From the category archives: Columns

John Connelly

Trust God is on your side and receive mercy

John Connelly
November 23, 2015
First Sunday in Advent
November 29, 2015

The pope declared an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8. We need to reflect on the profound reality that no one is beyond the mercy of Jesus. Mercy is available to presidents, prime ministers, rich and poor, old and young, prisoners, drug addicts, the marginalized, everyone.

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Cry out for mercy, Jesus will answer

John Connelly
October 12, 2015
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 25, 2015

We all have a profound need for the mercy of Jesus in our lives. The human heart can never be fully awakened unless we encounter his mercy in a personal way. In this week's Gospel we read: "As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizeable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.

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Be a lighthouse of hope in turbulent times

John Connelly
September 14, 2015
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 20, 2015

How would you and I respond if our financial system suddenly collapsed? I think all of us are aware there is always a possibility the greed and corruption in our world could eventually wreak havoc on our civilization. I am not writing this as a prediction but as an exercise for us to put things in biblical perspective. Jesus was clear: We cannot serve both God and money.

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Only Jesus' presence heals our brokenness

John Connelly
July 27, 2015
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 9, 2015

In this week's Gospel Jesus says, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." The simple truth is that all of us need this heavenly bread. We are hungry. We are broken. We are needy. Just think of all the ways we try to deny and hide this great hunger in our souls. Alcohol and drugs. Saturating our life in media. Distractions and entertainment of all kinds.

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Listen to the still voice within

John Connelly
June 29, 2015
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 5, 2015

In this week's Gospel the Scripture says of Jesus, "He was amazed at their lack of faith" (Mark 6.6). The very people who should have received Jesus and listened to him did not. They were blind to the reality before them. God stood among them but they could not see. Even Jesus, the Son of God, was amazed by this phenomenon.

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Holy Trinity is a feast for families, parishes

John Connelly
May 18, 2015
Trinity Sunday
May 31, 2015

All of us came from a family. Our family may have been less than perfect. It may have been broken or it may have seemed ideal. One thing is certain: Our family has a profound effect on us all. Authentic family life is one of the deepest longings of the human heart. This weekend we celebrate Trinity Sunday. This is a call to reflect on family. God is a family. A Trinity. Three distinct persons in one God. A communion of life and love.

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Jesus has the heart of a good shepherd

John Connelly
April 20, 2015
Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 26, 2015

We truly understand Jesus when we see that he has a shepherd's heart. He is, as this week's Gospel tells us, the Good Shepherd. The merciful heart of Jesus is always oriented toward his sheep. His heart is focused on you, me and all his children. I remember watching a flock of sheep in a field shortly after my conversion. I walked up to the fence and observed them with fascination. I knew they had something to teach me about myself.

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Lenten renewal means taking the deep breath of prayer

John Connelly
March 9, 2015
Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 22, 2015

In this week's First Reading God gives insight into the call we all have. "I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts. . . . All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more." God's desire for all of us is intimacy. He wants us to know him. Not just to have ideas about him but to live in daily intimate communion.

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Dare to glorify God with a life of joy

John Connelly

February 9, 2015
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 15, 2015

In this week's Second Reading we are offered this challenge, "Do everything for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10.31). How can you and I fulfill this scripture? How do we do everything for God's glory? We can start by thinking about all our daily actions. Each thing we do is important. Actions that are small or large, honest or dishonest, good or bad. St. Ignatius of Loyola saw the purpose of his life in the maxim: "For the greater glory of God." Something that glorifies God is in tune with his truth and love. It must be in tune with the ultimate reality underlying all creation – God.

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We are called to be God's beloved children

John Connelly

December 29, 2014
Baptism of the Lord
January 11, 2014

In Matthew 3.17, we read these words about the moment John the Baptist baptized Jesus: "Suddenly there was a voice from heaven, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.'" The Baptism of the Lord is a profound moment, not only for Jesus, but for each one of us. It speaks to us of the reality that Jesus was and is the beloved Son of the Father. As Christians, we share in the deepest possible level with that identity. We too are now beloved sons and daughters of God our Father. It is easy to say that this idea of being God's sons and daughters is true. It is another thing to live this truth in our lives.

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