Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Jer 20:10-13, Rom 5:12-15, Mt 10:26-33

06-25-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: When I was in middle school, I came upon a group of students who had singled out another student, accusing her of some pretty rotten things. The Lord must have helped me to be brave that day because I decided to step in and defend her. Thankfully, calling them out on their cruelty was enough to fend them off. Thank God for his presence and aid in that moment! In the first reading today, Jeremiah tells of his experience of being betrayed and accused: “All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. ‘Perhaps he will be trapped [they say]; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.’” But Jeremiah does not lose heart, saying also, “the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion.” And Jesus’ words in the Gospel echo the resolve of Jeremiah when he says: “Fear no one … What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light … And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” It seems pretty clear, then, that our job is to bring the Good News of Jesus into the world whenever we can and let his light shine forth by our words and actions. We are commissioned to be warriors for Christ who should not fear injury but rather call upon him in our need and trust in his goodness and mercy to render aid.


Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Ex 19:2-6a, Rom 5:6-11, Mt 9:36–10:8

06-18-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: As a teenager, I was someone you might call “Suzy high school.” I played sports, was president of my class, had many friends, etc. But there were times I made some bad choices and ended up having to face my parents with the truth. I remember being afraid of what they would think, even wondering if my actions would make them love me less. Thankfully, I was blessed with incredible parents whose loving lessons throughout my life pointed me toward our Father’s love. St. Paul gives us a glimpse of how deep the love of our Father is in the second reading: “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” God loves us so completely that even before we approach him to ask for forgiveness, his arms are open wide. Look up at the cross and let that abundant, unending love wash over you. Reflect on what is said in the first reading from the Book of Exodus: “Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my special possession, dearer to me than all other people, though all the earth is mine.”


Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ - Dt 8:2-3, 14b-16a 1 Cor 10:16-17 Jn 6:51-58

06-11-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, the true, real, and substantial presence of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine. As Catholics, we know that the Eucharist is not simply symbolic, but is in fact the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ who rose from the dead. Our readings remind us of this. In the Gospel Jesus says: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh … I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” Although Jesus’ words were very difficult for his disciples at the time to understand, we know that the bread and wine that become the body and blood of Jesus satisfy our deepest hunger. This spiritual food is actually an encounter with God through his Son, Jesus. It is a blessing that the Church provides us. Let us celebrate on this solemnity by giving thanks, which is what eucharist means!


Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity: Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9; Cor 13:11-13; Jn 3:16-18

06-04-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: Last Sunday the Church celebrated the Solemnity of Pentecost: the birth- day of the Church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the world. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, giving adoration and glory to the three divine persons in our one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit three In unity, or Triune. in the Gospel we heard, John tells us: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." If you're going to write one Bible verse on piece of cardboard and hold it up at football game, this is It! John 3:16 encapsulates Christian belief: We are loved by the Father beyond measure, and that love Is incarnated takes human flesh in the divine person of his Son. But there is something deeper within this verse that comes to light much later in the Gospel: Jesus revealed that when he, the Son, returned to the Father, he would not leave us alone. (Jn 14: 26-28)Instead, the Holy Spirit came to be with us and remain with us. This is our God whom we celebrate and give thanks to: one in being, three in person. His love is unceasing and his Spirit dwells within and among us to guide us, advocate for us, and draw us ever closer to himself in that love.


Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2: 1-11; 1 Cor 12: 3b-7, 12-13; Jn 20: 19-23

05-28-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: As a college student, I found myself sitting near the information desk during a layover at a German airport. This was in the days before mobile phones and Google Translate. I remember being so impressed that the two young women behind the desk were able to answer questions in so many languages without missing a beat. Whether it was Spanish, French, German or English, each traveler heard an answer in their own language. I often think that must have been what it was like for the travelers to Jerusalem during Pentecost.


The Ascension of the Lord: Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1: 17-23; Mt 28: 16-20

05-21-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: Actions speak louder than words. How many of us have heard or said this exact phrase? I suspect most, if not all of us are quite familiar with this old adage. In fact, this is exactly what we are being told by Jesus himself in today’s Gospel when he says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Jesus continues his direction of action by telling us to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We are not directed to simply speak about Jesus with our families and church communities, we are told to GO among all nations and add to Jesus’ flock. We continue Christ’s mission when we seek to spread his love. Before Jesus joined his Father in heaven, his instructions were very clear. This is an opportunity to think about the commission we were given as part of the baptized community, and how Jesus is asking us to take action in his name.


