Archive for Weekly Reflection

Reflection for the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

The servant didn’t realize that he was burying himself along with his master’s money.  Nor could he imagine that the hole he dug became a grave not only for the talent, but also for his own poten­tial.  He decided to  “play safe” rather than invest, and the result was  “no gain.”

 

The spiritual life is about increase.  God asks us to “increase and multiply” every blessing.  But this only happens when we recognize our gifts and are willing to develop them.  Paradoxically, the more we invest, the more gifts surface. We may have only one talent at our disposal, but the way we work with this talent can yield many more skills which had previously gone unnoticed. This holds true not only of tangible gifts such as musical abilities,  but also of invisible gifts such as being a loving presence to others, learning to listen, learn­ing to pray.  As a result, our life’s purpose begins to unfold and we begin to understand all that God desires for us.

 

Lord, help us to be open to the possibilities that life has to offer.

A Prayer for Fulfillment

God grant me

the serenity

to accept

the things I cannot change,

courage

to change the things

I can

and wisdom

to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

enjoying one moment

at a time;

accepting hardship

as a pathway

to peace.

Taking,

as Jesus did,

this sinful world

as it is —

not as I would have it.

Trusting

that You will make

all things right

if I surrender

to Your will;

so that I may be

reasonably happy

in this life

and supremely happy

with You forever

in the next.

Amen.

 

Reflection for the 29th Week in Ordinary Time

 

Let’s talk about coins.  Have you every held a coin that was so dirty that you could hardly tell what it was? … or so dirty that you were afraid to touch it?  The coin is still worth its value…it’s just that you can hardly tell the image.   A little salt and vinegar will make a dirthy coin as good as new.

 

What can you do when the image of God — engraved on your immortal soul — is it covered over?  What will make it shine as good as new?  God’s love and the sacrament of Reconciliation.   God knows who we are, and he loves us.  And we need to do our part so that we can show more clearly who we really are.

 

A coin — no matter how small in value — plays an important role in our economy.  We are all created in God’s image and likeness, and we too are meant to do more than just glow with “heavenly goodness”.  Never sell yourself short.  In the day-to-day role of ideas, relationships, and feelings, you have a vital role to play.  You can give a living witness to the joy and promise of a life lived with Jesus.

 

Render to Jesus the life that he has shared with you.   And lead all those around you to a new experience of God’s kingdom.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

I thank You, God,

for loving me
In spite of the wrongs I do.

You always have been there for me
When I have called on You.

 

I count my blessings

one by one.

And see Your kindness there,
Though oftentimes I fail

to thank You

in the midst of the rush of daily care.

 

Help me, dear God,

to measure up

to Whatever is life’s test,

To always strive to do what’s right
And to give You my best.

 

Within my heart

it’s my desire

To walk with You each day,
To know Your dear companionship

Each step along the way.

 

For bleak and dark

would be my life

Without Your love and grace.

And, oh, the joy

to know someday

I’ll see You

face to face.

Amen.

— Kay Hoffman

 

Reflection for the 26th Week in Ordinary Time

God asked his Son to give up everything so that he could rescue us. Imagine such love!  God traded his Son, whom he adored, to save a rebellious people lost in sin. His great loss was our great gain. Through his obedience and sacrifice on the cross, Jesus shows us what love, service, and obedience truly are.

 

Jesus calls all of us to take on this same attitude and mind.  He doesn’t want us to do good deeds just for the sake of doing good deeds.  He wants us to become like him — conformed after the pattern of Christ.  We need to serve God’s people, not because we want to be nice, but because we have begun to experience a share in Jesus’ love for the world.  God is not looking for hard work, but for Christ-likeness. He doesn’t want us to weary ourselves with service in the hopes that we will earn a place in heaven.  Are we willing to lose those things that we hold dear for the sake of sharing our love with others?

 

The chief priests and elders of Jesus’ time had done everything right outwardly, but they were lacking in love for God.  Jesus was after their hearts, and they gave him “service” instead.  In contrast,  those who followed Jesus did so because they had let God capture their hearts. Their lives demonstrated a real conversion to Christ, and this is what pleased Jesus most of all.

