February 15, 2020

6th Sunday - A (February 16, 2020)


Earlier in Matthew 5, Jesus told the disciples to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.”

Immediately following that, Jesus now tells the disciples some concrete practices for them to share in his mission of fulfilling the law.

Two examples from the list:
It is not enough not to kill.  The disciples must treat others with love and respect. 

It is not enough to avoid false oaths.  The disciples must live with integrity and honesty. 

By living these new applications of God’s law, the disciples would be salt of the earth and light of the world.  
Image source:  www.agnusday.org

February 8, 2020

5th Sunday - A (February 9, 2020)

Two Conditions of Being Disciples of Jesus

Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world.”

Consequently, if I am not salt of the earth and do not bring light into the world, I am not living as a disciple of Jesus. 

It is also to note Paul’s reminder that Jesus Christ crucified is the true salt and light, not me (2nd reading).  I don't have to generate my own salt or light.  I am only His instrument.  

Image source:  www.agnusday.org

February 1, 2020

Presentation of the Lord (February 2, 2020)

God’s Consecration

The feast of the Presentation of the Lord marks the event when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple so that Jesus might be “consecrated to the Lord.”

With Baptism, all Christians are consecrated to God, which means “to be made holy” or “to be dedicated to a sacred purpose.” [1]

Saint Pope John Paul II highlighted this concept of consecration when he established this day to be the World Day of Consecrated Life in 1997.  Religious profession or consecration continues this gift of holiness in men and women who God calls to this way of life.

Please pray for us religious to be more faithful and generous in our response to God’s consecration – to be holy.  

Please encourage young people to consider this vocation, and pray for those who God calls it.  May they listen and be open to God’s invitation to consecrate their lives to God, guided by the Holy Spirit, so that the whole world may see God’s salvation in Jesus Christ.

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com
Image source:  Philippe de Champaigne, The Presentation in the Temple.  commons.wikimedia.org 


January 25, 2020

3rd Sunday - A (January 26, 2020)

To Me, Here, and Now

Pope Francis, reflecting on this Gospel passage, pointed out that Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James and Joh while they are “in the middle of their daily activity.”  Likewise, “the Lord reveals himself to us in everyday circumstances of our life.” [1]

St. Matthew also points out that Jesus began his ministry in Galilee, not Jerusalem, the religious center of Judaism.  The population of Galilee included the gentiles.  On these people, where they were, the light of God shone.    

Today, Jesus continues to be the light for us as who we are and where we are.

[1]  Pope Francis, Reflection during the Angelus, January 22, 2017.  Quoted in Give Us This Day, January 2020 issue, p. 271.

 Image source: Pietro da Cortona, Calling of St. Peter and St. Andrew

January 18, 2020

2nd Sunday - A (January 19, 2020)

The Lamb of God Who Takes away the Sins of the World

Instead of some reflections on this Sunday’s readings, I’d rather put together a summary that I found run through these readings.

I’ve been reflecting on this summary, and I’d like to invite you to do the same.

The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world (Gospel).  He thus “sanctifies us” and makes us “holy” (2nd Reading).  Consequently, what is true about Jesus Christ is now true for us:  Each one of us is now “a light to the nations, that [God’s] salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (1st Reading).

 Image source:  Diego Velázquez, Christ Crucified, Museo del Prado, Madrid 

January 11, 2020

Baptism of the Lord (January 12, 2020)

The Mission of the Son of God, Our Mission

Jesus came to be baptized by John, even know he had no need for it.  It was for us that the “beloved Son” of God came to be with us, so that we, sinners, might become children of God. 

By now, most of the Christmas lights and decorations have been taken down, Nativity scenes put back in storage.  How do we know that the Savior who came to us sinners remains with us?  And what do we do to help people who do not know Jesus to experience his presence?

Jesus empowers us to continue his mission, the mission announced by Isaiah (First Reading):  “I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”  

Image source: www.agnusday.org

January 4, 2020

Epiphany of the Lord (January 5, 2020)

Our Guiding Star

The miraculous star and various people assisted the magi in their search for the newborn King.  God works through people, things, and events to guide us on our journey to Him. 

In this new year, let’s pray that we may be more receptive to God’s manifold guidance as God continues to draw us to God.

In particular, God gives us a kind of GPS in the Gospels, Prayer, and the Sacraments, which we celebrate and receive in the community of the Church.  May this GPS be the star to guide us to the King of all nations.

Image source:  www.agnusday.org