Sixth Sunday of Easter: Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; 1 Pt 3:15-18; Jn 14:15-21

05-14-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW:  I know a few people whose method of book buying is to read the last few pages of a book first. They want to know if buying, or reading, the book is going to be worth it. As an avid bibliophile I find this to be something I could never do, but I understand their impulse. After all, it makes sense to want to have some kind of assurance that the journey one is taking – whether physical, spiritual, or literary – has a decent “payoff,” as it were. In today’s Gospel, Jesus promises his disciples that when he leaves he will provide “another Advocate” for them. We see this truth in action in the first reading, as with the laying on of hands by the apostles, those who had been baptized in Jesus’ name “received the Holy Spirit.” Christ’s life, death, and resurrection not only conquered death and brought us new life, it made way for the Holy Spirit who has come to dwell among and within us. The Lord has not left us alone. So while we may have a sense of what the sequel to our journey is, we trust the author of our story to help us write the ending of this one.


Fifth Sunday of Easter: Acts 6:1-7, 1 Pt 2:4-9, Jn 14:1-12

05-07-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: Recently, I went through a period of spiritual dryness, and I questioned my ability to make faith the central tenet of my life. Although I had always loved reading Scripture, I felt I needed reassurance that God was truly present with me. So I did what many people do: I asked God for a sign that he was real. Nothing happened. The sky didn’t open; doves and rays of light didn’t magically appear announcing God’s presence.


Fourth Sunday of Easter: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, 1 Pt 2:20b-25, Jn 10:1-10

04-30-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple


GROW: There is much we could ponder in today’s Scriptures, but the verses that stood out for me are these: “If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. For to this you have been called.” I have a hard enough time keeping my inner child under wraps when I suffer due to my own sinfulness or incompetence, and Peter is telling me to be patient when I suffer for doing what is good? Well, yes – “because Christ also suffered for [us], leaving an example that [we] should follow in his footsteps.” And the clarity of this truth hits me smack in the face. Doing what is good means we are loving another, in some way; we are doing good, for good. We are engaging in self-sacrifice, and some form of suffering is inherent to that. But here’s the thing: it’s an oddly joyful kind of suffering because it produces good fruit and directs our thoughts and vision to the one who is present among us as “the shepherd and guardian of [our] souls.” Let us pray for the ability to see each moment of suffering for doing good as “a grace before God.”  


Third Sunday of Easter, Acts 2:14, 22-33, 1 Pt 1:17-21, Lk 24:13-35

04-23-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple


GROW: The two disciples had every reason and opportunity to see that it was Jesus walking beside them. They knew that the tomb was empty and the women who had discovered it had relayed what the angel had told them: Jesus was alive. It had only been three days since he had died. Yet, even as he was in their midst, the two disciples’ eyes were prevented from recognizing it was Jesus. Only when he broke bread with them did they perceive and understand. Jesus walks beside us as well, but perhaps our eyes, like those of the two disciples, are prevented from recognizing him. What clouds our vision? It could be fear, doubt, despair, as on that road to Emmaus. Or maybe it is pride or hardness of heart. Like the early disciples, we must speak to Jesus, and tell him our story. Jesus comes to meet us, and we in turn have an opportunity to encounter him in many ways, most particularly in the breaking of the bread – the Eucharist. No matter how frantic or chaotic our lives may have become, attending Mass serves as an anchor, and a reminder of Jesus’ presence with us every day. 


Sunday of Divine Mercy

04-16-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

Acts 2:42-47

1 Pt 1:3-9

Jn 20:19-31


GROW: “I’ll believe it when I see it.” We’ve all said this at some point, usually in response to hearing about someone unreliable doing something out of character. St. Thomas had the same reaction in today’s Gospel when he wasn’t there when the other disciples saw Christ for the first time since he rose from his tomb – “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Although Jesus helped Thomas with his unbelief, he blesses those who have not seen, but believe. Have any of us seen the nail marks in Christ’s hands and feet, or the wound in his side? Do we see Christ’s body and blood on the altar, or do we see only the gifts of bread and wine? Christ comes to us in ways we can understand initially – parables, bread and wine, the face of people we meet throughout our daily lives – but our faith in what we have not seen, in the great mystery of our salvation, is what makes us Christian.


Easter Sunday: The Resurrection of the Lord

04-09-2023Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8

Jn 20:1-9


GROW: I love arriving to Mass early when the sacristan is preparing the altar, or even shortly after the prior Mass clears out. This is because I enjoy praying the rosary with fellow parishioners as well as having my choice of seat in the church, but there’s also something about the silence, the stillness that permeates the atmosphere during that time. Sitting alone with one’s thoughts tends to either disturb or flat-out bore many people, but consider the silence in a new light this Easter Sunday. Mary of Magdala visited Christ’s tomb only to find it empty; what was the tomb like after Christ had risen and left? I’d like to think the silence of the sanctuary before Mass is like the silence of the tomb: still, peaceful and, most of all, joyful, for our Savior conquered the grave. In a way, arriving early to a silent church is like Mary arriving to Jesus’ tomb and finding it empty. Soon, though, the church is filled with other believers – witnesses to the risen Christ who proclaim his victory over sin and death to share in the Eucharist before going out into the world to serve and make disciples.