Reflection for Sunday January 30, 2022
Sunday Gospel: Lk 4:21-30
Do you think Jesus is divisive? In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus is driven out of the town after preaching in a synagogue. The people challenged not only what Jesus teaches but who he claimed to be. At the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, people could not believe that this was the same person that they have known for thirty years. I don’t think Jesus is necessarily divisive but he does challenge the way we think and the way we live. When faced with the teachings and claims of Jesus we are forced to reflect on our own beliefs and lives. Will we react with anger and drive Jesus from our lives or will we instead reflect on our lives as we invite the Holy Spirit to respond in an appropriate way.
Reflection for Sunday January 23, 2022
Sunday Gospel: Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21
The Gospel for this Sunday is the beginning of the Gospel of Luke and the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus reads from the Old Testament and declares how he is the fulfillment of the passage. Jesus is not only the fulfillment of the specific passage from Isaiah, he is the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament. Jesus challenges us not to dismiss the Old Testament but to read it in light of him. The stories of Genesis, Exodus, David and the kings, the prophets, and the judges all take on new meaning with Christ. Whether its suffering in the book of Job, sin in Genesis, the ark in Exodus, Jesus expands our understanding of all of these events. What parts of the Old Testament do you find challenging and how does Jesus change your understanding of those passages?
Reflection for Sunday January 16, 2022 By Frank Amuso
Sunday Gospel: Jn 2:1-11
This week’s reading is of the first and likely most iconic miracle of Jesus’ public ministry: at a wedding in Cana, he transforms water into wine. Although it is not in the Gospel of John, recall the story of Jesus’ experience immediately prior to his time in public; he spends forty days fasting in the desert, facing the elements and withstanding temptation from Satan. With such a dramatic preparation to finally minister to the public, it stands to reason that his first miraculous act--the first act that separates him from any of the other men preaching at the time--would be much more than some party trick. Rather, the wine Jesus gives these wedding guests represents the divine life he gives us at the end of his public ministry, by the ultimate sacrifice of his life on the cross. Likewise at the Last Supper, and as has been repeated at every mass since, Jesus gives wine to the apostles, saying “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:27-28). Well aware of this sacrifice to come, Jesus even says to Mary, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My time has not yet come,” after she tells him they have run out of wine. Clearly, in Jesus’ mind wine and this sacrifice, his crucifixion, his time yet to come, are intimately related.
There is also something to be said for the quality of the wine: without knowing its source, the headwaiter praises the bridegroom for saving the best wine for last. When Jesus gives his life for us, his is truly the ultimate sacrifice, saving us from sin and granting us eternal life in Heaven, the ultimate of ultimate rewards.
That might be getting a little ahead of this Sunday’s reading, but nevertheless Jesus proves for the first of many times that he is the Son of God, with power over creation, in this simple act of turning water to wine. With the hindsight of over two thousand years, we are able to recognize the foreshadowing of many events in this miracle, but this passage ends by saying through this act alone his disciples began to believe in him. In what ways has Jesus shown himself to you lately? Have you been open to receiving the gift of his love?
Reflection for Sunday January 9, 2022
Gospel Reading: Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
In this week’s Gospel, we see the Baptism of Jesus. After Jesus is baptized, we hear the iconic line, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” In our world today, it is easy to get caught up in trying to please everyone we meet. We want to be likable and to know that we are liked. We want everyone to come to us because they like us. However, in the Bible, we hear countless stories of people coming to Jesus for various reasons. Some came to him because they liked him, but some because they wanted him arrested and taken down. Pleasing everyone is impossible, and that is not our job. This week, Jesus teaches us that pleasing God is how to draw others in, and trying to please everyone will only make us less authentic. As you hear the Gospel this weekend, consider what you are currently seeking: pleasing people or pleasing the Lord?
This week's reflection is by Cate Quinn. Cate is a senior at Villa Joseph Marie High School.
Reflection for Sunday January 2, 2022 by August Blatney
Gospel Reading: Mt 2:1-12
In this passage called The Epiphany, the magi are sent by King Herod to give homage to the newly born Jesus in Bethlehem. They present Jesus with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They are warned in a dream not to return to Herod because Herod is threatened by the notion that Jesus is the newborn king of the Jews and wants to kill him. This passage is an important one in our understanding of Jesus because it is his revelation into the world. The savior that was professed in the Old Testament is finally born. This story marks the beginning of Jesus’s life and journey as a savior for all people.
Outside of the practical meaning of the story, there is a symbolic representation of Jesus under the star. The star shone brightly above where Jesus laid in the manger. This star has many symbolic meanings. First, the star shone brighter than the other stars in the night sky because Jesus is light. By following our own paths toward this star, we are taking ourselves out of the darkness and into the light. Light overpowers darkness, and this story shows that if we follow Jesus into the light, we can overcome the darkness around us in our own lives. The star also represents faith. The magi did not know for certain that Jesus was under the star but they had faith in what they were doing. This shows that faith will lead us to Jesus. Even in our lives when we feel lost and uncertain about what our future path holds, if we maintain our faith in Jesus, we will eventually be led to him and we will find what we are searching for just as the magi did. Lastly, Jesus and the star can represent a new beginning. The birth of Jesus marked the start of a new chapter for human history. It marked a new beginning for us all to start over and replace our mistakes of the past with new hopes for the future. During this Christmas season when we hear these readings we know that this time of year can be a new beginning as well. With lent on the way, a period for self reflection, we can look back on the past year, and try to improve ourselves for the future, and give ourselves a new and better beginning in the new year.
This week's reflection is by August who is in his first year at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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