Jesus our Model

by Tommy Shultz  |  05/12/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

Here we are at the Solemnity of the Ascension, one of the highest feast days in the Church calendar. We hear the story of the Ascension in the Gospel today, but notice what comes right before Jesus ascends into heaven. He asks for the apostles to go out to all the world and preach the good news.

The way I see it, Jesus didn't just come to die for our sins and open the gates of heaven. That would have been more than enough, of course, but it seems pretty clear from today's Gospel that Jesus also came to be our model. He came to show us what it truly means to be human, how to act, and what our destiny is.


Who Needs Love?

by Tom Schmidt  |  05/05/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

Part of the first reading from Acts that we don’t hear is a vision Peter has, in which God tells him that all foods are OK to eat; no longer are some unclean. He later realizes that the vision was a symbol that all people are “clean,” Gentiles as well as Jews. All are called to have faith in Jesus. Not all of the early Christians understood. The Jewish Christians were shocked that the Holy Spirit would give gifts, such as speaking in tongues, to Gentiles. Especially Gentiles who had not been baptized.


Sharing the Faith

by Tommy Shultz   |  04/28/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

The beauty of this Easter season is that the Word became flesh, died for our sins, conquered death, and gives us access to the Father. Each of these remarkable events point to the fact that our faith is real, tangible, even corporeal. Though we all have a personal relationship with God in the very depths of our hearts, as human beings, we are meant to share our hearts with the world. In other words, we should not be keeping our faith in our hearts, but bringing it to the world.


Fourth Sunday of Easter - The Rejected Savior

by Tom Schmidt  |  04/21/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

In the reading from Acts, Peter explains to the leaders of Israel how they cured a crippled man. They probably expected Peter to take credit for the cure, so they were waiting for him to hang himself by his words. Peter, of course, gives the credit to Jesus and then makes two important points.


The Wounds of Christ

04/14/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

Back in 2007, a group of researchers compared the amount of food consumed between two groups. They were curious to discover if the evidence of food already eaten (in this case, individuals were given chicken wings to eat while watching a football game) would impact the amount they ate altogether. They found that the participants ate less at the tables where the bones were left out in plain sight in comparison to the tables where the bones were removed. “The results suggest that people restrict their consumption when evidence of food consumed is available to signal how much food they have eaten.” (Brian Wansink, Cornell Chronicle, April 9, 2007).


Peace Be With You

by Alexis Dallara-Marsh  |  04/07/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

Chapter 20 of the Gospel of John emphasizes Peace and the Holy Spirit abiding within us. Christ's first word following His death is "Peace". I do not find that I am naturally a peaceful person. I tend to get easily distracted and upset by life not being "fair", or agitated when things do not go exactly as I had planned. I am flawed. Yet so much greater than this is that I am also loved. Above all else, Christ has laid down his life for me. I owe it to Him to do my best to try to find an inner peace. It is often a battle. My mind races at night, dwelling on what might go wrong. It is by listening to the word of God that I calmed down and am reminded of who I really am. Through dedicating my time to Him in prayer and good deeds, He will rejuvenate me, like the Living Water He declares to the Samaritan woman.


Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

by Kathryn Mulderink  |  03/23/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

What more can be said about today’s Gospel? We hear the proclamation of this Gospel in several voices, to help us enter into these final days of Jesus’ earthly life. The scheming of the chief priests and scribes before the Passover, the woman with the alabaster jar of oil prefiguring the anointing of his body for burial, Judas’ plan to betray him, the Last Supper and Jesus’ knowledge that he would soon be betrayed, the institution of the Eucharist so that he could remain with us until the end of time, Jesus’ prediction that the apostles would be scattered and their faith shattered. And then, all the events of Jesus’ profound Passion and Death.


A Lenten Stewardship Reflection: Compassion

03/17/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

A central theme in the Gospel of Luke and a very good one for Lenten meditation is the notion of compassion. More than any other Gospel, Luke reveals the compassionate nature of Jesus Christ. Jesus said it emphatically and without mincing his words: “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36, New Jerusalem Bible).


Fourth Sunday of Lent - Saying, Doing, or Being?

by Tom Schmidt  |  03/10/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that we are saved through grace: God’s actions of sending his Son to die for us, and raising Jesus from the dead show the love God has for us. It comes entirely from God. We are saved by our faith in Jesus, but even that faith comes from God. So when Paul says that no one can boast about being saved, he means that we can’t add up our good deeds like reward points for heaven. He also means that we can’t brag about our faith because we can recite the creed or answer an altar call. So if being saved is not a matter of saying the right things, or doing good deeds, what is it?


He Understands Us Well

by Kathryn Mulderink  |  03/03/2024  |  Gospel Reflection

Jesus came to save. From what? From sin, yes. From death, yes. But he goes to the very root cause of those things in every word and action of his life – and the root is hypocrisy and egoism, which is pride. In order to restore and defend man’s authentic relationship with God, Jesus must cleanse us from everything that gets in the way of that relationship, particularly whatever detracts from authentic faith and sincere worship. He came to save us from ourselves and our own contradictions.