Reflections and Perspectives

Welcome! Reflections, Testimonials, and Perspectives for St. Mary Magdalen are offered by our priests, deacons, parishioners, and others as guest writers. We will offer a Sunday Reflection as well as other topics. 

  • Msgr. Ralph Chieffo

Do You Embody the Fruits of the Holy Spirit?

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Sirach 27:4-7, Psalm 92:2-3, 13-16, 1 Corinthians 15:54-58, & Luke 6:39-45


These gifts are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Charles Read offers us this wisdom: “Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”


Developing a Christian character takes a lifetime of striving to exhibit the mind and heart of Jesus. When we entrust our lives to Jesus as our Savior and Lord. God’s Powerful Spirit (GPS) purifies our demonic spirit and empowers us to be his divine presence for others. We only know we have a gift when we give it away. That is why we must ‘Man Up’ and ‘Woman Up’ by loving and forgiving each other to discover our true selves.

Jesus reminds us, “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit.” By laying down his life for us, Jesus guides us by his word and graces us with his Eucharist to nourish us to become his loving and forgiving presence in the world. The Wisdom of Sirach teaches us that life is fragile since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s will, and we often fail. Saint Paul encourages us to fight the good fight of faith to restore peace and unity in all our relationships because Jesus transformed the tree of death into the tree of life by his resurrection.

Celebrate this Lent by feasting on the Word of God and the Eucharist rather than fasting from food and drink. Let the light of Christ shine by practicing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Repent and rejoice in being a peacemaker by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Join us at Man Up Philly, That Man is You, or Walking with Purpose for women to grow as disciples of Jesus with fellow believers.

Our Catholic mission is for us to “build a family of faith in Jesus Christ through Catholic worship, education, and charity.” Dorothy Day challenges us to examine our conscience to see whether we are bearing good or evil fruit. She writes, “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

Msgr. Ralph Chieffo

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