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Showing posts from March, 2021

Wednesday of Holy Week - March 31, 2021

Isaiah 50:4-9a Matthew 26:14-25 In this passage, Judas trades Jesus’ life for thirty pieces of silver. He makes the decision that leads to the killing of Jesus. How could he have done it? After living with Jesus for three years, knowing the people who loved him so much, and being confronted about the choice at the Last Supper - how could he still go through with such a trade? He must have had to turn off his conscience – that small voice – in order to ignore the consequences of his actions and to forget about his love, trust, and compassion for Jesus. Unfortunately, I can understand what happened to Judas because I have felt myself sliding down a similar path. It is so difficult to listen to that small voice in your heart that reflects Jesus’ teachings; to constantly consider your actions and how they impact others; to recognize what I have been blessed with and what other less fortunate people may need. It is so much easier to skip that volunteer opportunity, to gossip with friends, t

Tuesday of Holy Week - March 30, 2021

 Isaiah 49:1-6 John 13:21-33, 36-38 “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name… the Lord formed me as his servant from the womb.” The words of the Second Song of the Servant from the Book of Isaiah strike a familiar and emotionally powerful note in the heart of every Catholic, as we have heard them in the liturgy for years. They are the lyrics of the song of the mystery of every life: Isaiah’s, Isaiah’s followers, Israel’s, yours, and mine. Today’s readings link this song of the mystery of our lives to the Gospel of John, to the painful part about the betrayal by Judas and the denials by Peter. We can’t get through Holy Week to Easter Sunday without being reminded. I am an older Catholic, an octogenarian, a Catholic from birth, instilled with the old Baltimore catechism and familiar with the new Catholic Catechism, a boyhood server and later celebrant of the old Latin Mass and then of the new liturgy in English, a student in Rome who was gifted to observe

Monday of Holy Week - March 29, 2021

Isaiah 42:1-7 John 12:1-11 This past semester I read The Round House in my English class. The book told a story of injustice in the Native American community. My teacher allowed us to pick any theme from the book and write an essay discussing the topic. I chose to write about justice. Although at the time I chose this topic because it seemed easy, I now see the irony in my essay choice and today’s reading. In today’s reading, God calls upon his servant to bring forth justice. This call is for both Jesus and ourselves. God not only calls upon us to create justice but tells us that it is our sole mission. My essay went into terrible detail about the true meaning of justice. I buried myself in educated sources discussing and debating the topic. I concluded that justice has no true definition; it is fluid and shapeshifts to fit every different circumstance. I did find some defining words in my research: respect, equality, peace, and even love. God doesn’t define justice in today’s reading

Passion Sunday - March 28, 2021

Isaiah 50:4-7 Philippians 2:6-11 Mark 11:1-10, 14:1—15:47 In today’s second reading, Jesus is described as giving all He has to God, even humbling himself by taking the form of a slave. From Him giving everything He has to God, God gives to Him. God proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord and that everyone in heaven and on Earth shall confess that. This message affects everyone because we all want to get to heaven and this provides a way to do so. This is Jesus’ way of proclaiming God as Lord, and we, too, can confess God as our Lord. Jesus’ way of proclaiming is the most sacrificial but we can follow his example in our own way as we undertake our own calling and journey. For my journey through life, I bring along religion, spiritual matters, and God. As a high school sophomore, I pray before tests and in the beginning of the school day because I know God will be with me and I will be with Him throughout the day. The same concept applies to sports events and applies before I eat meals, as

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent - March 27, 2021

Ezekiel 37:21-28 John 11:45-57 “Jesus Christ, Superstar” is my Lenten tradition. The 1970’s musical gets me into the Easter spirit the way carols get me into the Christmas spirit. So when I read his name in today’s gospel, I hear the deep bass voice of Caiaphas as he was portrayed in the film. Composer Andrew Lloyd Weber sets this biblical passage as “This Jesus Must Die,” a song/conversation between priests about how to solve the problem of Jesus. It’s a critical moment in the film, contrasting the priests minor key voices and arrhythmic banging on scaffolding with the naïve major key harmonies of the followers of Jesus. The surprising difference between the musical and the gospel according to John is that the Evangelist describes Caiaphas justifying why Jesus had to die:  “he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.” Caiaphas believes his

