St. Justin & St. Michael Parishes
 
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WEEKLY REFLECTIONS & PRAYERS

 

Parish Prayer February 29, 2020

Now and again we come across scripture passages that make us wonder how lofty God's standards are. Today's gospel seems to be one of those. We are required to turn the other cheek when we are slapped on the one. We should go two miles when asked to go one, etc. Also, in the first reading, we are asked not to take revenge but to always act lovingly toward our neighbor. One begins to wonder how any of these could be possible considering our human nature that is often prone to weakness and to sin. And that is exactly the point. The call to 'Be Holy' which opens today's first reading is also a call to live more and more in line with our divine nature and less and less in conformity with our human nature. 'If you have been raised with Christ seek the things which are above.' God wants us to think more like Him, speak more like Him, act more like Him and to live more like Him so we can be with Him. So we are challenged to go the extra mile, make extra sacrifice, do what is unusual and out of the ordinary; pay a little price for the sake of a greater price. Saint Paul summarizes this in the second reading when he says that we are 'Fools for the sake of Christ.' In his first letter to the Corinthians chapter nine, same Paul reminds us that we compete for a price that is priceless; and for the sake of this incalculable price every sacrifice is worth the pain. Heavenly father grant us the grace to be holy as you are holy, Amen.

Parish Prayer February 12, 2020

Those who follow God's laws are blessed. They shall live. These two statements can be called the cardinal statements for reflection for this week; taken from the First reading and the Psalm. In line with the above statements, Saint Paul reminds us that the commandments of God reflect the wisdom of God whose purpose is to bring about our glorification. Our situations in life may change, times may pass, circumstances may vary, but these laws are timeless. They remain the eternal truths of God that save us. These truths, revealed in the sacred scriptures, invite us to live a life of virtue, be generous and merciful, forgiving and compassionate in the same manner that the father is compassionate toward us. As central as these truths are, God does not impose them on us. It is up to us to choose them or to despise them. Each choice, however, comes with consequences; which is why they are described in terms of life and death. We are each going to be held accountable for whatever choices we end up making.  If we choose God and his commandments, we shall live. Gracious God, grant us the grace to know, to love and to follow you as the one true and only choice for the salvation of our souls, Amen.

 

Parish Prayer February 9, 2020

Today's readings are profuse with imageries of light especially in contrast to darkness. The prophet Isaiah, in the first reading, clearly states that those who practice kindness and are just, will see their light shine even in the darkness. If you are generous and gracious, giving unsparingly to those in need, you are like a brilliant light in the darkness. If you give bread to the hungry, shelter the homeless and the oppressed and clothe the naked, your light will shine forth like the dawn and your wound will be healed. The Psalmist reminds us that the just is like a light in the darkness since he or she lives righteously. Same light and salt are used as two powerful imageries, in the Gospel, to demonstrate our vocation as Christians to be the light of the world and salt of the earth. These readings could not have been more appropriate and more inspiring as we celebrate Black History Month that reminds us of who we are as a people. As we celebrate the victory of justice over injustice and of love over hate, our minds go back to the central figures of the Civil Rights Movement like Dr. Martin Luther King and many others. In keeping with the prophecy of Isaiah, Dr. King's light has continue to shine ever so brightly throughout the world. In imitation of Jesus, the true and eternal light, Dr. King and others like him reflect the light of truth, of justice, of honor and of love. As true models, they point the way for us to follow. As we celebrate today, we must remember what this moment represents in our history and, beyond just remembering, we must become ourselves true champions of that which we celebrate. Are we fighting to eradicate oppression? Are we laboring to combat racism? Are we working to bring about a more compassionate, more tolerant more generous and more loving world? To do so would be the best way that we can truly become LIGHT IN THE WORLD AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

 
 

St. Justin-St. Michael Parish   230 Blue Hills Avenue Hartford, CT 06112

860 246-6897