Tuesday, November 29, 2016


There once was a tradition that instead of decorating trees with balls and lights and just random things, Christians would take the opportunity to each day reflect on salvation history, trace the streps of god becoming man and create an ornament that represented that reality then hang it on the tree.  Each day a new ornament would be created a the journey of Advent brought ever closer to the unfolding of salvation history in the Christ Child, God become flesh.

why not rediscover the beauty of this tradition.

I invite you to go to loyola press.com and type in Jesse tree or click on the link


And begin to decorate your tree an your life with the unfolding beauty of God's plan of salvation.  Se if it doesn't spark a new wonder in this season of Advent for you and your family.  Family trees are important they tells us much about ourselves and where we come from.  The family Tree of Jesse is important for it tells us the most important things about us and our family in regards to sin and grace and fall and redemption.

Don't delay.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Revelation 15:1-4; Ps 98 Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! Luke 21:12-19

Here are a few words from St Paul: For although they knew God they did not accord Him glory as God or give Him thanks.  Instead they became vain in their reasoning.  Their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools..." Romans 1:21ff

What was the result of this thanklessness?

"They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever...." Romans 1:25ff

If we pay attention to St Paul, Thanksgiving to God empowers the intellect to truly grow in wisdom where as thanklessness undermines the process and leads us in the path of foolishness.

We are told in the psalm for this evening, "to sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds."  The song may be new in so far as we now recognize the wondrous deeds of God but in reality it is a very very old melody.  For this new song we sing is the old song of thanks that as echoed forth from the dawn of creation.  Since the first moment of light that scattered the darkness and the first sound of wind rushing upon the waters, thanksgiving as resounded as the only response creation has to the one who gives so freely.

Is there any other more fitting song than "Thanks be to God."

As we are told by the psalmist, "Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and the who dwell in it; let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout for joy."

This is the old song that becomes new for us daily in our journey.

Jesus tells us in todays gospel, "They will seize you and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  Remember you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute..."

What will be this testimony?  What will be this wisdom of tongue that will leave all powerless to refute or resist?

What if it is simply put the word of thanks to God pressed upon our lips regardless of circumstances.  What if the song of thanks is the only defense worthy of the gift we have received from Him, God almighty.

Pax et Bonum

Sunday, November 20, 2016


2 Samuel 5:1-3; Ps 122 Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43

It is often theorized or debated or discussed or even theologized what was Jesus' last great temptation.  There was a movie some decades back entitled in fact the Last Temptation of Christ.

There is much to consider in this regards or nothing at all.

But I do believe in today's gospel as we enter in tot he Feast of Christ the King, we do perhaps get a glimpse into a temptation, not saying it was the last or the greatest.

Here are the words of those who taunt Jesus from below, that is while their feet are firmly on the ground and Jesus' feet are set firmly to wood by the nails:

"The rulers sneered at Jesus and said"he saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the christ of God…Even the soldiers jeered at him,  As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "if you are the King of the Jews, save yourself."

"Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us."

Three times is short span of minutes maybe slightly longer Jesus heard that eerily enticing invitation, "SAVE YOURSELF!"

Just as in the beginning his publicly ministry he was tempted thrice so now at the end he must again face a temptation of thrice magnitude.

Save yourself.

The beauty of our King is he doesn't reign for himself.  He doesn't seek himself in love.  He does not save himself.  He refuses to save himself for the sake of saving us.

This is the Kingly Love we celebrate on this day as we get ready for Advent.

Ponder that reality at some point today.

How often do we save ourselves?  How often do we hear that early enticing invitation and act on it?  Perhaps you can't imagine but then there is fault in our imagination.

Every time we justify our actions even if we know they are wrong we are saving ourselves and not letting Him be our savior.

We do it subtly and not so subtly over and over again.

When the opportunity of goodness toward the other arises and we justify ourselves in not acting we are giving into the temptation.

To enthrone Christ in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies means we stop justifying our actions and we start letting Jesus hold sway in our lives.

He is King.  Let us enthrone him daily in our hearts, minds, wills, bodies.  With him, we too must refuse to save ourselves and only then can true liberation and kingly love and peace begin to reign fully.