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent - March 26, 2021

Jeremiah 20:10-13 John 10:31-42 I know how hard it is to be human, frail, afraid. My gift of very visual memory brings me sorrow as well as joy. My God is my rock, my fortress. “...Of whom shall I be afraid?...” I must cry out to Him in my distress, reminding myself constantly that He is Love and this love binds me to Him. He has purpose, sometimes unexpected, unknown. Many times I wonder if I had lived at the time of Christ on Earth, would I have known him as the Son of God? Yet, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us wisdom to know Him, follow Him, and understand that He is constantly at our side. Daily, I see His hand performing “small miracles’’ and I rejoice even when He calls people home. He causes lives to be changed, opportunities to emerge that wouldn’t have happened before. Grief is part of human nature, for we are made to love deeply. When I teach little children, which I am called to do, I am aware that some might have lost a grandparent, a friend, a sibling - or will at some p

Annunciation of the Lord - March 25, 2021

Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10 Psalm 40:7-8a,8b-9,10,11 Hebrews 10:4-10 Luke 1:26-38 In the Responsorial Psalm, I hear these words, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will,” and I immediately begin to hum the song we hear so often during mass: “Here I am Lord, here I am, I come to do your will.“ As I begin each day at my kitchen table reading the daily scriptures, a reflective app on my phone, and the daily devotional Jesus Calling, I sit in joyful hope, waiting to hear what God has to say to me. Although I don’t believe I will ever hear the enormous call that our mother Mary heard in the Annunciation of our Lord, I do try every day to listen and hear what God is calling me to do as a humble daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. I feel all are called according to God’s plan in small and large ways; the trick is recognizing the signs when God is calling us. It is easy to get lost in all the “have to-dos of the day” in our crazy busy world. Today, let us start by asking Him to guide us to re

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent - March 24, 2021

Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95 John 8:31-42 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Three boys cast into the white-hot furnace. Kevin, Shaun and Ryan. Drowning. Suicide. Suicide. Three boys, my brothers, died by tragedies. One an accident. The other two some unfortunate combination of mental health, depression, improper medication oversight. While in this story Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are the ones thrown into the fire, anyone who has suffered great loss feels they’re the ones who have been hurled straight into hell along with seismic grief, helplessness and despair. Visitation held a memorial Mass for Ryan, who went to school here. In meeting with the priest to plan his service, my sister, Shannon Pryor, and I were told, “You are heroes for people you don’t even know.” I could barely sleep at night for my racing mind, or get out of bed in the morning so badly did my body ache from grief. The simplest decisions exhausted me. The idea of being a hero to anyone was laughable. Even worse was the

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent - March 23, 2021

Numbers 21:4-9 John 8:21-30 As I write this, it is early in the New Year of 2021. The first reading today speaks of the Israelites following Moses into the Egyptian desert where they are tired, weary and even complaining of the heaven-sent manna. Many of us are similarly weary from our travels through the desert of 2020, some possibly to the point of questioning our leaders and even our Lord, as did the Israelites. Our personal deserts have included isolation through COVID shut down, loss of jobs and economic vitality, and loss of community during important life passages such as marriages, baptisms, sickness, aging and funerals. These losses have been disheartening, and like the Israelites, there is a true basis for the disappointment that looms over us. The Lord of the Old Testament was disappointed enough with Moses’ followers’ questioning that he sent serpents among them. After Moses prayed and interceded on their behalf, the Lord told Moses to create a bronze serpent on a staff to

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent - March 22, 2021

Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62 John 8:1-11 Throughout today’s readings are reminders to stay the course, be true to yourself, and know that God is with you. For this past year, these ideals have been difficult for me to remember. My husband and I divorced, and it has been the most challenging time in my life. My parents have been married for over 50 years and I wanted the same. But it wasn’t meant to be. And after desperately trying to save my marriage, the realization sunk in that it couldn’t be saved. I was so incredibly fearful. Fearful of the unknown, the uncertainty of the future and judgment from others. Most of all, I was absolutely panicked for our son. I felt like I was drowning and I didn’t know how to keep my head above water. “Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.” It felt like I was in the dark valley for the past year. And honestly, there were times that I didn’t feel God was at my side. I felt very much alone. I fe

