Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Dt 18:15-20; 1 Cor 7:32-35; Mk 1:21-28

01-28-2024Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: Oh, to not be anxious! What would that be like – to not have to worry about how we’ll pay the bills or whether our kids are safe or if our health will fail? While anxiety is a very human emotion, we can take comfort in knowing that our God is more powerful than anything that may worry us. It is also important to note that in today’s reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, what he means by “anxious” is not a modern psychological concept with only a negative connotation. The connotation is more “to be concerned with,” or “caring about” something, and can refer to things that are very good – including spouses and families! But when we care for many things, including our relationship with God, it is only natural for us to be anxious at times. But Jesus Christ gives us the assurance that the troubles of this world are temporary, and the peace of God eternal. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians, and us, to understand the importance of an undivided devotion to God, to care for him above all things – no matter if we are married or single – so that our whole life is devoted to holiness.


Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Jon 3:1-5, 10; 1 Cor 7:29-31; Mk 1:14-20

01-21-2024Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: Sometimes I feel like I need a Jonah in my life: someone who will come along and shake things up; someone who will nudge me and say, hey, you’re doing it wrong! No one wants to be criticized, but I know I need loving guidance to help me when I am not at my best. It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of life and neglect (even if unintentionally) what’s important. Jonah was given the unpleasant task of pointing out to the people of Nineveh their failings. Unlike many communities who resisted God’s words, by the end of the first day of Jonah’s anticipated three-day trek across the city, “the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.” For all the evil they had done, and the rebellion they had demonstrated, the people there weren’t irredeemable. They simply needed Jonah to point out how they had gone astray, and the grace of open ears and hearts to receive the message. Who has the Lord placed in our lives in the role of Jonah? How has he blessed us with the ability to receive, and repent where necessary?


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20 Jn 1:35-42

01-14-2024Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: When Samuel hears the Lord speak in today’s first reading, he mistakes it as Eli calling out to him in the temple. The third time Samuel asks if he called, Eli is wise enough to realize what is going on and guides Samuel: “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Samuel required guidance because he “was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet.” In a similar way does the Apostle Andrew come to the Lord. In today’s Gospel, Andrew didn’t know who Jesus was until John the Baptist told him: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Andrew then began to follow Jesus, and to bring others to him. There may be times when we, like both of these men, need someone else to help us hear the call of the Lord clearly, or see his presence among us. Those who serve the Lord in this way are a great gift to us, and enable us to be that gift for others. Pray for the grace to hear what we need to hear, to see what we need to see, and to say to others, “come, we have found the Messiah.”


The Epiphany of the Lord - Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3a,5-6; Mt 2:1-12

01-07-2024Weekly ReflectionThe Faithful Disciple

GROW: It’s interesting how an event can be interpreted by different people. God’s revelation of himself in the birth of the child Jesus is clearly one such event. The Magi, Gentiles from the east, had heard of this “newborn king of the Jews” and undertook a long and arduous journey to see him and offer him homage. They were edified and eager in their search. Herod, himself a king – of the Jews – did not have the same reaction. The very thought of this “newborn king” threatened him, and filled him with rage and suspicion. In this moment in human history, the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles (i.e., the Epiphany) unveils the truth of God’s redemptive work for all of creation to be reconciled to himself. This truth has been accepted and rejected throughout time, and our celebration of this feast gives us an opportunity to give thanks in a focused and particular way for our acceptance of it – to give thanks for the gift of our faith. Perhaps it is even a moment for us to have our own, colloquial epiphany: an “aha moment,” where we once again truly understand the depth of God’s love for us.