Weekly Reflections

Weekly Reflections on Justice are written by the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach staff, volunteers, interns, and visiting Columban Missionaries. We hope these reflections help to guide you on your own spiritual journey working toward justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.

  • Our Common Humanity

    The inauguration took place this past Friday, and I can’t think of another political race, in my lifetime, that created this much division. In my own family, there was definite disagreement about which bubble on the ballot to fill in for president, and my Thanksgiving was full of shock when I learned of our differences. At one point, I had to excuse myself from the holiday party to digest our disparity. My initial reaction was, “How could these people I love choose something...

  • I Have Called You to Be My Servant

    On the first Sunday after the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, we hear the passage this passage from the prophet Isaiah. It is a great call to service, to be a light to the nations so that by our actions we may bear witness to the hope for salvation throughout the earth. Imagine for a moment, what that hope might look like to a refugee or migrant, to those families which experience the terrible suffering of violence or war, or to those communities that experience the devastating effects...

  • The Gift of the Magi

    weekly reflections

    Sunday’s gospel reading tells us the story of the Epiphany, the feast day for which we just celebrated this past Friday. The Magi, often referred to as the three kings or the three wise men, come from the East to Jerusalem to ask, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him?” Hearing this news, King Herod tells them to go and search diligently for the child. He tells the three kings, “When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go...

  • Everyone Can Be an Artisan of Peace!

    On January 1, Pope Francis delivered his annual World Day of Peace message. He chose for his theme, on this 50th anniversary of the Peace Day message, “Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.” His message is all the more timely and urgent, given a world torn by war and violence. For years now, daily accounts of the suffering of civilians in Aleppo, Syria and for months, tweets from a 7-year-old girl named Bana, pleading for help, have brought the plight of Syrian civilians and refugees into the...

  • Advent Invitation: Embracing Jesus and Each Other

    It is the Fourth week of Advent. After weeks of preparation, the time has almost come for us to embrace baby Jesus. While we are getting ready to welcome Jesus into our hearts, it is important to extend this welcome and embrace those that are marginalized our society—including migrants. Yesterday, December 18, was International Migrant Day. This Advent season marks 22 years that my parents have lived in United States after leaving El Salvador. My family belongs to a Columban...

  • Advent Invitation: Believe in the Promise of God

    This is the day, 485 years ago, that the world of the Americas was turned upside down by the faith of a 57 year old peasant named Juan Diego and the revolutionary gentleness of a woman called Our Lady of Guadalupe. Juan Diego was one of the uncounted, voiceless, marginalized, and seemingly unimportant indigenous peoples of Mexico. The country was being overrun by Catholic, Spanish conquerors who were misusing their perceived power by committing genocide against the native people...

  • Advent Invitation: Hear His Call for Justice

    In the first reading for the Second Sunday of Advent, Isaiah tells the people yearning for peace: “…A shoot shall sprout from the root of Jesse.” And the responsorial psalm sings the promise: “Justice shall flourish in his time, and the fullness of peace forever.” The Gospel presents John the Baptist, preaching in the desert, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” For the One who comes after me “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing...

  • Advent Invitation: Open Our Hearts to Welcome Christ in a Broken World

    Christ of the Breadlines.Graphic by Fritz Eichenberg

    Christ of the Breadlines.

    Advent is a time of waiting and surrender, a time of joy and hope. We live in an “in-between” time, between the birth of Christ and the day when Christ will return. This requires of us a discipline of faith, hope and love. Each week of Advent, we are reminded and invited to pause and to open our hearts to the birth of Christ in a broken world: “Stay awake!” “Prepare the way of the Lord!” “Go and tell what you hear and see!” “Do not be afraid!” Certainly the events surrounding the birth of Jesus...

  • Equity in God's House

    I’ve been attending the ‘Border Eucharist’ from the Mexican side of the 11-foot high fence for the past four years. Our Columban parish of Corpus Christi is close to the spot where the Eucharist takes place. Mexican Catholics from the city of Juarez and American Catholics from El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, come together each year to pray for the souls of those who were murdered, or who died of hunger and thirst while attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the United States....

  • Falling in Love

    November 16, 2016 marks 27 years since six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughter were martyred at the University of Central America in El Salvador. Along with them, thousands of people were murdered during the Salvadoran civil war that lasted from 1981 to 1992. The Jesuits lived out their faith by ministering to the marginalized and poor in El Salvador. As a result of their witness and love for the people they served, they were outspoken critics of the human rights abuses and murders...

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