Reflection for Sunday September 24th, 2023 by Jane
Gospel: Mt 20:1-16a
In today’s reading, Jesus tells the parable of the worker’s wages. The owner of a vineyard goes out one morning to the market and hires daily workers, agreeing on a wage for the day. However, instead of just getting one set of workers for the day, he returns to the market every few hours to gather more workers. At the end of the day, he gives every single man the same exact pay – the ones there for 3 hours and the ones there all day. The workers who were there all day complained, suggesting they deserve more or at the very least, the newer workers deserve less. In response to this greed and envy, the owner reminded them that he paid them what he always said he would. They did not get any less pay because the shorter workers got more, and yet the full-time workers were still upset. The vineyard owner told the all-day workers not to complain about his own private generosity.
This parable parallels the relationship between different kinds of people and God. For example, if you pray every single day and your neighbor prays once a year, you should not complain if your neighbor’s prayers are answered – it does not negatively affect your relationship with God. God’s positive response to both your prayer and your neighbor’s prayer are not mutually exclusive. Right now, it may be challenging to “stay in your lane” in this climate of social media, academic competition, athletic competition, and more. However, we need to remember that what happens with other people does not necessarily ruin our progress. We are called through this parable to not get upset and envious of what others have, but rather thank God for our blessings and keep our focus on ourselves.
This week's reflection is by Jane, Gwynedd Mercy Academy HS.
Reflection for Sunday September 17th, 2023 by Cait
Gospel: Mt 18:21-35
In our Sunday Gospel, Jesus tells Peter about the importance of forgiveness in our faith. “How often must I forgive?” Peter asks Jesus. “I say to you, not seven times, but seventy times seven,” Jesus answers. He then tells a parable, likening the Kingdom of Heaven to a relationship between a king and servants in debt to him.
By saying this, Jesus is asking us to open ourselves to forgiveness. Through this passage, God is asking us to hold in our hearts the same mercy He does. We aren’t meant to hold grudges or stew on things that went wrong- we’re called to forgive, just as Jesus would. How can you embrace forgiveness in your life?
Cait is a junior at Little Flower High School
Reflection for Sunday September 10th, 2023 by Emilia
Gospel: Mt 18:15-20
This week's gospel is teaching us about forgiving one another. If you have an issue with anyone you should try to resolve it on a one-to-one basis, and if that does not work bring it to a friend, then the church. If nothing works cast them out of your life. For as Jesus said, whatever relationships you have on earth you will have in heaven, and those that you have severed will also be severed in heaven. Jesus also said that when two or more are gathered together He is always there. These two teachings tell us that when you are in a difficult situation with other people and are working to resolve it, God is always there. God wants us to go to the person who may have said something bad about us and wants us to ask them to own up to the wrong they did or ask for forgiveness of what you might have done. He wants us to try our very best to resolve this situation, but if not we need to cast out the person. Casting out is a discipline to hopefully make that person want to come back and ask for forgiveness. Think about someone who you may be having difficulty with and how you might approach them knowing that God is with you?
Emilia is starting her 11th year of high school.
Reflection for Sunday September 3rd, 2023
Gospel: Mt 16:21-27
There are so many aspects of this week’s Gospel passage that I am drawn to: Jesus recognizing that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer, Peter’s attempt to thwart the suffering of Jesus, the rebuke of Peter, picking up our crosses and following Jesus, and the contradiction to losing our life to gain it. All of these things ultimately come down to the realization that Jesus came to totally flip our way of living and thinking on the head. Jesus stands in opposition to the world. He models sacrifice, losing our sense of self, giving ourselves away, and the reality of suffering as opposed to success, pleasure, obsession with ourselves, taking and possessing. Jesus once again forces us to make a decision: are we going to follow his way or follow the way of the world. He makes me think of the famous line from the Second Vatican council: “This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” Jesus is inviting us to follow him and to offer ourselves and our lives as a sincere gift to God and our fellow brothers and sisters. It is in this very gift that we come to fully understand what we were made for: love. How is God inviting you to give yourself more fully this week?
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