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.

  • 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...

  • Opening Our Hearts and Working for Peace

    The Sign of Peace during the Diamond Jubilee Mass in St Columban’s Home, Chuncheon City, South Korea on April 26, 2014. As a child, I thought Ordinary Time in the Liturgical Calendar was “off season” for the Church and Advent, Lent, and Easter were the only important “seasons.” Eventually, a maturing faith prevailed. Ordinary Time invites us to more deeply understand and appreciate the life of Jesus.  Pope Francis closes the Jubilee Year of Mercy on November 20, 2017, and Ordinary...

  • The Seamless Garment

    As we prepare for the final week before concluding this difficult election cycle, it is good to take a step back and to reflect, not on what separates and divides us, but rather on what binds us together – our faith, our common humanity, our hope for the future – and the gift of life. One of those voices who reminds us of the Catholic values that we share was Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the former cardinal archbishop of Chicago. Thirty-three years ago he delivered an address at Fordham University...

  • Children of Light

    Between October 10 and the winter solstice on December 21, we will lose two hours of daylight. The angle of the earth affects the number of daylight hours just as the angle from which we perceive ourselves and our place in the community directs our actions. In this first reading for today, Monday October 24, St. Paul contrasts children of light and children of darkness. He tells us that the mark of communal life is love of neighbor. Paul instructs us on how to behave as followers of Christ, the children...

  • World Mission Sunday

    This coming Sunday, October 23rd, marks the 90thanniversary of World Mission Sunday, first approved by Pope Pius XI in 1926. First established as a ‘day of prayer for the missions’, World Mission Sunday is set aside as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the work of mission in the church. As the Missionary Society of St. Columban, on Sunday we honor the work of the Columban community across the globe.How do we understand the work of mission today, though? In 2018, the...

  • Acknowledging Our Past

    Today, on Columbus day, most people have the day-off from work and school. For years I took this day off without putting much thought into what it means, without reflecting on the significance and legacy of Christopher Columbus. As young children in school, we all learn that Columbus discovered America in the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Now we know this to be untrue—Columbus did not “discover” America, people already lived here. Instead, Columbus contributed to the...

  • On Journey with Pope Francis and St. Francis of Assisi

    As a native of New England, I have never lost my love of fall and its majestic beauty. Eagerly, I await the magic of leaves transitioning to red, yellow and orange colors, fall flowers blossoming and all God’s creatures preparing for winter. Back home, a neighbor’s yearly complaint that squirrels were taking his precious acorns now makes me laugh. He never did anything with those acorns other than sweeping them up and throwing them away to spite the squirrels. Looking back, he did...

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