Scripture Reflections

Each week we feature reflections on the Sunday readings from voices in the Seattle University community. 

Contact JoAnn Lopez (lopezjo@seattleu.edu) if you would like to write a reflection for an upcoming Sunday!

Each Scripture reflection below includes a link to the daily Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' website. Audio recordings of the readings are available within the linked pages for the respective day's readings.

Check out additional links on the sidebar to help you enter into prayer and reflection during these days, including submitting your prayer request to be remembered by our community. 

At the bottom of this page you'll find the link to older scripture reflections for each week, including from previous quarters, where we featured daily scripture reflections and video preaching. 

January 30: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Campus Ministry on January 30, 2022 at 8:01 AM PST

a photo underwater of a rock formation in the shape of a heart

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Entering 2022 with an open heart is what everybody wishes for. How can the last 60 minutes in 2021 differ from the first 60 minutes in 2022? Yet, December 31st feels so different from January 1st. We gather up all our hopes and wishes for the new year, set up new resolutions, and strive to be new people when new year arrives. This week’s reading teaches us about how Love never fails, how God will always be here for us no matter what we are feeling. Whether we are hopeful or not, He never leaves us alone.  

Love never fails, Love is patient, and Love is kind. We have heard these words so often that we have become numb to them. A lot of people lose hope in love because they have been disappointed, they have been hurt by someone they trust the most, or even when their prayers are not answered by God. We often lose hope and love for God because what we wish and what we want is not what we get. But have you ever thought that what if we get the things that we wished and wanted so bad, and they end up being not suitable for us and will make our life even worse? 

This brings me to a point of reflection; I am guilty as charged when talking about losing hope and not believing in what God has in store for me. I have felt disappointed when my prayers are not answered, but little did I know that was the best thing for me. God has everything in store for me. I remember once I was so disappointed when I didn’t get assigned to the school I wanted in Junior High. I cried and blamed everyone. Little did I know that God had planned everything for me at this different school. I was able to thrive even more there. I was able to discover other talents of mine and was able to go on a competition at least twice a month. This makes me reflect, if I got to go to the school that I wanted so bad, I might not have been able to discover these things about myself. God’s timing never fails. Believe in Him and his timing, because again Love never fails. 

 

Alberta Wendy Sunanda, Class of 2022, BA in Business Administration, Finance Major

 

January 23: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Week of Prayer for Christian Unity)

Posted by Campus Ministry on January 23, 2022 at 8:01 AM PST

a black and white image of people praying with a close up on two people side by side holding hands

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In the readings for this week, we encounter a section from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians in which Paul compares the body of Christ’s Church to that of the human body. Paul astutely points out that the bodies we all inhabit are compiled of many unique, complex parts that all work together for the function and survival of the overall being. As vital and important as the heart is, it would be useless without the lungs, and as important as the lungs are, they would not be able to function without the liver. As is true with the Church. 

What a beautiful and timely reading as we celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. At times, it may seem like our Church is more divided than ever. With numerous denominations rooted in various doctrines and traditions, it can be easy to notice the differences between us Christians rather than focusing on, as Paul puts it, the fact that we all have been “baptized into the same body.”  

 Unfortunately, when we are presented with differences, we tend to dismiss them altogether. In our discomfort, we can even go so far as to name that difference as evil. Such tendencies have led to egregious acts of violence and discrimination between groups of Christians who instead of seeing the other as a vital part of the Church’s survival, view the other as a threat who must be stopped. Thankfully in the United States today, the divisions between Christians tend not to result in horrific acts of violence but all too often manifests itself in hateful rhetoric, insular thinking, and further division. 1 Corinthians gives us modern Christians the insight that division is nothing new to the Church, as differences were causing strife even among the earliest of Christians.  

 During this week as we pray for unity in the Church may we commit to seeing our fellow sibling in Christ (yes, even those we disagree with the most) as vital and necessary to our own survival and wellbeing. May we heed Paul’s words and see other groups of Christians as our neighbors and our friends. This week, let us pray that we can all come together and remember our common baptism, and may this shared knowledge bind us together in the places of our faith where we seem determined to tear each other apart. May we all take peace in and be challenged by the wondrous fact that we are all sheep in the same flock, protected and deeply loved by our Divine Shepherd. 

~ Jared Fontenette, B.A. Social Work and Theology, Class of 2022 

January 16: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Campus Ministry on January 16, 2022 at 8:01 AM PST

Meal platters filled with food on a table

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Each Sunday we are invited through our scriptures to know, love, and follow Jesus, who reveals who God is, and what God desires for our world.  

