The Word of God

Daily Reflections

  • Fire!

    Reflection on Mass Reading for October 21, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” What is behind the use of setting the world aflame by Jesus in the Gospel today? Keep in mind that the Bible is seen as a complete unity, the Old preparing for the New, the New ratifying the Old. When the Lord uses the image of fire, it is advantageous for us to go deeper into the meaning, purpose, and background of certain words and phrases to truly grasp all the spiritual wealth waiting for us, ripe for the picking. Here are but a few:

    Exodus 3, the Burning Bush: God is truly present, “you are standing on Holy Ground.”
    Ezekiel 1, a cloud of fire: God’s glory is magnificent.
    2 Kings 1, fire from Heaven wiped out 50 soldiers: Power over life & death.
    Matthew 25, Eternal fire is a destination for devil and demons: Hell is real & horrible.
    Acts 2, tongues of fire descend on the 12: The Holy Spirit “enflames” the Church.
    Revelation 21, a lake of fire and sulfur awaits the faithless: a second death.

    From this small sampling of fire images from the Scriptures, we can safely determine that Jesus wants to purify and cleanse all of humanity, instill a reverent and holy fear in us (awesome approach to God) and establish His Kingdom where there will be both judgment and serious consequences to our responses, both here and now and much later.

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because of His Reign over us and remembering the dire consequences of the refusal to love, there will be division starting in one’s own family, household, and beyond. When the word ‘family’ is used in the Bible, it usually means either the clan or the extended family group. It could very easily include as many as two hundred people or as few as fifteen. Thus, Jesus is describing the essence of a true disciple as one who loves God above all else and is willing to forsake all for Him. He insists that His disciples give him the loyalty only due to God, a higher loyalty than spouse or relatives or circle of friends.

    “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis

  • What Is Expected

    Reflection on Mass Reading for October 20, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    “Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires.” There comes the point in every believer’s life where all the prayers and worship and thoughts about who God is and what is truly expected of us come into remarkable, and at times, troubling disguise. It is an earth-shattering crisis for many, while for others, it is the death of someone close and beloved. No matter the circumstance, these “moments of truth” become focal points when our faith is tested, made stronger, and clarity becomes ours.

    “‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful.” These specific references can help us realize several things about living the Christian Life, being a disciple and a follower of Jesus Christ: We have been marked in this life and claimed for someone or something. Our choice now is to determine for whom by how we live. As Christians today, we can expect to be punished as our Savior, in the court of popularity, greed, hatred, and the godless. Remaining faithful to the end, which comes secretly or unexpectedly and without being seen, “like a thief in the night,” we are promised to take our place with the Lamb who has been slain and led to the “springs of life-giving water.” (Rev 7:17) Because the Victory is so great and the reward eternal, to those whom much is given, much is expected.

    “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

  • Trusting Attitudes And Vigilance

    Reflection on Mass Reading for October 19, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” Over thirty years ago, a ship off the coast of Massachusetts was reported lost at sea. There were a reported 45 men on board, most of whom were residents from a small fishing town near Plymouth. For the first week, wives, children, and family members set up make-shift camps along the seashore to wait and watch for any signs of recovery. After ten days, some of those grew tired and even discouraged and began to make their way back to their homes, still leaving a smaller remnant of those who would stay vigilant. Finally, on the 15th day of their disappearance, the vessel sailed back into the harbor, all aboard hungry and tired but certainly safe and alive. It was said that one of the men looked sad as he disembarked. He just shrugged and walked his way to his little cottage of a home to the surprise of his wife and children. But he still looked upset. “What’s wrong, dear?,” asked his wife. “Why weren’t you out there with the other families on the shore when we arrived?,” he responded. “We were waiting for you, honey,” came his wife’s explanation.

    “But you weren’t watching….”

    “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.” Do you think that’s splitting hairs? Maybe. However, the slight difference in the words can be of dramatic importance when we apply them to waiting for the Lord. Waiting seems to be passive as if I can have many other priorities or concerns because, after all, “when He comes He comes, right?” Watching implies vigilance, continued hope, and deep resolve. Watching is active, ongoing, and, yes, life-changing. Let’s be sure. Whether you and I are waiting or watching, it will be the same Lord. But, how will we be different? God is worth waiting for; His time is always best. Watching for Him makes our hearts ready and open and joyful to meet Him at any given moment, and that makes a difference in how we live.

