The Word of God

Daily Reflections

  • Pay Attention

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 16, 2019

    “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.” I don’t know about you, but every time I hear someone tell me, “Pay attention!” I tend to stop what I’m doing and take special notice. The judge is being “pestered” by the widow to hear her complaint and do his job. Clearly, the judge is not God and this is no ordinary widow. “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?” God is the one who “pesters” us to answer and act in this adventure we call life. “Will he be slow to answer them?” Clearly God is always poised and ready to answer all of our prayers. “I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.”

    Talk to God now.

  • Rain In The Forecast

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 15, 2019

    “All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God.” Have you ever met anyone who knew a whole lot of trivia and details and seemingly “encyclopedic” references but lacked common sense? The world is full of them. With the advent of Google, anyone can be an “expert” of details but that really doesn’t assure any real measure of happiness, not to mention an clearer shot into Eternal Life. 

    “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.” Noah is a great reference for us today because he had indeed possessed this “inner sense” of wisdom and knew that he should do exactly as the Lord had ordered him. There he was, an engineer of sorts, trying to build a boat in the middle of the desert where it hadn’t rained for months with even less wood to work with. Of course, the people laughed at him, that is until it began to rain. 

    Today, ask the Lord God in the depths of your heart to reveal in an even more profound and deep way His will for you in this life. This activity will most likely bring unexpected surprises that are morsels with great delight. 

    “Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.” Ray Bradbury  

  • You’ll Know When You Know

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 14, 2019

    Let’s take a look at this astounding Gospel passage because it so many ways it deals with matters and issues that we must face every single day of our lives on multi-levels of variety:

    “Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,” People are seemingly always asking questions that begin with “when.” When will I find a good job? When will I get a raise? When will dinner be served? When will I know when I’m in love?

    “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’” We read that Jesus was asked by some Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would finally come because, in their mind, they wanted to be “on top of things” when the big moment finally arrived, with their power and influence all intact. However, as you may have heard, we make plans and God laughs.

    “For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” The great and mysterious message for all of us today is simple. The Kingdom cannot be found by looking around for telltale signs so that you can say it is ‘here’ or ‘there’. In other words, it is right in front of us. First and foremost, the Kingdom is in the very person of Jesus, who is the incarnation embodiment of God’s Reign. He is the Messiah-King ruling here right now in the hearts of those who love Him.

    “But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.” So while The Lord’s reign is already in play, the search for the exact time can stop right here right now and find its resting place among our day-to-day struggles and little deaths along the way. The Kingdom is truly among us and we need look no further than the daily experiences of our own lives to know and experience the power and presence of Jesus. You see, the time of that final coming which will be the end of all suffering and rejection is not for us to decide – nor to worry about.

    So when will the Kingdom of God arrive? You’ll know when you know.

  • Violets, Virtue And Mother Cabrini

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 13, 2019

    Violets are a bizarre and eccentric kind of flower. If one could say that they have quirks, then one must point to the fleeting and puzzling aroma of these highly-recognizable purple flowers. Without launching into a lesson in botany, it is sufficed to reveal that these flowers contain a ketone compound called ionone, which temporarily desensitizes the receptors of the nose, thus preventing any further scent being detected from the flower until the nerves recover. Admirers will only sense the smell of violets for only a few moments at a time, before the ionone “blinds” the senses and then the aroma miraculously returns just as fragrant as before.

    Mark Twain must also have known of this phenomenon as he once commented: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Thus, forgiving our neighbor may be fleeting, hard to grasp or comprehend but always pleasant and surprising as it makes its way back to the one who forgives.

    Today is the Feast of St. Frances Cabrini who as a little girl used to load little paper boats with a single violet flower and drop them into a nearby canal imagining them as individual missionaries spreading the Gospel message to India or China or who knows where. The curious intermittent fragrance image of the violet is perfect for Mother Cabrini whose wondrous missionary works popped up in New York, then Chicago, then Seattle, New Orleans, and Denver.  She was in one spot founding hospitals and schools, then gone, only to reappear in another city working just as tirelessly. She undoubtedly had to face many mean and prejudicial obstacles along the way which meant that she was quite aware of the directives presented to us today in the Gospel: “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

    Maybe we could say that the most effective missionary at our disposal is our desire and ability to forgive. Life has the potential of becoming much more pleasant and wonderful when we learn to accept the apology we may never receive. It is a profound virtue.

