Cathy Keirstead

Reflection – Give to God the things that are God’s

This week’s gospel is the familiar rendition of attempts to entrap Jesus when He is asked, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not?”  If Jesus says that the tax should be paid to Caesar, He would be considered guilty of false worship since the Romans believe the emperor to be divine.  On the other hand, if Jesus says the tax should not be paid, He would be encouraging disobedience to Roman laws, which would be sedition – ...

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Reflection – The Feast of the Assumption

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. In 1950 Pope Pius XII defined Mary’s Assumption into heaven as dogma of Roman Catholicism:  “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.”

As a child growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, Mary was always an integral part of my religious upbringing. In May we took our bicycles to school for the Queen of the May parade, when our bicycles would be ...

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Reflection – Do Not Be Afraid

In the Gospel for this Sunday it states that Jesus said to His apostles, “Fear no one; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.”  In saying these words, Jesus describes the worth of human beings in the eyes of God, who ...

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Reflection – Yes, We Can!

This week, the readings for the 2nd Sunday of Easter have a theme of “doubt,” as evidenced by Thomas who could not believe that Jesus was alive unless he saw proof.  We all have moments of doubt, uncertainties, confusion, disbelief, hopelessness, selfishness and frustrations. Henri Nouwen has stated that, “Doubt stubbornly exists.  It’s an unmistakable part of life that we can’t seem to get rid of. We doubt ourselves; we doubt whether or not we’ve made the right decisions, we’re full of doubts about the future. ...

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The Ten Commandments

This week’s readings and gospel reflect the theme of the ten commandments. “Those who obey God’s laws will become great in the kingdom of God.”  It has been said that the Ten Commandments given by God are meant to protect His children from self-destruction; they are not harsh rules meant to enslave and oppress. They give us our boundaries; the boundaries that make our hearts pure and prevent self-destruction. 

Catholicism is a faith of rules and regulations.  Some people misunderstand our relationship with the church and our ...

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Be Patient, Strengthen Your Hearts

This week, in the second reading from the Letter of Saint James, we are told to be “patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”

“Being patient” is something we all have experienced. Patience is a hard discipline. It is ...

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Keep the Faith Going!

This week’s gospel reflects the importance of faith in our lives. It is a lesson about faith and reminds us that faith is sometimes found in unlikely places. Jesus commends the man, a Samaritan, for his faith, which has been his salvation.

The gospel made me think about the concept of faith. I had a very positive example of strong faith~ “living proof”~ in my mother. Her faith sustained her through many trials, early widowhood, health issues, the obstacles that ...

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Faith and Doubt

Today’s Gospel according to John is the familiar story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after His death. But Thomas, who was called the Twin, was not with them at the time and doubted that this was indeed true. Hence the term “Doubting Thomas” one of few biblical references that retains instant recognition.
In “The Genesee Diary” Henri Nouwen recalled that Didymus, the name of Thomas, means, “twin” and that the Fathers of the Church had commented that “all of ...

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The Power of Words

Two phrases, one from the first reading by Sirach and the second from the Gospel reading, resonated with me to reflect on today’s readings. The first reading states, ” So a person’s speech discloses the cultivation of the mind. ”  The gospel by Luke reveals, “for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”

It made me recall being told as a child that it is not necessarily what goes into the body that causes sin, but what comes out — notably ...

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Gifts – Both Giving and Receiving

Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. As a child, I referred to this time as “Little Christmas”. I had mixed feelings about the celebration because it meant taking down the Christmas tree and putting away the decorations, etc. for another year, so it made me sad. But I was also pleased because it ...

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