Category: Daily Reflections

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Thus says the LORD:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens
    and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered
    or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
    in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
    and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
    or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
    and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
They shall live in the houses they build,
    and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.

Isaiah 65:17-21


The peace of the Lord be with you.

Today’s reading from Isaiah reminds us that God wants us to experience the fullness of his love and life. God wants this not only when we have passed from this life to the next, but at this very moment that we live in now.

At times, we are prone to pushing the love of God away. Although this does not make a lot of sense, it seems to be one of the struggles that we face. Despite this struggle, I pray that we will not lose confidence in God to offer us the graces that will deliver us and help us to accept the love He so longs to lavish upon us.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, March 15, 2021

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Most gracious and loving heavenly Father,

Help us to have hearts like yours that are always filled with understanding and forgiveness.

Help us to impart this forgiveness to others and put on a heart of understanding.

Help us to recognize our brokenness, but to also recognize the divine spark that exists in all people.

Help us to trust in you and to recognize the hope that exist because of your love for us.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,

The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted

Matthew 23:1-12


The peace of the Lord be with you.

It’s been said if you really want to have a glimpse into someone’s heart, observe how their words and actions match up or fail to do so. Jesus is essentially saying that to us today. He saying that the teachers of his time had great wisdom, but unfortunately they were distracted by titles, power, and their own agenda. Jesus is reminding us that we should make our words and actions match. As his followers, we are not called to use the power we are given for her own good, but for the good of others and to help lift burdens from other people. Through God‘s goodness we have another day to practice, and I pray that through his grace, each of us will make progress on our journey.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Jesus said to his disciples:

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.

Luke 6:36-38


The peace of the Lord be with you.

Today in the Gospel passage, Jesus reminds us of the goodness of God and how we are to be a reflection of that goodness in our lives. Each day God lavishes upon all of us tremendous gifts. We are not meant to keep these gifts entirely to ourselves, but to freely share them with others — as God has shared them with us.

Very often in our world today we hear that there’s not enough to go around; that is not true. It has been said by the Saints, on many occasions, that the excess resources we hold in reserve ultimately belong to the poor and suffering. May God guide us in our use of the resources he provides and help us to have generous hearts.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, March 1, 2021

Saturday of the First Week of Lent

Moses spoke to the people, saying:

This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised.

Deuteronomy 26:16-19


The peace of the Lord be with you.

The book of Deuteronomy is a reinstatement of the law given to the chosen people in Exodus. In Deuteronomy, Moses is reiterating the law for the people as they were about to move from a land of scarcity to a place of prosperity wealth and plenty. It’s a place where their appetites could easily get out of control.

I think, as Americans, if we look carefully at ourselves we could also see how we have something in common with these chosen people to whom Moses is speaking. We live in a place of great wealth and prosperity and it’s easy to make those things into the demigods and to lose track of the One who gives us these gifts. Our lives are to be opportunities to glorify God and God’s goodness.

May we not forget how to worship Him, thank Him, and share His generosity with those around us. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Saturday, February 27, 2021

Friday of the First Week of Lent

But if the wicked,
turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;

since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, 
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Ezekiel 18:27-28

The peace of the Lord be with you.

Both readings for today deal with issues of justice and righteousness. Both justice and righteousness must go beyond the surface of our lives and into the very depths of our heart. When these things are anchored in our heart they become manifested in the way we live and how we conduct ourselves.

The reading from Ezekiel today reminds us that doing things properly and living according to God’s law gives life. Those things that are contrary to God’s law create destruction and death. These are not things that God besets on us. No, God tries in every way possible to soften our hearts with his love and  turn us toward ways that are life-giving. We do, however, have a free will that permits us to choose, but that free will must be informed by a good conscience. As always this is not something that we can do on our own; we need God’s grace and assistance to aid us in our journey throughout our life.

Today, may our hearts be open to this love, to this direction that provides life, not only for ourselves, but for the world at large. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Friday, February 26, 2021

Thursday of the First Week of Lent

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
    the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
    till they have watered the earth,
    making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
    and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
    that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
    but shall do my will,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.


The peace of the Lord be with you.

Do you ever stop and wonder about the power of the word of God? I have to admit that most of the time it’s not something that’s foremost in my mind. When I sit with a passage like this one, and so many others that make reference to the word of God, I stand in awe.

The word of God is so powerful that at his command everything we see was made. That extends to all the microscopic things we cannot see with the naked eye and all the expanses of space we cannot see because they are beyond our reach. All this was spoken into being. What’s even more amazing is that this is being which is being itself not only spoke creation into existence but through great humility in a word put on our human likeness and came to dwell among us. What great gifts the God of all creation has given to us.

Today may our  hearts be filled with gratitude. In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Jesus said to his disciples:

The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.

Then he said to all,

If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?

Luke 9:22-25


The peace of the Lord be with you.

The ways of God are not intuitive to us. As we see in our Gospel reading today, it’s very often the exact opposite of how we may think about things. How often do we associate gaining life by giving life away or sacrificing?

Today, Jesus assures us that it is exactly these types of actions that assure and give us life. He also assures us that this way will not be easy — that there will be challenges that each of us will face. Given how life works, we will face challenges one way or the other, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel that our challenges are actually leading us to life and freedom?

May God give us the grace today to face those challenges and to recognize that he is walking with us every moment and every step of the way.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ash Wednesday

Even now, says the LORD,
    return to me with your whole heart,
    with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
    and return to the LORD, your God.


Most loving and gracious God, as we enter into the season of Lent today we ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be with us.

Help us to examine our consciences, to look at our actions and inactions, and to look at those parts of our lives that serve only as a distraction from the goodness that you long to give us.

Through our acts of charity, prayer, almsgiving, and fasting — may we better realize the things that are true, lasting, and give us fullness of life.

We ask this for the glory of your name and the healing of the world until you come again.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them,

Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.

They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,

Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?

They answered him,

Twelve.

When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?

They answered him,

Seven.

He said to them,

Do you still not understand?

Mark 8:14-21


The peace of the Lord be with you.

As children, we have a tendency to see the world in very concrete ways. As we mature we are encouraged and introduced to things that make us think more abstractly. Our scripture passage today demonstrates to us how Jesus is trying to draw his disciples more deeply into the mysteries of God. In this particular instance, he’s trying to encourage them to be very thoughtful about who they imitate and follow. They like young children because they are in their infancy as his disciples they think about things very concretely.

As we grow in faith, Jesus and the entire Trinity will encourage us to think more deeply and to challenge the ways we have acted and thought about things in the past. At these moments, it will be helpful to have a more mature Spiritual director and/or educational materials that can help guide us as questions surface and address concerns that may seem overwhelming.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, February 16, 2021