Reflections on the Gospel

June 28, 2020: A Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 10:37-42 What would you say unifies Jesus’ life and teaching? Today’s Gospel gives us some manifestations of what this unifying focus is. When Jesus counsels us to take up our cross and follow him, to lose our life in order to find it, to see his Presence in every person and make it our purpose to serve them in their need, he is giving us a glimpse of his inner disposition, his abiding way of being. This unifying disposition is his complete inner surrender of himself to the Father. Today’s Gospel gives us a peek at what it looks like and to what he invites...

June 21, 2020: A Reflection for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 10:26-33 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31) Here we are again, Jesus, dealing with fear. You approach it from so many angles. Today, it is “Fear no one.” Other times it is, “Do not be afraid” and “Do not live in fear.” You know how our fear can be triggered by so many unpredictable and scary things. And today you take it up again. "Do not be afraid," you say. And the best thing of all is that you don’t just leave us hanging with a command but no direction. You once again remind us that we...

May 24, 2020: A Reflection for the Feast of the Ascension, Year A Matthew 28:16-20 Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20) “I am with you always,” you proclaim to your disciples as you ascend from their vision, Jesus, and return to the Father. How comforting it must have been to hear you promise to remain with them – and yet how puzzling to wonder how it could be that you would remain with your beloved sisters and brothers until time runs out and yet disappear from their sight with the heavens closing behind you. Gone. Or so it seemed. Once more you reveal the depths of your heart. It is a relationship...

May 17, 2020: A Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter, Year A John 14:15-21 Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. (John 14:20) This is not how we usually think of expressing love, Jesus: doing what you ask of us. If we had our way, it would be something a little warmer and fuzzier. Yet you equate the two in today’s gospel and even offer the Holy Spirit, the bond of love between you and the Father, to remain with us as friend and Advocate to not only hold your commandments in our hearts but to observe them in what we do. And that, you say, is what distinguishes the fact that we...

May 10, 2020: A Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter, Year A John 14:1-12 DWELLING PLACES Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in me. (Jn 14:1-2) Jesus, how comforting it is to hear you remind us time after time: do not be afraid, do not live in fear, little flock, fear not. And today you remind us again to rest our concerns and fears in your heart. You even reveal how we may do this: believe in me as you believe in the Father. Believe in God, believe also in me. Our very being is your dwelling place. You have made us creatures of the earth who bear infinity within. To believe...

May 3, 2020: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A John 10:1-10 THE GOOD SHEPHERD I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) Jesus, Good Shepherd, you know each of us by name. You know us better than we know ourselves. And for each one of us you have given a particular name that crystallizes who we really are and who you have called us to be. The name symbolized by the white stone in Revelation (Rev 2:17) is for us a new name, but for you, it is our essence and our call. And it seems that our essence is life, life given in abundance as a flowing stream at...

April 26, 2020: A Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A Luke 24:13-35 Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way? On the way. So much is packed into those three words, Jesus. You ARE the Way and so you come up beside your disheartened disciples and walk with them, all the while drawing them out. In early Christianity, Christians were called followers of The Way. Such a simple and direct description. You knew that it had to be something more than an intellectual exercise. You hunger for more than just a superficial acknowledgement of you. You desire a relationship with us, a mutual exchange of hearts. You desire our love....

April 11, 2020: A Reflection for the Vigil of Easter, Year A Matthew 28:1-10 ALLELUIA! I wonder what was in the hearts of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as they walked together to the tomb of Jesus on the morning after the Sabbath. Their deep love for him must surely have driven them onward, just to be near him as he lay in the tomb. As light crept silently over the countryside and kissed the hills, what must have been their utter shock to feel the ground quake beneath them and to behold an angel whose appearance was like lightning, roll away the stone to the tomb! How touching that it was these two humble women-disciples of Jesus who...

When Fr. Thomas wasn't able to travel and come lead our Lenten retreat, Mother Vicki shared her own daily lectio divina with us in the following reflections. March 30, 2020: A Reflection for Monday of the 5th Week of Lent John 8:1-11 NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.” (Jn 8:11) In the psalms, we say once every two weeks, “He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults.” (Psalm 103:10) Jesus gives this passage a face and a heart – and a look...

March 29, 2020: A Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent, Year A John 11:1-45 Jesus, there is so much in this Gospel that my mind swims. Lazarus your friend has died and when given word that he was ill, you wait two days before you begin the journey to Bethany. By the time you get there, Lazarus has been dead four days. And this, after you told your disciples that his illness would not end in death but would be for the glory of God. How you stretch your disciples and invite them ever deeper into the mystery of who you are and faith in you beyond what the senses can reveal! It is so comforting, Jesus, to see...