Fifth Sunday of Lent - March 21, 2021

Ezekiel 37:12-14 Romans 8:8-11 John 11:1-45 This past year gave my little family a run for our money, as I’m sure it did to a lot of people. Back in April, we found out that our daughter, Avalyn, has a genetic brain disease called Leigh’s Syndrome. This disease will result in a short life span of around 3-5 years. To a parent, there is no news more devastating to hear. My first thought was that God had given me such a huge responsibility. It wasn’t enough to just have a child to take care of, but now I have a child with special needs who depends on me for every aspect of care. I’ve always loved the phrase, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” If that’s true, he must think I’m REALLY strong. When you get such devastating news, all these questions start to run through your mind and the anger starts to creep in: Why my child? Why my family? What did we do to deserve this? All the uncertainty can eat you alive and start to harden you.  Then, I was asked to write a reflection for

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 20, 2021

Jeremiah 11:18-20 John 7:40-53 Today’s Gospel is about the question of Jesus’ identity. After hearing him speak, some people said he was one of the prophets, others said he is the Christ. The divided crowd argued about Jesus’ origin and about whether he should be arrested. When the pharisees asked why the people didn’t bring Jesus to them, the guards answered that they had never heard a man speak like him. The pharisees were convinced that Jesus was deceiving them. This story really made me think of my faith journey through school and a conversation I had with my mom earlier this year. From a young age I was never sure who God is. I pictured God as gray clouds with light showing through. This was easier to imagine since school had taught me that God was not a being like us. As the years went on, I started to understand God more like the air around me, a force-like thing. I still wonder what God looks like or how God came to be. At this age now, I like to think of God as just being ther

Memorial of St. Joseph - March 19, 2021

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16 Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22 Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a The First Reading reminded me that God is with us forever. When we do wrong or sin, we forget that God loves us and is there when we turn away. In Religion class, we learned that heaven is a perfect life with God. We all spend so much time planning and worrying about the future and thinking about the past that we forget that God is with us now and we need to live in the moment. To me, the whole point of that Scripture is to remember that now is what matters and heaven is the perfect and eternal life with God. Q: How do I envision Heaven? Can I see my life as a continuing opportunity to prepare myself for Heaven? Where in my life have I experienced a foretaste of Heaven? Picture a time in your mind when you were a split second away from doing something. Maybe an insult you were about to hurl, a decision to procrastinate, or maybe even a choice that could seriously change your life. But you stopped, reasoned and

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 18, 2021

Exodus 32:7-14 John 5:31-47 As I reflect on today’s Gospel, I question my disposition and desire to listen. Questioning my listening skills would come as no surprise to my high school French teacher. “Ecouter s’il vous plait!” Mrs. Marinec would frequently demand of me. When I would feign understanding, she would politely insist, “Listen Please!” It’s not that I lack the ability to listen. I hear just fine, but sometimes I tune out what I don’t want or choose to hear. It’s often an unconscious exercise. I’m preoccupied on what I believe are important matters and unable to shift my self-absorbed focus to clearly expressed words or directives. My wife can attest to this. Other times, the proclamation is difficult or distressing to hear and accept. I hear or see the words, but because the remark or declaration upsets my comfortable inclination, I disregard the communication. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is testifying before the Pharisees who put Jesus on trial for blasphemy and breaking Sabba

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 17, 2021

Isaiah 49:8-15 John 5:17-30 In today’s Gospel, Jesus is responding to the criticism of his fellow Jews that he is breaking the Sabbath. To put this reading into context, in the preceding passage, Jesus cured a paralytic on the Sabbath. His response to their criticism is that his Father is at work, so he is at work. This passage reminds me of other passages in the Gospels where Jesus was criticised for not following the letter of the law as the religious leaders of his day thought it should be practiced. Jesus’ response was to tell his followers to balance the spirit of the law with the letter of the law. I grew up in a traditional Catholic family where I was taught to follow the teachings of the Church, and if I didn’t, I was committing a sin. That was how my parents were raised and they raised their children the same way. I didn’t understand why I had to do it, only that I had to do it. As I grew older, as I started to understand the Church’s reasoning as to why things were right and

