Connect! Sunday Reflections

Rejoice in the Presence of God!

“Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel!” “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” These words from the Prophet Zephaniah and the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians frame the festive call of Gaudete Sunday.

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Hear the Voice of the Lord

Hearing the voice of the Lord in the distance demands action, but this isn’t only an invitation to turn away from personal choices and sins that may limit or even prevent God’s coming among us. And this turning — conversion — isn’t only about what we give up, it is really about accepting the gift that we are being offered.

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Commemoration, Anticipation, and Participation

This week we begin the season of Advent to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, this isn’t just a time to commemorate an event of the past. That is only one part of what Advent is about. It is not just a time to look backward but to look forward.

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Recognizing the King

We tend to view Jesus’ kingship with human eyes instead of through the lens of faith. We prefer to see kings in splendid majesty, and here is Jesus bloodied and bruised. And so, when we join our question to Pilate’s, “then you are a king?” we betray our own blindness to Jesus’ kingship.

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You Can Always Find Hope

At first glance, the weeks’ readings leading up to Advent become foreboding, ominous, and even a little depressing. One has to search really hard to find the hope, but it is there. Thanks to the Resurrection, one can always find hope!

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The Gifts That Cost Us

The gifts we offer to God from our poverty are far more precious than those we offer from our abundance. We think we don’t have enough, so we think we have nothing to give. But how precious are the gifts that really cost us — the ones that we fear we cannot afford.

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Do We Really Want To Hear?

Jesus stands before us today and eloquently details the first and second commandments. When we respond to him will he be able to affirm that we did so with understanding? Could Jesus, as he did the scribe, confidently tell us that we are not far from the Kingdom of God?

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Blindness of Spirit

The physical healing of Bartimaeus is a powerful reminder that, when we open ourselves to God’s grace, we can be healed of that blindness of spirit that prevents us from following Jesus with freedom and joy, which is an important part of discipleship.

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The Love We Are Called To

Christ did not become human to dominate others. He came to seek out the sick, the suffering, and the sinners. He came not only to instruct and heal us, but he suffered the cruelest death imaginable to open heaven to those who would believe.

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“Amazed, Astonished, Impossible … but …”

Many of us can resonate with the response of these disciples — ‘amazed,’ and ‘exceedingly astonished,’ or from another perspective, shocked and perplexed — because they are our very own responses today when Jesus teaches.

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The Rib of Adam and the Body of Christ

Ten years ago, I wasn’t brave enough for Genesis, chapter two. A decade of marriage has shown me that this Scripture passage is not about subservience at all, but about belonging — and not just belonging within a marriage, but within the entire Body of Christ.

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If All Were Prophets

Today’s readings call us to examine the motives behind our actions, especially those that lead us away from God and towards sin. Not only looking at what obstacles keep us from growing spiritually but also when we are a stumbling block to the growth of other people’s faith.

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