today’s Gospel from John, we witness Jesus restoring the sight to a beggar born blind. We also witness the dubious reaction of the Pharisees to this miracle. Because Jesus made clay and healed the beggar on the Sabbath, the Pharisees suggested, “This man cannot be from God because he does not keep the Sabbath.” Others wondered “if a man is a sinner, how can he perform signs like these?” The Pharisees were “blind” to the miracle because Jesus’ behavior seemed to fly in the face of their preconceptions of what makes a person holy, or unholy. Recently, I find myself preoccupied with the state of our nation. We are divided politically and we engage in intellectual isolation that ensures the persistence of that divide. We digest social media and television networks that continuously reinforce our own beliefs and perspectives. We ignore what we don’t like to see and have been introduced to terms like “fake news”

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent - March 21

Hosea 6:1-6 Luke 18: 9-14 Today’s first reading states, “In their affl iction, they shall look for me.” These words strike a chord as I reflect on recent experiences relating to life and death and the journey we all navigate in finding God, whether we are living, grieving, or dying. We recently celebrated the joy of bringing two newborns into the world while also suffering the loss of two loved ones, all in the span of about 13 months. Grieving loved ones while simultaneously nurturing new life brought about feelings of profound joy and profound sadness. It left me feeling somewhat disconcerted and exhausted. While I admit to doing my fair share of wallowing in newborn sleeplessness and tears, I also found commonalities in these confl icting experiences that I didn’t expect. There is undeniable beauty and happiness in celebrating a new life. Dewy little faces requesting love and attention and no shortage of doting onlookers ready to swoop in and give love. Contrary to this newbo

Friday of the Third Week of Lent - March 20

Hosea 14:2-10 Mark 12:28-34 In today’s reading, this scribe wasn’t dubious, snide and provocative with his question, like all the others. He seemed intrigued and inspired by Jesus’ cool handling of His questioners and I think he figured, if you’re going to ask the son of God a question, you’d better make it a good one! What really resonates with me is that Jesus distills the central message of two religions down to a couple of points, in a couple of sentences. Love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself. In fact, if you examine all of the other laws, they only serve to support these two tenets, love Him and love others as you love yourself. If you look at the ten commandments, three are for God: No other gods, no idols, don’t take His name in vain and keep the Sabbath holy. The other seven are for us: Honor your mother and father, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness and don’t covet your neighbor’s wife, or property. It all seems so si

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent - March 19 Solemnity of St. Joseph

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16 Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22 Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a or Luke 2:41-51a One of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is faith. When I was a little girl and life was challenging, my mother would always say, “You just have to have faith.” Those simple words have carried me through life as an individual, as a family member and as a community member. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, the words “Hence, all depends on faith, everything is a grace,” spoke to my individual faith. I often look to God for those moments of grace, or ‘God winks.’ Those are the moments when I am amazed by God’s hand in my life. “Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife.” As the father of Jesus and husband of Mary, I am astonished by Joseph and his faith in God’s plan for his family. As a parent and wife, I too must remember to have no fear in raising my family. Life with five kids can be lovely and challenging, but I must have faith that God’s grace is with

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent - March 18

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 Matthew 5:17-19 After reading these scriptures I kept thinking to myself that I will never be great in the kingdom of God. I do tend to only interpret the literal translation of these, so I struggle with this idea that even breaking the least signifi cant commandment would do that. That doesn’t seem to be the same unconditional love that I believe God has for us. It’s easy for me to tell myself to just treat others as I would want to be treated and that should be enough. But that’s just my way of trying not to think too hard about it and doing my own thing without God’s help. I’ve always struggled to keep God in my mind at times other than at church and during prayers. I rarely see or think about God during moments of my life until I’m looking back on them. I know that means I make decisions and react to situations without thinking about God first. To be honest, after reading this I had to look up the ten commandments to see how I was doing. I know I don’t acti

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent - March 17

Daniel 3:25, 34-43 Matthew 18:21-35 In today’s Gospel Peter asks,“Lord, when my brother wrongs me, how often must I forgive him? Seven times?”“No” Jesus replied,“not seven times; I say seventy times seven times.” As a well experienced sinner this passage has always brought me comfort. I often find myself falling into the same traps, I ought to simply type up my confession and hang on to it because time after time they sound quite similar. So yes, I always feel a sense of relief at the abundant grace Jesus describes. But there is a catch. Jesus goes on to tell Peter the parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to that of the official whose debt is forgiven by his king, but then fails to offer this same forgiveness to one in debt to him. Now this is where it gets a little more challenging. It’s similar to how in the Lord’s prayer we say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” I pray the Lord’s Prayer frequently whether it’s putting the kids to bed, ge