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 16, 2021

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 John 5:1-16 In Ezekiel, the Temple of the Lord is the source of water and water is the source of all Life. From a trickle the water turns into a stream and then into a river. The water brings Life everywhere it goes and becomes stronger as it expands outward. Life comes from God, and in the absence of God, there is no life, only death and despair. We may not immediately see death in the absence of God, just like a person in the desert does not immediately become thirsty. But with time, the absence of God in our lives will bring death – like a person dying of thirst in the desert. So, what does God make the source of the water in today’s first reading? It comes from his Temple (as a trickle) and fl ows out through his Believers (becoming a mighty river.) Without the Temple and without his Believers, the water cannot spread and carry the power of Life with it. This is why going to Mass is a weekly obligation, and not an individual choice. Going to Mass isn’t a self-hel

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent - March 15, 2021

Isaiah 65:17-21 John 4:43-54 “Seek good, not evil so you may live, and the Lord will be with you.” I entered the teaching career right out of college ready to conquer the world. One of my fifth-grade students, Tommy, was ready to conquer me. He was spunky, smart, street wise and he did NOT like me. After a ninety-minute bus ride each morning he came to school hungry and reluctant to participate. After weeks of trying to win him over, I gave up. Tommy was constantly with me during lunch and recess for his “bad” behavior. I couldn’t figure out what to do with him. Finally, one day, Tommy asked me what I was like in 5th grade. I told him I was a great student; I sat in my seat, I listened to my teachers and did my work. He replied, “Yeah, you teach like you are.” I then asked him how he thought I should teach. He gave me a whole list of things I needed to change as if he had just been waiting for me to ask! It was a very humbling experience, but I listened to him and we started making tho

Fourth Sunday of Lent - March 14, 2021

2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23 Ephesians 2:4-10 John 3:14-21 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him… As children of God, we are forgiven. Clean slate, no judgment, no grudges, no strings, just clearly and absolutely forgiven. How amazing is that? Even when the wheels seemed to have completely fallen off and we find ourselves frustrated and alone. Life happens, things happen, and before we know it, another day or another week goes by and we haven’t really talked to God. Sure, we attended Mass, Bible studies ... we even went through the motions of prayer before each meal. But, truly, we haven’t really talked to God. We’ve been hamsters on the wheel, spin- spin-spinning. Putting our time and energies into empty pursuits, leaving us to feel aghast and overwhelmed. But all the while, God is ever-present watching, ever-knowing, and everloving. He is waiting. Waiting for us to acknowledge him and embrace his perfect compas

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent - March 13, 2021

Hosea 6:1-6 Luke 18: 9-14 When I was in my teens and twenties, I actually put little thought into my Lenten sacrifice. It had to be something that I would miss, but something that I could give up without completely changing my lifestyle. Such good old standards of giving up chocolate or sweets was doable, but very much missed. After I started having children, to be honest, I was often too stressed or tired to make an actual Lenten sacrifice or spiritual resolution. I was in survival mode, running on fumes, and figured that was enough of a sacrifice - and at the time, maybe it was. However, I fell into a bad habit that lasted beyond those initial “tunnel vision” years. What was the importance of making a sacrifice? It seemed like an antiquated idea when Jesus already knew what was going on in my heart. My Lenten journey had gone from the bare minimum to nothing at all. In today’s first reading God says to Hosea “For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather th

Friday of the Third Week of Lent - March 12, 2021

Hosea 14:2-10 Mark 12:28-34 As a senior in high school, I am currently navigating the exciting but stressful process of college admissions. I write this letter in a time of complete uncertainty about where I’ll end up next fall, even though at this time last year I had envisioned myself having already been accepted to and enrolled at my top choice. I realized after being deferred from my top college that there is so much more to who I am than what I am as a student. College had become an idol for me, and I placed so much of my self-worth upon the results of my applications. In scripture, I am reminded of the triviality of my academic accomplishments, the “works of my hands.” “We shall say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion. |I will heal their defection, says the LORD, I will love them freely.” God’s love is free; unlike the college admissions process that made me feel like I had to earn my value through my resumé and life’s works. There

