Providing the Word of God.

Daily Reflections

  • Blind And Toothless

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 18, 2018

    “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” In our Gospel today, Jesus makes the very famously stark comparison between the seemingly merciless application of the Law of Moses and the fulfillment of the same by Jesus himself, the new lawgiver. “When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” The old ways always kept score and made sure that revenge was the way we people ought to act. But there was, and is, a terrible problem with that. It makes no allowances for the saving mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the strict justice to be paid by each one of us for our own sins. “For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you; the arrogant may not stand in your sight.” There is a “new game in town” and it has everything to do with forgiveness and mercy which always outweighs the painful curse that has been infected by our humanity.

    “A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.” The Word Made Flesh, Jesus the Christ redeems this fallen world with his sacrifice on the cross and we are the primary beneficiaries of such a loving act. If he has shown mercy and forgiveness to all of us, then who are we to deny to others, who in fact might deserve much more than they deserve for treachery in this life. But there is operative phrase, in this life. We let God handle the wages that justice demands while we show and live in the ocean of mercy that he has created for us. Anything else will simply not work.

    “If the Spirit, Who is Life, exacted an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth, this world would indeed be peopled with the blind and the toothless.” (Henry Powell Spring)

  • Got Mustard?

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 17, 2018

    “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” This ever-popular Gospel passage should also enthuse those cooking aficionados among our readers. Is anyone aware of the various uses of mustard, other than being spread on hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches? The following may send you searching through the internet to secure the validity of these claims. It has been used as a mild burn relief; a cosmetic face mask for skin rejuvenation; relief for sore muscles and sore throats; and the removal of the toxic and awful odor of the shrewd skunk in case you find yourself ever-too-close and sprayed with mayhem.

    “We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Living in the Kingdom means relief from the scorching rays of a hostile world and facing it with renewed vigor and the glow of the Spirit. It means relief from the wear and tear on our bodies as we desperately travel the moral roads through unknown lands while bravely clearing our throats to preach the Gospel, in season and out. It also means throwing off the stench of sinfulness and accepting the sweetness of forgiveness freely and mercifully offered in confession. Accept all the wonderful promises Jesus has made to you and those you love and ask for the courage to walk in light and carry your faith to all aspects of your life. May today’s reflection put a smile on your face and help you keep going.

    “I have a mustard seed; and I am not afraid to use it.” -Pope Benedict XVI

  • Say What You Mean

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 15, 2018

    “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” Our speech is a powerful gift that God has given to all humanity. It describes how we live and love and develop relationships with the world and all those who will populate our years and create masterpieces with their friendship and care for us. Our words can also betray us and there is in the present world much temptation to lie and damage the truth and cause pain even to those who want to love us and care for us. We could say in that in some ways, our speech is a two-edged sword in that it can create or destroy depending on the integrity of the one who utters the host of words in a given lifetime.

    “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,’ Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.'” In the Gospel of today, Jesus also addresses the deep and dynamic power of our words. He goes beyond the legal aspects of vows and promises and makes sure that even our daily conversations, especially our casual conversations, are imbued with truth and light and the desire to serve the truth. Otherwise evil will thrive and not because of the bad people we encounter but because and mostly due to the good people in our lives who do and say nothing. Silence may be golden, but sometimes it is yellow (cowardice).

    “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.” -William Faulkner

  • Our Whispering God

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 15, 2018

    “After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.” During our sometimes dramatic walk with the Lord toward the Promised Land of Heaven we may find that we arrive at crossroads where one might ask, “why can’t I hear what the Lord is saying to me?” Our First Reading describes the various scenarios where we must wait for the silence that follows various events in our lives before finding the real voice of God behind them. “but the LORD was not in the wind.” You cannot see the wind but you can see what it does. Change is the most constant aspect of our lives and many times we are not ready for it. Only looking back in peace do we find the message. “but the LORD was not in the earthquake.” Tragedies strike hard when they do which is why patience in suffering is the only way to discover their meaning. “but the LORD was not in the fire.” Destruction, anger and even deep transformation in our lives desperately need the calm and reflective inspiration we receive from the Holy Spirit so we may fully and wisely make sense of these aspects in our lives.

