The People of God's Kingdom

01-29-2023Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

In our Gospel reading from Matthew, we hear the Beatitudes, the stirring opening to the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God, and begins by considering what kind of people will enter and participate in this kingdom. They are the poor in spirit, the meek, the clean of heart, the peacemakers. We hear both Zephaniah and Paul echo this, as God specifically chooses the weak and the lowly to be God’s agents in ushering in the reign of God. By living with hu-mility and integrity, their hearts are open to being transformed by the grace of God. We too are called to live in this way. Jesus invites us to be people with open hearts, to receive God’s blessing. And working through us, God may bless all of creation.

Our Fascinating Faith, Ordinary Time

01-22-2023Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Between the end of the Christmas season and the start of Lent, the liturgical year begins a period known as Ordinary Time. That season is interrupted by the seasons of Lent and Easter, and then resumes again after Pentecost. The English translation of the Latin name for this season has received much criticism because of our association of the word “ordinary” with something of lesser value, the opposite of something special. Critics point out that Sunday is the original feast day of the Church, that there is nothing at all “ordinary” about our weekly celebration of the Lord’s dying and rising. Translators explain that in this context the English word “ordinary” retains the root meaning of “ordinal,” something counted “in order,” and that the Sundays throughout the year are in fact named by their numerical order.

It is helpful to understand how all five of the “special” seasons of the liturgical year (Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter) fit together to unfold the single mystery of Christ. As we continue the year now with Ordinary Time, we are mindful that what we celebrate is indeed as “extraordinary” an experience of God’s grace as one could ever imagine.

All Share in the Promise

01-08-2023Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Picture a nativity scene in your mind’s eye. The scene likely includes figures arriving on camels, some elaborately dressed, with jeweled boxes containing precious gifts. These magi arrived from distant lands to pay homage to the Christ Child. We know little about the magi, but we do know that these visitors were not Jews. They represent people of all nations who will be drawn to the Lord. “Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.” The Good News of Jesus cannot be limited to one people; all share in the promise of God’s mercy through our Lord Jesus Christ.


01-01-2023Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

Today’s readings include another account of the story of Jesus’ birth. The reading from the book of Numbers reminds us that we are blessed. We are looked upon with kindness and grace. The psalm and Galatians remind us of the blessings given through God’s Son. Luke tells of our ultimate blessing, that Mary, a human being like us, gave birth to a child who is God’s Son. Mary, a young mother, watches all that is happening around the birth of her son. She listens as the shepherds bring messages from angels, a message she also received from an angel, about her son. Yet Mary remains silent. She keeps all this news about her son to herself. She reflects on all these experiences. The only thing she shares is the name of her son, Jesus, a name given him before he was even conceived. Her silence leaves us wondering if this is how one responds to such a great blessing.