    “I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.” Joyce Meyer

  • St. Luke, Doctor Of Soul And Body

    Reflection on Mass Reading for October 18, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    “I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” Everyone has a mission in life. Everyone spends their life searching for that mission, and when one finds it, they hang on for dear life. Others never discover it and live out their days in less than quiet desperation. This is what we can gather from the readings today. The Lord has fashioned us and sends us forward into this world for a definite purpose, and that purpose has everything to do with bearing fruit that will last. That means eternal fruit.

    “But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.” This directive is never easy. There will always be those around us who will fight and attempt to destroy the harvest. The First Reading assures each of us that He will be there to strengthen and guide, and yet, even to protect us from the plotting of those who would pull up the wheat instead of the weeds. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.”

    We are all called to respond to this great invitation. Every day presents itself with a new opportunity to spread the Gospel and the message of love and forgiveness that is contained right there all the time. This is just part of the great gift we can open today on the Feast of St. Luke, who spent his years on earth doubling as both a physician and theologian.


  • The Ultimate Surrender

    Reflection on Mass Reading for October 17, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    “Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession.” Our First Reading underscores both quite simple and beautiful: The ultimate depth of any of our prayers must slowly and surely reach the ultimate surrender of everything to the One who made us out of pure love. This sentiment is captured throughout today’s Psalm and is echoed brilliantly and with great comfort throughout the Gospels. The rain must fall, but rejoicing with the dawn because of the very One who died for us.

    “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” And how do we know all this is true? Jesus lived it and won for us the crown of victory, which is customed-shaped to each one of us depending on our situations and life settings. Suffering will always be with us, which means that we must always seek to understand the deep misery of despair, unite those sufferings to Jesus and thus reach to the other side of glory. Consider this from St. Teresa of Calcutta on the occasion of her first visit to the United States:

    “I suppose that some of you are feeling that you would have to buy a plane ticket and travel to India if you were to give effective help to the poor. There is no need. The poor are right here in your own country… In developed nations like yours, there is an abundance of food. But there is often a famine of the heart due to a lack of love. The victims of this famine of love are the new poor. And who are these poor people? They are the people sitting next to you.”

    Look around you today. There are others who are hurting. Together we are going to win this. Jesus promised.

  • Two Most Important Days

    Reflection on Mass Reading for October 16, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.” There is an interesting connection among three key elements that Jesus presents to us today: 1) Denial of God, 2) Denial of the Holy Spirit 3) Defense of our Faith. Let’s take them in that order:

    First, we are told that if we live as if Jesus never came or never met Him, we should expect the same treatment; He will do the same. Second, if we speak with words of hatred and defiance against the Holy Spirit and surely against God in any way, shape, or form, we are to expect serious consequences. And lastly, if we neither deny nor defy God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, but rather live in Him and through Him, then we can and should expect that our very speech, our lives, our thoughts, and all that makes us who we are will be defined by the depth and breadth of our love of God in everyday life. In other words, we will certainly shine.

    And here is the major connection: All three warnings and predictions have to do with the next life. Jesus promises if we recognize Him now on earth, He will recognize us later in Heaven. Suppose anyone repeatedly closes their eyes to God and shuts their ears to His voice now. In that case, they will most certainly come to a point where they can no longer recognize God and thus see evil as good and good as evil even to that tragic point of that person’s last breath in which they could very well miss any chance of living forever with God in eternity, that is, later. Finally, if our deep trust is with the Lord, His Holy Spirit is promised to us as it was to Abraham and all his descendants as we read in the First reading so that we will never have to worry what to say before this world’s authority, now, or to the Authority of Heaven, later.

    Question for the Day: What are the two most important moments of our life?
    Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

  • We Will Get Through This Day

    Reflection on Mass Reading for Ovtober 15, 2021

    Theme for October: “It is the childlike mind that finds the Kingdom.” – Charles Fillmore

    Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), probably the female saint and mystic with the greatest influence on the world on so many levels. Below is one of her most famous poems, which we will intersperse with passages from the Scriptures today.

    Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee: All things pass. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered.”
    God never changes. “May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us; who have put our hope in you.”
    Patience attains all that it strives for. “I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”
    He who has God finds he lacks nothing. “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.”
    God alone suffices. “Do not be afraid.”

    We are free because of the desire of God to send us His only Begotten Son that enwraps his mercy and love all around us every single day. Do not let anything rob you of any joy or peace today. You will get through this day because you started with Jesus, and you will end with Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord!