Scripture Reflections

April 30: Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

Posted by Campus Ministry on April 30, 2020 at 6:04 AM PDT

a canoe sits in the water next to a dock  with mountains and water in the background

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Upon first read for today's scriptures, I was astonished by Philip’s willingness to listen and follow through with the command that he was given by the Holy Spirit —there was no huge questioning, he just set out, knowing that it was good and that he would be taken care of! Yes, there may have been confusion and worry but it seems that Philip also trusted that the Lord would make sure he was prepared to carry out the task at hand. 

Philip’s readiness makes me ask myself: what is stopping me from pursuing what I need to do or want to do when the opportunity is right in front of me? Sometimes getting started might be the hardest part because what is before us might not be fully planned yet or we might think we are not prepared to carry out the task, but that is okay. Philip’s experience in the first reading reminds us that God provides for us along the way. As soon as Philip encountered the Ethiopian eunuch, familiar words reached Philip’s ears and he was able to continue with what he had been assigned to do with confidence through God’s grace. This reading reminds me again to just set out to do what I need to do, even if I might not feel fully prepared, trusting in God’s care for us in our journey.

This reading gives me an unexpected easygoing feeling. This same feeling can come to us amid the current conditions of the world when we’re going through the day-to-day. I have experienced, and heard from others, about the sense of gratitude that has started to rise to the surface in our lives, as more people are starting to take notice of the small moments. It is certainly difficult times for many people, but at the same time I find new kindness around me. I have also been grateful for how flexible many people are with the changes that have taken place while we adjust to this time. Our capacity for flexibility, creativity, gratitude, and connection every day reminds me that we are still receiving life from the Father on our journey. We are all learning a lot at the same time and hopefully, experiencing joy in a new way.

Today, let us try to be like Philip, listening attentively to the Spirit speaking in our lives, and setting out with confidence to live according to God’s ways, trusting that God is with us and will provide for what we need.

 

Karina Comes, Student Campus Minister for Liturgy, Class of 2021

 

April 29: Memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church

Posted by Campus Ministry on April 29, 2020 at 9:04 AM PDT

Pink petals scattered over a sidewalk, evoking the cherry blossom petals that can be found blanketing the ground in Seattle spring.

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The readings for the Easter Season land differently for me this year. With almost every aspect of life being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and spending most of our time confined to our homes, I cannot help but draw parallels to what the disciples must have felt in the early weeks after Jesus’ death with their fear and uncertainty of what is to come. The first reading says “all were scattered,” which struck me as I thought of how much of the global Church is also scattered now as we are celebrating, worshiping, and praying within our own homes, just as the early disciples were. Amidst the fear of my family becoming sick, the worries about loved ones who are essential workers, concern for all of those who have lost their jobs or are financially struggling, it can be hard for me to maintain my faith and see beyond my own feelings at this moment. I imagine that the early disciples felt fear, worry, and concern, too.

That is why I am encouraged by that latter half of the first reading that speaks to the work that needs to be done in order for joy to come. The first reading states “those who had been scattered went about preaching the word,” and then, “unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.” I am reminded of the work the early disciples were called to do, to bring about the kingdom of God on earth and grow the early Church, and how we, too, in this time of uncertainty, are called to bring about the kingdom of God in our midst today.

There are many ways we can be Christ-like during this global pandemic and time of social distancing, whether it is donating food and money to those in need, picking up groceries for someone who can’t, donating blood, calling to check on those who might be lonely, or advocating for those who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic to your elected officials. The final line of the first reading says that “there was great joy in that city” after the disciples did their work; the rest of the readings have a beautiful focus on hoping for the joy that is to come as a result of being Christ-like. We must put in the work now, perhaps more than ever, to achieve a healthier, more just world. Surrounded by the chaos of today, we must anchor ourselves in hope of the joy that is to come, and witness to Christ’s abiding presence with our lives.