    “Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.” God whispers calmly and deliberately and it is those moments of reflection and waiting when we are still and allowing Him to speak do we find His presence and love for each and every one of us. Like the beautiful words of the Psalm, we, too, long to see the face of God, certainly at the end of our life, but most assuredly right here and right now as we live and move and have our being: “Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.”

    “Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love or other Christians is learning to listen to them.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • Taking Care Of Business

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 14, 2018

    “Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.” There is a running theme throughout the Scriptures that highlights the wisest way to live on this planet without being distracted, unbearably hurt or ruthlessly disappointed. The simple quotient to life is basically to live it now, here in the present moment. The challenge we face, however, is that we live in a temporal reality where past, present and future are all around us and form an inescapable way of growing, learning and living. Clearly we are to be formed by the past but make choices today in view of what we hope to achieve in the future which is our eternal home in heaven. There must be a way of living with these aspects in mind without losing hope no matter what the circumstance and Jesus has fundamentally shown us what that is.

    “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” Loving each other with the heart of Christ is the only true and surest way to live in the present moment, look for the best in everyone and for the best possible outcome in every situation no matter how seemingly desperate or hopeless. Let us also remember that the desire on the part of Jesus to love one another was not just a suggestion. It was and is a commandment.

    “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” -Albert Einstein

  • Fighting Fire With Fire

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 13, 2018

    “The God who answers with fire is God.” We have been presented with more than just an average display of God’s power and might, the incredible and undying faith of Elijah, and the almost comical and deeply ironic conclusion when the pathetic false gods of others are pitted against the mighty works of God our Father. The false promises of false powers that claim to have power over life were literally left in the listless pangs of silence: “But there was not a sound; no one answered, and no one was listening.” This experience of the deepest of disappointment when misdirected requests and longings go unanswered continues to play out even in the modern world. How many people do you know who are lost and empty because they backed the descendants of Baal and not the God of Elijah? Too many to mention, no doubt.

    “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” What is clear about the lesson of today should be evident: there are two sources of power in the universe, good and evil. Whatever is not of the God who has revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ cannot ever hope to satisfy or bring about the goodness in this life for which we long. What we must do for the rest of our lives is look for light and love and vision from the only source that can help us. This is where our prayer nourished by Scriptures is not only essential but the only real guarantee of our happiness in this world. “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.”

    “Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God.” -Saint Augustine

  • Salt And Light

    Reflection on Mass Reading for June 12, 2018

    “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the salt of the earth.'” Let’s take a look at some of the uses/characteristics of salt. It is a preservative, gives flavor, is bright white, used as a fertilizer and produces thirst. As a preserving agent in this world, every Christian is to be in the world but not of the world and doing whatever is in their power to keep those around from spoiling or degenerating. Christians can add flavor or joy to the world while living a life of purity and understanding while increasing the fruitfulness of those struggling along side of us. Just as salty food makes us thirsty, Christians, as salt of the earth, can make others thirsty for Jesus. “I want to be like you because you love God and it is obvious.”

    “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You are the light of the world.'” What does light do and why do we need it so much? It exposes the hidden pockets of evil, enlightens greatness in this world and definitely shows us the way out of a dark space. This is precisely why we followers of Jesus need each other so much. We simply cannot do this alone. We need help more than just a few times to point out what is evil in this world to avoid it and to help us realize the many blessings we have been given so we may be grateful lovers of God. We need help at every step and stage of our lives from others who love Jesus to find our way either out of crisis, grief seasons or just painful moments.

    “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” Is there some hidden, secret recipe for being salt and light in this life, that we have just discovered it. It has everything to do with living a holy, healthy and happy life full of purpose. This is why we need to beg to be filled with the Holy Spirit while their is breath in our body. We have the Commandments and Beatitudes, we have the Sacraments and the Mass, and we are constantly being challenged to continue to pray without ceasing or losing heart. This will be nourished by our reading and reflecting over the powerful Word of God as we do here. This is our life, our call, our invitation to greatness.

    “Being salt and light demands two things: we practice purity in the midst of a fallen world and yet we live in proximity to this fallen world. If you don’t hold up both truth in tension, you invariably becomes useless and separated from the world God loves.” -David Kinnaman