March 31, 2017

Jn 7: 1-2, 10, 25-30

After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Origins

Answering the question “where are you from?” is not always a simple task. My husband, who was born in Maryland and moved before he turned one to northeast Ohio, says he’s from Maryland. I was born in Texas, and lived there until I was five – but I answer the question “Indianapolis,” which is where I was raised. There is something about place, roots, history, and identity at play in our responses to this question. Who do we say that we are? Where do we say we are from? Who do we say we are from?

Jesus and some of his brothers and sisters from Jerusalem engage with these same questions today. You know me and also know where I am from, Jesus tells them. They share a place and an identity. And yet, Jesus points us to our true home.  I am from God, he says. His words remind me that so, too, are each of us.

—Catherine Ruffing Drotleff serves as the Director of Development for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.

Prayer

You are all we have;
you give us what we need;
Our lives are in your hands, O Lord,
Our lives are in your hands.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 30, 2017

Jn 5: 31-47

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf.

You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.

How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

His Gaze

As Christians, we have the double gift of the Old Testament and the New Testament. We have the word of God from the days of old, and we have the living Word of God – Jesus. We claim to “believe in the one whom [God] has sent,” so we should have God’s “word remaining in [us],” right?

It’s not so easy, as Jesus points out. Just because we have read the Gospel does not mean we have allowed the Word of God to live in us. For Jesus Himself is the Word, and He is alive, so every time we read the Gospel we should be changed – having encountered the living Christ.

If we aren’t changed, it is because we have not encountered Jesus. We have not looked Him in the eyes and allowed Him to gaze at us with Love. It is a scary thing, to be gazed upon by Love Itself. Perhaps this is what Jesus means when He says, “You do not want to come to me to have life.” We do not want to know what Jesus sees when He looks upon us, and we are scared to know what we may find in the life that God offers. Let us ask Jesus for the grace to desire the life He has in store for us.

—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.

Prayer

Jesus, I desire to see Your face
and to know You intimately,
but I am afraid of what You may say in Your gaze.
Help me to look You in the eyes,
to see You as You are,
to see myself as You see me.
May my fear diminish with each passing moment
that I turn to You in trust. Amen.

—Rachel Fitzgibbon


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 29, 2017

Jn 5: 17-30

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.

Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

With Others

It has been almost a month since the priest rubbed ashes on our foreheads to remind us that we are here to seek God’s will. I felt energized, committed and ready to do as Pope Francis instructed:  to recognize others as “gifts” and “to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord”.

However, my initial energy has dulled.  A friend showed up at my door needing to talk. I saw his visit as a nuisance. I received an invitation to a party, but the anxiety of adding another task to the calendar led me to decline.

Although it is important to balance our busy lives, will I remember that Christ calls us to be with others?  If I see others as gifts, then accepting invitations and being present will draw us together, and to God. But how can I see others as giftsnot in spite of the fact that I am busy, anxious, or distracted, but because I am busy, anxious, and distracted?

—Jerry Kinney, a 1995 Prep alumnus, teaches Spanish and directs the Operation Others initiative at Creighton Prep, Omaha NE.

Prayer

Love consists in sharing
what one has
and who one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
more than in words.

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 28, 2017

Jn 5: 1-16

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”

Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there.

Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

To Labor and Not to Seek Reward

Have you ever done a good deed in hopes that someone is watching?  I’m guilty of this – I’m not proud of it, but it reminds of when I decide I want to put money into a tip jar at Scooters, I wait until the worker turns around so they can see me leave the money.  Shouldn’t I be content with offering the gratuity because I know they’re not exactly getting paid in gold bricks with their hourly wage?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man and then disappears into a crowd.  He doesn’t make it a production, a grand announcement, and even more amazing is the man simply walks away. When Jesus tracks him down, he again keeps it low key, offering only instructions on how he can remain healthy.  The next time I have the opportunity to complete a good deed, I want to remember this story, and simply fade into the background to personally reflect on the goodness I hope the recipient experienced and not need acknowledgement.  The prayer for generosity is the perfect antidote for the illness of acknowledgement.

—Joe Pick is the Director of Enrollment at Creighton Prep.  