 Today we meet Jesus at his first public miracle in John’s Gospel. Jesus is not a magician. His power is not in tricks and illusions, but rather is about revealing God's life-giving love breaking into our world. At Cana, Jesus transforms scarcity into abundance, and gives us a glimpse into the overflowing grace that is promised in the kingdom of God. This reign of God, God’s dream for our world, is a place of abundance, where there is enough for all. God desires for us to live in justice, joy, and right relationship. That Jesus first reveals his transforming power in the context of a communal celebration reminds us that the journey to the reign of God is a communal one, meant for all creation. 

The promised reign of God is what we celebrate each time we gather for Eucharist. Here we acknowledge all of life is gift from God, we experience radical equality at God’s table, and we are empowered and sent to partner in Jesus’ mission of proclaiming and revealing the kingdom. Our world is full of injustice, greed, individualism, fear, and mistrust. How are we being called to challenge and transform these scarcities, so God’s abundant life is revealed? What spiritual gift has been poured out in your life, for the good of all?  

As we consider how to share our gifts as disciples, it helps to learn from those who have followed Jesus in their own context. Our Gospel lifts up the mother of Jesus as one model: one who is attentive to the needs of the community, seeking the next loving thing that needs to be done, and bringing the needs of the world to Christ. How might we be called to do this in our own context? This weekend we also remember another disciple of Jesus: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who constantly proclaimed and embodied God’s reign, and prophetically challenged every force of scarcity and division, even at great cost. Where do we see the gap today between the world as it is, and the vision of God’s kingdom of justice? Let us pray that we may share the same passion for the reign of God, and work tirelessly for its unfolding among us.  

 

~JoAnn Melina Lopez, Campus Minister for Liturgy 

January 9: The Baptism of the Lord

Posted by Campus Ministry on January 9, 2022 at 8:01 AM PST

the reflection pool outside the Chapel of St Ignatius with a reflection of the cross and belltower in the water

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Every December, in anticipation of New Year, I find myself doing two things: reflecting on the year that has passed, and hoping for the future of what is to come. It feels like December 31st and January 1st belong to two completely different worlds, and the instant between those two days will magically open up the world for new opportunities and possibilities. Maybe I’ll find a new hobby, I’ll pick up that book I’ve always told myself I would read, or I’ll start focusing on my health. Maybe I’ll finally finish that project that I’ve been working on, or I’ll finally go to bed on timeThe new year is thrilling in that way; we are not left with a blank slate to work from, but it somehow still feels optimistic and hopeful. It’s promising, and it motivates us to do the things we never could have without it. 

 It’s not uncommon that the New Year’s resolutions I make eventually fall through, and I forget about this motivation because it has “worn off,” or I’m “too busy.” Time goes on and suddenly, it’s now December, and the New Year’s inspiration kicks in all over again, pushing me to do all of the things that I hope will make me a better person. 

 Just like the New Year, on this Sunday we are reminded of the covenant and the promise that Jesus represents. Christ is a symbol of hope for us and we are constantly reminded of this throughout the Liturgical Year. Still, I sometimes find myself longing to be reinvigorated with hope for the coming of Christ and the Salvation that is promised for us. Fortunately, God’s love for us is eternal, and the promise of Jesus is everlasting. 

 This brings me to pause for reflection: How can the promise of Jesus help me to become a better person? How can the covenant of Christ motivate me to love others the way God loves us? What can I do to keep myself reminded of God’s promise, and how can I turn to God for help to accomplish it? 

 

~ Taylor-Ann Miyashiro, Class of 2022, B.S. Electrical Engineering

 

January 2: The Epiphany of the Lord

Posted by Campus Ministry on January 2, 2022 at 10:01 AM PST

a view of the night sky from between dark red rocks of the grand canyon rising up

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New Year’s Spiritual Resolutions Inspired by the Magi

  1. Pay attention to God’s invitation. Notice the beauty of creation. Listen attentively to others. Trace where God is speaking in your dreams and your deepest desires.
  2. Risk encountering the Face of God in others. Go out of your comfort zone. Say yes to hard conversations, ask questions, be present when you felt lost or helpless, ask for help when you need it.
  3. Allow yourself to be surprised. God may show up in unexpected, humble places. Do not let your expectations become your idols, you may lose sight of where God is.
  4. Be joyful. Let your breath be taken away by beauty, by simplicity, by relationships, by love. When you catch glimpses of God’s love, rejoice!
  5. Open your treasures. Acknowledge that all is gift, do not clench tightly – open your hands and your heart to God’s work. Offer your gifts, your time, your whole self, to a God of love who wants to create abundant life in and through you. Offer love, forgiveness, understanding, and compassion to those who need it.
  6. Resist oppression. Pay attention when power and authority are being abused. Practice civil disobedience. Speak out against injustice. Volunteer. Protect those who are vulnerable.
  7. Allow yourself to be transformed. Commit concretely to how your encounter with Christ will impact your life. Go home by another way. Be a witness to the light by your life.

 

 ~ JoAnn Lopez, Campus Minister for Liturgy

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