Wednesday, November 25, 2015



We encounter the proverbial "writing on the wall" in today's first reading.  Though it is not proverbial for the king of Babylon.

Nor should it be considered proverbial for us.  The message to the king is a message for all.

Mene, Tekel, Peres....

Counted, weighed & found wanting, thus separated from the rest.

This was the message to the king because as Daniel recites for us, "you have rebelled against the Lord of Heaven,  you praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, that neither see nor have intelligence.  But the God in whose hand is your life breath and the whole course of your life, you did not glorify.  By him were the wrist and hand sent and the writing set down."

Thus he was counted, weighed & found wanting, separated from all.

As we prepare for the day of thanks and praise and gather with friends, perhaps we should pause and before we count our blessing, we should take an inventory on where we stand before God.  We know God is good an this goodness is immense.  But let us count ourselves and weigh ourselves lest we too be separated.

Where have we given ourselves over to the false idols of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, stone?  That is where have we let greed become an idol or money or riches or wealth or power or self-reliance or lust?

Abraham Lincoln on the proclamation of the day of thanks stated not only should be give thanks and praise for God's generosity but we should also do penance for our nation's perverseness.  In his own right, he was a prophet.

What perverseness have we sat idly by and let take hold of our country?

Our praise and thanks will mean much more if we do a little penance first.  Let us fast before we feast and check ourselves before we step on the scales of justice.  Then perhaps our thanksgiving that is not just a gesture of passing whim but true and sincere can tip the scales in the right direction.

Perhaps then we can truly give him glory like the sun and moon and stars and shower and dew and even the winds that blow by becoming who we are created to be a creature that enters in to praise and thanks whole heartedly.

Then our perverseness will give way to perseverance in truth and love and praise and thanks and we will finally live the fullness we were made for form the beginning.

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Rooted in his love, mature in the full stature of Christ, pure in intention in serving him alone.

Friday, November 20, 2015


1 Maccabees 4:36-59; Ps We praise your glorious name, O mighty God; Luke 19:45-48

My house shall be a house of prayer.

We experience the result of the revolt in the time of Maccabees.  The temple is rededicated and the lights are set ablaze and for 8 days a celebration ensues.

The people gathered to praise heaven.

Each time we fall on our knees or light a candle or set aside time to pray, to look upward we enter we keep the revolt alive.

The revolution isn't over but it begins a new and is sustained by me and you daily in our prayers and in our devotions.

The revolt of the Maccabees is continued in Christ as he cleanses the temple and continues in us as we cleanse the temples of our bodies and making our very life the place of encounter with the liberating presence of God who is in our midst.

Prayer does is not a sport we can take or leave but the very center of self realization.  Prayer reminds us that we are not alone, that we are watched and loved.  God's creative eternal love is always present to us anew.

This is how the temple gets cleanses simply by this understanding of God's presence and love daily in our walk.

Let us keep the revolt alive daily.  Let the rededication of our temples occur regularly.  Let th eloping gaze of our Father spur us on and thus true liberation begin anew.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


1 Maccabees 2:15-29; Psalm 50 to the upright I will show the saying power of God; Luke 19:41-44

What a contrast in today's readings.

We have the Maccabean revolt spurred on by zeal for the God of ISrael and his covenant and in the gospel Jesus  laments over the city of Jerusalem, and perhaps all of humanity, of their lack of zeal and attentiveness to God's reach into their lives.

Strange how one generation is ready to lay it all on the line and the other generation has grown stagnant and slothful in their faithfulness to God's will and call.

This seems to be a pattern played out all too often from generation to generation.

This generation has to make a decision as to where it will fall: zeal for the Lord or slothfulness.

The last words of the gospel again today are striking, "because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Could this be a verdict assed upon us in our day and age?  If Jesus were here would he lament over us?

Have we failed to recognize the time of our visitation?  Do we see God's presence and invitation right before our eyes?


2 Maccabees 7:1-31; PS 17 Lord, when you glory appears, my joy will be full; Luke 19:11-28


We often think of the power of a mother's love; there are songs and hymns and poems and novels incorporated to illustrate such love.

Today we experience it first hand in the first reading from Maccabees.

The mother and her 7 sons are on display.  What is striking is this: it is one thing to die for for children and thus exhibit your love for them but it is another reality to be forced to watch your children die in front of you and not lose heart or be discouraged.  Not only does the mother today watch watch her children die,, but use encourages them to be faithful to the God of ISrael and that if death was necessary to be faithful then so be it.

How many mother's would do this?

To often, i see mothers and father sit idly by as their children live forsaking the command of God.  I  also see parents encourage their children in ways of sinfulness.  Yet this mother shines as a brilliant example of faithfulness and encouragement to all of her children.

As you read the story, the mother never covers her eyes.  She to chooses to watch as her children are brutally persecuted and murdered for their faithfulness.

This mother is a type of the Blessed Mother who stands at the foot of the cross and watches her son, Jesus, embrace torture and death for his faithfulness to God and man.

Definitely worth a read.

