Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday of the Fourth Week
Today’s readings remind me how important it is to let God into my life and not try and block Him out. The first reading from the Book of Wisdom is a reminder that we do know God’s plan for us and we need to place our trust in him. The wicked ones did understand what they were doing and were not able to receive the wisdom, love, and compassion of God brought to us through the Resurrection of Jesus. The Gospel reading also illustrates our blindness to God through a story about Jesus not being recognized by the Jews as He was walking amongst them within Galilee. For me, this is another metaphor for my own tendencies to have a blindness to God. Today’s Gospel from John calls us to be open to the call of God and respond when God calls us. Don’t be blind to Jesus and recognize when He is walking amongst us in our daily lives. This prompts me to slow down and take more time for prayer and reflection in my busy and hectic life. Only then will I be able to see God and let Him in.

Lord, help me to be open to Your calling and help me to see the plan You have laid out for me.

Matt Seklecki, ’11, Associate Director of Admission


First Reading: Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22
Psalm 34:17-21, 23
Gospel: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday of the Fourth Week
We are a stiff necked people.  “They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them” says the Lord.  We often are quick to judge those in Scripture as being stubborn, lazy, short sighted, or prideful, but maybe that is why Scripture speaks to our hearts and we need to hear and reflect on Scripture because we fall just as easily into the same ways of missing the mark and turning away from God.  We need to hear God calling us back to Himself.

We are also a forgetful people.  We forget God’s loving kindness.  We forget His mercy and compassion.  We forget His forgiveness and healing grace.   In the Psalm for today, we offer the plea, “Remember us, O Lord, as you favor Your people,” but we should also pray, “Help me remember, O Lord, Your goodness.”  Sometimes, it is not that we don’t know God’s love, but that we get distracted by golden idols of our own making and are too stiff necked to shift our gaze away from the idol to see God surrounding us.  Sometimes we willingly squeeze our eyes shut and miss the gift God offers to us.  As Jesus says in the Gospel, even when others are a “burning and shining lamp” testifying the truth and even when God reveals His love to us, we often remain stiff necked and forgetful.

Sabbath is a time to remember.  God, in His great wisdom, gave us the gift of His very self through Jesus and Sabbath is the time we come together as a community to embrace and receive this gift.  Throughout Lent, we can also create Sabbath moments at times during each day when we loosen our stiff necks, shift our gaze back to God, and be living testimonies to the great love God offers the world.

Loving God, help me to keep my eyes open and fixed on You.  Help me not be distracted by idols that keep me from Your love.  May I create Sabbath moments to recognize Your presence in my life so that I might testify to Your great love and goodness and shine out to others.

Anna Lester, ’98, Assistant Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry


First Reading: Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 106:19-23
Gospel: John 5:31-47

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourth Week
“For the Lord comforts and shows mercy.” Is 49:13.  In the first reading, Isaiah describes how Jesus will call us from all parts of the world as brothers and sisters to follow Him. We learn that in this life we are confronted with difficult situations and challenges, but we must not become despondent or discouraged because Jesus has given us the Holy Mass, the Eucharist, true food and true drink, to give us strength and nourishment which will provide for our needs and help us follow Him.  And when we have fallen, His mercy is given to us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation to reunite us to Him. We are never alone, for Jesus is with us in our tribulations, and He gave us His mother as our mother, that we might have Her to call upon to intercede and advocate for us.

“I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in the one who sent Me has eternal life.” Jn 5:24.  In the Gospel, Jesus describes His work as being that of the Father. The Son does what the Father shows Him, and in turn, Jesus asks us to follow Him continuing His work in our lives. Whoever believes in Jesus will never die, but pass from death to life.  Today, Jesus is being challenged in His ministry for going beyond the strict rules and rituals of the time, and we can expect to likewise be challenged in our faith by what society deems acceptable and by materialism. It’s through the challenges we build our relationship with God and learn more about ourselves.