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent - March 11

Jeremiah 7:23-28 Luke 11:14-23 “…the words of the prophets were written on the subway walls…and tenement halls.”                                                                                                                          -Simon & Garfunkel Not a lot of subtlety or warm fuzzies today from Jeremiah or Luke . . . We are in a bad way. We are not listening to God. We have hardened our “evil hearts.” We are not on the right path. We are missing every single sign to course correct. “Faithfulness has disappeared.” Instead of opening our hearts to God’s message, we question the Lord, we put him to the test, we doubt the source of his power, we divide ourselves, and we fail to recognize the Kingdom of God is upon us even when God gives us an explicit sign. Today’s cautionary readings highlight the critical necessity of finding modern-day prophets. If I met a prophet on the street, how would I respond? I imagine prophets are somewhat grating. I would no doubt steer clear of a pro

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent - March 10, 2021

 Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 Matthew 5:17-19 “However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” What a year to reflect on. So many things our own eyes have seen, so many things to remember for as long as we live. Things to teach our children so they may do better, and their children better than them. Where does one even start? How about with “loving thy neighbor?” This is a regular conversation here and with our daughters at St. Teresa’s Academy and with it being their school motto. This year has presented many challenging opportunities to live this commandment daily. There has been so much hatred blasted across the streets without any regard to the fact that our children see and hear everything. This is not the world we imagined for our children when we were just beginning our lives together. We should take no job mo

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent - March 9, 2021

Daniel 3:25, 34-43 Matthew 18:21-35 In today’s gospel Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. “Seven times?” Peter asks. Jesus says, “Not seven times but seventy-seven times.” He goes on to tell the story of two masters who have men in debt to them. The first had an unpayable amount of debt but begged not to have him and his family thrown into prison. The master canceled the man’s entire debt. That same man whose debt was forgiven had one of his own servants who owed him a small debt. Unlike the first master, he showed no mercy to the servant and threw him in jail until his debt could be repaid. Hypocritical, right? This gospel challenges my own morals and the way I might also be hypocritical at times. The servant had an opportunity to share the good that had happened to him; but he chose to act with contempt toward a man who was in the same unfortunate position he had just been in. I think society has made it so that money equals power. But in r

Monday of the Third Week of Lent - March 8, 2021

2 Kings 5:1-15 Luke 4:24-30 “America”. Objectively, what does that word mean to us? For me, it brings to mind the stars and stripes of the fl ag. It conjures up ‘hot words’: democracy, freedom, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. It makes me think of the people that I read about in our nation’s history: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Dr. King, Harriet Tubman. This word “America” reminds me of the pride I have in a country that, against all odds, blazed a trail of democracy that has led to a thriving society of autonomy, growth and prosperity. Wow! That is a powerful, esteemed and respected word! Now, subjectively: “America”. How do we feel about the things that define America? To me the word “America”, subjectively, brings to mind division, unrest, ignorance, and extremism. It calls to mind the public figures in our country that are villains and that are villainized. It’s consumerism of technology, media, and materials. Wow. Those are powerful feelings of weakness, negativity, a

Third Sunday of Lent - March 7, 2021

Exodus 20:1-17 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 John 2:13-25 Today’s Gospel feels particularly heavy as it shows Jesus in a rare and jarring state of anger. I imagine Jesus entering our church and observing the activities there. His reaction, I suspect, would be quite the opposite of anger. But being a person who leans introspective, I wonder what Jesus would observe if he looked inside my own heart and head as I attend Mass? What self-serving baggage do I bring into the church that would anger or anguish him? I recall a moment last fall - a moment that sticks out as all moments do when the Holy Spirit places a sign along your path. I was driving down Wornall Road one afternoon on my way to pick up my son from school, when I caught myself scanning the cars around me...again. Over the course of the last year, I had developed this subconscious habit of searching for a particular face when out in the neighborhood and bracing myself for an unpleasant encounter. This face belonged to a very dear frien

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent - March 6, 2021

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 I love so many things we say as a church in union when we come to worship. But perhaps my favorite phrase will always be from our Penitential Act: “I have greatly sinned…. in what I have done and in what I have failed to do .”  Here we admit to ourselves, to God, and to our fellow church-goers our failings; not only how we conducted ourselves, but where we fell short. I find myself time and time again coming to these words, to remind myself to not list the things I have done well in my walk with Christ, but to acknowledge where I’ve come up short; where I could have been a better reflection of Christ to those around me. I think it is easy to be as upset as the older son in today’s well-known Gospel when we feel we can list, or are justified by, the actions we’ve taken and the steps we’ve made to properly follow Christ. I should never lose sight (especially when reminded repeatedly in the readings leading up to today’s Gospel) that God is full of

