26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-25-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.” Regardless of how the message of faith is received, a total conversion of mind and heart is needed for it to take root and have meaning. It is easy to become complacent and comfortable with all that life can afford us. Life can become “all about me,” preserving my livelihood and protecting my securities. Often, this drive can become so strong that we eagerly strive to protect our self-interests at the expense of others. Other people are necessary only to the extent that they are “useful” to us and profitable.


25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-18-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

“You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Merriam-Webster defines mammon as material wealth or possessions, especially having a debasing influence. While God does not take issue with our need to use money for the business of our lives, there can be a problem with the attitudes we bring to it. We can easily become so preoccupied and obsessed with money that it becomes the real “god” we worship. Do we serve mammon instead of God? In their book, Wealth, Riches and Money, Craig Hill and Earl Pitts outline symptoms of mammon’s influence in our lives. Some of these are worry and anxiety over money, money mismanagement, fear over “never having enough,” an “I can’t afford it” mentality, impulse buying, stinginess, greed, debt, and discontent.;


24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-11-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

Since God created human beings, we have struggled to keep our focus on God. We wrestle with the question of “who is God” and foolishly believe some of God’s job description can be better completed by us. We wander in different directions, lose our way, think that happiness can be found elsewhere and even construct golden calves to worship. Are we simply too independent or just blatantly stubborn? It’s a good question to ask. Even with all of our silliness and distractions, God compassionately and patiently waits. He lets us assert our wills and knows that perhaps one day we will actually wake up and realize how lost we are.


23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-04-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

What virtue is the cornerstone of discipleship? Love. Jesus preached about it, lived it, and summarized his greatest commandment featuring it. Love is in our DNA. To follow Jesus, then, is to follow the path of love. While this may appear to be an attractive and easy option, it most assuredly is not. Authentic love always comes with sacrifice. It is the complete giving of oneself to another. The sacrificial character of love always requires that we leave something aside and pursue something else. This is at the heart of self-denial. Love asks us to make choices that are often difficult.


Learn to Give Yourself Away

08-28-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

People who are concerned with their own advancement and agenda have little room for anyone else. With an almost addictive pursuit of esteem and acknowledgment from others, they become little more than entitled embodiments of the vice of pride. Public humiliation or embarrassment can hit them hard. While avoiding humiliation and embarrassment may be advantageous to obtaining worldly success, they are much less desirable motivations for entering the Kingdom of God. Avoiding embarrassment is a self-serving motivation. Pride and all of its manifestations have no place on God’s agenda, neither do worldly success and fulfillment. In fact, we have been clearly told that if we love our lives, we will lose them. Therefore, if you really want to find your true station in life, learn to give yourself away.


Discipline is about Radical Trust

08-21-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

The serious disciple knows the necessity and value of discipline. Thinking of discipline as something punitive in nature, we underscore its place in our spiritual lives. Discipline is really about a radical trust in God and his guidance. “When you are conducted by a guide who takes you through an unknown country at night across fields where there are no tracks, by his own skill, asking no advice from anyone, giving no inkling of his plans, what choice do you have but to give yourself completely to his guidance? If you are convinced that he is a good guide, you must have faith in him and abandon yourself to his care (Jean-Pierre de Caussade).”


20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

08-14-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

An inward transformation occurs in a person who decides to follow Jesus Christ. Things change. They see the world differently, understand their journey more deeply and profoundly, have their sights fixed on eternity and union with God and hold themselves to higher standards and virtues. It requires a conscious choice to be a Christian, and this choice must be renewed at least daily. While the basic premise of Jesus’ message may appear heartwarming and straightforward: love of God, neighbor, and self, the implications of doing so are challenging. The true disciple is called to live radically, and often finds themselves at odds with the world or even with those in their own homes.


19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

08-07-2022Weekly Reflection© LPi

St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that, “Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do.” Everyone is called to work toward their salvation, which is ultimately union with God. Those who take this call seriously must embark upon a journey inward to the deepest recesses of their soul. In the adventure and wonder of that journey, we work out the details of our union with our Beloved. We cling to what we need to believe, remain firm in what we truly desire, and are guided by what we know we have to do. Once we know that our goal is to be one with our Creator, life becomes an exciting expedition to pursue that end. We make necessary preparations, follow the map, and remain on course.


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.