Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday of the First Week
“You are to be a people peculiarly his own.”  “You are to be a people sacred to the Lord.”   In the readings today, we are asked to be peculiar—to love our enemies. We are called to be sacredly unusual—to pray for those who persecute us.  What an exciting and seemingly impossible charge.

Today’s readings remind us of our agreement.  They point to this peculiar and unusual holy path—to care even for those who don’t seem to care at all.  No parsing allowed. No discrimination.  Instead, we are to be like the sun and the rain by bestowing our true nature upon everyone.  Our true nature is Christ’s love.

Yet, I find it hard to shine upon the faces of darkness I encounter in this world.  I can’t seem to offer refreshing rain to those who offer nothing but desert land.  Yet I must try.  Again and again each day as I fail, I must then begin anew by cultivating curiosity in the face of my tendency to judge.  Every day I must renew my vow to inquire with kindness into the hearts of those I truly do not understand.   Locally. Globally.  This is my charge.

This means wondering about, instead of cursing, at the person who cuts me off in heavy traffic.  This means being curious about the pain someone seems to be holding who shoves ahead and cuts me off in the grocery line.   Am I capable of reading The New York Times with more compassion, with more care, a softer gaze, a less critical eye? May I soften the blow I hold in my mind against those who seem so cruel and begin at least to wonder rather “why”? 

Dear Lord, may I walk gently with You by my side. Help me to resist temptation to lay a hurried, heartless claim.  May You live in my heart and may I live in Yours.  With You and through You, before You and in You, may I be sacredly peculiar in all of Your ways.  Amen. 

Toni Messuri, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs


First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday of the First Week
In today’s Gospel from Matthew, it stated, “You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.  But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” This reading really resonated with me. Lent is a time in the Church year that is quite reflective. People often make an attempt to better their lives in the forty days of Lent. Leading up to Good Friday, there are many readings that are similar to today’s readings that are supposed to make us sit down and think about different aspects of life. Today’s readings, and those through the Lenten season, allow us to stand back and realize the ways in which we are saved from death through Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. Jesus died for each and every one of us so that we could have eternal life. He made the ultimate sacrifice out of love.
The reading today states that we must forgive others in order to have eternal life. The Lenten season gives us the opportunity to reflect more deeply on forgiveness, on those we hurt and those who hurt us, so that we can find healing and peace.  If we are forgiven for all that we have done, we must forgive others so that we may have eternal life. It is hypocritical for us to want forgiveness from God, but not forgive others for what they have done to us. Jesus died for us out of love. Let us spread this love and compassion Jesus had for us by forgiving others for their downfalls.
Loving God, thank You for giving Your only Son as a sacrifice for my sins. Please give me Your love, guidance and strength each day to forgive others for their hurtful actions. Amen.
Alex Goff, 17
First Reading: Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130:1-8
Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday of the First Week
Today’s Gospel contains the familiar passage that assures us that asking God for good things will ultimately satisfy us. “Ask and it be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened...” The passage goes on to explain that “our heavenly Father gives good things to those who ask Him.” It doesn’t say that He gives “bad things” to those who ask Him, so the Gospel seems to say that our prayers should only be for good things, and that these prayers will be answered. Sometimes we ask for things that we should not want; we knock on doors that are better kept closed; we seek things we shouldn’t seek.  I fear that we often pray for things that may be important to us in the short term, but which are really not “good things” in God’s infinite wisdom…like winning the lottery, a good grade on an exam, or a promotion. How can we always know what is good or bad? And why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? And why do so many prayers for seemingly good things go unanswered? My answer, my only answer, is more prayer.

God of all wisdom and patience, help us to discern the difference between what is good and what is bad, and then help us acquire the discipline to seek only what is good.  Help us to listen to Your word to know what we should want, and which doors we should seek to open. Help us, someday, to understand Your mysterious ways.

Vince Bolduc, Professor of Sociology



First Reading: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
Psalm 138:1-3, 7c-8
Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday of the First Week
Today’s Scripture readings tell us of Jonah’s cry for repentance, his scurry through Nineveh telling others to stop their evil ways, repent,  and return to what is good and right.  God is merciful.  The Gospel highlights God’s mercy again, this time with Jesus as the carrier of the vision, “greater than Solomon,” telling the people they need to repent.  What will it take for us to heed those same words in our time?  There is such evil and destruction in the current events of our world that frankly, it’s easy to focus elsewhere, to become overwhelmed by the depth of what is happening and be paralyzed, unable to act, or understand how we can change these larger circumstances of evil.
But if we listen to Jonah—“turn away from…evil ways”—and look further into the content of Luke’s Gospel—where two verses later, Jesus speaks: “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness…”—we begin to see that it’s not about the larger evils that abound, but who it is that we are that requires awareness.  Are we conscious of our own selfish intentions?  Do we recognize how we respond to and treat others in our daily interactions? Do we inspire peace or fuel hatred?  Are we humble enough to recognize our imperfections?  And as the king of Ninevah did, do we strip down and sit in God’s presence, asking for forgiveness and allow ourselves to be open to God’s mercy and direction?
Our response to much of the violence in our world today often can be: “it’s not my problem,” or “it’s a shame…but what can I do?”  Every day we can do something. We can look at ourselves and ask for God’s mercy.  We can live more authentically the call of Jesus—to love God and likewise, to love our neighbor.
Merciful God, remind us of Your kindness and Your gracious love.  Help us to know You are with us, and with Your presence, to know our individual lives can make positive change in the world.
Heidi St. Peter, ’96, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services

