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 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

December 12: Third Sunday of Advent

Posted by Campus Ministry on December 12, 2021 at 8:12 AM PST

 A close up of a shrub of pink roses

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In the apparition of La Virgen de Guadalupe, we often hear about Juan Diego, a humble indigenous man, to whom La Virgen de Guadalupe appeared. He thought of himself as a simple man, and even asked Mary, “Why me?” It is easy for us to think that we are not worthy of being chosen by God. We may feel at times that God doesn’t speak to us or that he isn’t looking out for us when in reality, God is always there present in our lives, waiting for us to let him in. It can be easy to overlook or forget about what great things God has done for us, yet all we need to do is look around and we can see and count all his blessings in our lives.  

In this day and age where everything seems so dark and there doesn’t seem to be hope, we can start doubting and losing faith. We may identify ourselves with the priest, who asked Juan Diego to come back with a sign or proof that what he was saying was true. It can be hard to follow God blindly and accept it all, but he will always send us signs that he is present with us. It might not be in an obvious way like it happened with Juan Diego and the cloak, but he will always send people or signs of the love he has for us.  

It’s important to remember that God didn’t come for those who are perfect, rather he came to help sinners. “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” We should never be afraid to reach out to God and ask for help and guidance. He is constantly there for us waiting for us to call to him wanting us to make him part of our lives. 

¡Que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! The Pride and Joy of our race! 

Stephanie Herrera, B.A. Management and Marketing, Class of 2024 

December 5: Second Sunday in Advent

Posted by Campus Ministry on December 5, 2021 at 8:12 AM PST

The altar area of Chapel of St Ignatius An advent wreath with four candles and only one candle lit with an image of illuminated Gospel books in the background

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I’m sure many of you know of a person or family that seems to be too proactive when it comes to Christmas lights, decorations, and festivities. Even before Halloween ends, you drive past their houses and notice an inflatable sleigh already in their front lawn.  

While this may be a rarity (and unexpected) for families in the United States, expect the Christmas cheer to be already in full swing in the Philippines. 

Every year, in as early as September, Jose Mari Chan’s Christmas songs are on the radio. Street vendors begin to sell parol, Christmas lanterns.  

You might ask: “Why? What in the world makes them begin the Christmas season so early?” 

While the United States and other Western countries have many holidays that come about when nearing the end of the year, the Philippines does not.  

However, I think a deeper part of the reason is due to the current situation in the Philippines. In 2018, half of the nation’s citizens made less than $5.50 USD per day. This has only been exacerbated during the pandemic, where happiness is at an all-time low. This nation needs all the hope and joy it can obtain.  

We can see from today’s readings the same invitation to hold on to hope. The nation of Israel has seen better days themselves. Still, the prophet Baruch spurs them on and reminds them that good things are to come, to pick themselves up, and to look to the future that burns brightly. “Up, Jerusalem!” 

In Today’s Gospel, St. Luke lists many of those who have riches and power, but he makes it a point to say that even with their influence and power, the Word of God simply came upon a ragged man in the desert. God comes to bring hope to those who are most in need.  

Therefore, we cling to this season of preparation for Christmas. In the Philippines, while many have struggled to find a foothold amidst this pandemic, and while many families have no claim to riches or fame and are struggling to make ends meet, they remember the message that Christmas brings, that God has not forgotten them and their people.  

Perhaps we too, here in Seattle, are in need of reminders of the hope and possibility that this season of Advent brings, as we prepare ourselves to celebrate Christmas:  

Up, Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights. Look and see your children rejoicing that they are remembered by God. 

Reflect on this past year: What are you grateful for? What have you struggled with? Have you lifted both of these up to God?   

~ Sky Verzosa, B.S. Biology, Class of 2022 

November 28: First Sunday in Advent

Posted by Campus Ministry on November 28, 2021 at 8:11 AM PST

A tea light on a table in the foreground with lights in the background

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As we enter the Advent season, we offer this prayer to guide our way:

 

God who Draws Near,

You have promised to lead us into your dream of love and justice.

We ask now, in this Advent Season, that you keep us awake and seeking your presence

in this world that is crying out for your transforming power.

Strengthen us to be heralds of your faithfulness and kindness to all who are most in distress.

 

Help us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Our Lord,

teach us your ways of wielding power in vulnerability and merciful love,

and grant that we may be instruments

of your life-giving presence to everyone we encounter.

 

Send forth your Spirit O Lord,

Make us increase and abound in love for one another, and for all creation,

that we, your Church, may continue in the paths of justice and peace,

towards your promised reign of love.

Amen.

 

~ Words by JoAnn Melina Lopez

November 21: Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Posted by Campus Ministry on November 21, 2021 at 8:11 AM PST

Chapel of St. Ignatius Crucifix bathed in light casting shadow against wall

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The Scripture readings we encounter this week remind us of the truth that Jesus is in fact Lord of All. The ancient texts we read all affirm this very fact, even though in some cases they were written hundreds of years apart. This age-old truth can be a source of comfort and peace for us as Christians as we inhabit a world that at times can seem full of chaos and disorder. Daniel writes that “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.” These words help remind me in the midst of pain, oppression, and injustice that there is indeed one who is greater than the troubles of this world, and the God of love, mercy, and justice is in control.  

As we honor Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20th) this week, we are again reminded of the reality that the world we live in is a broken, imperfect place. According to a study conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to be victims of violent crime. Trans Day of Remembrance gives us a space to sit with the pain and remember those we have lost at the hands of anti-trans violence. It also invites us to do more to ensure we protect and advocate for transgender folks in both our personal spheres and on the political level.  

Unfortunately, as a Church, we have often contributed to the hateful messages and transphobic rhetoric that have led to violence, discrimination, internalized transphobia, anti-trans policies, and other sources of marginalization and oppression Trans individuals face. Instead of providing a safe haven for some of the most vulnerable members of our society, all too often we have instead operated as yet another oppressive force in the lives of our Transgender siblings. 

 In our Gospel readings for today, Jesus tells Pilate that “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Jesus does not say “All cisgender people who belong to the truth…” or “all heterosexual people who belong to the truth…” or “all cisgender males who belong to the truth…” but rather Jesus says, everyone. Everyone can be a difficult concept for the Church as we sometimes can fall into the divisive ways of legalistic thinking that Jesus consistently challenged during his time on Earth. That way of thinking can have drastic real-world consequences. It killed Jesus in the name of preserving orthodoxy and it has contributed to the various forms of violence inflicted against transgender folks today.  

 As we reflect, mourn, and wrestle with loss on Transgender Day of Remembrance, I take peace in the fact that Jesus is Lord of All. I am thankful that the same Jesus who invites all of his children to seek and belong to the truth is the one who sits on the throne. In the face of the chaos and pain of the world, I am comforted with the reminder that Jesus is the one who ultimately is in control. He invites us to seek the truth, tune out the deafening roar of hate that is so persistent in our culture, and instead choose to listen to his voice. I am thankful that we serve a God who doesn’t restrict his truth and voice to only the powerful and privileged but rather invites all his children, regardless of their gender expression, to hear His voice and live in His truth. I am thankful that the Jesus who boldly endured the cross so all of us can seek his truth and hear his voice is in fact the King of the Universe. In the midst of uncertainty, chaos, and hate, may we find peace in that unchanging truth. 

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

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