Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Tag archive: Faith Sharing

Lambs and Shepherds| Breaking Open the Word at Home

This Sunday’s readings are all about Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb, as well as the Good Shepherd who leads us to eternal life.

As the apostles continued to preach the Gospel, they went first to the Jewish people, because the Jewish people are God’s chosen—God spoke through them and to them first, and it was through the Jewish people that we got “Jesus people” (remember, Jesus was Jewish and so was pretty much everyone who hung out with him).

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Holy Family: Breaking Open the Word at Home

Being holy doesn’t mean that our lives are perfect, serene or easy. It means that no matter what’s going on, we love one another and try to help one another be our best.

I have always loved that on the day the Church celebrates the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and Joseph—the Gospel is the story of when Jesus went missing. It’s a great story because it shows the care and concern that parents have for their children, the challenge that is parenthood and the real point of family life—to help one another to fulfill our destinies; to become what we are called to be. The Holy Family does this with mutual love, respect and patience. Mary and Joseph were truly scared when they couldn’t find Jesus. Mary said, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” They didn’t understand what he meant when he replied,“Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”, but they loved and cared for him all the same. Even though he was God, he “was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” This shows us a little glimpse into the Holy Family’s life—it wasn’t easy. It was a struggle. The Holy Family was poor, insignificant and real. This story is the last time we hear about Joseph—he may have passed away shortly after this, for all we know. Family life is not always easy—but when we trust in God and live God’s plan for us, it can make us more holy.

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The Force Awakens | Bigger on the Inside

Warning: May contain spoilers!!!

At the end of Return of the Jedi, it seemed as though all would be well across the galaxy—the Emperor was defeated, the Death Star destroyed and Darth Vader was redeemed. The Rebel Alliance was ready to usher in a new era of peace as hope spread across the planets. They conquered some pretty hefty bad guys, but the reality of evil remained—and it was bent on spreading.

The Force Awakens picks up about thirty years after the battle on Endor. The Rebels had, since the battle, established the New Republic, calling the citizens of all planets throughout the galaxy to participate in this new democracy after the Old Republic had been corrupted by Emperor Palpatine and his allies.

There’s been some speculation as to what about The Force is being awakened—is it awakened in an individual or individuals, or had it been inactive and is now back in play? That hasn’t been revealed yet. But, however it shakes out, the title suggests that The Force is going to be a main character in this movie. The battle between the deliberate use of The Force for good and for evil will take main stage.

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The Suffering Servant: Breaking Open the Word at Home

In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah shows us the suffering servant of God. He would know this figure personally, as most of the prophets were rejected, abused and killed. When we experience suffering in our lives, we are comforted by a God who experienced suffering first hand—Jesus. There is no pain, no sadness, no disappointment that Jesus doesn’t understand. And, his suffering brings meaning to ours. He is the High Priest—the sacrifice of His suffering means salvation for us all. Our suffering can bring healing to others, too.

In the Gospel, James and John think it a good idea to ask Jesus for places of honor when he comes into his glory. Jesus responds that they don’t know what they’re asking for—that kind of honor comes with a price. He does not want us to think of our personal glory, our status, our honor. He wants us to lift up one another instead. We will have authority—serious authority—but it’s only useful if we use it for the service of others. In fact, if we try to “lord it over” others and “make our authority felt,” we forfeit it. Jesus gave everything up for us and we have to do the same for one another.

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