Apr 4 2012

Lenten reflection: Living in the light of the Resurrection

Allan Weinert, CFCA board memberHere is the last of the Lenten reflections. This one is from CFCA board member Father Allan Weinert, C.SS.R. We hope you have learned from and enjoyed these as much as we did!

Happy Easter! April is a welcome month because those of us who live in northern hemispheres know that the heavy snows are over.

April also brings the good news that Christ is risen. Easter celebrates life after death and proclaims joyfully that Christ is with us. Winter will never be the final season of our existence.

Easter means living in the light of the Resurrection. Over these past days, in private prayer and public liturgy, we remember the story of our salvation.

We remember the violence we did to the Son of God and the love Jesus returned to us in bearing it. We who fashioned the cross are now saved by it.

Easter reveals God to us as no other celebration has ever done. On that morning life triumphed over death. Christ rose from the dead and we too shall rise from the dead on the last day.

Belief in the resurrection is a doctrine that we are taught, but it is also an attitude that engages us on every level of our being. It is the work of a lifetime and the hope of eternity. Read more

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Mar 28 2012

Lenten reflection: Seeing Jesus in those living in poverty

Scott Wasserman with CFCAEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by Scott Wasserman, chair of the CFCA governing board.

Suppose you knew for certain that someone was planning to kill you tomorrow. How would you prepare tonight?

Would you flee as far as you could travel as fast as you can? Would you hide where you could never be found?

Would you stock up on weapons, train how to use them, and recruit a bevy of friends to fight for you and protect you?

Flight and fight are natural responses to a threat. However, there is nothing particularly human about them. Rodents and reptiles do the same.

In the Passion account in the readings for Palm Sunday, Jesus knew for certain that unspeakable forces were conspiring to kill him. He knew they had infiltrated even his 12 closest disciples.

In the face of certain enmity and violence, he chose neither flight nor fight. He chose a third way, the uniquely human way of nonviolent love for enemies. Read more

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Mar 21 2012

Lenten reflection: Waiting for fruit from the seeds we plant

Tim Deveney in CFCAEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher relations manager Tim Deveney.

This year I am trying to start my entire garden from seed. It’s more work than a trip to the nursery.

Fortunately my 4-year-old daughter is enjoying planting tomato seeds, and her small hands and fingers handle these tiny seeds much better than my mitts.

She waits expectantly for me to get home so we can put dirt in the cups fashioned out of newspaper, place two seeds, water and wait.

Wait for them to sprout. Wait for them to grow. Wait for the crisp cool mornings of late winter to give way to spring’s warmth so we can plant them in the garden. Wait patiently for the plants to bear fruit.

Our Lenten path, like our lives, is filled with planting seeds and waiting for them to grow and bear fruit. Read more

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Mar 14 2012

Lenten reflection: Moving to meaningful, life-saving action

CFCA preacher Mark LaneEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher Father Mark Lane, C.O.

There is a powerful message in the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Lent. God sent his son into the world not to condemn it, but that the world might be saved through him.

The point of our faith is to help people, to save them. It is a point I find easy to forget, especially when I am caught behind someone at the supermarket check-out or the door bell rings when I am watching my favorite TV show!

Again and again Jesus teaches mercy, acceptance and inclusion, especially for the outcasts and those called sinners.

Who cannot be humbled by the incarnate son of God who steps in between the woman caught in adultery and the stones of her righteous neighbors? How disarmingly simple and clear are his words to her when they drop their stones and walk away: “Is there anyone left to condemn you?” Read more

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Mar 7 2012

Lenten reflection: Checking our spiritual ‘GPS’

CFCA preacher Tom SingerEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This weekís reflection was written by CFCA preacher Father Tom Singer, O.M.I.

The first reading for the Third Sunday in Lent, along with the psalm, amount to “a spiritual GPS” for us: directing us on the right road.

Are we listening or stubbornly going our own way? Or, as we approach the midway point of Lent, is it time for us to “recalculate?”

It’s not too late for us to pray that God becomes our life’s GPS, our guiding force.

The reading from Exodus begins by proclaiming God’s clear and forthright introduction, “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.î

God is gracious and wants the best for us ó reminding us that, indeed, God is on OUR side. Read more

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Feb 29 2012

Lenten reflection: Having faith even in the face of confusion

Every Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher Father Jeff Kirch, C.PP.S.

Thirty eyes gazing at you in utter confusion. Fifteen blank faces staring at you as if you had just spoken a foreign language.

Anyone who has ever attempted to teach young people knows what “utter confusion” looks like. Seemingly everything is going fine and then suddenly a corner is turned and the world has been turned upside down.

This is true in mathematics, chemistry, English and life.

The readings for the Second Sunday of Lent offer us two glimpses of confusion. Abraham, our father in faith, was chosen by God and received the promise. But suddenly everything seems to be in peril as God asks him to sacrifice Isaac.

Peter, James and John, the closest of Jesus’ friends, walk up the mountain, experience the Transfiguration, and then suddenly are told that Jesus must suffer and die.

I am sure Abraham, Peter, James and John were utterly confused. Their lives, in fact, their very futures were in jeopardy.

There are countless times when that same feeling comes over many of us. Times when we are not so sure what God has in store for us. Times when nothing seems to make sense. Times when we are groping for answers to the perennial question, “Why?” Read more

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Feb 22 2012

Lenten reflection: Preparing our hearts for God’s wonder

Larry Livingston Every Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA church relations director Larry Livingston.

The readings for the First Sunday of Lent offer some powerful images of cleansing. First we have the story of God’s covenant with Noah following the flood that cleansed the earth.

The second reading, from the First Letter of Peter, follows on the Noah imagery and connects it to the cleansing death of Jesus on the cross, while the Gospel offers Mark’s simple and direct account of Jesus’ purifying trek into the desert before he began his public ministry.

This cleansing motif makes me recall the times when, as a kid, I would find myself sentenced to cleaning my room.

My usual pattern would be to spend a few minutes pouting over the sheer injustice of it all, and then start figuring out ways to hide the mess so it would look as if I had actually straightened up. Read more

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