Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sabbath Rest

In today’s Gospel, we read: “As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the Sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.  At this the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"  He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?"  Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."  Mark 2: 23 – 28

I always find this to be an interesting reading as Jesus takes on the Pharisees and sets them straight.  The Sabbath rest is something we do not always observe in our face paced world.  We need to take the time to pause, stop and quiet ourselves so that we can be really present for God and others.  As we take the time to pause and stop we are better able to be present to others.  In the days ahead let us make a sincere effort to be slow down and relish God’s immense love for us.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, January 16, we, as a nation, remember the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.-husband, father, son, dreamer who had such hope that the issue of race would be put to rest in this country where we profess that all men are created equal.  Those of us who are older remember the unrest in America after he was murdered-his dream and those of his friends shattered by a bullet. I was living in Washington, DC at that time and with my Ursuline Sisters, watched as whole neighborhoods were destroyed in the riots.  The race problem in this country has not been solved and we as Christians should pray for equality each day.  The challenge is before us each day and hopefully, we will rise to the challenge by standing next to our brothers and sisters who are denied their God given rights.

KM Donohue, OSU

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Follow Me

In today’s Gospel we read, “Jesus went out along the sea.  All the crowd came to him and he taught them.  As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post.  Jesus said to him, "Follow me."  And he got up and followed Jesus.  While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.  Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?"  Jesus heard this and said to them, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.  I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." (Mark 2: 13 – 17)  As I prayed over this reading this morning I was struck that Jesus called the unlikely person to come and follow.  Perhaps this is a good message for us to reflect on this day – that God calls all of us to be our best selves and serve others.  May this day be filled with many moments of blessing for all.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Life Well Lived

I am watching the live stream of the funeral of NYPD Detective Steven McDonald.  About ten years ago, we had the pleasure of having him come and speak to our school community.  It was an amazing assembly and his message is the one he lived every day of his life.  When he was here he gave out cards with a Pledge of Non-Violence on it as well as a reflection on You Are Very Special.  I have that simple card on my desk in my office and I often read it.  As we honor him this day let us take a moment to recommit ourselves to non-violence.

I promise that I will do my best to refrain from participating in acts of violence in my home, in my school, and in my neighborhood.  I also promise to stand with other human beings who are treated unfairly.  By doing this I make know how special I am.  I will remember that I want to live in a peaceful world, and by taking this pledge I will be doing my part to achieve this goal.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Inner Strength

I read this reflection this morning in Daily Word and it really touched my heart.  As you read it may you feel your connection with our God ever deepening and ever growing.


I am connected within to the spirit of God. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I am divinely uplifted.
I may look back on my life and find times when I felt insignificant or lacking confidence. Still, I take to heart the energy available to all things, even something as simple as water. Once harnessed and directed, water becomes the dynamic force in a steam turbine. Those same molecules, when influenced by cold, become ice with the power to crack concrete and topple trees.

When I discover and harness my power within, I have the potential to make a mighty difference in my life and in the world. I place my attention on Spirit. With faith, I can overcome any circumstance: My inner strength is greater than any outer appearances.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Do Not Be Anxious

 Today's scripture readings encourage us not to be anxious and worried for we are under the care of the Living God, who cares for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.  We are promised that He will care for us too.  Of course, that does not mean to sit back and relax!. We must do our part by being faithful to our our prayer and daily living.  Prayer is not a magic formula for us to get what we want from God.  It is a collaborative effort.  Ask God to bless this time and to send His Holy Spirit to guide you as you review and then take the exams.

KM Donohue, OSU

Monday, January 9, 2017

Baptism of Our Lord

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Baptism of Our Lord. This brings to an end the season of Christmas. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus descended into the River to sanctify its waters and to give them the power to beget sons of God. The event takes on the importance of a second creation in which the entire Trinity intervenes.

In Matthew 3: 13 – 17 we hear the familiar story: “Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.  John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?”  Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”  Then he allowed him.  After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him.  And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Most of us do only know of our own baptism from pictures and the stories people tell us.  When we were baptized, we were marked with the cross drawn on our foreheads and this is the true sign of our faith.  We were baptized and the stain of “original sin” was removed from us and we became a child of God.  Our baptism was not the same as Jesus’ in the Jordan River and we are continually called to live out our baptismal call to be a child of God.  We are always loved and cared about by our God.  May we take some time today to recall our baptism and to remember that we are a beloved child of God and that God is pleased with us!

Pat Schifini, OSU