Campus Preaching

Feel the love of God through His words.

Second Sunday of Lent
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9
Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid." And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."



Reflection:
For the second Sunday of Lent, we move from Jesus' retreat to the desert to his Transfiguration. The story of Jesus’ Transfiguration follows Jesus' first prediction of his death and his teaching about the costs of discipleship. Jesus' Transfiguration is a promise of Jesus' glory, his Resurrection.
On a mountain in today's reading, a voice affirms that Jesus is God's Son in words reminiscent of the voice at Jesus' baptism. In addition, the appearance of Moses and Elijah on the mountain connects this story with God's relationship to the people of Israel. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets, respectively. Together with Jesus, they represent God's complete Word.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
First Sunday of Lent
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread." He said in reply, "It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God."
Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone." Jesus answered him, "Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test." Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." At this, Jesus said to him, "Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve."
Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.


Reflection:
The account of Jesus' temptation in the desert is filled with allusions and parallels to the Old Testament, including the story of the people of Israel. The Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the desert in Exodus, for example, and Jesus spends 40 days in the desert. As the Israelites were tempted during the Exodus, so too is Jesus tempted.
Each temptation offers insight into both God and the human condition. Jesus' rejection of the temptations shows that he will not put God to the test. Grounding himself on the word and authority of Scripture, Jesus rebukes the devil, confident in God's protection and faithfulness.
As we start our journey through Lent, our Sunday readings call us to adopt the same confidence that Jesus had in the face of temptation: God's word alone will suffice; God's promise of protection can be trusted; God alone is God.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 6:24-34
Jesus said to his disciples: "No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink? 'or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."


Reflection:
Trusting in God means turning first and foremost to God in all things. Whatever we do, we should first turn to God in prayer with the knowledge that He will give us the support we need. We then proceed with our lives, secure in the knowledge that God will provide the tools and resources needed to carry out His will. However, that does not mean they will just miraculously appear in front of us. God expects us to do our part as well. Rather, he will place the people around us which will lead us to whatever we need.
Trusting in God involves more than just praying. It is not a passive attitude. Yes we turn to God first, but we then we need to actively work toward completing the goals by using our God-given talents and working with the people God has placed in our lives. Whatever we do must be done with a prayerful attitude, but it still must be done. As the old saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves.” God does not want us to just sit idly by and wait for things to happen. He wants us to go forth and reshape the world in His image all the while trusting that God will provide.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

"You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."


Reflection:
In the Gospel, Jesus is challenging us. As humans, we have a tendency to protect ourselves and go on the defensive when we feel threatened. This is part of our human nature and is a result of original sin. Because we are human, we sometimes fail to take in to account how our actions and reactions will impact those around us. It is this tendency that Jesus is asking us to think about.
Too often, we seek revenge when someone does something to us. If someone makes us hurt, we want to make them hurt just as much. But Jesus is telling us that, rather than seeking revenge, we should seek to make peace and love them. We are to be representatives of God’s love and mercy to all those we meet, whether we are friends or enemies. This is a truly radical thought, both in Jesus’s time and today. No matter who we encounter or what they have done, everyone is a child of God and deserves to be treated with love and respect, simply because they are human beings. Each one of us has an inherent dignity which must be respected.
This is not an easy task. It requires constant vigilance and attention to avoid falling into our old habits. But if you make the effort, you will find that the rewards will undoubtedly be greater than what it costs to achieve them. When you treat everyone around you with love and kindness, it comes back to you in ways you could never expect. Because it is so unexpected in today’s world, it can change the attitude of those around you. We’ve all encountered the person who lights up the room when they enter. Imagine if everyone was trying to be like that person. Imagine how great the world could be. Imagine it and then go out and make it a reality.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37
Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

"You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

"It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife - unless the marriage is unlawful - causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

"Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the evil one."


Reflection:
Being a Christian is hard. We often think of being a Christian as simply being about loving our neighbors and God. In the abstract, this sound like it should be easy. We often lament that, if only everyone would treat those around them with love, the world would be a much better place. What we forget when we focus solely on this is that, while that message is central to what Jesus was teaching, it is not the only lesson he ever gave us. Yes, if we focus on that core message, everything else should flow from it, but that doesn’t mean we get to forget the rest.
This is a very different way of thinking about sin and how to live your life. Some might say that it is impossible for an individual to live up to such a high standard, and they would be right. It is impossible for us to live up to that standard by ourselves. That is why it is critical that we turn to God in all that we do. It is only through God’s help that we are able to achieve anything. It is the grace we receive in the sacraments – especially Eucharist and Reconciliation – which gives us the strength to live a Christian life. If we forget this, all is lost. But if we continue to turn to God with a pure heart, He will pour out His Grace and Mercy and raise us up to be a better person than we could ever have dreamed of being.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."


