Reflection for Christmas
Gospel Reading: Matthew 1:18-25
This Gospel passage from Matthew is a representation of the truly righteous man that Joseph is. Instead of divorcing Mary in public, which would bring much negative attention to her, he was going to divorce her quietly, saving her from humiliation. This act demonstrates his compassionate spirit and kind nature. Joseph also has everlasting trust in God and His plan, which is how every Christian should live. Instead of ignoring the dream or disobeying God, he did exactly what he was supposed to and had faith in the plan that God had in store for him, which was to become the earthly father of Christ and to bring Mary into his home. The act of taking Mary, who was already pregnant, into his home, required much courage. He knew that he would have to face the possible judgment and hate from others, but remained strong. This Gospel is a call to love and trust in God unconditionally, even when it seems difficult or impossible. This holiday season, we should all strive to be like Joseph by acting compassionately towards one another and having a trust in God so deep that nothing can break it.
This week's reflection is by Olivia Forti, Mount Saint Joseph Class of 2022
Did you know that Pope Francis declared this liturgical year as a special year in honor of St. Joseph?
Let Paul know if you would like to write a Gospel Reflection in January. Teens who have previously written a reflection are welcome to write another one.
Reflection for Sunday December 20, 2020
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
For our fourth Sunday of Advent, we read about Mary's amazing fiat; her wholehearted acceptance of God's beautiful plan for her. When Gabriel explains to her the miracle that she will be part of, Mary answers with "May it be done to me according to your word." This reading speaks to me in a few ways. The first is that it reminds me again of the joy of Advent; a time of looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior! The second is that this reading is the first time that the simple yet powerful words in the Hail Mary are given to us. We are reminded that the Lord is with Mary and through Mary, we are able to draw our hearts closer to our God.
Lastly, on a personal level, what stands out to me in the reading is when Gabriel says to Mary, "Do not be afraid." As someone who is often anxious or worried about the future, I hear variations of this phrase often from my family and friends. Fear can shape how I live my life if I let it, and it can even shape my faith. If I choose to let fear of being ostracized or dismissed for sharing my faith and speaking up for my values, I am letting fear take over. As I reflect on this reading, I am reminded that if Mary can trust an angel and that what Gabriel said was true, I can trust my faith, my intuition, and my deepening of my relationship with God. The message to Mary extends to me and to everyone-- do not be afraid; God is present and part of all we do. How can you let God in when you feel afraid?
This reflection is by Katie Leavy, one of our high school small group leaders.
Reflection for Sunday December 13, 2020
Sunday Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
This passage shows John the Baptist faithfully proclaiming God’s Word and evangelizing the Jewish people so they may see Jesus as the light He’s symbolized as. John is the embodiment of how we should be spreading the message of Jesus; we should all be following his precedent to make visible God’s path. John was standing in the desert of Jerusalem imploring the people there to make the way to God clear, but he was also speaking to us. As people united by being the branches of Jesus’ tree; it’s essential that we move all of the twigs, sticks, or other landforms blocking our sight to what’s truly right. The way to God is the way to prosperity, and if we leave his path nebulous we’ll be straying away from all that is good, into Satan’s abyss of Sin. We have the key to making the dark path visible: Christ, the light, but instead of merely knowing about him-- we must be ONE with Christ. I invite you all to contemplate the answers to these questions so the passage’s moral will stick. How will I answer to those who ask who I am? Am I allured by the light that’s calling out my name?
This week's reflection is by Ava, OMC Parish School class of 2021.
Reflection for Sunday Devember 6, 2020
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:1-8
“John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Reading this specific verse from this Sunday’s Gospel made me pause and think about the relationship between forgiveness and repentance. There have been times in my life when I have forgiven people who did not repent or even want to be forgiven and there were times when I have been forgiven by others without my own repentance. The two actions can exist independent of each other but are they supposed to? True healing is only possible when there is repentance AND forgiveness. I like to think of it as two sides extending towards each other and being reunited or better yet reconciled. When I repent I reach out. When God forgives, He reaches out to me. Reconciliation is the moment my repentance meets God’s forgiveness. The secret: God is always reaching out to us in forgiveness! We know that God forgives us the moment we turn away from Him or from his will. However, reconciliation requires us to do something too. It is up to us to acknowledge our mistakes and receive God’s endless mercy. Both Advent and Lent are represented by the color purple which symbolizes preparation and repentance. This Advent, consider going to confession where God’s mercy and grace can encounter your repentant heart. Receive God’s mercy, love, and grace and prepare your heart for the birth of Christ.
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