Reflection for Sunday April 25th, 2021
Sunday Gospel: John 10:11-18
In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that he is the good shepherd. Unlike a hired shepherd who is watching a herd for pay, Jesus will stick by our side and battle the wolf. He will watch over us and everyone else, as God watches over us as his children. Since Jesus is our shepherd we have to trust him that we will protect us from sin. Jesus tells us that he will lay down his life to protect us from evil such as sin and temptation. The devil preys on innocent people as us, just us the wolf preys on the sheep. But, if we stick together as a herd, Jesus will always be there to watch over and protect us as our shepherd. Together, we are one herd, one people, under the guidance of one shepherd: God. How will you follow the example of Jesus? Will you watch over your herd of friends and family as Jesus did?
This week's reflection is by Jake B, an 8th grader at OMC who will be going to St. Joe's Prep in the fall.
Reflection for Sunday April 18th, 2021
Sunday Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
Imagine what it would be like to be a disciple in this situation. Would you be troubled? Questioning? Anxious? Although Jesus tells his disciples, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you," Jesus also takes this moment to teach his disciples and remind them of who He is and that He has risen. Jesus is our ultimate teacher and reassurer. He is willing to accompany us through questions and doubts, and He has the answers and reminders that we seek. Furthermore, continuing to turn to God's word in the Bible provides us with reminders, comforts, and wisdom beyond what our world gives us.
After the disciples overcome their anxiety, they are filled with joy. Imagine what a joy it would be to encounter Jesus alive and with you! Although we do not experience Jesus as a person we can see, we can experience the amazing gift He gave us through the Eucharist. When we receive Jesus, we are receiving his love and reminded of his sacrifice for us.
This week, I pray that I will turn to Jesus when I am feeling anxious, and I pray that I keep the joy of the Easter season in sight.
This week's reflection is by Katie Leavy, an adult volunteer and small group leader.
Reflection for Sunday April 11th, 2021
Sunday Reflection: John 20:19-31
This week’s reading opens with disciples very afraid without Jesus, not knowing of His Resurrection, to the extent they lock themselves away for fear of their fellow Jews. They are of course overjoyed when Jesus Himself appears to them and announces His return, feeling safe in the stability his presence grants. This is also when he gives them the Holy Spirit and sends them out with the authority to forgive or retain sins, as He did during His ministry. Jesus might be back from the dead, but as we know not for long, and He must begin to pass the responsibility of his ministry onto His disciples. Now Didymus, more commonly known as Thomas, was not among the group when Jesus appeared to them, so he doesn’t believe it when the others tell him about Jesus, refusing to believe without any proof. The next time the disciples gather, again behind locked doors although not necessarily as fearful, Thomas is with them, and Jesus appears once again. Knowing that Thomas had demanded proof, Jesus insists that he feels the marks in His hands and the wound in His side, and in doing so Thomas comes to believe the man in front of him is really the risen Jesus. Still, Jesus scolds him, saying “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” In many ways we might relate to Thomas’ skepticism; it’s often hard to dedicate yourself to something without satisfactory proof of its reality. What Jesus tells us through His criticism of Thomas, however, is that one shouldn’t need proof to believe in teachings as fundamental as His. In fact, most of what Jesus teaches isn’t even asking us to blindly believe in something as miraculous as his Resurrection; one shouldn't need proof of positive outcomes to believe that loving others as yourself, for instance, is the right way to live. Consider when you might have been hesitant to accept a particular teaching of Jesus. In understanding that inhibition, you will find it much easier to let Jesus into your life, and in turn experience the relief and stability the disciples felt when reunited with Him.
This week's reflection is by Frank Amuso, St. Joe's Prep class of 2022.
Reflection for Easter Sunday, April 4th, 2021
Easter Sunday Reflection
I think that there are two questions that every person and especially Christian have to wrestle with regarding these Jesus. The questions are intimately connected and our answer to one will probably affect how we answer the other one. The first question comes directly from Jesus in Matthew chapter 16. He asks His disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" The question is not only a subjective one, although each person has to subjectively answer it. Who is Jesus? Is he who he claims to be? The other question, which is connected to this is one, that we have to ask ourselves each Easter is, "What happened on Easter Sunday?" The resurrection is connected to the divinity of Christ. Jesus resurrection supports all the claims he made prior to the first Holy Week. To pronounce his resurrection is a bold thing to do today but I am sure it was a bold thing to do for the first disciples. Most of the early apostles were compelled to proclaim the resurrection and the crucifixion to the point of death. Hopefully, our faith in who Jesus is and what Jesus did affects how we view and live our life. I challenge you to think about how your faith in Jesus and the resurrection affects your every day life. If it does not affect you then spend some pondering this miracle over the course of the Easter season. May we look to the early apostles as examples of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
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