Reflections on the Gospel

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...

March 25, 2020: A Reflection for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord Luke 1:26-38 Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word.  And the angel departed from her.  One simple word: Yes.  Let it be done to me according to your word.  And God enters our world in our flesh. One of my favorite paintings of the annunciation is the one of Mary, sitting on the edge of a couch, pensive, pondering, trying to grasp the breaking in of an angel into her simple life, already planned to be lived with Joseph her betrothed.  It is announced to her that she will conceive a child, a son, and...

“I will lead her into the desert and there I will speak to her heart.” Here we are, dear Sharon, one year into Cistercian life in the magnificent high desert of the Southwest and this place of Santa Rita Abbey. God has led you here and you have heard his voice and responded with love. He has been leading you through deserts of a different sort, to this community. A place to seek God and a place for God to seek out your heart with his love and mercy. To speak tenderly to you in this place, through your sisters, through the daily round of Cistercian life, and through all that the desert is. To speak through the infinite sky,...

March 22, 2020: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A John 9:1-41 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day… While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” It got off to a rocky start. “Who sinned? Surely someone must have sinned if this man is born blind. It has to be either this man or...