31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-30-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Barry had a life sentence in prison for doing unthinkable crimes. He would often remark to the chaplain that he was an atheist and could not bring himself to believe in any “god.” When the chaplain asked why, Barry quickly retorted that the book of Genesis speaks of God creating everything and feeling very good about it. God’s creation of people and things is beautiful. Barry continued, “If there is a God who creates something and likes what He makes and that God is good, then how could He have created someone as evil as me?” The chaplain fell silent as tears welled up in his eyes. “God loves you too, Barry. The stuff that you did is another matter. God puts His image and likeness in each one of us, in our souls. How can God not love himself?” God cannot despise or hate anything or anyone. He made you. Life hurt you. He is always about unconditional love and mercy. Barry found a glimmer of hope that day and was touched by love.


30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-23-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

There is a thing called “false piety.” It is when we wear a religious disguise of devotion, attend to our obligations, and outwardly abide by rules while being inwardly unkind, uncharitable, and exclusive. Wearing the right clothes, saying the proper prayers, being in sacred places, and reading devotional books, those exhibiting false piety craftily try to control others using the pretense of love. The Pharisees, consistently criticized by Jesus, are prime examples. Thinking they are superior to others, they foolishly believe they are better positioned with God and more worthy of God’s attention. Forming an exclusive “club,” they divide things between “mine” and “yours” and “us” and “them.” They quickly criticize and point out flaws and errors in rituals and thinking. Conformity becomes the first commandment and control is the game’s name.


29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-16-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Brendan wouldn’t stop. He continued nagging his mom to let him have a little more time with his phone. He knew the rules but wanted to finish a game and text a few more friends. He begged, had a temper tantrum, pleaded, screamed, pouted, and used every means he could think of to get Mom to change her mind. Mom had a busy day and was tired. At first, she held her ground. Then, her son’s persistence got the best of her, and she caved. “Brendan, you can have 30 more minutes and no more!” she retorted. Brendan’s determination paid off. He won.


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-09-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Ten lepers were cured. Only one returned to give thanks. When we fall victim to entitlement, we diminish our capacity to love. Never satisfied, we walk around with outstretched arms, eagerly searching for the next thing we want so that we can acquire it ourselves. Very rarely do entitled hands hold anything to freely give away to others. Entitled hands also find it challenging to reach toward heaven in a gesture of gratitude and praise. We are often more obsessed with celebrating our victories, securing our assets, safeguarding our futures, and stacking the deck of life in our favor rather than relishing and absorbing the gift of the moment and blessings received.


27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-02-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

As adults, unless we are dealing with children, “obedience” is not a word we typically like to hear. It often brings connotations of military protocols, deference to superiors at work, or conforming to laws and practices. In a culture that has learned to challenge authority, being obedient is understood more as something I “have” to do, not “want” to do.