Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.  He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.   People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.  They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.  When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  Mark: 6:30-34

Today we celebrate the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Our Gospel today tells us to take time away from the busyness of our lives to spend time with Jesus.  Jesus asks them to come away but many people came too because they were curious.  The disciples had shared how busy they were that they didn’t even have time to eat lunch.  In this story the disciples were very busy and didn’t have time for what they really wanted to spend time with Jesus.  We all need to take some time to retreat and reflect rather than get caught up in our distractions.  It is important to remember to “rest a while” and let the peace of Jesus fill our lives and hearts.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Today our world is anxiously awaiting the rescue of the 12 boys and their soccer coach from a cave in Thailand.  We have watched and waited as rescue teams have surveyed, scouted, drilled and emptied water from the flooded cave.  It has been a harrowing time for their parents and families who are anxiously waiting for their rescue.  During this time many people from all faiths have united in prayer for their safety and well-being.  So far six of the boys have been rescued and we await further word on the rest of the boys.  The reason they entered the cave is unclear as there was a warning sign not to enter the cave.  During their time in the cave these boys have shown amazing resilience and have not lost heart.  They believe in and trust their rescuers.  There has been one fatality as a result of the attempts to rescue them.  One former Navy Seal died during the week.  Now with monsoons in the forecast it became critical to get the boys out and they are in the process of doing that.  Let us continue to pray for the safety of all who are trying to rescue the boys and the hospital staff who is preparing to treat them.  May they all emerge safely and may their recovery be swift and complete.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

As we celebrate Independence Day today let us pray:  

God, source of all freedom, this day is bright with the memory of those who declared that life and liberty are your gift to every human being.  Help us to continue a good work begun long ago.  Make our vision clear and our will strong:  that only in human solidarity will we find liberty, and justice only in the honor that belongs to every life on earth.  Turn our hearts toward the family of nations: to understand the ways of others, to offer friendship, and to find safety only in the common good of all.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, June 24, 2018

What's in a Name

One day I asked my mother where my name came from and her response surprised me.  She told me that she wanted to name me after her best friend whose name was Patsy but my father would have nothing to do with that so I was called Patricia.  I am forever grateful to my father for sparing me from that fate. 

In today’s Gospel we have a scene where Zechariah and Elizabeth give birth to a son whom they named John.  Elizabeth broke with tradition by announcing her son’s name and Zechariah affirmed this to be true.  We have an awesome God.  A God who is full of surprises and love.  Our God gives us so many blessings for which we should be grateful.  Zechariah and Elizabeth were servants in the temple and God heard their prayers and granted them a son.  This child would grow up and take his place in salvation history.  God heard and answered their prayers.  God always gives us more than we ask for or imagine.  Like Zechariah and Elizabeth we too are called to believe, trust and hope that all shall be well.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

World Day of Prayer for Migrants

Call to Prayer and Reconciliation:

Today we join our hearts and minds in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who, at this very moment, are refugees, families and individuals who are migrating all over the world.  Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself, the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your disciples were filled with fear and doubt, but you poured out your love and compassion on the migrant crowd, welcoming them as brothers and sisters.  Jesus, today you call us to welcome the members of God's family who come to our land to escape oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. Like your disciples, we too are filled with fear and doubt and even suspicion. We build barriers in our hearts and in our minds.

Jesus, help us by your grace,
 To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each of your children as our own brother and sister;
 To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity, while responding to their many needs;
 To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to learn the ways of peace and justice;
 To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet before us;
 To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate the many gifts they bring.

We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called together from so many people. We see in this human family a reflection of the divine unity of the one Most Holy Trinity in whom we make our prayer: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. Amen. - Prayer from USCCB

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Feast of Corpus Christi

Today we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi.  This day we are reminded that Jesus is our Bread of Life.  As we celebrate the great feast of thanksgiving let us recall Jesus’ invitation to come and see.  Jesus personifies hospitality in everything he did.  His tender compassion, his welcome of all people, his miracles and parables are all invitations to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus.  Jesus had a magnetic personality and people were drawn to him.   He attracted people from all walks of life and never judged them.   Jesus desired to share his message with all who would hear it.  People in Jesus’ time were hungering for direction in life – much like our current reality.

Jesus’ hospitality reached far and wide.  He wanted/wants people to be whole both physically and spiritually.  The nourishment of the Eucharist is more than spiritual.  Jesus desires all people to be satisfied both physically and spiritually.  As we partake in the great act of thanksgiving – the Eucharist let us always remember that Jesus is indeed our bread of life.  The song Pan de Vida summarizes beautifully this feast for me.

Pan de Vida by Bob Hurd and Pia Moriarty

Pan de Vida, cuerpo del SeƱor, Cup of blessing, blood of Christ the Lord. At this table the last shall be first.  Porder es server, porque Dios es amor.

1. We are the dwelling of God, fragile and wounded and weak.  We are the body of Christ, called to be the compassion of God

2. You call me Teacher and Lord; I, who have washed your feet.  So you must do as I do, so the greatest must become the least.

3. There is no Jew or Greek; There is no slave or free; There is no woman or man; Only heirs to the promise of God.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Today was one of those days that was perfect.  It was a beautiful summer day and I had the opportunity to go to the beach twice.  There is nothing more relaxing for me than some time at the beach.  Somehow all the cares and stresses of the world are whisked away by the ocean.  The water was frigid, and the air was cool.  As I sat at the beach I was observing the tide coming in and out and noticed the footprints that were left on the sand by people who were walking on the beach.  It reminded me of the poem “Footprints in the Sand.”

One night I dreamed a dream.  As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.  Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.  For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand.  I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.  "Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You'd walk with me all the way.  But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints.  I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you."

Mary Fishback Powers

May we take time each day to remember the truth of this poem – that our God is always with us.

Pat Schifini