The Most Holy Trinity

05-26-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

Once I was at a meeting with representatives of various religions. On a coffee break, a man from another religion mused to me: “You know, with all our differences, all religions are really about being good people.” I lowered my cappuccino and said as warmly as I could, “That’s not what mine’s about.” His quizzical look begged for clarification. “Mine is about plunging into the life of God,” I said.

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Pentecost Sunday

05-19-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

When I was twenty-two years of age in August of 2000, I experienced World Youth Day in Rome. As for many of my generation, the event was life-changing for me. Surrounded by joyful, hope-filled young people from seemingly every nation and tongue, we were gathered around the Pope, sharing a common Faith and love. The Pope spoke to us of our shared family bond in the Church and invited us to give our lives in service to others. Now twenty-four years later, my life as a priest, like that of so many others from those special days, continues on that same path of love and unity — despite my many weaknesses. What makes that continuation possible?

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A Spirit of Unity

05-12-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

A few months ago, I had the singular privilege of a private meeting with Pope Francis. We were a small group of pastors, composed largely of non-Catholics. The Holy Father wished to discuss our work for Christian unity. The phrase I remember him saying with greatest frequency was: Tutti dentro. It means, “Everyone in.” He clearly wanted us to emphasize that the Church is made for the whole human race, not a select few. At the center of his concern was unity. We are all brothers and sisters, he said multiple times. The Church’s primary longing is for everyone to join Her.

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Share Your Suffering

05-05-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

Once a man came to the Vatican and asked to see Pope John Paul II, claiming that they had been friends in Poland. When told of the man, the Pope said, “He is mistaken about our friendship. I don’t recall ever having suffered with him.” As it turned out, the man had never known the Pope. Now, I’m not sure if the story is totally factual. But doesn’t the juxtaposition of suffering with friendship sound exactly like JPII? He understood that the deepest and most lasting friendships are forged in the fires of shared suffering. No suffering, no friendship. Amazing.

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Remove What Does Not Bear Fruit

04-28-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

My friend and fellow pastor, Father Paul, noticed unsightly, overgrown trees near his parish church. He asked the maintenance crew to cut back the growth, which they happily did, telling him the trees would be much healthier and even fuller after a good pruning. A few days later, Father Paul received a letter from an irate man in the neighborhood who wrote, “Jesus would never prune trees like that. He loves trees, unlike you.”

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4th Sunday of Easter - I Am The Good Shepherd

04-21-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

Recently I was with my little dog Libby at a retreat center in the Arizona desert. I sat in a chair near a ravine filled with shrubs. Unbeknownst to me, Libby wandered down there and disappeared. Suddenly an animal’s wild shriek erupted from the area. Without thinking, I bolted down into the ravine fully expecting to see coyotes, javelinas, or rattlesnakes. I didn’t care. I desperately wanted to get Libby out of there, without any selfregard. Before I could face whatever danger lay hidden, my dog blissfully trotted out from an entirely different area, utterly unaware that I had (quite heroically) just placed my life on the line.

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3rd Sunday of Easter

04-14-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

When I was a kid, a friend at my home parish told me, “If you get to Mass by the Gospel reading, it counts!” As a lifelong late-arriver, it’s something I have told myself many times, especially in my earlier years as a Catholic. If the “it counts” is justifiable on a pathetically minimal scale of liturgical legalism, then the Gospel reading today shows how insanely wrong-headed it is, and how helpful it is to re-think the Mass in its light.

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2nd Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy)

04-07-2024Weekly Reflection©LPi — Father John Muir

A protestant pastor friend of mine was invited to meet Pope Francis with a group of other pastors. He noticed the Pope’s chair was especially ornate and set at the head of the group. He somewhat playfully said, “Holy Father, why do you get that special chair?” The group chuckled nervously at my friend’s audacious chide.

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