Prayer

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to seek reward, except that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 27, 2017

Jn 4: 43-54

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival. Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine.

Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.”

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

A Sign of New Life

What strikes me about the synagogue official is his determination to get Jesus to come down and heal his son. Jesus scoffs at the people’s “seeing signs and wonders.” Watch what happens next: not rebuffed by Jesus’ attitude, the official insists that Jesus come with him to heal his son. Jesus tells him, “Your son will live,” and that’s enough for the official. He had come to Jesus, not seeking “signs and wonders” but only life for his son. When Jesus tells him “Your son will live,” he is satisfied because he believes Jesus’ word.

He returns home, is told that his son got better when Jesus said he would, and he has a sign that his active faith in the word of Jesus brought life. And that sign led to his whole household coming to believe in the word and person of Jesus. He was led beyond the wonders to new life, a new creation.

—Fr. Jim Riley, S.J. serves as assistant to the Jesuit superior at Colombiere Center, Clarkston, MI.

Prayer

Holy God, you give the world new life
through our observance of Lent.
May we grow in your life
and continue to receive your help on earth. Amen.

—adapted from the Roman Sacramentary

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 26, 2017

Jn 9: 1-41

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided.

So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.”

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”

Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Blind From Birth

I have often reflected on the fact that everyone whom Jesus healed eventually got sick again and died.  Even the man blind from birth who is healed in today’s gospel eventually had his eyes darken in death.  St. John calls these miracles “signs” because they point to something greater than a temporary fix. These signs take us from what we can see with our natural eyes to what can only be revealed to the eyes of our souls.  

In one story after another, John’s gospel reminds us that to open the eyes of our souls to faith in Jesus is to experience rebirth, living water, and now new sight. This is the healing that doesn’t end in death. When we resist this grace, we descend, like the Pharisees, into the blindness of sin.  New sight comes only when we are humble enough to own our blindness and ask for this grace.

—J. Michael Sparough, S.J. is a Retreat Master and Spiritual Director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House outside Chicago. He blogs weekly at  www.heartoheart.org/Lent

Prayer

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

—John Newton

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 25, 2017

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Is 7: 10-14, 8: 10

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.Take counsel together, but it shall be brought to naught; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Here I Am, Lord

We pause mid-way through Lent to celebrate the feast of the Annunciation. Isaiah records the prophecy of this event as spoken to Ahaz: “The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” Suddenly God breaks into human history with a unique miracle of life and grace. The world will never be the same with the advent of the Messiah. The verse for today’s responsorial psalm sums up Mary’s response: “Here am I, Lord: I come to do your will.”

The events of our own lives are usually less dramatic. Yet, as we trace the patterns of God’s grace in our hearts, there are clear “crossroads moments” when any of us comes to a point of decision. Recall such moments in your own life today: How did you struggle? How did you decide? This Lent 2017 how are you invited to respond to some situation large or small as Mary did: “Here am I, Lord: I come to do your will.”

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
be it done unto me according to your will.”

—Luke 1: 38

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 24, 2017

Mk 12: 28-34

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Simply Listening

In today’s Gospel, a scribe who engaged Jesus in dialogue with is told—in encouragement and even perhaps accolade—that he is not far from the Kingdom of God. What has the scribe done to receive this reassurance from Jesus that he has “answered with understanding”? Described his love for God over all else? Given a few examples of how he cares for his neighbor? No: he simply listened. He listened to Jesus’ answer about the greatest two commandments, and then, slightly paraphrasing, repeated it back to him.

 Anyone with a skilled spiritual director, therapist, or wise friend might recognize this activity. It demonstrates attention and care without suggesting solutions or providing opinions on what has been shared. The listener feels understood. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that “[we] forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.” Today’s scribe gives us a small lesson in the value of such service.

—Catherine Ruffing Drotleff current serves as Development Director for the Ignatian Spirituality Project, based in Chicago IL.

Prayer

Lord, when we feel rushed, overwhelmed by all the commitments, slow us down. Let your Spirit remind us to keep perspective. If we but take a few minutes to be in your presence, to speak from our heart and wait on you, we will be centered and fortified to better serve others. We thank you for those in our day who will refresh us and help us to be more content, more joyful, and more giving.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 23, 2017

St. Toribio de Mogrovejo

Lk 11: 14-23

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.

Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

A Heart Check-up

Today’s Gospel offers a good “check-up” for our hearts. I may outwardly be “with Jesus” in my exterior actions—praying, giving alms, observing Lenten penances. But I can do these things without being “with him” in my heart. If my heart is not fully turned toward God at each moment, I am “against him,” not able to “gather” with him, and in fact may be “scattering” those he is calling back to him.

What does it mean that God gathers, and that we gather with him? I think Jesus names it in his reference to the “finger of God.” The finger of God points out the path, touches and heals us in our most painful wounds, encourages and unites, and thereby gathers us close to his heart.  When we do something “by the finger of God,” we point out the path to God, heal, encourage, and unite those around us. We gather them back to the heart of Jesus. We cannot do this if we are not first gathered, fully turned toward God in the depths of our being, allowing him to touch every part of us. Are you with Jesus, or against him?

—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine: it will be you shining on others through me. Let me thus praise you in the way you love best: by shining on those around me. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.

—“Radiating Christ,” John Henry Cardinal Newman


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 22, 2017

Mt 5: 17-19

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Deeds and Words

In the Gospel today Jesus condemns those who break the commandments, but he adds the extra line “and teaches other to do so.” The words of our lives may sound upright but do our actions imitate the words we profess? Too often in my own life I forget that my own actions (both good and bad) can be teachable moments for those around me.

As we enter deeper into the Lenten season the Gospel challenges us to reflect on how our actions lead others to Jesus or whether they lead them away from the Kingdom. Let us ask God for the grace to observe and demonstrate the commandments, and so reflect the great Kingdom of heaven.

—Fr. Tom Neitzke, S.J. serves as president of Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.

Prayer

“Love is shown more in deeds than in words!”

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Welcome to FaithCP

Creighton Prep and the Midwest Jesuits have partnered to create FaithCP, a daily resource for prayer. FaithCP provides daily scripture, reflections, and prayers grounded in the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.


Get our FREE App

Submit a Prayer Request

Archives

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
      1
23242526272829
3031     
   1234
262728    
       
       
       
    123
45678910
       
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   
       
      1
       
     12
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
       

March 31, 2017

Jn 7: 1-2, 10, 25-30

After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Origins

Answering the question “where are you from?” is not always a simple task. My husband, who was born in Maryland and moved before he turned one to northeast Ohio, says he’s from Maryland. I was born in Texas, and lived there until I was five – but I answer the question “Indianapolis,” which is where I was raised. There is something about place, roots, history, and identity at play in our responses to this question. Who do we say that we are? Where do we say we are from? Who do we say we are from?

Jesus and some of his brothers and sisters from Jerusalem engage with these same questions today. You know me and also know where I am from, Jesus tells them. They share a place and an identity. And yet, Jesus points us to our true home.  I am from God, he says. His words remind me that so, too, are each of us.

—Catherine Ruffing Drotleff serves as the Director of Development for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.

Prayer

You are all we have;
you give us what we need;
Our lives are in your hands, O Lord,
Our lives are in your hands.


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 30, 2017

Jn 5: 31-47

“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf.

You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.

How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

His Gaze

As Christians, we have the double gift of the Old Testament and the New Testament. We have the word of God from the days of old, and we have the living Word of God – Jesus. We claim to “believe in the one whom [God] has sent,” so we should have God’s “word remaining in [us],” right?

It’s not so easy, as Jesus points out. Just because we have read the Gospel does not mean we have allowed the Word of God to live in us. For Jesus Himself is the Word, and He is alive, so every time we read the Gospel we should be changed – having encountered the living Christ.

If we aren’t changed, it is because we have not encountered Jesus. We have not looked Him in the eyes and allowed Him to gaze at us with Love. It is a scary thing, to be gazed upon by Love Itself. Perhaps this is what Jesus means when He says, “You do not want to come to me to have life.” We do not want to know what Jesus sees when He looks upon us, and we are scared to know what we may find in the life that God offers. Let us ask Jesus for the grace to desire the life He has in store for us.

—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.