  • Reasonable Expectations

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 12, 2019

    “So should it be with you.” Although it may be debatable to say that each of us begins our day with both reasonable and unreasonable expectations, we can reasonably expect that: The day will have the same amount of hours; that there will most likely be enough ups and down to keep it interesting; and that one way or another it will have an end. Unreasonable or unrealistic expectations always seem to involve the behavior of some people. We might hold hope for that particular person who has made our day harder than it has to be, to somehow make a remarkable change in their course of action. This, as we know, is a recipe for deep disappointment. 

    “God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made them.” There can be no disappointment when we look at the expectations we can expect from our Lord. He has made us out of love with every ounce of good intention and deep hope that exists in the universe. Therefore, not only can we expect the goodness placed deep within our souls to surface with practice and determination, but we can also expect great help from God to be good, and stay that way until He comes again.

    “Many people feel so pressured by the expectations of others that it causes them to be frustrated, miserable and confused about what they should do. But there is a way to live a simple, joy-filled, peaceful life, and the key is learning how to be led by the Holy Spirit, not the traditions or expectations of man.”  Joyce Meyer

  • Veterans Day Quiz

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 11, 2019

    Question #1: What is the relationship between Wisdom and Gratitude?

    From the World of Science: “Two important implications of these findings
    are that wisdom entails an appreciation of life and its experiences,
    especially the growth opportunities that may result from negative events, and that there may be substantial differences between male and female pathways to wisdom.”  Study by the National Institutes of Health in 2013

    From the World of Psychology: “Gratitude is something that can be nurtured and may go towards the development of greater wisdom.” Study by Gluck and König of Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt in Austria in 2014

    From the Spiritual World: “Learn, too, to be grateful. May all the wealth of Christ’s inspiration have its shrine among you; now you will have instruction and advice for one another, full of wisdom, now there will be psalms, and hymns, and spiritual music, as you sing with gratitude in your hearts to God. Whatever you are about, in word and action alike, invoke always the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, offering your thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:16-17

    Question #2: What is the relationship between the Veteran and The Lord Jesus?

    Both rendered remarkable service to the cause closest to their hearts; both sacrificed what they had and who they were; both of their sacrifices had tremendous and remarkable effects on many; However, Jesus is the only one in history whose sacrifice, death and Resurrection would touch the entire course of human history and by that virtue, every human being who would ever live. We say with distinction and deep gratitude about our Veterans that “All gave some and some gave all.” Jesus gave all so all could have everything.

    Question #3: What are you going to do today?

    In the Gospel today, we hear the most wonderful and hopeful words of Christ: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Faith is everything and it must be fed daily! Today we remember, celebrate, and pray for those who have served and died defending our country by which you and I are free to worship and live in a free republic. We fundamentally thank Jesus for His ultimate sacrifice on the Cross by which all have the opportunity to live in Heaven forever, including those who, like Him, emptied themselves on the cross of battlefields and combat grounds.

    “Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” Abraham Lincoln  

  • I Can Only Imagine

    Reflection on Mass Reading for November 10, 2019

    “Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward…” There is something sad and almost pathetic about the attitude that seems to surround some people who choose not to believe in the afterlife, Heaven, our an eternal reward. They go around, wherever they look, to inject such doubt that it cannot possibly be sustainable in the recipe for a happy life (such as what we see today in the Gospel and perhaps our day to day depending on our own life situation). What they produce is foolish, as if they had some hidden and mystical knowledge of the world. Wouldn’t you like to have seen the face of Jesus as they spoke to Him? I am sure it was kind, gentle and patient. It is certainly a great reminder for each of us in similar situations. 

    “They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.” What will it be like when we die? It is safe to say that this a question of both the young and the old, the believer and the doubter alike. This is why we are not only called to listen to Jesus but also to follow Him through the dark and threatening moments of our lives but also bright and hopeful ones, too. “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.”

    As we near the memory-producing moments of Thanksgiving not so long away, let us make an effort to imagine with the Lord of the great promises and joy waiting for all of us. It will ease the fleeting moments of suffering which will past quickly under the bright lights of eternity that have been promised.

    “I can only imagine what it will be like/When I walk, by your side.
    I can only imagine what my eyes will see/When you face is before me.
    I can only imagine/I can only imagine. Surrounded by You glory/What will my heart feel/Will I dance for you Jesus, Or in awe of You be still/Will I stand in your presence/Or to my knees will I fall. Will I sing hallelujah/Will I be able to speak at all/I can only imagine, I can only imagine.”
    Bart Marshall Millard