To remain close to Jesus, receive the Sacraments, pray often, and make God the center of our lives. In the silence of our hearts during prayer, we hear His voice calling and teaching us what He is asking us to do. The more we pray, the better we hear Him. Do not let faith become a ritual to follow blindly, but to be a pasture for us to learn to be steadfast, and grow in.  Have we made our conversion to put God in the first place in our lives?

Hail Mary, Mother of Jesus, I entrust myself to you.

David Lalime & Patricia Danehey-Lalime MSA class of ’92, MSW, Members of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalm 145:8-9, 13c-14, 17-18
Gospel: John 5:17-30

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday of the Fourth Week
Today’s readings repeatedly mention water.  The angel and the prophet Ezekiel trace a miraculous flow from the temple threshold in Jerusalem as it deepens to become a refreshing river into the sea.  Psalm 46 sings of the “stream whose runlets gladden the city of God.”  And today’s Gospel describes the healing pools of Bethesda, inaccessible to an ill man whom the Lord admonishes to “rise, take up your mat, and walk.”  “Water” is said to appear over 720 times in the Bible—more often than “faith,” “worship,” or “prayer.”  Used often, perhaps, as a powerful metaphor for people living in the arid holy lands.  Water both assures and unsettles.  When used as a sacramental at Baptism, it opens our way to redemption.  When a sea, its glistening surface delights us, its depths bring mystery and caution; and its storm-driven waters can terrify.  Water’s precious moisture is essential for life; as tears, it expresses our sadness and our joy; without it, all becomes parched, brittle and eventually dust. 

We are making our Lenten journey—little more than two weeks until Holy Thursday—moving from moments of darkness to light, from cold to warmth, and from thirst to refreshment.  Streams and shorelines often define the pilgrims’ path.  Faith motivates our journey; hope provides our walking stick; love, peace and justice is our sought reward. 
Lord Jesus, You are guide and companion throughout our journey.  Lead us to follow the water, drink from it, bathe in it, be guided by it—the stream whose runlets gladden the city of God.

Church Hindes, ’69, Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Ezekiel 47: 1-9, 12
Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
Gospel: John 5:1-16

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday of the Fourth Week
God’s word in Scripture had meaning for the people of the time it was written, but it also has meaning for us whenever we read or hear it. God’s word is alive and living.  I find I need to allow it to have life for me today.  I need to allow myself to see it come to life in some way.

In today’s readings, I am struck by the opening lines of Isaiah: God is creating something new. Where do I see this happening in my life? I may need to look long and hard to see it and come to understand it.  I know God’s love desires our cooperation in bringing about the new heavens and new earth. Sometimes it can only happen through reconciliation, forgiveness, faith, and trust.

I love the joy that is present in this passage. It is filled with hope, “there shall always be rejoicing and happiness,” God will rejoice in Jerusalem and Jerusalem will rejoice in God.  Sorrow, illness and death will be done away with in this new creation.  How I long to see this come but all I can do now is work with the Spirit to help it happen.

The Gospel reminds me that sometimes I have to believe in God’s word without seeing the signs.  What is God telling me today?
We hear of the people of Galilee experiencing something new, a prophet has arisen among them who speaks and acts in God’s name.  That same powerful presence is here today and awaiting our request for healing, wisdom, forgiveness and joy. 

Let us come to Jesus and ask for ears to hear the good news and to have the strength to make it known in our world today.

Jesus, come walk with me today.  Help me hear Your words and respond with faith, hope and trust.  May I know the power of Your love for me.  Amen.

Sr. Karen Pozniak, S.N.D. de N., Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Isaiah 65:17-21
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-12a, 13b
Gospel: John 4:43-54

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Lent
For months now, I have been contemplating heartbreak. I’m not just thinking of the romantic kind, though we all have our stories, but rather, much more broadly, because if you look around and really pay attention—try to really look into people’s hearts—it is everywhere, embedded in our common humanity: the heartbreak we experience when others don’t live up to our expectations; when someone trusted lets you down; when you work tirelessly for a goal, only to fail; when you lose someone unexpectedly, and you can’t quite let go; when change seems inevitable, but your choices, limited; the heartbreak of our ego, recognizing our limitations, as we mess up again and again.  There is a saying that when a heart breaks, the cracks are what allows light to shine through our hopelessness. It is through these cracks, through our brokenness, that we come to understand how much we need God.

