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.

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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.;

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).”

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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.

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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.

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