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Browsing Reflections Archive

November 12, 2020

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Philemon 7-20
Responsorial: Psalm 146:7-10
Gospel: Luke 17:20-25

Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:  
“I rather urge you out of love…”    Philemon 9

I know many people in my family, professional, and faith circles who are troubled.  (By the way, I am not excluding myself.)  The pain and the hurt they experience is often made manifest by their social media posts or their in-person interactions.  As has been hard to miss of late, there have been increasing degrees of anger/resentment, blame/fear, gloating/self-righteousness, and incredulousness at others' myopic reductionism.  Like many of you, I too have been troubled by the division of our country and maybe even a bit more bothered by the ever-growing division within the Catholic Church.

I re-familiarized myself with Paul’s letter to Philemon.  His letter implores Philemon to accept Onesimus not just as a slave but as a brother in Christ which would have represented such disruption of the worldly slavery barriers of that day. 

I also read a bit about Saint Josaphat.  What a beautiful example for our times!  Saint Josaphat is the patron saint of reunion between Orthodox and Catholics.  He dedicated himself to preaching the importance of union with Rome before he was killed for his efforts, having died for ecumenism.  His lifetime was thick with threats, posturing, and reluctance for Eastern Rite and Catholic traditions to accept one another.  Tensions were high.  Misunderstanding amongst both groups and unwillingness to yield was the norm.  Mobs attacked when threatened and sharp division influenced the tenor of any attempt to unify.  Our present-day parallels are hard to miss.

What would our report card of recent behavior and rhetoric be regarding love of neighbor?
In our work, in our homes, in our hearts, what are we doing to unify division? 

Rafael Rosario


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