Prayer

Jesus, I desire to see Your face
and to know You intimately,
but I am afraid of what You may say in Your gaze.
Help me to look You in the eyes,
to see You as You are,
to see myself as You see me.
May my fear diminish with each passing moment
that I turn to You in trust. Amen.

—Rachel Fitzgibbon


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 29, 2017

Jn 5: 17-30

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God. Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.

Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

With Others

It has been almost a month since the priest rubbed ashes on our foreheads to remind us that we are here to seek God’s will. I felt energized, committed and ready to do as Pope Francis instructed:  to recognize others as “gifts” and “to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord”.

However, my initial energy has dulled.  A friend showed up at my door needing to talk. I saw his visit as a nuisance. I received an invitation to a party, but the anxiety of adding another task to the calendar led me to decline.

Although it is important to balance our busy lives, will I remember that Christ calls us to be with others?  If I see others as gifts, then accepting invitations and being present will draw us together, and to God. But how can I see others as giftsnot in spite of the fact that I am busy, anxious, or distracted, but because I am busy, anxious, and distracted?

—Jerry Kinney, a 1995 Prep alumnus, teaches Spanish and directs the Operation Others initiative at Creighton Prep, Omaha NE.

Prayer

Love consists in sharing
what one has
and who one is
with those one loves.
Love ought to show itself in deeds
more than in words.

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 28, 2017

Jn 5: 1-16

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”

Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there.

Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

To Labor and Not to Seek Reward

Have you ever done a good deed in hopes that someone is watching?  I’m guilty of this – I’m not proud of it, but it reminds of when I decide I want to put money into a tip jar at Scooters, I wait until the worker turns around so they can see me leave the money.  Shouldn’t I be content with offering the gratuity because I know they’re not exactly getting paid in gold bricks with their hourly wage?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man and then disappears into a crowd.  He doesn’t make it a production, a grand announcement, and even more amazing is the man simply walks away. When Jesus tracks him down, he again keeps it low key, offering only instructions on how he can remain healthy.  The next time I have the opportunity to complete a good deed, I want to remember this story, and simply fade into the background to personally reflect on the goodness I hope the recipient experienced and not need acknowledgement.  The prayer for generosity is the perfect antidote for the illness of acknowledgement.

—Joe Pick is the Director of Enrollment at Creighton Prep.  

Prayer

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to seek reward, except that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 27, 2017

Jn 4: 43-54

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival. Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine.

Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.”

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

A Sign of New Life

What strikes me about the synagogue official is his determination to get Jesus to come down and heal his son. Jesus scoffs at the people’s “seeing signs and wonders.” Watch what happens next: not rebuffed by Jesus’ attitude, the official insists that Jesus come with him to heal his son. Jesus tells him, “Your son will live,” and that’s enough for the official. He had come to Jesus, not seeking “signs and wonders” but only life for his son. When Jesus tells him “Your son will live,” he is satisfied because he believes Jesus’ word.

He returns home, is told that his son got better when Jesus said he would, and he has a sign that his active faith in the word of Jesus brought life. And that sign led to his whole household coming to believe in the word and person of Jesus. He was led beyond the wonders to new life, a new creation.

—Fr. Jim Riley, S.J. serves as assistant to the Jesuit superior at Colombiere Center, Clarkston, MI.

Prayer

Holy God, you give the world new life
through our observance of Lent.
May we grow in your life
and continue to receive your help on earth. Amen.

—adapted from the Roman Sacramentary

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 26, 2017

Jn 9: 1-41

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided.

So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.”

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”

Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Blind From Birth

I have often reflected on the fact that everyone whom Jesus healed eventually got sick again and died.  Even the man blind from birth who is healed in today’s gospel eventually had his eyes darken in death.  St. John calls these miracles “signs” because they point to something greater than a temporary fix. These signs take us from what we can see with our natural eyes to what can only be revealed to the eyes of our souls.  

In one story after another, John’s gospel reminds us that to open the eyes of our souls to faith in Jesus is to experience rebirth, living water, and now new sight. This is the healing that doesn’t end in death. When we resist this grace, we descend, like the Pharisees, into the blindness of sin.  New sight comes only when we are humble enough to own our blindness and ask for this grace.