First Reading: Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Gospel: Luke 11:29-32


Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday of the First Week 
In today’s readings, God reminds us of the unique and powerful purpose He has lovingly designed for each and every one of us. In His infinite mercy, He invites the faithful to embrace His offer of salvation and forgiveness, calling us to live boldly in the light of His Word, and to extend this same spirit of compassion to those around us. It can be difficult to remain focused on this calling in a world full of secular distractions, obstacles, and pursuits, but the words of the responsorial psalm reassure us of the unconditional and absolute love and strength of the Lord, who “rescues [us]” from our own human failings. Rather than allowing ourselves to become wrapped up in the shallow trappings of the materialistic world, the readings challenge us to live deeply, devoting ourselves to “achieving the end for which” God has made us. It also fortifies us with the promise that this challenge need not be tackled alone; the Lord protects and delivers us in the face of hardship and pain. We are comforted by the Gospel’s affirmation of our indelible link to the Lord who “knows what [we] need before [we] ask him,” and who hears the prayers of those who love Him, giving each of us reason to live our lives “radiant with joy.”
Lord, help us to live our lives compassionately, in fearless devotion to Your Word, and strengthen us with the promise of Your protection.
Miriam Pritschet, ’18


First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11

Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday of the First Week
In the first reading today, the Lord tells Moses to be holy and proceeds to list a whole series of admonishments for His people to be cognizant of, until ending His lecture with the prescient phrase, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In the Gospel, Matthew picks up this theme of neighborly love by defining it further for Jesus’ followers. By dividing them into two groups, there is no gray area as to who is a true disciple. Look at how you live your lifeto be with Jesus you have to actively care for the poor, the sick, the needy and the lonely. If you don’t, you’re really not on His side.
Those early disciples had no idea their good deeds would lead to salvation. They weren’t doing it to earn God’s favor; they just saw people in need and took care of them. Embedded in His parable was the difference between doing good deeds out of love as opposed to the fear of damnation. Their actions had to be authentic and genuine, not selfish and self-serving. Jesus is talking about a manner of living, a concern for social justice, and an authentic love for one another.
Holy Father, we pray that we may love our neighbor as ourselves as Jesus loved us by giving Himself for us.
Joseph Boutin, ’69, G’18, former member of the Board of Trustees and Member of our Worshipping Community

First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Psalm 19:8-10, 15
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Sunday, February 22, 2015

First Sunday of Lent
“Put to death in the flesh, He was brought to life in the Spirit.”  I keep coming back to these words.  Lent is the time each year when we reflect upon the sacrifice Christ made for us, His death, as well as the gift He gives us, eternal life in Him.  Both the sacrifice and the gift are overwhelming to us.  There is no way to repay God or to prove ourselves worthy of such a gift.  For how can we understand the experience of dying to save humanity, or giving the gift of salvation?  We cannot.  As with any overwhelming gift we may receive, we can only accept it, grateful, humbled, and knowing that this gift is given without expectation of reciprocation, given out of love, given selflessly.
This gift is transformative.  This gift, and the acceptance of it, changes us.  We become new.  As Christ died, so we die in our transgressions, and are raised to new life in the Spirit.  What does this new life look like?  We hear in Scripture that this baptism of water and Spirit “is not a removal of dirt from the body, but an appeal to God for a clear conscience.”  He does not expect us to be perfect from now on.  We are and continue to be sinful, making mistakes and needing guidance.  It is not a one and done kind of thing.  Acceptance of the gift happens every day, and so the transformation happens every day.  Each day we appeal to God for a clear conscience, to seek His wisdom and guidance to make the best choices, to follow His will, to discern what is good and just, and to work to build up His kingdom on earth to the best of our ability.  For He created a covenant with us, and it is a living covenant, of life-sustaining, hope-giving, guiding gift.  Let us die in our transgressions.  Let us be brought to life in the Spirit.
Lord, thank You for Your overwhelming sacrifice and gift.  Help us to accept Your love humbly, and to be transformed by this gift.  Each day, guide us to make good choices, to accept our failures and rise again with fresh resolve.  Work in us, so that we may accomplish the good works You have set out for us in advance, and help us to build up Your kingdom with justice and truth.  Amen.
Amelia Seman, 15
First Reading: Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 24:4-9
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22
Gospel: Mark 1:12-15

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website