Called By God

06-26-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

We return to Ordinary Time this Sunday, and with this new season we focus on what it means to be a person who is called by God for some definite purpose. Elisha recognized God's call in Elijah's greeting and prepared immediately to follow. The people who came to Jesus seemed ready to follow, yet each had reasons to linger behind. As people who are given the freedom to follow or to stay behind, we must ask ourselves what we are ready to do for the sake of Christ and the call of the gospel. What are you called to do at this time in your life? Are you prepared to leave behind the things that get in the way of living as a Christian?

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The Abundance of God's Love

06-19-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

The crowd that followed Jesus to the deserted place was fed, body and spirit. Jesus wanted them to know that in his presence they would find care and compassion. He would not let them go hungry. Like Abram who encountered God in the bread and wine offered by Melchizedek, they experienced first-hand the abundance of God’s love. These sacred meals prefigured the meal most profound, the supper shared by Jesus and his disciples on the night before he died, the feast in which we share in the Eucharist. Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. On this day, we appreciate anew the great love of Jesus Christ for us and for the world and experience first-hand the presence of Christ in the sacred meal.

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The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

06-12-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We say these words as we make the sign of the cross, the sign of God’s saving love for us in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. God who created the heavens, earth, and all who dwell in it. Jesus Christ, through whom we are offered salvation and peace. The Holy Spirit, who breathes life, leads us to the truth, and strengthens us to live as God’s holy people. On this Solemnity, let us pause to reflect upon the mystery of the Holy Trinity, three persons in one God. As we name the mystery, may we come to know God’s love more deeply and live it more profoundly.

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God's Ongoing Work

06-05-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

In today’s Gospel Luke, the author of Acts, links the “time of Pentecost” to the Jewish Feast of Weeks. This was a harvest festival, fifty days after Passover. The feast became a celebration of God's gift of the Torah, the law of Moses, remembering Exodus 19. Luke suggests that just as the Feast of Weeks was a culmination of Passover, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a culmination of the Resurrection.

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Continuing Jesus' Ministry

05-29-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

The celebration of the Ascension of our Lord occurs distinctively this year, when the two most detailed descriptions of the event, both written by Luke the evangelist, are brought together in today’s readings. We hear both the concluding verses from Luke’s Gospel, the first volume of his work, and the first verses of Acts, his second volume. For Luke, the Ascension is the hinge of his two-volume work. The evangelist apparently thought the story of the Ascension was important enough to tell twice.

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Peace

05-22-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

The sixth Sunday of Easter moves us toward the feast of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early Church. Today’s Gospel describes Jesus at the Last Supper, foretelling the coming of the Spirit to the community of Jesus. Jesus combines the promise of the Spirit with his gift of peace to his disciples. He foresees that the community must be grounded in his love, which provides peace, to face the tumult of the Crucifixion, and later, the trials of the early Church.

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Glorify God

05-15-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

In the first sentence of today’s Gospel passage from John, Jesus’ address at the Last Supper, the words “glorify” or “glorified” appear five times. For John, glory has to do with honor and reputation, the primary characteristic of a person. John thus invites us to reflect upon what God's glory fully means. God is glorified when God's truest nature is revealed, as the God who loves.

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We Belong to God

05-08-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

In the time of Jesus, when multiple flocks of sheep would be gathered, protecting the flock depended heavily on the shepherd’s personal recognition of individual sheep, by sight and sound. In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses this imagery to speak of how Jesus — with the Father — protects those whom God loves —that is, everyone. Forces that pull us away from God are ultimately no match for the fierce love that God has for us.

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Church

05-01-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

The Easter season provides us an opportunity to reflect upon who we are as Church, in light of the first experiences of Jesus’ followers. From today’s Gospel, we realize that all we do is founded on our friendship with and trust in Jesus, as witnessed in Jesus’ dialogue with Peter. From Revelation, in the image of Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb, we can anticipate suffering for the sake of love for God and for others.

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