 

If we prepare a fitting dwelling place for God in our heart, then everything we do and say will reflect the love of God which resides there.

Prayer of a Faithful Spirit

Compassionate God,

I am here to give myself to you

and to your people.

It is through who I am and what I do

that others will come to know you.

I am here to bring peace

to a broken people,

and healing

to those in need.

I am here to witness

to the world,

that I live in response

to a desperate society

seeking truth,

equality,

and freedom.

 

Parent of the poor

and oppressed,

I ask for your help.

You have shown me

how to be faithful

in the midst of persecution.

You have taught me

to stand firm

in the pain that I experience

in my broken world.

Teach me to become

sight for the blind,

ears for those who are deaf

to hear your Word,

and hands

for those who refuse to work

at building a kingdom of love.

Amen.

 

Reflection for the 24th Week in Ordinary Time

One of Pope Francis’ recurring themes is God’s mercy.  God’s mercy knows no boundries.  Mercy is not just an abstract idea or a nice theory — it is a concrete reality.  It’s not just an experience that we can choose to live out when it’s convenient for us.  God’s mercy for us is meant to be at the heart of how we think and how we act toward each other.  It’s meant to be the characteristic that sets us apart in a world that is caught up in self-righteousness, division, and unforgiveness.   Forgiveness is the best way that we can reveal God’s love to ourselves and others.

 

Forgiveness is not about rules;  it doesn’t have a number attached to it.  Forgiveness blossoms into a life of hope where all relationships become possible and life-giving.  Forgiveness puts us into the heart of God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all blessings,

source of all life, giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:

for the breath that sustains life,

for the food of this earth that nurtures life,

for the love of family and friends

without which there would be no life.

 

We thank you for the mystery of creation:

for the beauty that the eye can see,

for the joy that the ear may hear,

for the unknown that we cannot behold

filling the universe with wonder,

for the expanse of space that draws us

beyond the definitions of our selves.

 

We thank you for setting us in communities:

for families who nurture our becoming,

for friends who love us by choice,

for companions at work,

who share our burdens and daily tasks,

for strangers who welcome us into their midst,

for people from other lands

who call us to grow in understanding,

for children who lighten our moments with delight,

for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.

 

We thank you for this day:

for life and one more day to love,

for opportunity

and one more day to work for justice and peace,

for neighbors

and one more person to love and by whom be loved,

for your grace

and one more experience of your presence,

for your promise:

to be with us,

to be our God,

and to give salvation.

Amen.                                                                               

 

Reflection for the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time

St. Paul tells us today to “present our body as a living sacrifice — holy and acceptable to God.”  What is your reaction to that? Do you ever think about the fact that your body needs to be acceptable to God?  Our body is so valuable to God that, in fact, God sent his Son as a completely embodied human being to save us.  And his salvation includes the resurrection and glorification of our bodies.

 

When Jesus told his disciples to “follow me”, they had to physically stand up and walk after Jesus;  in doing so, they became the foundation of the Church.  And as they followed, they had to experience and do the things Jesus did before they could fully understand who he was.

 

So it is with us.  It is through our body that we follow Jesus.  It is through our body that we experience Jesus today.  Blessed Mother Teresa was fond of saying: “Keep giving Jesus to your people, not by words, but by your example — by being in love with Jesus, by radiating his holiness and by spreading his fragrance of love everywhere you go. You belong to him.”

 

Give yourself — you hands, your heart, your feet — every part of you — to God.  May you become the person that God has called you to be.  In doing that you become the living sacrifice that God wants of you.

Prayer for a Blessing on Our Work

O Lord, my God,
Creator and Ruler of the universe,
it is Your 
Will 

that human beings

accept the duty of work.
May the work I do

bring growth in this life to me
and those I love

and help to extend the Kingdom of Christ.

Give all persons work

that draws them to You
and to each other

in cheerful service.
I unite all my work

with the Sacrifice of Jesus
that it may be pleasing to You

and give You glory.

I beg Your Blessing 

upon all my efforts.
With Saint 
Joseph 

as my example and guide,
help me to do the work

You have asked
and come to the reward

You have prepared.

Amen