Because He is risen!

04-21-2019Gospel ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

The resurrection of Jesus gives our faith voice, purpose and meaning. “Our faith would have been in vain if Christ had not risen from the dead,” says St. Paul.

But besides that, the resurrection has other implications for our lives. Do you know that because Jesus is risen, we too have the power to rise and breakaway from the graves that often plague our lives such as financial graves, emotional graves, marital graves, the graves of hopelessness, meaninglessness, alcohol and drugs, the graves of sadness, grief, depression and despair?

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What does Your Love Look Like?

02-24-2019Gospel Reflection

This Sunday, Jesus continues his challenging Sermon on the Mount. "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back." Words like these are challenging! Many of us have grown up in a culture of independence and retaliation against those who harm us. Today's Gospel reminds us that the way of the world is not necessarily the way of the disciple.

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Consider Your Priorities

02-17-2019Gospel Reflection

What an audience Jesus has in today's Gospel! "A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and thecoastal region of Tyre and Sidon." Disciples, pagans, and devout Jews gathered together to hear Jesus speak in the Sermon on the Mount. All of these peoplehad something in common. God was someone to be bargained with, and if God liked you, you were rewarded with good fortune.

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Do You Have Enough?

02-10-2019Gospel Reflection

Do you have enough? Many of us come from a nation of material abundance. We have all the things we could possibly need not only to survive but to thrive - food, shelter, mental ability, income, access to medical care. Most people in human history lived with far less than we. So why are we so dissatisfied? Some Christians can be drawn to the "prosperity Gospel." This is the idea that following God will bring us material abundance in this life.

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Prophetic Voices

02-03-2019Gospel ReflectionRev. Emmanuel I. Ihemedu

Today's Gospel is one of tension and contradiction. We enter the scene at the local synagogue. It is near the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry, and he has returned home to Nazareth for a short while. There, in the midst of the men who watched him grow up and who played with him as a boy in the dusty streets, Jesus proclaims that he is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah. The response is understandably mixed. "All spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, 'Isn't this the son of Joseph?'"

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Will you love in the Spirit of the Lord today?

01-27-2019Gospel Reflection

"He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up." Did you grow up in a small town? Whenever you see stories of tight-knit communities, a common refrain is that everybody knows everybody and that's very difficult to change. If you leave and return, people expect you to be and act a certain way, and it's strange for them if you do not. In today's Gospel, we see that Jesus was already moving "in the power of the Spirit and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He...was praised by all." His ministry has begun! News of his growing popularity must have proceeded him to Nazareth.

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Who is God in Your Life?

01-20-2019Gospel Reflection

When you think of being Catholic, what do you think of? Perhaps you grew up with your only associations being fasting, nuns with rulers, and "Catholic guilt." Our faith can sometimes have the connotation of restriction and absence, not abundance.

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What are you waiting for?

01-13-2019Gospel Reflection

Think of what it's like to wait a long time. Can you imagine what it would be like to wait for centuries? No one person lives that long, of course. But for the Israelites, they had heard the stories from generation to generation. They had been conquered time and time again, and now "the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ." They had been waiting for a Messiah, one who did miraculous deeds and said profound things; someone aglow with the glory of God.

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