Reflection:
Are you living up to your purpose? This is the central question in this week’s Gospel. On the surface, it seems to be any easy one to answer. It’s a yes or no question. You either are living up to your purpose or not. But this seemingly easy question leads us to other, more difficult, questions. What is your purpose? How do you know what your purpose is? What does it mean if you’re not living up to your purpose? These are questions that people wrestle with for their entire lives.
Yet for Christians, the answers are clear. Our purpose is to love God and love each other. We know this because Jesus tells us in the Great Commandment: “You should love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire mind … [and] you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 26:37-39). Everything we do, therefore, needs to focus back on these two things: loving God and loving each other. If we fail to do these things, we fail at the purpose and mission we have been given.
But our purpose goes beyond simply loving God and each other. In doing this, we are also to be spreading the Good News. This is the light which must shine before others. We must not be afraid to proclaim that Jesus is Lord and Savior. This does not mean we must be overbearing and constantly put our beliefs in front of everyone we meet. It does mean that we should not hide our beliefs from others. We should be willing to discuss what we believe with those around us. If we do these two things, loving those around us and sharing the Good News, we can be assured that our purpose has been fulfilled.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven."



Reflection:
This is one of the most famous passages in the Bible which is known as “The Beatitudes;” these statements define for us what it means to be a follower of Christ.
No one wants to be poor. No one wants to mourn because that means you have experienced a loss. No one wants to be meek, but rather wants to be bold and in control. No one wants to hunger for righteousness because that means that something unfair or unjust has occurred. Society tells us no to be merciful; rather we are told that we should seek revenge on those who wrong us and try to win at all costs. Instead of telling us to be clean of heart, society tells us to give into our desires and do whatever feels good. Instead of becoming peacemakers, society encourages division and hatred towards those who disagree with us. Instead of embracing persecution, society tells us to avoid anything that will cause us difficulty or strife. Yet when we truly look at these things, we find they are the symbol of what we would consider the ideal Christian. We are called to be poor, but not in terms of possessions. Instead, being poor in spirit means recognizing that everything we have comes from God and we can do nothing without His help. We mourn when losses happen, but we are called to understand that it is only through those losses that we can grow as people and in our relationship with God. We are called to fight for what is right because we recognize that we are living in a flawed world and there will always be things that can be improved and changed. We are called to be merciful because we are called to imitate Christ and the mercy we receive from Him. We are called to be clean of heart because, in doing this, we are setting aside our own wants and desires and turning to God’s will. We are called to be peacemakers because, in so doing, we show God’s love to those around us. Lastly, we are called to accept persecution because, again, we are called to imitate Christ who in His time was persecuted by those in power, even to the point of death. Therefore, by embracing the Beatitudes, we embrace what it means to be a follower of Christ.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.


Reflection:
What does a call look like in modern times? Most of us will not have an experience of going about our daily lives and having Jesus show up in person, asking us to follow Him. Yet Jesus is still calling each of us to this day. He does it through the kind words of a stranger, an article we happen to read in the paper, or a post one of our friends likes on Facebook. He does it when we encounter him at Mass in the Eucharist, at prayer in Adoration, or through a conversation with a fellow Christian. He calls us in the silence of our hearts when we least expect it. Take some time today to think about what God might be calling you to do and pray for the courage to understand His call and accept it.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: John 1:29-34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, 'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.' I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel." John testified further, saying, "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."


Reflection:
In the gospel reading, John the Baptist says that this power of the Spirit can be seen most clearly in Jesus, who is the very Son of God. God’s spirit is available and wants to do great things!
Nowadays, many of our fellowmen are anxious about many things and especially about the new administration. Will our nation stay focused on peace and justice? Will the poor be included in our bounty? Will we work together with the nations of the world to respect the environment and lesson climate change? We will be committed to ending wars and terrorism?
In this time of war, in this era of violence and terror, in this generation that is struggling with issues around globalization, in this world economy with so many inequalities, in this era when many feel divided by ideological positions, we are called to believe that this spirit can bring together the diverse and divided people of our world. We are called to believe that we can make a difference and that God’s spirit creates “a light to the nations” and “a salvation that will reach to the ends of the earth.” God wants the light of justice and peace to shine in the world.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs
The Epiphany of the Lord
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel." Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.



Reflection:
The gospel tells us about our own journeys; they challenge our attitude toward other searchers like we sometimes set boundaries to God’s love and salvation. The sincerity and genuine faith and goodness of outsiders challenge those of us who see salvation as confined to our ways of understanding and believing.
It also reminds us that we cannot know with assurance how God acts in other people’s lives but we do know he does. Salvation is open to and for all. Moreover, those we consider outsiders may see truths we have missed in our own sources of revelation, sending us back to them with a new receptivity and insight into the fullness of the truths about love and justice that they contain. In our various faith journeys we believe in the midst of all that is happening we can see with our own eyes that the Lord God is creating a kingdom. We cannot always explain or understand “what is going on” except to this extent: “An almighty God is governing all things, powerfully and gently, and in His own mysterious way is shaping up a kingdom of justice and of love. In this season we are celebrating that Jesus, Son of Mary, Mighty God and Lord of all Creation, has been born among us. As we celebrate his presence in and among us we need in the midst of all to remember his words to us: Do not be afraid. I am with you always.
 
Date of Posting: 17 March 2017
Posted By: Religious Affairs

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