The readings today are compared to good fruit from good trees, meaning that if we follow God’s ways with our whole heart, we are the good fruit. We need to question our own motives. Are we acting and speaking for our own benefit and being selfish, or are we acting for the good of others? The world pulls us away from God through wickedness & sin. We need to examine the “splinter in our eye” before removing the splinter in others. How are we guilty of the same things we blame others of doing? We need to transform ourselves first … with God’s help and grace. God wants us to follow Him to eternal life. In this journey, we also need to bring others along with us by speaking and acting with the same agape love God has for us.
How can you transform your heart, mind, soul and voice to be more in sync with God’s way?
Ps 92:2-3, 13-16
1 Cor 15:54-58
by Phyllis Kubes, Notre Dame Associate
Sunday’s readings speak of Mercy. The entrance antiphon states we can trust the Lord for He is merciful.
In the first reading from the book of Samuel mercy continues as David refuses to harm Saul.
Psalm 103 states: “The Lord is kind and merciful.”
As we read the gospel of Luke we hear the Lord ask us to respond with mercy to those who do us harm. It is not always easy to do this day after day. We must stop judging and condemning.
We will be given the gifts we need, a good measure packed and shaken down. The measure with which we measure will be returned to us.
Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time… February 17, 2019by Kris Lanik, Notre Dame Associate
Today’s readings speak of hope. “Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1817).”
In many ways this is the definition of a life of a hope filled disciple. It is relying on God to provide for our daily needs and focusing on our eternal reward. Only God will fulfill our desire for true happiness and will give meaning to our lives right now.
Jeremiah tells of the difference between the person who puts his trust in others rather than the Lord. The responsorial psalm is "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord." In the Second Reading, St. Paul teaches us that belief in Christ's resurrection will lead to our eternal happiness with those who have hoped in the Lord and have passed from this world to the next.
The Gospel reading from Luke describes the rich life that is available for those of us who are willing to live as Jesus' hope-filled disciples. We are all familiar with the passage of Jesus proclaiming the Beatitudes. Jesus is describing a life where our trust is rooted in God. We are called to be disciples who are focused on others and eternity. It is not always an easy life, but it is a truly meaningful life and one that leads to eternal reward.
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
Reading this Sunday’s gospel, I am challenged by the words “Put out into the deep.” The fishermen had been working all through the night and all seemed to be fruitless. Then Jesus said, “Put out into the deep.” Wow! What a surprise they beheld -- A catch of fish to the point of nets breaking. Sometimes it feels that way in my own life. I keep trying to be kind, caring, respectful, loving and it feels like nothing is happening. Perhaps the challenge is to “go out into the deep!” What could be the deep for me?
I believe these are some of the deeps God is inviting me to explore. How about you? Have you heard an invitation from God to “Go out into the deep” lately? May we listen gently and carefully this week as we dare to enter into the deep.
Reflection for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time…February 3, 2019by Cindy Wenninghoff, Notre Dame Associate
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you….They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”
All of us are called by God to be prophets, to share His love with others. And He tells us, that it will not be easy. Even Jesus experienced rejection among his own people. He is the Savior foretold, our salvation, but the people “led him to the brow of the hill and were going to hurl him down headlong.” It’s hard to imagine that scene - being with our Lord, and not believing. But it’s easy to get caught up in what the crowd is saying, to be swayed by those in power. To judge others based on what people say, not what is Truth. And it is even more difficult amongst our own peers as we are afraid to go against them, as they may turn on us too.
This bias and distrust seems just as prevalent today. We listen and react to local news and social media which is more interested in selling stories then following the truth. And our leaders, the vitriolic relationship between Democrats & Republicans, creates only division and anger. It’s hard to even have a conversation anymore, so nothing is done to help those in greatest need. It just makes my heart ache.
But we can’t grow weary of doing what is right. Each of us has a gift that we are called to share, and if we listen to our hearts, God will reveal it to us and be there for us. And we know, as the readings remind us, that “Love never fails. It rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”