Int he gospel two things stand out.  First the nobleman who goes off to be crowned king has a crowd of opposition following him wishing to stop the crowning and coronation.  Yet despite their best effort, the nobleman becomes king, "but hen he returned after obtaining the kingship…"   Regardless of the opposition, the violence, the terror JEsus reigns.  Jesus is king and their is no amount of human opposition of otherwise that can deter him from his rightful place.

This is good news.  This is the source of peace and strength for us.

Lastly, as the accounting occurs for the use of coins given upon departure there is one thing that is constant.  We must be willing to grow and risk the gift we have received.

Each of us has received a gift from God and we must cooperate with that gift for the building of the  kingdom, for God's glory and our good.

To risk is to lose our footing momentarily; to not risk is to lose ourselves permanently.

Risk is constant if we are to follow Jesus faithfully.  We cannot always play it safe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Wisdom 2:23-3:9; Ps 34 I will bless the Lord at all times; Luke 17:7-10

But they are in peace.

These are the words from our first reading in regards to those who have gone before us.  Notice the reading doesn't say that are at peace but rather they are in peace.

The simple little word "in" should have a drastic impact on what we think about in regards to the beloved deceased who have been called out of this world into the the merciful embrace of our Father's hands.

To be in peace is to be restored to that rightful place of belonging.

To be at someone's house is different than being in that house.

Being "in" denotes an intimacy not otherwise achieved.

Think about that this month as we remember the faithful departed.

The psalmist invites us "to bless the Lord at all times."

To bless the Lord.  We often seek God's blessing in our life.  Do we seek to bless God with the life that seeks his blessing.  This denotes an intentionality on our part.  We can not just go along to get along but rather we are attentive to our words and actions in regards to who we belong to and by whose benevolence we have life.

To bless the Lord moves us away from just letting life happen to being an active an intentional participant with one eye always on the gaze of our Father.

Lastly we are told in the gospel that we should live as unprofitable servants; we have done what we are obliged to do.

There are two characteristics of every disciple: willingly forgivers and willingly servers.

In fact, the greatest service is to forgive.

The task of serving should always make an easy transition form the greatest of task to the menial of task.  There is no distinction, just service.  Whether we are int he field or at table, service remains a part of our livelihood.

In the traditional japanese culture it is considered an insult to receive tips for serving.  Good service is considered a courtesy.  It is always rendered generously.  So it should be with the one who follows Christ.

The service is the reward in itself for in it we have blessed the Lord.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Romans 14:7-12; Luke 15:1-10

In the evening of our life we shall be judge on love, so says John of the cross.

He goes on to say that we should learn to love as God desires to be loved and not in our own ways of acting.

Think about that for a moment.

We live in an age of personal taste an personal fashion.  Every one wants to have their own style or their own way.  We all want to stand out and do it differently.  We want to do it our way.

Yet, to follow Christ a different demand is made: love God as he desires to be loved.

The true fashion of Christ is not love as we want to love but to love as the other ask of us.  This is a greater act of love.

It is easy to love according to our standards, but to love according to god's standard is really where true growth is obtained, not to mention true liberty as well.

When we hear the words of St Paul, "so then each of us shall give an account of himself to God" we should be thinking a bout how we love god as he desires daily in our life.

Then in the gospel Jesus tells us about the Shepherd that leaves the 999 to rescue the one or the woman who turns her house upside down looking for a penny then throws an extravagant party for all once it is found.  This may seem shocking and it should.

Who would throw a party for a penny?  Who would care about that one sheep that refused to follow the rules and continued got it set fin trouble?

God does!  Each individual is the most important person in the eyes of God.

We are called to look upon one another with the eye of God and to love with the heart of Christ.


Romans 13:8-10; Luke 14:25-33

We will hear a lot about financial responsibility over the next few months and year that is approaching.  Given we will be in an election year, the talk will constantly be about our deficit.  How do we get out of debt?

Can a country ever get out of debt?

But not only do we think and talk about our government's financial issues, we also talk about our own.

Every household is constantly dealing with the financial issue of budgeting.  We focus on income and expense and we all want a balance budget.

What about budgeting love?  Can we ever have a balanced budget in regards to love?

We all what love to be equal.  We want the expense of love and the in come of love to balance out.  In fact, most of us would rather have the in come of love to far surpass the expense of love, what we give away.

We all want to operate in the black.

But is this possible!

St Paul tells us to owe no one but the debt of love.

We are forever in debt in regards to love.  God's love for us is always greater than our love for him.  This is good news.  God doesn't ask us to repay him in a negative tone.  God is not a bookie taking an accounting on love but rather he wants his generous bestowal to move us to do the same in our life.

This is why St Paul is so incessant and persistent in this regard: owe nothing to anyone but love one another.

The beauty of spiritual physics is the more we give the more we receive.

Th balance budget of love can never be achieved; we will always receive more than we give.  This is the way God has designed it to be.

Our task is to rejoice in it and then live it fully.

It is not that we love God but that he first loved us.