What does Your Love Look Like?

02-24-2019Weekly Reflection

This Sunday, Jesus continues his challenging Sermon on the Mount. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back." Words like these are challenging! Many of us have grown up in a culture of independence and retaliation against those who harm us. Today's Gospel reminds us that the way of the world is not necessarily the way of the disciple.

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Consider Your Priorities

02-17-2019Weekly Reflection

What an audience Jesus has in today's Gospel! "A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and thecoastal region of Tyre and Sidon." Disciples, pagans, and devout Jews gathered together to hear Jesus speak in the Sermon on the Mount. All of these peoplehad something in common. God was someone to be bargained with, and if God liked you, you were rewarded with good fortune.

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Do You Have Enough?

02-10-2019Weekly Reflection

Do you have enough? Many of us come from a nation of material abundance. We have all the things we could possibly need not only to survive but to thrive - food, shelter, mental ability, income, access to medical care. Most people in human history lived with far less than we. So why are we so dissatisfied? Some Christians can be drawn to the "prosperity Gospel." This is the idea that following God will bring us material abundance in this life.

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Prophetic Voices

02-03-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Today's Gospel is one of tension and contradiction. We enter the scene at the local synagogue. It is near the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry, and he has returned home to Nazareth for a short while. There, in the midst of the men who watched him grow up and who played with him as a boy in the dusty streets, Jesus proclaims that he is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah. The response is understandably mixed. "All spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, 'Isn't this the son of Joseph?'"

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Will you love in the Spirit of the Lord today?

01-27-2019Weekly Reflection

"He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up." Did you grow up in a small town? Whenever you see stories of tight-knit communities, a common refrain is that everybody knows everybody and that's very difficult to change. If you leave and return, people expect you to be and act a certain way, and it's strange for them if you do not. In today's Gospel, we see that Jesus was already moving "in the power of the Spirit and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He...was praised by all." His ministry has begun! News of his growing popularity must have proceeded him to Nazareth.

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Who is God in Your Life?

01-20-2019Weekly Reflection

When you think of being Catholic, what do you think of? Perhaps you grew up with your only associations being fasting, nuns with rulers, and "Catholic guilt." Our faith can sometimes have the connotation of restriction and absence, not abundance.

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What are you waiting for?

01-13-2019Weekly Reflection

Think of what it's like to wait a long time. Can you imagine what it would be like to wait for centuries? No one person lives that long, of course. But for the Israelites, they had heard the stories from generation to generation. They had been conquered time and time again, and now "the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ." They had been waiting for a Messiah, one who did miraculous deeds and said profound things; someone aglow with the glory of God.

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The Season of Joy!

12-23-2018Weekly Reflection

We are at it again, Christmas season. Instead of bringing joy, the complexities of this season can rob us of the joy that God intended it to bring in our lives. Perhaps for you this season has become a time of loneliness and sadness because of the loss of a loved one. Or maybe you dread this Christmas season because for you, it is marked by intense stress-related activities the gifts you have to buy; hosting out of town family members; long trip to visit with loved ones; elaborate meals to cook; reconnecting with family members or inlaws you don’t want to see. If Christmas is bringing you something other than joy, something is amiss.

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The Way of the Lord is Upon Us!

12-16-2018Weekly Reflection

Hundreds of years before the birth of our Lord, the prophet Zephaniah parted the murky pall that hung over God’s people and saw a day of unbridled joy. Yes, judgment had come upon the nation. Yes, exile had interrupted everyone’s dreams for a better life. Yes, God’s people had lost so much faith in the Onewho parted the Red Sea and established David’s kingdom.

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The Word of the Lord is Coming to You!

12-09-2018Weekly Reflection

The gospel tells us that the word of the Lord visited JB (John the Baptist) in the wilderness. God can pitch his tent with you, to address you in what seems to be your very ordinary life. The word of the Lord can visit us as it did with JB when our lives are in the wilderness places of life. We usually expect God to show up when everything is polished and prepared, but in fact, the Scripture suggests God, more times than not, comes to us when the garden of life has become a desert when dreams have died and health has waned.

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Do You Know That Jesus is On His Way?

12-02-2018Weekly Reflection

Did you realize that when you awoke this morning, you opened your eyes to a brand!new year? That’s right! When the sun’s light kissed your face and quickened your pulse and drew you into this second day of December, you breathed the air of a new year of worship? Why? Because today is the first day, the first Sunday of a new year of Christian worship. The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Church year. So, I say Happy New year!

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Do You Know Your Faith?

11-18-2018Weekly ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

What Do Catholics Believe? Every Sunday during Mass, we declare that: “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible…etc.” Have you wondered why we have a creed or how the creed came about?

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Do You Know Your Faith?

11-11-2018Weekly ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Do you know why the priest or deacon says at the end of the Mass: "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord?" The dismissal reminds us that the only way to serve the Lord is in peace and love. Our response, “Thanks be to God,” does not mean we are anxious to be finished and on our way. The Mass is not just obligation but power and force for change individually and together. Thanks be to God!

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Do You Know Your Faith?

11-04-2018Weekly ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Do you know why we break the bread at Mass? The reason we break the bread at Mass is that through Communion we, though many in number, become one body because we eat the one bread of life, which is Christ.

During the Lamb of God, the priest breaks the body of Christ. This means that as the body of Jesus was broken on the cross to “take away the sins of the world,” so it is broken again to nourish us in our constant effort to rise above sinfulness and to grow in goodness.

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