—J. Michael Sparough, S.J. is a Retreat Master and Spiritual Director at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House outside Chicago. He blogs weekly at  www.heartoheart.org/Lent

Prayer

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

—John Newton

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 25, 2017

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Is 7: 10-14, 8: 10

Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also?

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.Take counsel together, but it shall be brought to naught; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Here I Am, Lord

We pause mid-way through Lent to celebrate the feast of the Annunciation. Isaiah records the prophecy of this event as spoken to Ahaz: “The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” Suddenly God breaks into human history with a unique miracle of life and grace. The world will never be the same with the advent of the Messiah. The verse for today’s responsorial psalm sums up Mary’s response: “Here am I, Lord: I come to do your will.”

The events of our own lives are usually less dramatic. Yet, as we trace the patterns of God’s grace in our hearts, there are clear “crossroads moments” when any of us comes to a point of decision. Recall such moments in your own life today: How did you struggle? How did you decide? This Lent 2017 how are you invited to respond to some situation large or small as Mary did: “Here am I, Lord: I come to do your will.”

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
be it done unto me according to your will.”

—Luke 1: 38

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 24, 2017

Mk 12: 28-34

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Simply Listening

In today’s Gospel, a scribe who engaged Jesus in dialogue with is told—in encouragement and even perhaps accolade—that he is not far from the Kingdom of God. What has the scribe done to receive this reassurance from Jesus that he has “answered with understanding”? Described his love for God over all else? Given a few examples of how he cares for his neighbor? No: he simply listened. He listened to Jesus’ answer about the greatest two commandments, and then, slightly paraphrasing, repeated it back to him.

 Anyone with a skilled spiritual director, therapist, or wise friend might recognize this activity. It demonstrates attention and care without suggesting solutions or providing opinions on what has been shared. The listener feels understood. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that “[we] forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.” Today’s scribe gives us a small lesson in the value of such service.

—Catherine Ruffing Drotleff current serves as Development Director for the Ignatian Spirituality Project, based in Chicago IL.

Prayer

Lord, when we feel rushed, overwhelmed by all the commitments, slow us down. Let your Spirit remind us to keep perspective. If we but take a few minutes to be in your presence, to speak from our heart and wait on you, we will be centered and fortified to better serve others. We thank you for those in our day who will refresh us and help us to be more content, more joyful, and more giving.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 23, 2017

St. Toribio de Mogrovejo

Lk 11: 14-23

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.

Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

A Heart Check-up

Today’s Gospel offers a good “check-up” for our hearts. I may outwardly be “with Jesus” in my exterior actions—praying, giving alms, observing Lenten penances. But I can do these things without being “with him” in my heart. If my heart is not fully turned toward God at each moment, I am “against him,” not able to “gather” with him, and in fact may be “scattering” those he is calling back to him.

What does it mean that God gathers, and that we gather with him? I think Jesus names it in his reference to the “finger of God.” The finger of God points out the path, touches and heals us in our most painful wounds, encourages and unites, and thereby gathers us close to his heart.  When we do something “by the finger of God,” we point out the path to God, heal, encourage, and unite those around us. We gather them back to the heart of Jesus. We cannot do this if we are not first gathered, fully turned toward God in the depths of our being, allowing him to touch every part of us. Are you with Jesus, or against him?

—Rachel Fitzgibbon serves as Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and life. Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others; the light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine: it will be you shining on others through me. Let me thus praise you in the way you love best: by shining on those around me. Let me preach you without preaching, not by words, but by my example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.

—“Radiating Christ,” John Henry Cardinal Newman


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

March 22, 2017

Mt 5: 17-19

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Deeds and Words

In the Gospel today Jesus condemns those who break the commandments, but he adds the extra line “and teaches other to do so.” The words of our lives may sound upright but do our actions imitate the words we profess? Too often in my own life I forget that my own actions (both good and bad) can be teachable moments for those around me.

As we enter deeper into the Lenten season the Gospel challenges us to reflect on how our actions lead others to Jesus or whether they lead them away from the Kingdom. Let us ask God for the grace to observe and demonstrate the commandments, and so reflect the great Kingdom of heaven.

—Fr. Tom Neitzke, S.J. serves as president of Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.

Prayer

“Love is shown more in deeds than in words!”

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!