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. 

  • Deacon Anthony Cincotta

Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13, & Luke 4:16-30

Parenthood is a beautiful yet, demanding vocation. There are so many extraordinary moments of joy, pride, hugs, not to mention the handmade gifts and unimaginable love. From those first steps followed at lightning speed by the beginning of school, first crushes, first experience behind the wheel of a car, and until their movement away from home.

However, being a parent also has a challenging side. It means tears, fears, discipline, arguments, pouting, and the utter frustration that comes with having a sixteen-year-old certain that parents "don't have a clue." Somehow, as parents, we have to believe despite the difficulties, the uncertainty, and the grief, that sticking to our beliefs and values will get us through to the other side of the job we have taken on—that is, releasing into the world a level-headed, loving, and compassionate adult.

In today's Gospel narrative, Jesus shows us two sides of what it means to be His follower. First, as He reads the scripture in the temple, it is inspiring and moving. Our Lord tells us as He reads from Isaiah that good news is coming to the poor, captives will be released, the blind will see, the oppressed will go free, and a year of the Lord's favor will be proclaimed. WOW! How could you not love this message? How could you not become a follower of Jesus?

Then we see the other side of the message. Jesus moves deeper into the message, challenging His listeners to believe without the flashy miracles He has performed in other locations. He speaks of the widows, famines, and lepers, and they become angry. How dare He, the son of Joseph the carpenter, talk to them that way? To push them like that" To challenge them" Now Jesus has to face their doubts, their questions, and finally their rage as they try to drive Him over a cliff before He "passes through the midst of them and went away."

For us, following Jesus has to go beyond a vague sense of loving everyone. We are called to live the Gospel values in our care for the poor and the marginalized in a particular way and have a faith forged with justice. Catholic social teaching and church leaders call us to challenge unjust structures and advocate for those who have no one to speak for them. Inevitably there will be challenges, anger, and perhaps even ferocity when we push beyond the comfort level of our listeners. However, it's what we are all called to do!

Question of the Day: Jesus asks us to trust, risk, and love no matter the consequences, can you?

Prayer: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor."



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