Thursday, January 19, 2017

Join us on a Lenten Journey…
Lent is an incredible gift to us. Some of us receive it with eagerness as a time of healing and growth; others receive it with trepidation of the challenges and sacrifices that Lent can pose; still others receive it with indifference.  And yet regardless of where we are in our spiritual journeys, we are all given an opportunity during these 40 days to turn our hearts back towards God and deepen our relationship with God and others in a special way.  It offers a chance to take time to reflect on our lives and renew our commitment to open our hearts to God through prayer.

With this in mind, the students, faculty, staff, and members of the Saint Michael’s College worshipping community have come together to offer their reflections on the daily Scripture readings and what they are saying to us in our lives they challenge and encourage us to feel God’s presence, love, and forgiveness each day during this sacred time. Each day of Lent, there will be a new reflection on this blog, based on the Scripture readings of the day, from Ash Wednesday through Easter. We encourage you to join us on a Lenten journey of reflecting and praying with us through this site.

We hope that these reflections are ones that inspire and help you grow deeper in your prayer life during the journey of Lent as we prepare for the Resurrection of Christ Jesus!  May we be inspired to open our eyes and see God’s deep, unconditional love present in our lives.

Please note that these reflections are not intended to represent theological views or statements by Edmundite Campus Ministry or Saint Michael’s College, but rather are a compilation of reflections as written by members of the campus and wider community of worshippers.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday
If there is a word that captures the spirit of Easter and spans the ages, it may be “vision.”  Vision can have many meanings of course.  Sometimes we hear of people “having visions,” which is often associated with extraordinary—even extraterrestrial—phenomena.  Such things are quite contrary to the Easter vision.

Today Scripture witnesses to us a vision that is better defined by “sight,” and its corollaries of “understanding” and “believing.”  In the Gospel, first Mary of Magdala, then Peter, and then “the other disciple” go to the tomb to “see.”   Each one “saw.”  The word is repeated at least four times.  In the end, they also “understood” and “believed” what before was unclear to them.  Acts tells us God granted that the raised Jesus be made “visible” in His glory to the ones who had been His companions in life.

The gift of sight that Jesus gave to His disciples allows them—and us—to “understand” our world and the universe in a whole new way.  Sight and understanding become “insight” at a whole new level. 

St. Paul writes: “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”  Often, in daily life (especially in an election year), we allow the hype about economic well-being and political expediency to govern our spiritual lives.  Here St. Paul is not “having visions.”  To the contrary, he is urging us to “see” deeply within, gain insight, into the reality of our/humankind’s true dignity as God's beloved children

Gracious God, grant us the grace to see ourselves as Your children and all people as our sisters and brothers.  Fill us with Your grace so as to “think of what is above” so that the risen Lord may be made manifest even in our own time and space. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus, our risen Lord.  Amen.

Fr. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. ’67, Edmundite Campus Ministry

First Reading: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel: John 20:1-9, Luke 24:1-12, or Luke 24:13-35
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
Once upon a time, a man found the egg of an eagle.  As it was still warm, the man took it and put it in the nest of one of his backyard chickens along with the other eggs.  After a period of time, the eaglet was hatched along with the other chicks.   He scratched the earth for worms, insects, and looked for corn.  He clucked and cackled as best as he could and thrashed his wings.  One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky.  It glided majestically among the powerful wind currents, soaring and swooping, scarcely beating its long golden wings.  The old eagle looked at it in awe and asked "what is that?"  "That is the eagle, the king of the birds," said one of his neighbors.  “He belongs to the sky and to the high places.  We belong to the earth, we are chickens." The old eagle knew this was true, and so it was he lived and died as a chicken.

Think of what happened to the disciples after the first Easter, after they finally accepted and believed in the resurrection that Jesus had told them about.  They came out of the upper room where they had huddled in fear, and they went to the ends of the earth.  They created a mighty Church.  They went from being people afraid of dying, to being people who offered their very lives to help others live lives of faith, and hope, and joy.  Happy Easter.

Lord Jesus, open my heart, my mind and my eyes to see this new vision of life that You have prepared for me and for all who believe.  Fill me with the faith, hope, and joy of resurrected life through Christ our Lord.

