Reflection for Sunday April 24th, 2022
Sunday Gospel: Jn 20:19-31
During the Easter season we hear various events that take place after Jesus’ crucifixion and his resurrection. The Gospel of John is where we have the foundations of several of our sacraments. Baptism, Marriage, Eucharist, Holy Orders, and with this week’s Gospel, confession, can all be seen in the Gospel of John. At the beginning of this Gospel, Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to the disciples and gives them the power to forgive sins. Jesus extends the power of God to the apostles, the first priests. While we have the ability to confess our sins to anyone, not everyone has the power to forgive sins. God forgives sins and our priests minister in that role, in persona christi. This passage always makes me think about the sacrament of confession. Confession is a gift for us. We can confess our sins at any time but through the sacrament of reconciliation we hear the words “I absolve you of your sins.” Confession has become essential to me in my pursuit of Christ. It gives me the opportunity to really reflect on my life and how well I am following Jesus. After confession, I am strengthened and encouraged to keep trying. OMC has confession Wednesdays at 7 and Saturdays at 3:30. You can also find confession times at every parish. This Sunday is also Divine Mercy Sunday. What better time is there to experience the mercy of God in confession? When was the last time you went to confession and what is stopping you from receiving this beautiful sacrament?
Reflection for Sunday April 17th, 2022
Sunday Gospel: Jn 20:1-9
This weekend we celebrate Easter. While we are called to remember the resurrection every Sunday, Easter Sunday is always special because of the time we spend reflecting on the suffering and passion of Jesus in the days prior. In John’s account, Mary of Magdala is the first one to the tomb; she then tells the disciples and John goes down in history as faster than Peter. What strikes me with this passage is that all we have is the empty tomb. Every person who has ever investigated the claims of the resurrection, at the end of the day, must confront the empty tomb. The body of Jesus was there, people knew where he was buried, it was sealed, there were guards, then on Sunday it is empty and he appears to people afterwards. We can either persist in disbelief or stand in faith and say “I don’t understand what happened and maybe never will, but I accept that something happened.” I always fall back on the testimony of the disciples who lost just about everything for their beliefs. This Easter we are all invited to reflect on what we believe about Jesus. When you are confronted with the empty tomb what do you think of?
Reflection for Sunday April 10th, 2022
Sunday Gospel: Lk 23:1-49
This Sunday, the Gospel is about Jesus and The Stations of the Cross (Luke 23:1-49). I have grown up learning about the Stations of the Cross, and every year I see them differently. When reading them this year, I truly noticed how badly the people hated Jesus. First, they brought him to Pilate, and when Pilate declared him not guilty, they brought him to Herod. Both Herod and Pilate found him not guilty, but the people were not satisfied with that. Pilate plans on releasing Jesus, but the people will not allow him. At first, I was confused as to why they would not just accept that Jesus was not guilty, but if people see something as unjust, they will try to stop it. In this case, Jesus was the unjust thing.
As I continued reading, Pilate asked the crowd if they would rather have Jesus released, or Barabbas released. The ironic part of this was that Barabbas’ first name was also Jesus, and the two could not be more different. Barabbas was in jail for murder, and still the people wanted Jesus to be condemned. Finally giving in, Pilate washed his hands of Jesus, and gave him to the people to deal with.
As the rest of the stations go, Jesus climbs up the mountain, carrying his cross. Along the way, Simon helps him carry the cross; and the women of Jerusalem weep for him. When they get to the top of the mountain, Jesus is nailed to the cross as the people laugh at him and auction off his clothing.
As I continued reading, I knew one of the people on the other two crosses thought Jesus was a fraud, and the other thought he was truly the son of God. The first one was asking Jesus, if he was the son of God, why he could not save them. The other told him they were there for the crimes they committed, and asked Jesus to forgive them. At the end of the stations, the people who condemned Jesus laugh, and his followers weep. Every year I enjoy rereading the stations and feel sorry for Jesus. How do the stations of the cross affect you as you hear about what Jesus went through?
This week's reflection was written by Penny an 8th grader at OMC.
Reflection for Sunday April 3rd, 2022
Sunday Gospel: Jn 8:1-11
This week’s Sunday Gospel is about Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees wish to punish the woman for her sin. When brought to Jesus, he turns the tables on them and tells them “Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.” Once all the Pharisees have left Jesus tells the woman “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” What I like about this event is the balance that Jesus strikes between love and truth. Jesus does not downplay sin. Sin is more than something that is wrong or bad. At its root sin is connected to God. He acknowledges that the woman did sin by telling her to sin no more. More importantly though, he extends love and mercy and calls the woman to conversion. Jesus implies that the woman’s story is not over and is still being written. God encounters us in our sin, he loves us, and he calls us to repentance and a better way of living. How is Jesus extending his love and mercy to you while also calling your to conversion?
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