Preparing for Lent

02-27-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

As we approach the season of Lent, Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians gives us a sneak peek of Easter, waiting for us on the other side: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Paul’s conclusion, telling us to remain steadfast and devoted to the Lord’s work, could serve as a Lenten motto. The reading from Sirach provides a series of adages regarding discipline of the tongue, and of our speech. Maybe not a bad Lenten practice to observe.


Love Your Enemies

02-20-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

It’s likely that some friends or followers of Jesus told him, from time to time, to “get real” when his teachings seemed too hard or impractical. John’s Gospel, near the end of the Bread of Life discourse, reports that some disciples out and out turned away because it was too hard to continue following Jesus. When Jesus said to love our enemies, pray for those who hurt us, or do good for those who hate us, the response, “get real,” wouldn’t be surprising. And yet, the very life and witness of Jesus is filled with his prophetic examples of doing just that; of refusing to return harm for harm. The lives of the saints are likewise filled with such examples, especially those saints who were laborers in the field for justice and peace. Is this command of Jesus difficult? Yes. Is it impossible? No.


Blessings and Woes

02-13-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Today we hear once again of the deep connection between Jesus and Israel’s prophets. In the reading from Jeremiah, God's curses at the opening are counterbalanced by God's blessings in the second part. In Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, Jesus begins with blessings, then counterbalances with a “woe” section. The point is clear: the way we live our lives has a direct connection to whether we will experience curses and woes, or blessings instead.


Sharing God's Gifts

02-06-2022Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Isn’t it comforting to know that others have struggles with low self-esteem? Today Isaiah calls himself a man with “unclean lips.” Paul is “not fit to be called an apostle.” Simon Peter tells Jesus (perhaps unnecessarily) “I am a sinful man.” All of these may be true, but God chose these three— unclean, unfit, sinful—as important, essential messengers in the work of salvation. We all can remember this whenever we are tempted to view ourselves as unqualified for (or excuse ourselves from) sharing the Good News.