18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-31-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

What makes us feel secure? Many people look to tangible forms of security that will safeguard their livelihood and prepare for their future. We tend to associate security with things: the accumulation of goods and possessions, retirement funds, savings accounts, and substantial incomes. While acquiring these promises a life with less anxiety and worry, we actually find ourselves more preoccupied and consumed with their growth and preservation. We worry more! We can easily become quasi-hoarders, consumed with obtaining more tangible crutches. Our minds and hearts are always restless, and we never seem to be at peace.


17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-24-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Meister Eckhart asks, “Who is the man whose prayers God always hears?” He answers, “God hears the man who appeals to God as God. When, however, man appeals to God, hoping for some worldly good, he is not appealing to God at all, but to what he is asking of God. He is trying to make God his servant. On this point, St. Augustine says: ‘You pray to what you love, for true whole prayer is nothing but love!’ Thus, we pray to what we love, and no one rightly prays to God but he who prays for God and has nothing on his mind but God.” We struggle with what we want God to do and how we want our prayer validated. Meister Eckhart is correct. We often want God to be our servant. We further struggle with trusting that God knows what we need and that His will is best.


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-17-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

“Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit! Through prayer, even in the busiest times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God’s unexpected gifts. Through daily prayer may our homes become, like the house of Martha and Mary, places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome (Pope Francis).” While it is necessary to attend to the details of hospitality, learning how to be present to people, experiences, and God is sometimes more important. Creating homes that are welcoming environments requires not only organization and structure but members who truly enjoy being there and celebrating life with one another.


15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-10-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

We can learn a great deal from Mister Rogers. Remember him? He was the gentle soul who found his way into living rooms worldwide starting as far back as 1968. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a beloved program that celebrated and exalted people, especially children. He taught us that we are neighbors and that everyone has a place. Everyone matters. He had a vision, born of his relationship with God that highlighted every human life’s innocence, beauty, and uniqueness. To that end, he called us to be responsible for each other, saying nothing different than what Jesus said. Viewers quickly learned that life is not just about me.


14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-03-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Freedom properly defined is freedom properly understood. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that it is, “the condition or right of being able or allowed to do, say, think, etc., whatever you want to, without being controlled or limited.” That same dictionary defines liberty as, “the freedom to live, work, and travel as you want to.” Both definitions sound very similar. Is there a difference between freedom and liberty? Many are accustomed to believing that freedom and liberty are interchangeable and simply involve possessing rights and privileges. For the Christian, however, there is a big difference between the two.


13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

06-26-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

And to another he said, “Follow me.” In every moment of every day, in every circumstance and experience, God is calling us. We can easily get distracted and not hear it or simply ignore it, pretending it wasn’t even heard. When we do hear it and favorably respond, there are some conditions that must be met. Jesus makes it clear that once we say yes to his invitation, we must stay focused and forge ahead. We cannot keep looking behind or worry about unfinished business. There are some tasks, and discipleship is one, that require our full devotion.


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

06-16-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Jesus went to those most in need. He forgave the sinner, ate with the outcast, defended, and fed those who were poor and hungry. He worked for true justice, risked being unpopular, willingly accepted suffering and death, and always stayed connected with his Abba, Father. Jesus also consistently reminded folks that God’s compassion, love, and mercy trump everything, even the law. This is the Christ that the Eucharist calls us to be. As we look around our churches, our towns and cities, and our world, there are many people who need to see the face and body of Christ. Some of those most in need may be right within our families. But it is always in the poorest of the poor and those most vulnerable that we find the greatest need. There are many who cannot function on their own. When the gift of the Eucharistic Christ takes root in our hearts, we can more readily see the face of Christ in others.


The Most Holy Trinity

06-12-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

In creative celebration of the Most Holy Trinity, pray a rosary with creation. Find a quiet place outside or sit near a window. Contemplate the amazing Divine Gift that is before you. Admire it. Study it. Become one with it. Ask for the guidance of Brother St. Francis as you pray: “You, Holy Father, are King of heaven and earth. You are three in one, God above all gods. You are good, all good, and supreme good, Lord God, living and true. You are love. You are beauty. You are gentleness. You are joy. You are hope and happiness.” Admire the wonder and majesty of God in all that is around you. Ask for wisdom and understanding.


Pentecost Sunday

06-05-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Even though Pentecost is rightly celebrated in late spring, the robust experience of a New England fall can provide a profound metaphor for reflection. A full expression of fall colors is beautiful to behold. But, with all of its majesty and beauty, the observer knows the experience of death is soon to come. Creation will be dark and barren for a while. Pentecost cannot be separated from the cross. Before God’s transformative, life-giving power can bear fruit, we must first die.


7th Sunday of Easter

05-29-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Unity and diversity can exist together. Our western minds have a grave difficulty seeing unity without conformity. We tend to believe that unless everyone believes the same thing, assents to the same body of truths, styles, and opinions, unity is not possible. Jesus, in today’s Gospel, expresses a tenderness and an intimacy that the disciples actually can witness. This same tenderness and love are also reflected in his desire for unity and oneness. Jesus passionately wants all to be one. It is very clear that the success of Jesus’ mission and the advance of the Gospel rises or falls with whether this unity is achieved. And it is a unity that is achieved around a person and not particulars. 


6th Sunday of Easter

05-22-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Jesus tells his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” The peace that Jesus gives is far different than the kind that comes from the absence of war, conflict, or affliction. The peace that God offers is found alongside suffering and hardship, not necessarily in their absence. St. Teresa of Avila offers us a bit of wisdom regarding peace: “May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”


5th Sunday of Easter

05-15-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” Many folks really work very hard to circumvent difficult situations. We prefer the easier way around something, rather than risk inconvenience, hurt or prolonged suffering. It’s no wonder euthanasia is rapidly becoming acceptable around the world. Through purely human eyes, there is no issue bypassing the inevitable, taking control and bringing things more swiftly to a place of peace. If this is the way God sees things, then why does Jesus make such a big deal helping us understand the experience of suffering and embrace it? God’s wisdom clearly takes us in another direction.


4th Sunday of Easter

05-08-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

“Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.” (Pope Francis) We have a difficult time figuring out what is true and best for us. There are many voices talking and so many trying to get our attention. We wrongly convince ourselves that the true voice is the voice of progress, the one that speaks of contemporary wants and desires, enticing us with the latest trends and causes. We are taught, by listening to the voices around us, that truth is found in feelings and thought, and ideals must match current and popular human wants. Because we feel a particular way it must be true. Then, we find a shepherd who empathizes with us and affirms us. We follow that voice even though listening to that voice will render us powerless and lead us to harm. There are many with me in this procession to this pasture. I must be on the right path and listening to the right voice.


3rd Sunday of Easter

05-01-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Could it be that God’s image has become so soiled and distorted that it is hard for us to see it? Our self-serving agendas have done a great job twisting God’s image into what profits us. We want our agenda to be God’s agenda and use prayer as the convincing leverage we need. Worse still, our success and egocentric agenda often erases God’s image completely, replacing it with our own. St. Oscar Romero instructs us that the Son of Man “dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.” Striving to preserve control of our destinies at all costs, we fail to see the risen suffering servant, the Christ, standing right beside us.