Today’s readings are some of God’s answers to heartbreak. In the first reading, we are reminded that God’s loving mercy goes beyond our surface and takes the time to see what is inside our hearts, to recognize our goodness. I wonder how much of our heartbreak could be prevented if we tried to do this with one another?  The second reading points to the light of God in our midst. God shines a light on goodness and justice and truth, and we are reminded to live in the light of Christ—to do what is good and just and true.  Even as we are broken, if we make an effort to live in the light, we will eventually feel the light shining through us, pulling us out of our isolating darkness. The Gospel reading from John is further insight into Jesus’ desire for us to know Him and see Him. If we acknowledge our blindness, we realize our need for God and can more easily recognize God’s work in our lives. Our humility is necessary for our healing.

Perhaps it is only when we recognize and allow God into our darkness, to shine light through our brokenness, to reveal the goodness in our hearts and remind us to seek that same goodness in others, perhaps it is then that our broken hearts can actually transform the world. Let us hope.

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Gracious God, help me always to remember the strength of Your light and love.

Heidi St. Peter, 96, Assistant Director of Academic Support

First Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
Psalm 23:1-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14
Gospel: John 9:1-41

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday of the Third Week
Annunciation of the Lord

It is interesting to note that the title of the Feast we celebrate today emphasizes “the Lord” as opposed to a title that draws attention to Mary conceiving. Obviously, Mary’s role in salvation history is critical and it is for this reason the Church honors and venerates Mary in many ways. However, the title of the Feast is a reminder to us. All that we say and attribute to Mary is because of her son, Jesus. Each feast we celebrate and all Christian worship is Christocentric.

We always have to ponder the humanity of Mary and never neglect her true historical circumstances. She was among the most powerless people in her society: she was young in a world that valued age; female ruled by men; poor in a stratified economy. She did not have a husband or children and was thus one of the most vulnerable persons in society. But she was faithful to God and said yes to the invitation to play a key part of salvation history.

Mary is our model disciple. Unlike the Twelve Apostles who continually misunderstand, doubt, deny and even betray Jesus, Mary is always faithful to Jesus and walks with Him to Calvary. We can reflect on our own discipleship this Lenten day by imagining ourselves at the foot of the cross gazing at our Lord as St. Ignatius of Loyola instructs us in his Spiritual Exercises. As you look into the eyes of the One who suffers for you, ask yourself these questions: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ?

Lord Jesus, in my own weakness and with my limitations, please help me to follow You as Mary did. Amen.

Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E. ’86, Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry


First Reading: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Psalm 40:7-11
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:4-10
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday of the Third Week

We are called to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength…what wonderful words to embrace and, at times, what a challenge. I am comforted today reflecting on the readings by three words…Jesus is present. (Let me say it another way... Jesus is on my side.) What could be more comforting than that?

Jesus is present in the beauty around us. Jesus is present in the people around us. Jesus is present amongst our families, our closest friends, and colleagues. Jesus is present in those by whom we are challenged.  Jesus is present in our waking hours and in our sleep. Jesus is present when we have deadlines, when we are studying, when we get good grades, and when we fall short of our potential.  Jesus’ presence will help me see God and honor God in all of it.  The readings also confirm that we are not infallible, that we make mistakes, and that through it all, we are forgiven and loved freely by God. While we shouldn’t use that as a get out of jail free card, we should find comfort in knowing that we can be and are forgiven.

Lord, enlighten me to Your presence all around me.  Strengthen me to be forgiving as I am forgiven.  And know that I love you.

Patrick J. Gallivan, ’86, Vice President for Government and Community Affairs 

First Reading: Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 81:6c-11b, 14, 17
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday of the Third Week
Be one with God.  Be fully with Him. This is what the readings tell me today.  They tell me to really listen. Hear and heed His Voice. If we enter into this holy relationship with only half a mind, just half a heart, we will get lost.  We will be random, restless, without reason or direction.