Fr. Michael Cronogue, S.S.E., Director of Vocations for the Society of Saint Edmund

First Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:2 or 1:1, 26-31a
Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12-14, 24, 35 or Psalm 33:4-7, 12-13, 20, 22
Second Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 or 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Psalm 16:5, 8-11
Third Reading: Exodus 14:15—15:1
(Psalm) Exodus 15:1-6, 17-18
Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-3, 4-6
Sixth Reading: Baruch 3:9-15, 32—4:4
Psalm 19:8-11
Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3-4
Eighth Reading: Romans 6:3-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Gospel: Luke 24:1-12

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday
“‘For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’”  This exchange in Jesus’ interrogation by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate has a special relevance for students, faculty, and staff engaged together in study, teaching, and all the services that support the mission of this college community:  “to testify to the truth.”  For Jesus, this mission meant the ultimate testimony, accepting the Cross.  He could have dodged it.  He could have avoided the confrontations with the authorities who monopolized the temple, or reaching out to the “unclean” whose demons imprisoned and isolated them, or choosing weak and confused disciples who, over and over, resisted any word from Him about a cross on the horizon, or this interrogation now before Caesar’s cynical agent.  “What is truth?” the agent asked.  It should have been a sincere question.  It is, in the end, the only question.  But Pilate made it a taunt.   “The way, the truth, and the life,” stood before Him and offered Him “the way, the truth, and the life.”  Too risky, thought Pilate, let’s not go there.  And us?  Isn’t every Good Friday a time for us who hear the Passion read (especially on a college campus) to stand with Jesus, in the faith that His Cross is not the defeat of Truth but its victory?

Lord Jesus, whose Cross points through the Good Friday darkness to the light of Easter morning, keep us on the way with You, all the way with You.  Amen.

Fr. Richard Berube, S.S.E. ’66, Emeritus Professor, Religious Studies

First Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-17, 25
Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel: John 18:1—19:42

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Thursday
As Christians, we are a marked people. By virtue of our baptism, we carry always with us a sign, an indentation, perhaps not visible to each other, but a sign that is understood and recognized by God. This understanding of being chosen, understood, and specially recognized by God hearkens back to the time of the Old Testament, to the time of Moses, when all the people of God bore the mark of the Blood of the Lamb. We see in tonight’s Gospel passage the figure of Jesus Christ, weighing in His own mind His own impending death, His own shedding of blood that will go on to be the marker of all generations and all peoples who believe in His message. We see Him not in a position of glory and power, as would befit the Son of God, but instead kneeling in humble service to His friends, the people He has spent so much time with and taught so much. His lesson to them and to us is that the best teaching comes from being an example, from truly living in practice the message of service and gentleness which is at the core of Christian belief. We would do well to meditate on this sense of being “marked,” how despite all of the difficulties that come from our volatile, earthbound hearts, the love of Christ has marked us, and stayed with us, and permeated us as the sun permeates the soil.

O God of mercy, You have ensured that Your love stays always within us, a love which the fires and storms of passion and anger can never fully cloud or destroy. Allow us the strength to recognize that we are called to be firmly in Your service, and through our own works of service allow us to recognize that we are marked with Your love in a special way. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Brother Michael Carter, S.S.E. ’12

First Reading: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-15

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday of Holy Week
Reading the Gospel today, I find myself crumbling as I hear Judas say, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” It’s Holy Week and every year I have high hopes for my Lenten journey—new resolve, renewed devotion…and most years I fall very short.  It’s all the little moments, for me, that add up to my betrayal, my choice to walk away from Jesus when I most want to be near.

There is real comfort and such intense love in the readings today.  No matter how great the suffering and loss, we will not be abandoned.  Jesus walked our walk, He has lived our pain.  The longing and searching for our God will not go unnoticed.  We will be given exactly what we need. 

Maybe we all have our Judas moments.  We fail.  We sin.  We walk away when we desperately need to draw near.   Easter is almost here.  We can all rise again.  We can bring our brokenness, our suffering, our longing with us this Good Friday and we will be given the chance to be renewed in the beauty and Light of Easter. 

“See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive!”

Jesus, open my heart.  Help me to see You in the midst of my everyday life that I might choose to draw near to You in every way.  Amen.

Meeghan Bird Matarazzo, ’97, Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday of Holy Week
The words of Isaiah announce to the people of God the joy-filled news of God’s love for them.  God promises to show His glory through His people Israel.  Isaiah rejoices in being the servant of God who will raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel to their Father. 

The psalm calls us to sing of God’s salvation.  There is great joy in understanding God as our refuge, our justice, our strength, our rescuer.  It proclaims the wondrous deeds of our God.

The words in Isaiah are fulfilled in the Gospel of John as Jesus reclines at table with His apostles at the last supper.  Jesus’ heart is clearly troubled as He faces the betrayal of one of His own.  As Jesus indicates His betrayer and Satan enters Judas, events begin to unfold.  In the midst of this, Jesus says to the men still at the table, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him.”  From the tragedy to come on Good Friday, God’s promise to His people is fulfilled. Our salvation is secured.

As we try to walk with You, Jesus, through the days that lead to Your crucifixion, remind us, Lord, of our constant need for Your saving work, Your undying love and the glory of the Father, the Son and the Spirit that is shared with us in the salvation You bring to us.

Stephanie Noakes, ’80, M’09, Office of Admission

First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15, 17
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website