Good Shepherd Sunday

04-25-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

Any builder worth his or her salt knows the value and importance of a cornerstone. Properly laying and securing this primary unit determines how the rest of the project unfolds and its success. Cornerstones are necessary elements not only of buildings but of lives as well. Many human beings conduct the business of their lives paying little attention to a grounding reference or starting point. Hence, what unfolds is a tapestry of relativism, with few anchors or guideposts and many impulsive choices. Some consider love to be their cornerstone. While this may sound attractive and useful, the pursuit of love without a simultaneous pursuit of its source can be shallow and self-focused. Just because a person chooses to do no harm and love others does not mean that they are living in truth and properly anchored to the real cornerstone.


Our Aha Moment

04-18-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

We often act out of ignorance. Armed with the best of intentions, we think we are seeing clearly and correctly, but we are not. We don’t always understand the full meaning of things and only perceive part of the truth. Hence, our judgments and actions can be impaired by myopic, incomplete or erroneous perceptions. The meaning of life, understanding of human experience, and negotiating life’s challenges can all become skewed without proper understanding and vision. The resurrection of Christ is the corrective to our incomplete and limited view of life. Looking at things with the eyes of faith brings a depth of clarity and understanding to how we see God, ourselves, others, and the world.


Exhale Peace

04-11-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

What a wonderful joy fills us today as we ponder the inexhaustible mercy of God. "Mercy is the heart of God," Pope Francis tells us. The image of a heart has been used to point to the very life source of a person as it is the organ that allows life to flow through our veins and sustain us. Mercy is the heart of God. Imagine this dynamic, powerful, compassionate, piercing, embracing, loving, propelling, penetrating, absorbing, and enveloping, transforming presence of God flowing into the very depth of our souls. It is God's mercy that allows blood to flow through our veins. It is God's mercy that forms every atom of our being and leads us to what is true. God's mercy reveals all superficiality and falsehood, and lays bare all distortions, empty promises, weakness, and sin.


Because He is Risen!

04-04-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Emmanuel Ihemedu

The resurrection of Jesus gives our faith voice, purpose, and meaning. “Our faith would have been in vain if Christ had not risen from the dead,” says St. Paul.

But besides that, the Resurrection has other implications for our lives. Do you know that because Jesus is risen, we too have the power to rise? We have the power to break away from the graves that often plague our lives, such as financial graves, emotional graves, marital graves, the graves of hopelessness, meaninglessness, alcohol, drugs, the graves of sadness, grief, depression, and despair.


Let God be God

03-28-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

Many struggle with Jesus. Some who consider themselves faithful hail him in their churches but still struggle to figure out what to do with him on our streets. The message is somehow more palatable when it echoes pious renderings and sentiments and involves singing hosannas during worship. It becomes a bit trickier when it gets to the part about changing the way we conduct the business of our lives, becoming more sensitive to the disadvantaged, poor, and marginalized, and living as servants of our Loving Creator. Ultimately, it is a struggle between wanting to be God ourselves and letting God be God as God is. That’s why it’s so easy to become hypocritical. We, like those who hailed Christ as he arrived in Jerusalem and sent Christ to the cross to die, also talk out of both sides of our mouths. We entertain what suits us at the time and walk away from the rest.


Love is Never Defeated

03-21-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

Any good teacher or parent will tell you that once a lesson is really learned it doesn't need to be taught again. When we internalize things we have learned, they become a part of who we are and influence how we perceive and interact with our world. The same is true for the law God has written upon our hearts. Once humanity learns this lesson, we will simply know it to be true and act accordingly. Sometimes, it is hard to get people to learn the lessons they need to learn. They are often distracted, disinterested, conflicted, misdirected, or just too stubborn and unable or unwilling to see what is right before their eyes. Understanding that God is in a loving and committed relationship with those fashioned and formed in God's own image, seems like such a simple lesson to learn. But history and experience has proven that it is not.


Spiritual Refocusing

03-14-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

Is there something to Lent that goes beyond our own spiritual house cleaning and spiritual refinement? Yes, there is! It has to do with listening and learning so that we can take up the task of the Gospel with greater clarity and fortitude. While the spiritual refocusing of Lent is necessary, the fruit of this Lenten conversion has much more to do with learning how we can be a better Church than it does about our eternal salvation. Salvation is a gift that flows out of God’s unconditional Mercy and cannot be merited. The spiritual maturity we can experience as a result of our Lenten disciplines serves to reduce the anxiety and apprehension we may experience as messengers of good, but very challenging, and unsettling, news.


All is Not Lost

03-07-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

Many prefer a “create as you go” approach to life where laws and protocols primarily exist to secure and protect liberties rather than dictate and outline proper and right behavior. There are no real benchmarks for acceptable ethical and moral behavior, with a “you can’t tell me what to do” attitude prevailing. Parents are even limited in what they can request of their children, and dealing with threatening behaviors, especially from adults, are a challenge as well. Acceptable and expected conduct seems to amount to safeguarding each other’s space rather than increasing awareness of necessary relationships that require a more refined and higher response.


Trust in the Mission

02-28-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

A pregnant woman was walking in the store and met an old friend. Her friend exclaimed, “You are absolutely beaming!” The new life God placed in her womb radiated throughout her body. It was brightly visible on her face and in her eyes. Transformation and change usually happen from the inside out. It is very rare that simply imposing structure from the outside does any good. Yes, it is true that routines and habits can change when things are done differently. But, for this change to last there has to be an interior renewal and metamorphosis as well. Simply regulating behavior and bringing someone into conformity with accepted protocols doesn’t mean their heart and soul come with them.


It's Not About Us!

02-21-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

St. Oscar Romero said, “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.” These powerful words provide the perfect framework for a conversion oriented Lenten experience. God is giving us this Lenten sign to stop being concerned about what you have and focus on who you are. This requires that we create a desert space and listen more attentively for God to reveal His presence. It is all so wonderfully simple on the one hand and so incredibly challenging on the other.


A Place at the Table

02-14-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

It is no wonder that followers of Christ are called the Body of Christ. After all, sharing in the same spiritual food and sacred meal, they become what they eat and reveal the Divine Image. There is so much power for healing in the community of believers. Through the Eucharist, Christ becomes as present in those who have partaken of his Body and Blood as he has the elements themselves. The very presence of God touches the depths of the human soul and visits a part of us that no human being can ever hope to explore. We are God’s. The sacred Eucharistic meal is a celebration of intimacy, the reunion of two loves in constant search of and longing for the other.


Life is a Journey

02-07-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

If I only knew then what I know now, how different life would be. This sentiment, expressed in myriad ways, is found on every human being’s lips at one point or another. Life may have brought us to a vulnerable place where we see some of the poor choices we made and the effects they are having. Perhaps we fell into some destructive and dysfunctional relationships or behaviors and are finding how they held us captive. Our zeal and passion for life may have drifted away and we are waking up to the reasons apathy has taken hold. Life can be hard. In fact, some would describe their lives as a drudgery. They walk through each day with an anxious unsettledness, wondering when their restlessness will cease. There is a temptation to believe that what I see is all I will get. Mortality and hopelessness await the dawn. If I could only have known what would come in the future, I could have made better choices and avoided all of this misery!