Seasonal Reflections - Seasonal Reflections offered during Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter

Monday of the First Week of Advent

Readings: Monday of the First Week of Advent | USCCB 

Today’s Gospel reading includes a verse that is familiar to Mass-goers, “”Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. Lord.” This verse mirrors a response that follows the consecration of the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  The response dates back to the humble faith of a Roman centurion, who we meet in today’s Gospel.  He comes to Jesus and asks two things of Him.  First, the centurion asks Jesus to heal his suffering servant, fully confident Jesus can do this.  Second, he asks Jesus to heal the servant without entering the centurion’s home to do so, fully aware he is unworthy of his ask.  The centurion is a model of both tremendous faith and humility.  Advent is a special time to ponder the Word made flesh come to us.  He comes to us each and every Mass, to heal despite our unworthiness, in the same way He did two thousand years ago with the Roman centurion. 

I invite you to watch this scene of the centurion’s encounter with Jesus.  

WATCH: Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word… 

Advent Blessings.  

Christina Crow, Sacramental Coordinator Campus Ministry 

The Campus Ministry Seasonal Reflections are offered during the liturgical seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. We bring a variety of voices from Students, Faculty and Staff. The perspectives expressed in these reflections are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Campus Ministry. 


First Sunday of Advent

 Readings: First Sunday of Advent | USCCB 

We are a people who like things fast; overnight delivery of packages from Amazon, express lanes in the supermarket, and fast food. Earlier this year, my sister visited her son and his family who now live in Ireland.  When she returned home, she called me to talk about her trip.  She was especially fond of going to the local pub.  Unlike restaurants here in the States where servers hover over your table like hawks hunting prey, until you pay the tab, pick up your things and leave; the staff of a local pub in Ireland lets you sit as long as you wish and enjoy conversation with your family and friends.  The message clearly is “no rush, take your time.”  

We begin the season of Advent today. It is a season of waiting for the coming of Christ.  Unfortunately, many will rush through Advent, to get to Christmas.  My neighbor who delights in filling his yard with seasonal inflatables recently put up a large, colorful turkey.  Now there is Santa riding a rocket.  I suppose eight reindeer are not fast enough for him.  Advent is a season of waiting; it is season to linger over the prophetic promises like friends lingering over their drinks in an Irish pub until the wee hours of the morning.  Today, make a commitment to enjoy Advent, don’t rush it, take your time. 

Father Lawrence Blake, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry  

The Campus Ministry Seasonal Reflections are offered during the liturgical seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. We bring a variety of voices from Students, Faculty and Staff. The perspectives expressed in these reflections are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Campus Ministry.


A Fundamental Contemplation

Let me walk you through a brief contemplation of this truth of our lives, [the fact of who I am and whose I am]. It is a vision and a practice worth returning to again and again…

Imagine yourself on the bank of the Jordan River. What does the scene look like? Who’s there? Is it noisy or quiet?…What does the air feel like on your skin, in your hair? Then look into the river and let your eyes rest on the figure of John the Baptist and whoever else is there. But ultimately, let your gaze focus on the person of Jesus. Behold his face and sense his presence. Once you’ve “composed the place”, as Ignatius describes that use of imagination in prayer, let Jesus call you into the river. How do you feel when he locks eyes with you and beckons you to come join him?

Allow yourself to wade into the water. You’re side by side with Jesus. Maybe you have a brief talk with him. Do you want to say anything to him about how you’re feeling? Or maybe you just want to take a moment or two in quiet being in his presence. Soon, though, let Jesus show you how to go down under the water, to descend. Surrender while you descend. While under water, start letting things go. Let go of any uncertainties or anxieties. Let go of fears. Let go of memories of regret, of shame, of inadequacy. Acknowledge places of weakness and let those go. Also. Let go of the things you’re proud of. Of your accomplishments. Your talents, your strengths. The things that you want other people to know about you and think about you, let those go too. Let go of all the good and the bad and the ugly within you. Empty out until you have nothing to show for yourself.

Now let Jesus show you how to rise up out of the water as he stands shoulder to shoulder with you. He too is emptied out. Quiet. Open. Listening. And in that openness, you hear a voice from above, the Father saying to Jesus and through Jesus to you too: “You are my beloved son. You are my beloved daughter. In you, I am pleased.” Let the Father keep saying those words. Try to stay open to hearing them. Let those words penetrate not just your mind, but deeper, into your heart. Let them resonate. Try to stay present and open and receive what the Father says about you and what he says directly to you.

This is a go-to contemplation for us, an image for us to remember and to return to again and again…Our feelings about how those words resonate in us might come and go. The truth remains the same, though. What counts is what God says, how God sees us.

Excerpt from the book Habits of Freedom by Fr. Christopher Collins, S.J,


The Eucharist: Source and Summit of Our Faith

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched the National Eucharistic Revival last year, an initiative that will lead to the celebration of the National Eucharistic Congress in the summer of 2024.

The Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to the great mystery and gift the Eucharist is for the Church and for the world. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. At his last supper with his disciples, Jesus gave us the greatest gift, the gift of the Eucharist, and he asked us that night to do it in memory of him. The Church has faithfully celebrated the Eucharist through two thousand years and all around the world, even the most remote of places because in the Church all comes from the Eucharist and all goes back to it.  It was in the Eucharist that the early Church found its source and foundation, it is in the Eucharist that the Church today finds its meaning and its call to recognize the Risen Lord and be his witness in the world.

In the Eucharist we share in Jesus’ own offering and can offer ourselves to the Father. Through taking part of the Eucharistic celebration and receiving the consecrated bread and wine, we are strengthened in our life journey, are united in communion with the Body of Christ and are sent to witness God’s presence in the world being instruments of God’s peace, justice, and love to all. The Eucharistic Revival is an invitation for all Catholics to go deeper and to recognize the gift of the Eucharistic Lord, to allow ourselves to be amazed by his presence as the disciples walking to Emmaus did when they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread and to, like them, go with haste and joy to share the good news.

To learn more about the Eucharistic Revival and let the gift of the Eucharist transform your life, visit the Revival’s website.


Marta Pereira
Associate Director, Campus Ministry