Thursday, March 31, 2016


Acts 3:11-26; Psalm 8 O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!; Luke 24:35-48

Bless You!

We hear this all the time in our life, most notably when some one has sneezed and disrupted our daily routine with such commotion.  We say instinctually, Bless You.  It comes forth from our lips like the air we breathe.

But what does that mean?  Why do we say it?  What do we mean when we say it:Bless You.

Perhaps we are wishing God to bestow upon them health of mind and body.  Maybe we want God to bring them prosperity.

Often times this is what we associate with God's blessing: health, wealth, prosperity, goodness, a lack of trial or tribulation, lack of obstacles.

We should spend some time thinking about what we are saying when we ask God to Bless someone.

St Peter has a thought in mine for us in regard to saying "bless you" as we encounter in today's first reading as we continue to follow the Acts of the Apostles through this Easter Season.

Here are St Peter's words, "God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from evil ways."

There we have it.

Blessing of God is meant to turn us from our evil ways.  In some respect it is meant to spur us on to be the best version of ourselves.

When we say Bless you to another we should think about this reality.  Or when some one tells it to us, again we should we should ponder what the grace of God wants from us in life.  We must know the end if we are going to fully engage in the process.

God Bless you…may we turn from evil ways, annoying habits, small vices and become the best version of our selves as God design us to be.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Acts 2:36-41; PS 33 The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord; John 20:11-18

"But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

Jesus's first words after the resurrection to Mary Magadalene are quite striking.  Once He calls her by name and brings her forth from her grief and despair then he reveals the truth that is ultimately the source of all freedom: I am going to my father and your father, my God and your God.

John Paull II spoke these words to a group of youth was stated, "we are not the sum total of our failures and weakness, but the sum total of our Father's love for us and the real capacity to become the image of the son."

St Jose Maria Escriva added, "God is my Father! If we meditate on it, we will never let go of this consoling thought.  Jesus loves is a dear friend who loves us with all divine madness of his heart.  The Holy Spirit is my consoler, who guides my every step along the road.  Consider this often: you are God's and God yours."

I am going to My Father and your Father, My God and your God.

Beautiful reminder of what is the ground of all reality. 

We don't have to fret or work at it so hard, life that is.  If we keep this truth before our eyes and let it dwell in our heart and illuminate our mind, what joy and peace that should accompany us daily. 

My Father and your Father.  God not only concerns himself with each of us individually but all of us collectively.  My Father is your father is our father.  In his hands we find freedom to live and love and laugh and loiter in this world he has given to us.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Genesis 17:3-9; Ps 105 The Lord remembers his covenant for ever; John 8:51-59

I love todays dialogue we encounter in the gospel. 

The jews are not happy with Jesus.  In fact they get a little ticked off because of his comments and at one point they ask Jesus, "Who do you make yourself out to be?"

In other words they are saying, "Who do you think you are?"

I'm sure we have had those words pressed upon our lips and directed toward others we don't quite understand.

Then again in the same gospel the Jews find themselves not hearing correctly. 

Jesus says, "Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day" and the jews respond with, "you are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"

These two sentences are not the same.  Jesus speaks of Abraham seeing Jesus' day while the jews speak of Jesus seeing Abraham's day.  They aren't the same. 

What we have here is a failure to communicate.   This is the case not only for the Jews but also for ourselves!

Why do we have selective hearing when it comes to Jesus in our life?  Why do we have selective hearing when it comes to being open to God's will or plan unfolding in our life?  How often do we hear  something Jesus isn't actually saying because our own agenda or fear keeps us from receiving it fully.

What is the remedy?

Jesus sums up the reality very clearly, "before Abraham came to be, I AM."

Jesus reminds his listeners that he is one with the Father.  He takes up on himself the name of God revealed to Moses, "I am who am" in Exodus chapter 3.

Jesus is beyond time and space and transcends it.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

This is the remedy to being a good listener.  We trust that God sees even if we don't.

This is why Abram in the first reading is essential.  We are told that Abram prostrated himself  and God spoke to him.

It is in this gesture of humility, setting aside our agendas and what we want to hear from God and what we think we are hearing and opening ourselves up completely that we lean in and incline our hearts more fully to his words and thus our ears are opened.