Monday of the Third Week of Lent - March 16

2 Kings 5:1-15b Luke 4:24-30 I know God is capable of miracles, and I often turn to him for help when I need it. I pray to him and look for answers in difficult times, I ask for forgiveness and I pray for those in need. However, listening to God and his daily teachings is always much harder than it appears. Love your neighbors. Put God first. Tell the truth. The teachings all sound so simple; but we make them difficult and we struggle to follow and listen to God. I know personally they all seem like easy steps to happiness and healthy relationships. But instead we look for it to be more difficult. We lie, we gossip, we exclude, and we hold grudges knowing this is not what we are taught or what will make us happy. Why must we make it so difficult? Naaman was a man of power and a commander in the army. When he was given the news he had leprosy, he looked for a miracle cure. However, when the prophet told him how to heal, the cure was not hard enough for him to try or to believe

Third Sunday of Lent - March 15

Exodus 17:3-7 Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 The Gospel situates us with a thirsty Jesus away from his disciples at Jacob’s well, meeting a Samaritan woman dipping for water. Jesus startles us by telling her that (1) he is this hoped for Messiah fellow; that (2) upon asking, he will give her an unheard of “eternal life water” and that 3) somehow, he knows about her unhappy life -- five husbands. When he mentions “eternal life water” I imagine her rolling her eyes and thinking this is kooky, but when Jesus follows this by telling her about her life, she turns 180 degrees with excitement to “this man is a prophet!” Jesus gets her attention. She listens. I react the same way to Jesus. Much of what Jesus says strikes me as bizarre like “pray for your enemies,” “the fi rst shall be last,” “turn the other cheek,” “forgive, forgive, forgive,” “poor is rich.” And as happened to this woman, Jesus turns me 180 degrees by two happenings -- his gruesome crucifixion followed

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent - March 14

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 Today’s readings all speak to God’s limitless capacity for love and forgiveness. When I was young I struggled with this Gospel. The “good” son is treated unfairly while the “bad” one is lavished with things he doesn’t deserve. As I’ve gotten older and experienced the unconditional love of parenthood, as well as the trials of life we all undergo, my view has changed. We can’t ever know the landscape others inhabit, let alone what they “deserve.” While my younger, uncompromising self demanded “justice,” my older, hopefully wiser self sees this broken world and is grateful for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Who among us really lives up to what we are called to do – welcome the immigrant, care for the downtrodden, treat everyone with kindness and respect? I know I don’t. Wouldn’t most of us be grateful to receive mercy rather than to get what we truly deserve? Each Sunday we say “Lord I am not worthy” – not, I think, to make us feel badly about

Friday of the Second Week of Lent - March 13

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46 Several times throughout the New Testament, Jesus uses a parable or a story to get his point across and to really emphasize his message. In today’s gospel, he does just that when confronting a group of chief priests and elders in his religious community. By the end of the story, it is obvious that Jesus successfully conveyed his message, “When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these parables, they realized he was speaking about them.” I often wonder… if Jesus were to tell a story that paralleled my own life, would I recognize myself among his characters? Would I walk away disappointed in the way he portrayed me? The parable in today’s gospel speaks to the lack of vision the religious leaders had regarding Jesus as the “keystone of the structure;” or quite simply, the foundation of the world to come. Can I relate? Is Jesus the foundation of my life? A problem I run into at times is that I try to script my life when the t

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent - March 12

Jeremiah 17:5-10 Luke 16:19-31 I am a visual person so the metaphors and descriptions used in today’s reading from Jeremiah paint two very contrasting images in my mind. There’s the barren bush in a hot desert nourished by salt, and the lush fruit-bearing tree next to a life-sustaining stream. I place myself in both of the described environments to try and “feel” the difference. I want to be the healthy fruit tree receiving endless nourishment from a cool babbling stream; a stream that slowly meanders through a brilliant green meadow. I imagine a fruit-producing tree surrounded by little saplings poking their way through the dark soil. It is a very peaceful visual for me. I doubt that anyone doing this little mind exercise would ever prefer the barren desert option of standing in a “lava waste.” The world gives us options every day to put our ultimate trust in something other than God. It may be a person, a system, a government, technology, money, or maybe even a sports team. Filli

