Monday, March 25, 2019

The Annunciation

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation-that moment in which the history of the world would be changed. For this is the moment when Mary, a young Jewish maiden, probably not older than our juniors and seniors, said yes to God's call to become the mother of Jesus, the Messiah.  Did she really realize the import of that message? How could she?  Yet, in faith, she jumped in with both feet and the world was changed forever. For God reached out and through her gracious response, we have been redeemed.  Listen to the calls in your life and see what miracles will follow.  Have a great week.

KM Donohue

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

St. Joseph

We do not have a great deal of information about the man whose feast we celebrate today.  St. Joseph, a humble carpenter, was betrothed to Mary, a Jewish maiden. During their betrothal it was discovered that Mary had conceived a child by the power of the Holy Spirit.  When Joseph discovered this, he had two options first he could stand by her and taker her into his home as planned or he could have abandoned her and let her be stoned to death.  Joseph chose to continue with his betrothal and marry her, and then when the child Jesus was born Joseph raised him. Joseph followed God’s plan.  Joseph followed all that God had planned and sacrificed his will for the will of God.
Joseph died before Jesus started his public ministry.  He provided for Jesus as his earthly father and sacrificed himself for his love of God and his family.  Joseph never questioned or complained he just did as he was called to do.  In many ways he is the epitome of familial love and all that we should aspire to.  Joseph chose to love God, Mary and Jesus.  He shared in Jesus’ life and followed all that he was called to do.  Let us pray today for the grace to be as open as Joseph was and to follow God’s plan in all that we do.
Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Pope Francis

In many ways it is hard to believe that six years ago today, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope.  So much has changed over these six years both in the Church and in our world.  He chose his name after St. Francis of Assisi and has modeled him in all that he does.  Pope Francis has done so much to move the Church forward at time when the Church is experiencing tremendous pain and suffering.  He has consistently challenged all people to be Christ for one another and has tried to do the same.  As we celebrate his anniversary today let us reflect on his statement, “We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love.  Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.

Pat Schifini, OSU

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is a wake-up call. It is the gateway to Lent. We have forty precious days to open ourselves up to God, to examine ourselves in the presence of the one who created us, knows us, and loves us. We have forty days to face ourselves and learn to not be afraid of our sinfulness. We are dust, and to dust we shall return, but with God’s grace we can learn to live this life more fully, embracing our sinfulness, allowing God to transform us.

Lent means “springtime” – coming to new life after winter.  It marks the forty days before Easter, commemorating Jesus’ forty days in the desert and the Israelites forty years in the desert wilderness.  Lent is meant to be an experience.  We are urged to pray, to do penance, and to sacrifice.  With Jesus we make the passage from death to life.  Lent can be a challenge for us; a time to invite Jesus into some area in our lives in need of growth.

This Lent let us look at things a little differently.  Instead of “What will I give up?”  Consider “What does God want to give to you?”  Before you think about what you are going to give up think about what God might be inviting you to.  God wants us to be happy, caring and compassionate toward ourselves and others.  We are meant to be free and not burdened down.

Let us embrace this Lent with a spirit of hope and be ready for big surprises!

Pat Schifini, OSU

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Seeing Clearly

Jesus told his disciples a parable, "Can a blind person guide a blind person?  Will not both fall into a pit?  No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?  How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,' when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?  You hypocrite!  Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother's eye.  "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles.  A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."  Luke 6: 39 - 45

Today’s Gospel is one that is somewhat difficult to hear as it speaks to the heart of the Christian message.  It is so easy for us to find the faults in our brothers and sisters but it is near impossible for us to admit our own faults and shortcomings.  Jesus is rebuking hypocrisy in this message.  No one of us likes to view themselves in light of this Gospel.  It is so easy to hide our faults and short comings.  Perhaps the message of today’s Gospel is to take time to be open to others and reach out in kindness, compassion and mercy.  For if we do this we will be doing just what Jesus desires us to.
Pat Schifini, OSU