Prostration is important.  The humble heart is the one that is surprised by the word of God.  The jews were not humble.  They refused to prostrate themselves.  They trusted more in their thoughts about God then what God was speaking in Jesus.  This of course is a warning to all of us.

Prostration leads to an open heart and an attentive ear.


Daniel 3:14-20,91-92,95; John 8:31-42

Jesus tells us these words, "So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free."
He also says, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

We all want freedom.  We want be be free and experience a life free from many things such as anxiety, worry and stress and all the rest.  We want freedom from constraint or rules etc.

What is the truth that will give us this freedom and what does this freedom look like.

If we abide in his word and be his disciples then we learn the truth and discover freedom.  The practical side of freedom is revealed in following after Jesus and living discipleship daily in our life.  Only in living it, it letting our lives be led by him, does freedom ring true for us.

I think the three young men in the first reading illustrate this freedom with their lives.  Think about their words to the king, "If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the furnace and from your hands, may he save us! But even if he will not, know that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up."

The three young men illustrate unconditional trust in God.  How often in our life does trust in the lord depend on the circumstances of our life going as we plan?  How often does it depend more on us getting our way then God leading us forth on his way?

The three men find freedom in this unconditional trust and they live in the moment.

This is the freedom Jesus brings to our life.  Jesus shows us on the cross what unconditional trust looks like.  He invites us to experience that same freedom in our daily lives.  We are invited to set aside our agendas and plans and to stop mapping everything out to its tiniest detail and to let go and learn to walk with Him for a change rather than running ahead or lagging behind.

Imagine living that kind of freedom.

Today look for reasons to trust, to let go.  Let unconditional trust set us all free.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Exodus 32:7-14John 5:31-47

Here is a few words form Emily Dickinson

"The love a life can show below
Is just a filament I know…"

A filament is that wire in a light bulb that when electric current passes through it begins to shine bright and give off warmth and light to the surroundings.

Jesus tells us in today's gospel, as he speaks to the Jews, that John the baptist was a "burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light."

What a beautiful description not just for John the baptist but for all of us.

We are all filaments.  The surge of the Holy SPirit bestowed upon us at Baptism and invigorated and stirred to life in the Sacraments of the church pulse through us an electric current wanting to light us up for the world around us.

"The love a life can show below
Is just a filament I know…"

The only think that keeps us from being that burning and bright lamp is our own hesitancy to "come to Jesus so that we might have life."


John 5:17-30

Here is a tid bit from the gospel for this wednesday.

"Jesus answered the Jews: My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."

What is Jesus answering?  What is the question or activity that invites the following response from Jesus?

The Jews were persecuting JEsus because he did this on the sabbath.  Jesus had cured a man and commanded him to carry his mat.  This "work" of carrying the mat was troubling to the Jews because it was the sabbath.  The jews didn't care about the healing as much as they cared about the man carrying a mat on the day in which work was forbidden.

The jews missed the boat.  They missed the whole point of the healing because of the mat.

So Jesus rebukes their insensitivity to working not he sabbath bu reminding them that God is always at work.  God's providential care and work does not cease on any given day but God's care for creation is constant, hence he says, "My Father is at work and I am at work."

Have we ever tried to keep God from working?  Have we tried to bar God from being God?  Have we been resistant to his providential care as each day unfolds?

The Father is at work and JEsus is at work.  Should not rejoice that God doesn't take a day off to provide for us!

Then Jesus goes on to say that "the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you shall be amazed."

Thin about that for a moment.

God wants to amaze us. God wants to knock our sock off, so to speak.  Do we let God amaze us?

To be amazed by God requires small effort on our part.  We need to prepare ourselves by asking the Holy SPirit to help us see what God is up to daily in our life.  Secondly, we need to ask God to help lower our defenses so that our expectations don't block what God is revealing or giving to us at any given moment.

Let God amaze us today.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Joshua 5:9,10-12; Ps 34 Taste and see the goodness of the lord;  2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Luke chapter 15 can be considered the lost and found department of the gospels.

In this small but powerful portion of the gospel we encounter three accounts of that which is lost thetis ultimately found.  We have the lost sheep who is sought after by the shepherd who leaves the 99 to locate this poor lowly animal who had lost its way.   Much rejoicing is had as Jesus tells us because of the finding of this one.