 

Kate Hannick, Class of 2019

April 28: Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

Posted by Campus Ministry on April 28, 2020 at 6:04 AM PDT

a path through a forest

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In today’s Gospel the crowd asks Jesus for a sign to help them believe. Yet this is the same crowd that followed Jesus because of the many he was healing (John 6:2), and had been nourished the day before from a miraculous multiplication of loaves by Jesus (John 6:10-14). It was Jesus’ signs that had brought them out of their homes to follow him. It was Jesus’ signs that nourished them and gave them the energy to keep seeking him out. And yet, the very next day, they find themselves forgetful, desiring more, yearning for God’s life-giving presence to nourish them every day. Jesus cared deeply about the material and physical needs of his people, and worked wonders to meet those needs. Yet he sensed in the crowd a deeper hunger than just the material – so instead of proclaiming what he could do, or offering more signs and wonders, Jesus proclaims who he is and who God is: Jesus himself is the Bread of Life, the one who nourishes and sustains us on the path of life. 

There are days when I feel as forgetful as this crowd. It’s easy to be so focused on my needs for today, the problems of the world, of my own heart, that I cannot see God with me. I yearn for God to show up in majestic, awe-inspiring ways. I want to see signs so that I may believe. Jesus promises that – greater than any miraculous sign that could capture our attention – he is the one who is present to us as the Bread of Life, satisfying the hunger and thirst of our hearts, and inviting us into new life. Jesus proclaimed with his whole life the abundant, life-giving Kingdom of God, breaking into our world, satisfying our hungers and transforming our community so there was no more hunger and thirst. Today I am invited to be attentive to the ways that God nourishes and sustains me in my journey of life, and to hear Jesus calling me to be a witness to God's presence in our world.  

In the first reading we are confronted by the execution of Stephen. Stephen was a leader in the early church, chosen to help serve the poor and vulnerable in the community (Acts 6:1-6). He was the first of many early Christians who, like Jesus, were killed by the powerful for their proclamation of God’s kingdom and who hoped to share in Jesus’ resurrection. It is easy, in our modern Western world, to interpret the hunger of the Gospel crowd to be purely spiritual, and to preach a Christian message that challenges no one (least of all ourselves). Yet we know that Jesus healed and fed the hungry crowd, and challenged the powerful and the status quo, promising a kingdom of justice and abundance for all. 

Around the world today there are models of committed faith who have given their lives to proclaiming God’s presence with the poor and vulnerable: modern martyrs like Sr. Dorothy Stang, Sr. Rani Maria, and the churchwomen of El Salvador, as well as many others who continue to witness, despite the risks, to Christ’s life-giving presence that desires to satisfy every hunger, and challenges the powers of domination, violence, and oppression. These folks remind us that we, the Body of Christ, are not called to work signs and wonders, but to live every day like Jesus: as witnesses to God’s abiding, nourishing presence in our world, alongside all those who yearn for God’s love.

 

JoAnn Lopez, Campus Minister for Liturgy and Resident Minister in Campion Hall

April 27: Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Posted by Campus Ministry on April 27, 2020 at 6:04 AM PDT

two loaves of bread, one broken, one whole, against a wood background.

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Today is the feast day of St. Zita, patron saint of domestic workers. She is known for her acts of generosity toward those who were poor and imprisoned in Lucca, Italy in the 13th century. Her mission was always to work hard so that she could get her housekeeping duties finished and then pray, attend Mass and give away her employers’ food to the hungry. She attended to her own spiritual needs while fulfilling the physical needs of those around her. In the Gospel, Jesus had just fed the 5,000 men (not counting women and children!) and even as he fed their growling stomachs with the loaves and fishes, he reminded that they should, ‘work for the food that endures for eternal life’. We are in a time when the needs of the world are centered on the physical—our viral pandemic carries the tragic byproduct of food and housing insecurity. St. Zita follows in Jesus’ footsteps by tending to both the physical and the spiritual in places of real need. People are hungry—feed them. People are hopeless and grieving—give them some of your hope and some of what comforts you. In this Easter season, in this unique time, new life is both all around us, and desperately hard to find. May we fill this gap with equal proportions of care and prayer.

April 26: Third Sunday of Easter

Posted by Campus Ministry on April 26, 2020 at 6:04 AM PDT

On the Third Sunday of Easter, Director of Campus Ministry Tammy Liddell preaches on the Sunday readings. 

Listen to the songs we would have sung at the Chapel today, including songs from our Chapel Choir CD, Light & Shadow (2017)

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