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent - March 11

Jeremiah 18:18-20 Matthew 20:17-28 I can totally relate to the mother of James and John when she walked right up to Jesus and asked if her sons could sit at his side in his kingdom. Well, of course she did! We mothers would do anything for the “betterment” of our children. I think this is a natural instinct for a mother. However, as we know, there are times when this instinct does not do any favors for our children in the long run. That said, Jesus (as is so often the case) turns this encounter into a wonderful opportunity to remind us that what really matters most is that our children learn to serve others and that this is where prestige is found in God’s kingdom. As we read in this Gospel, the other ten apostles were taken aback by the fact that James’ and John’s mother was asking for “special treatment” in the Kingdom! In response, Jesus reminds them that in order to achieve greatness one must serve the rest; and that whoever wants to rank fi rst among you, must serve the needs

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent - March 10

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 Matthew 6:36-38 “…Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good.  Make justice your aim…” These seem like good words to live by, right? As I enter my twenty-fourth year with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department I know from experience that those words are actually pretty hard to live up to. Unfortunately for many of us in my profession, many of the people we encounter are those who haven’t been able to live up to those words. It can be a struggle for me at times; always wondering if anyone can live by these words, to cease doing evil, learn to do good and make justice their aim. Most of us strive to do good in our daily lives and to live up to these ideals. But it’s when we fail to do so that really challenges us. It’s during these times of failure or lack of control when we can turn to our family, friends and church to help us through. “…But if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you.” This is not just a war

Monday of the Second Week of Lent - March 9

Daniel 9: 4b-10 Luke 6:36-38 Today’s readings are all about compassion, forgiveness and mercy. I have not always connected these three in my head as a trifecta. I consider myself a compassionate person. It comes easily for me to feel concern for most everyone that I meet. We all get hurt and we hurt others. That’s when compassion gets a little harder and forgiveness a bit more difficult. God says “forgive, and you will be forgiven”...We all want to be forgiven, so let’s forgive others, sounds simple enough. However, forgiving those who have hurt me is one of the hardest things I need to do in order to live like Jesus wants me to. Sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes I want to stay mad. I have nothing wise to say, but humbly keep trying over and over again. To learn to forgive the little and big things in life are helpful for me to keep my heart light. The idea that God will show us mercy, no matter what, is the greatest comfort in my life. He knows who I am and He loves me anyway

Second Sunday of Lent - March 8

Genesis 12:1-4a 2 Timothy 1:8b-10 Matthew 17:1-9 I was very appreciative that the Faith Formation Team reached out to me for this year’s Lenten reflection booklet. With the stress of kids and everyday life, I thought this would be a great chance to take a step back from the chaos and refocus on faith during the Lenten season. Plus, I thought this would be an easy assignment. After all, I attended Catholic grade school, high school, and even went to a Catholic liberal arts college. Well, I was wrong... It took several tries of reading the scriptures before something jumped out at me. In the reading from the second letter of Paul to Timothy “God has saved us and has called us to a holy life…He has robbed death of its power and has brought life and immortality into clear light through the gospel.” I found that similar to a section from the Gospel according to Matthew when “Out of the cloud came a voice which said, “This is my beloved Son on whom my favor rests. Listen to him.” When th

Saturday of the First Week of Lent - March 7

Deuteronomy 26:16-19 Matthew 5:43-48 Matthew tells the story of the Sermon on the Mount, beginning with the beautiful Beatitudes and ending with Jesus’ directive to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us to be perfect as God is perfect. Jesus asks us to think about whether we can grow in His image if we maintain the status quo of only loving those who love us without making the effort to reach out to love those we find difficult. Growing up, the enemies were easy to spot. They were usually older kids who tried to get in the middle of our playtime fun and take over our games. I can’t say I ever prayed for those enemies but, as I matured, I began to think of them more as friends than foes. During the sometimes tumultuous teenage years, we may have perceived our enemies were our parents or teachers who held us accountable to become our best selves because they knew we were capable of more and pushed us in that direction. As age increases wisdom, we realized those we th

Friday of the First Week of Lent - March 6

Ezekiel 18:21-28 Matthew 5:20-26 It feels so extreme to hear that a virtuous person “will die” if they turn from their faith and commit sin while another – who has done bad things all along, but then turns away from sin “shall live.” That doesn’t align with our sense of justice. But maybe justice is not the point. Maybe to “live” doesn’t refer to just breathing or to personal freedom – but to being and living in God’s grace. Maybe to “die” means to make choices that lead us to live outside of that grace – the gift of life. The prophet Ezekiel assures us that God does not wish for the death of the wicked, but rather rejoices when the wicked turn from their evil ways. One “lives” because of the virtue he or she practices – doing what is “right and just.” At Visitation school, the students have learned that a virtue is a “holy habit” that imitates God and leads us to heaven. Remember the story of the prodigal son? The younger brother surely “lived” at the end of the story. I hope t