Then we have the lost coin.  The woman tears her house inside out looking for the poor coin that had found its ways hidden and out of sight.  Upon discovery, a party is thrown worth more than the coin itself.  Again, rejoicing abounds.

Then today we have this story, which is often referred to as the story of the prodigal son, unfortunately. The story is about many things lost.  We have the younger son who is lost.  We have the older son who is lost.  But at the heart of the passage is something more important that is lost and must be found a new, lost and in need of rediscovery.

The identity of the Father is ultimately what is revealed to us in today's passage.  The Father stands in the middle and reaches forth embrace both sons.  He refuses to build walls but rather becomes the bridge to unite in order to create an opportunity to connect an opportunity for communion not only with himself but with those around him as well.

How often does Jesus invite us to become like little children in the gospel?  Many! We are told unless we become like little children we cannot enter the kingdom.  To be children means to be dependent on the Father.  But more importantly it means to understand our true parentage.  To be child means to be the one who sees the Father in action, who witnesses the Father's love, tolerant from the Father so that we might as we mature become like the Father.

Jesus tells us int he gospel He who see me sees the Father.  And we know that holiness is Christ being perfected in us as St Paul reminds us, "It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives with in me."  So if Christ is a live in us, and to see Jesus is to see the Father, then to mature it the spirit is to become like the Father.

Both sons have it wrong in regards to what it means to be a son.

The young son think that sonship should entitle him to do whatever he wants to do regardless of the impact has on those who love him.  He believes it is license to do as he please, when he please, how he pleases.  He wants access to all the Father's material possession but he doesn't want a relationship. Thus, he goes off to the distant land and squanders everything.

Thew older son believes that sonship is about slavery and duty and servanthood.  He believes that he has to earn the Father's love by doing this or doing that.  He is so focused on his own actions that he also has lost sight of the loving relationship with his Father.

Both are lost.  Both have lost a true understanding of the Father and who he is and what he expects and who they are called to be in light of that reality.  The Father can be summed up in those words he speaks to the older son, which are a description of his actions to the younger son upon his return, "My son you are here with me always; everything I have is yours."

Everything I have is yours!

This is the identity of the father that has been lost that needs to be rediscovered.  The Father is one who gives everything away to us out of love for us. This is what has been lost and is found anew.

As children we must become like the Father.

It is easy to be the one who is forgiven but we must be the one who forgives.
It is easy to relate to the one who has been welcomed back but w must be the one whose heart is opened to the other.
It is easy to relate to the one who receives compassion but we must be the one who offers it.
It is easy to be the one who relates to envy but we must be the one who is generous and rejoices in the good that has ben bestowed to the other.
It is easy to count the cost but we must be the generous distributor of grace and mercy.

As we read the story and ponder the sons and the Father, we should stare int he face of the Father who stares down the road in eager anticipation of the the young son's return.  We should in the face of the  father who look the older son in the eye and invites him to come and celebrate and rejoice in new life.

We must see the Father in such manner we learn to love like the Father that we become like the Father in our daily lives. This is our true patrimony.  This is grace active in our life.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9; Ps 147 Praise the Lord, Jerusalem; Matthew 5:17-19

We hear these words in today's gospel for this wed March 2, "I have come not to abolish but fulfill…not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all these things have taken place…whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teachers others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.  But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

How often in our life do we look for a way out of our commitment to Christ?  How often do we figure in our minds a way to the least rather than the most?  How often do we look to minimize our action of faithfulness rather than maximize it?

I think Jesus is getting at this reality in the human heart with the words of today's gospel.

When jesus speaks of not the smallest letter or the smallest part of the letter, he simply reminds us that just as the alphabet is incomplete with a letter or part of a letter missing so is love incomplete when we neglect the little things in life.

Jesus wants love to be at its best.  Jesus wants love to reach its completion.  This is what his grace does in our life.

Imagine our love finally reaching its maximum potential!

We need to keep our eyes peeled for opportunity to animate our life of faith.  We need to look for a way in to a deeper commitment to Christ not a way out that excuses ourselves of that opportunity to let love finally be complete.

Love like the alphabet needs even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter for completion.

This is the joy of following in the footsteps of Christ.

Imagine love finally being free in and through us.  Imagine God's love freely working in and through us  daily.