Connect! Sunday Reflections

All through Love and Nothing through Fear

For Sunday, August 21, 2016, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time Isaiah offers us a vision of utter inclusivity and welcome: “From them I will send fugitives to the nations … and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations. They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the […]

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Causing Discomfort for the Comfortable

For Sunday, August 14, 2016, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time The experience of the human spiritual journey cannot be summed up easily for there are as many different experiences as there are humans. No two journeys are alike. Most stories of conversion span years or decades, yet that is not to discount or discredit those […]

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Faith in the Desert

For Sunday, August 7, 2016, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time The situation seemed impossible! It had started out as a morning excursion to a nearby site, The Springs, in the Judean Desert. Since we had an average temperature of over 100 degrees for the last two months, The Springs drew us with visions of “cool, clear, […]

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Are You Rich?

For Sunday, July 31, 2016, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time Are you rich? Most of us, if asked, would think immediately of material possessions when considering whether or not we are rich. Wealth, as it is commonly considered, is about what we own—money, cars, houses, and the like. Yet in Sunday’s narrative from the Gospel of […]

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Taking Responsibility for Each Other

For Sunday, July 24, 2016, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time The turmoil of the past few weeks—another terrorist attack in France , police shootings, and the violent protests that followed—call to mind the words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” […]

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A Hospitality of Presence

For Sunday, July 17, 2016, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, “Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t give your care, but give your heart as well.” Living the Gospel […]

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Parable of the Good Samaritan painting by Jan Wijnants, 1670.

Just How Good Was the Good Samaritan?

For Sunday, July 10, 2016, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Go ahead and perform a Google search for news stories about Good Samaritans. You will find a wide range of stories about people doing all sorts of kind acts:  Good Samaritan returns wallet containing over $200 to police. Good Samaritan talks about rescuing boy from Lake […]

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Workers harvesting grapes from rows of vines in a vineyard.

Laborers for the Harvest

For Sunday, July 3, 2016, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time In workshops, retreats, and classes I’ve offered over the years to parish and diocesan groups around the country, I’m consistently struck by the tension that many people feel between spirituality (which they often think of as something private) and action (which is, of course, more […]

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Volunteer Jim constructing a welcome sign at Biblical Tamar Park.

Answering the Call

For Sunday, June 26, 2016, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time “When was the last time you volunteered your time to try to help your community?” That was the question this past week on The Book of Questions Calendar that I purchased at the beginning of 2016. Hmm, I thought to myself, volunteering… I pictured myself raising […]

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Man carrying cross on his back.

A Lesson We Were Not Prepared For

For Sunday, June 19, 2016, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time It was my first day as a college student. Arriving at an Introduction to Education course, we found a chair placed in the middle of the room, facing the student desks. The professor asked one student to sit in the chair, facing the rest of us, […]

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Tears of Sorrow, Tears of Joy

For Sunday, June 12, 2016, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time In October 2009, Abby Johnson worked as the manager of a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas. Witnessing an abortion on ultrasound convinced her of the brutality and immorality of the procedure. From that time, she has worked to uncover what goes on behind the walls […]

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Black pebble with engraved message "love, faith, hope."

A Foundation of Faith, Hope, and Love

For Sunday, June 5, 2016, 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Our readings this weekend put faith on center stage. As one of the theological virtues, faith is a gift given to us by God along with hope and love. Working together with hope and love, faith puts our lives and relationships in proper order and orients […]

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