Thursday of the First Week of Lent - March 5

Esther 12:14-16, 23-25 Matthew 7:7-12 In today’s First Reading, Queen Esther, full of what I like to call “holy confidence” bears the responsibility of interceding for the lives of her people. She boldly implores the God of her youth to give her “persuasive words” so that tragedy may be averted. If you were to continue with this scripture passage in your bible, (and I strongly encourage you to do just that because it is a great story!) you would learn that God does indeed hear and answer her prayer. Esther has a relationship with God, she prays with holy confi dence in God’s power to save, and God does. Three times today the responsorial psalm resounds, “Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me”! Each time we repeat it a bit louder, a bit bolder, filling our souls with holy confi dence in God’s power to save us, to strengthen us, to console us. Lastly, filled with love for his disciples and for us, Jesus implores us in the gospel to ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK with holy confi

Wednesday of the First Week of Lent - March 4

Jonah 3:1-10 Luke 11:29-32 Today’s first reading picks up with God’s second request that the prophet Jonah, “Set out for the great city of Nineveh.” For those of us who grew up in so-called Cradle Christianity and for that matter Cradle Judaism, the story of Jonah in the Whale is as familiar as most nursery rhymes. However, few of us know the complete story of the prophet Jonah and his conflicted relationship with God. In the first chapter of the Book of Jonah, he tries to run from the Lord’s command to go to Nineveh to preach against their wickedness. Why did Jonah reject God’s request? It seems that Jonah, like other Israelites, disliked the Ninevites. But Jonah trusted in the Lord’s mercy. He knew if his preaching to the Ninevites was successful and they repented, God would forgive them. Despite his understanding of God’s mercy, Jonah is later angry that God forgave the Ninevites. For me, this story is not about fantasy. It is about understanding God’s love and our human prop

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent - March 3

Isaiah 55:10-11 Matthew 6:7-15 This passage is about helping fulfi ll God’s word and fulfi lling our purpose in life which is inspired by the Holy Spirit. God creates all sizes of raindrops and snowfl akes, just like He created all different types of people. Each person is special and has specific traits and gifts which make them uniquely special. I believe we are all here to give our gifts to each other so we can improve the earth for all, now and in the future. Those who accept others for who they are, regardless of who they are, where they are from or how much money they make, will be rewarded with a fruitful and eternal life. Our seed is both God’s work and our children. Our job as parents is to love, teach and work with our children, no matter how difficult it can sometimes be. We need to help our children and those who see us as role models and assist them so they can unlock their unique features and realize their full potential. Hopefully through God’s work an

Monday of the First Week of Lent - March 2

Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18 Matthew 25:31-46 In today’s reading from Leviticus, I hear The Lord’s fatherly voice more fully describing His commandments to His children. Our Father instructs the Israelites on how they are to follow His commands in the way they live their lives within the community. No slander, no theft, no judgement. They are to have love for all people! There is nothing vague about his message to Moses. To this day as members of Visitation we are charged with living out these same commandments within our own community. God’s words carry the same weight in our modern time as they did for the ancient Israelites. To love for all people! God’s Word makes clear the path to redemption. As we near the Holy Week during which we remember the sacrifi ce of God’s son for all humankind, I reflect on these words spoken to Moses and try my best to be more intentional about my love for all people. Q: As you go through your day today, or refl ect on past days, when did you have the 

First Sunday of Lent - March 1

Genesis 2:7-9 Romans 5:12, 17-19 Matthew 4:1-11 I have always had a problem with the idea that God let Satan take Jesus to “the top of the mountain” to tempt him; or when God allowed Satan to tempt “the woman” in the Garden of Eden. When I carefully read these passages it becomes a little clearer what our Lord is trying to get across to us folks; but it is still diffi cult to grasp. In reviewing further refl ections by those who professionally write scripture commentary, it seems to me that what God may be attempting to get through to me/us is revealed in the verse; “Away with you, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” As a young person, I was told that Eve’s sin - when she ate from the forbidden tree - was related to sexual misbehavior somehow. As I read the teachings of the church in the Catechism, I learn from theologians that the story of the “fi rst sin” is more complicated and that the root of all temptation act