We will only vaguely be present at the holy sacrifice of the Mass. We will only be somewhat present when we greet the elderly neighbor who lives up the road. We will carry just half a heart when listening to the sorrows of a friend. We will convey just a touch of God’s energy when we reach for the hand of a troubled student. 

The readings encourage us to live fully, with great intention. We must drop our fixations, distractions.  The Word of God today tells us that living in amazement over God’s presence just isn’t enough. If we do not truly and fully devote ourselves to God, staying with Him, closely, making this holy and sweet connection a second by second practice, we’ll find our inner lives divided, distracted, without True purpose, without Holy cause.  We will live without the Living God.

So let us really live our faith. Let us really listen with keen devotion.  Be one with God.  Be joined in God by listening for this Holy Union as often as we remember every minute of every day of our sacred lives.  

May I bow down to the ground and hear You.  May I walk with You right by my side. I wish to be one with You.  May I live in Your Oneness always.

Antonia Messuri, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs

First Reading: Jeremiah 7:23-28
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
Gospel: Luke 11:14-23

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday of the Third Week
This past October, I had a chance to visit Ellis Island for the first time. As a student of history, it was amazing to see this iconic location first hand. During my visit, I had a chance to explore an exhibit which included an interactive sample citizenship test based on the same questions new Americans must take. Thankfully, I passed.

As I read today’s readings I couldn’t help but think about how both the U.S citizenship exam and Moses’ plea to his people focus on the written law. In both cases, demonstrating knowledge of the law leads to being a better citizen. 

Yet, somewhere along the way, we seem to have come to believe that being a citizen in God’s kingdom—on Earth or in Heaven—has more to do with following religious laws and practices created by man. We’ve become focused on how one denomination differs from another. We put more credence into our own religious practices than the Gospel message.  We become lost in debating the nuances and differences in our doctrines, practices, and beliefs.  These become dogmas that take our eyes and hearts away from treating each other as fellow children of God and being humble. 

Rather, should we not focus on God’s original intentions and laws, both embodied in our Lord Jesus Christ? Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus came to fulfill God’s Commandments. Love and honor your God. Love thy Neighbor. Honor your Mother and Father. Do not kill. Do not covet. Going further, Jesus outlines in the Beatitudes how we could best live out God’s Commandments. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Show mercy. Mourn. Be a peacemaker. Clean your heart. Be meek.  Let us take today, and the rest of Lent, to reflect on and heed God’s laws and the original intention to treat everyone as a child of God.

Dear God, help me today to focus on Your laws. Guide my thoughts and action to treat everyone as a child of God. Let my treatment of others be a testament to being a citizen of the kingdom of God.

Chad T. Ahern, ’99, M’12, Donor Relations Officer


First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday of the Third Week
One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone. It is a part of human nature to hold a grudge against someone who has hurt us, but it is even more challenging to admit to our wrong doings and to truly forgive. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that if someone has sinned against us, it is our responsibility to forgive them over and over again. In Jesus’ eyes, it is not enough to just apologize with a simple “I’m sorry,” but we must forgive those who have hurt us from the bottom of our hearts. This is not always a simple task to do, however. It takes strength and courage to confront someone whom we have hurt or who has hurt us, and to apologize. Even though this may be challenging at times, the joy we receive from truly forgiving someone will help us to be compassionate like Jesus was. If you are having a difficult time trying to forgive someone, remember how Jesus was able to forgive those who betrayed Him and nailed him to the cross. Give up your grudges and let Jesus help you to truly forgive from the bottom of your heart.

Jesus, help me forgive those who have hurt me with the same amount of compassion that You had for those who nailed You to the cross. Give me strength and courage to face those whom I have hurt. May You open my heart to be compassionate and to truly forgive those whom I may have offended.  Amen.

Anita Curtin, ’20


First Reading: Deuteronomy 3:25, 34-43
Psalm: 25:4-5ab, 6-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website