Friday of the Second Week of Lent - March 5, 2021

Hebrews 13:1-18 Mark 6:14-29 When I first became a parent I was struck early on at the insight it gave me into God the Father.  Watching my kids learn to walk, and picking them up when they would fall and trip. Watching them explore their surroundings and test their physical capabilities. Watching them climb on furniture, jump off steps, and ride a bike. Watching them take risks and fail, learn, and try again. Coaching, teaching, and rooting for them throughout. All the while struck by the thought that this was all a microcosm of what God the Father goes through with each of us at every stage of our lives. As they got older and able to voice their needs, wants, and opinions, my reflections again went to God the Father. How easy it would be to just give them what they are seeking. How much more peaceful it would be to clean up their mess rather than convincing them to do it, wait for them to do it wrong, and then fix it. How faster it would be to drive them to their friend’s house inste

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent - March 4, 2021

Jeremiah 17:5-10 Luke 16:19-31 I’ve always been troubled by the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (traditionally called Dives). Our view of this parable may depend on where we see ourselves on the Lazarus to Dives (beggar to rich man) continuum. So why exactly is the rich man punished? I gather for not listening (to God and the prophets) and for not seeing (Lazarus and probably much more). There’s really not much more detail to work with. When I think of Lazarus in our day, I see the people sitting by our intersections with signs asking for money. My response to them is varied, to say the least. I tend to question their intentions. Are they doing all they can about their plight? Will they use the money for alcohol or drugs? Does that mean I am one, according to Jeremiah in the first reading, “whose heart turns away from the Lord?” Will I too be judged by my response to the people with signs at the intersections? To hear and to see—how many chances do we need to hear the Word of God a

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent - March 3, 2021

 Jeremiah 18:18-20 Matthew 20:17-28 “Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah...let us destroy him by his own tongue; let us carefully note his every word.” The people plotting against Jeremiah were his own countrymen and his fellow Jews. I am reminded of Jesus’ words in the synoptic gospels that “a prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house” (Matt. 13:57). Last summer, some work I did for the diocese became the target of a trolling campaign by a fringe social media talk show whose message was riddled with half-truths and disinformation. It was traumatic. I was crushed; mostly because the vitriol came from fellow Catholics. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly do not imagine myself as a prophet. Goodness no! But like Jeremiah, I too felt betrayed and cried out to God for clarity. In the end, what continues to trouble me after the experience is that despite the wonderful opportunities social media offers us, we humans still make very little effort t

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent - March 2, 2021

Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 Matthew 23:1-12 In the First Reading from Isaiah, the Lord says, “Come now, let us set things right.” He colors our sins as scarlet and crimson and through acknowledgement of the sins, we can become “white as wool” if we do right and obey. Each time we celebrate mass we recite the Penitential Act. We acknowledge our sins through thoughts and words and what we have done, and perhaps more importantly, what we have failed to do. We ask for forgiveness in an effort to “set things right” as the Bible instructs us to do. Our Catholic faith presents us with seven holy sacraments. As the mom of a current second grader, I am learning alongside my daughter as she prepares to celebrate two important sacraments this year – Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Reconciliation, or Penance, is our opportunity to set things right with God. To an eight year old preparing for this sacrament it may feel exciting, challenging, mysterious, and perhaps scary to confess their sins. I would im

Monday of the Second Week of Lent - March 1, 2021

Daniel 9: 4-10 Luke 6:36-38 Today’s gospel passage couldn’t be more fitting for recent times. In the past couple of years we’ve experienced civil unrest, social injustices and a political divide that feels heavier than it has in decades. Throw a devastating pandemic on top of all that and you have CHAOS! Of course, these divisions stem way back to past generations, before we were even born. But I feel we are rising back to the surface now and it is a time for change.  This time in history has tested me, my family, and so too with every single person I know on so many different levels. The fear it has triggered is palpable. The pain is excruciating for some. Earlier today I listened to a podcast with Brené Brown and Episcopalian Bishop Michael Curry on “Love and Hope in Troubling Times.” Something Brené said really stuck with me: “I think people in pain, cause pain. I think people who hurt, hurt people and we don’t know what to do with our pain.” In these times, the pain we feel can def