Tag: Deacon Steve

Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

The peace of the Lord be with you. Most of us spend a small amount of time each day cleaning and putting things back in their proper place so our homes are a pleasant place for us and those who stop by.

Today Jesus reminds us it is important to keep our spiritual homes in order as well. You may be thinking how do I keep my spiritual home in order? It is really simple and does not take much time. Spend some time with scripture, spend sometime in prayer or sacred silence, say grace before a meal, be of service to others, and at the conclusion of each day do a brief examination of conscience. Keep it simple. None of these actions need to be drawn out or time consuming — God appreciates our intent. Blessings. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, October 23, 2020

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’

Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.

The peace of the Lord be with you. We are material beings living in the material world, so material things are not necessarily bad in and of themselves. The difficulty with material things is when we start to make them the treasures of our heart and let them rule our lives.

Jesus reminds us today that our truest treasures are the ones that don’t take up physical space but that create eternal joy. So today let us enjoy the good things that surround us, but more importantly let is immerse ourselves in the way of God which gives us true freedom, peace of mind, and life everlasting. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, October 19, 2020

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our readings throughout this week and for this weekend have caused me to think a lot about the soul and Jesus as the physician of our souls. Many of the Gospel readings this last week describe tensions between Jesus and the various religious leaders because there were differences between what they were teaching or expecting of others, but not practicing themselves. Jesus describes them as hypocrites and other not so flattering terms. I do not think Jesus is doing this to be cruel, but to diagnose an ailment or ailments that had infected them at the level of their soul. 

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church our souls are the most important and lasting part of ourselves. Our souls are created and given to us directly by God at the moment of our conception. It is our soul that makes us most like the image of God. Our soul is immortal; it does not die when our bodies die. Our soul is what gives life to our bodies. It is our soul that will be reunited with our body at the final Resurrection. Sacraments like baptism and confirmation imprint on the soul the indelible character that consecrates us for the worshipping of God.

For something that is so important and so precious, how often do we give much thought to our soul’s health? Do we stop to think about how our soul has been or is being effected by the conditions of this world, particularly now, with so much uncertainty and division? Today our Gospel tells us that Jesus looks into, is concerned about, and offers healing for our souls. Do you hear Jesus calling to you through your conscience? Through his love he offers us not only a diagnosis, but healing through scripture, liturgy, and the sacraments. Like any process of healing it may be uncomfortable, but His healing will allow us to his experience His goodness both here and in the life to come.

In closing I offer this prayer written by Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

Lord Jesus, make us realize that it is only by the frequent deaths of ourselves and our self-centered desires that we come to live more fully; for it is by dying with you that we can rise with you.

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

Readings for Sunday, October 18, 2020

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus

The Lord said:

Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets 
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.

When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

— Luke 11:47-54

The peace of the Lord be with you. The last couple of days the words of Jesus seem rather harsh and stern. The message seems to consistently point out that people weren’t listening; that they were not doing the will of God. Jesus seems to be reminding them, and maybe also us, that often times we ignore the teachers that he has sent. Maybe sometimes we even become a hindrance to those trying to find God and enter his kingdom. Is Jesus doing this just for the sake of being critical? I don’t think that’s His intent.

Let us remember that Jesus was announcing the presence of the kingdom of God was in their midst. He was announcing that God wants to be in our lives and wants to build us up. In many respects Jesus is encouraging us to come back, to keep our eyes and our ears open to his word and teaching. He is saying I have been and continue to be right here with you. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, October 15, 2020

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.

The Lord said to him,

Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.

— LK 11:37-41

The peace of the Lord be with you. In the history of psychology, probably one of the most studied topics has to do with motivation. What causes us or prompts us to do the things that we do?

Today Jesus points out that it is the state of our heart that has much to do with the way we act and interact. He invites us once again to check our motives for what we do. Are we doing something because it moves us closer to God? Are we doing something simply because it’s the way we have typically done it without really understanding why?

Jesus wants us to be careful about what motivates us. He invites us to do and to be grateful for the things that bring us in closer relationship to each other and our heavenly father.

May God grant us the grace today to move more deeply into the mystery of his love and share that goodness with those we meet. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,

Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.

He replied,

Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.

LK 11:27-28

The peace of the Lord be with you. The truth is often simple, uncomplicated, and direct. Both the statement from the woman in the crowd and the words of Jesus are examples of such a truth.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was both blessed and a blessing for it was by her consent and by her purity that Jesus entered the world. The words of Jesus are the words of God himself, and when we observe those words — internalize them, make them our own, and live them out — we too are blessed.

May this day be gifted with a simplicity that is unobstructed by worldly concerns and allows us to be vessels that bring the wisdom, healing, and the peace of God to the place where we live.

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

Readings for Saturday, October 10, 2020

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe.

But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

The peace of the Lord be with you. The kingdom of God is not and has never been divided. The power of God has never been diminished. The kingdom of God shines through the darkness and brings healing a long with reconciliation even in these times. Jesus warns us once we have been healed and reconciled we must actively seek out his way of life or our circumstances could be worse than before.

Today we are called to draw from well of grace, to walk in the way of God, to be vessels of reconciliation — who do not live in fear, but as a single people are confident that God has been, will be, and is providing for His creation. Be at peace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Friday, October 9, 2020

Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him.

Luke 10:33-34

The peace of the Lord be with you. Today the Gospel makes a link between attaining eternal life and acts of mercy. The Biblical meaning of mercy is synonymous with compassion. Compassion and mercy both imply putting ourselves in someone else’s circumstances. Acts of mercy earn us God’s forgiveness, but more importantly, they allow us to reflect God’s goodness.

Each day God exercises mercy toward us and expects that sense of being forgiven will lead us to be understanding with others about the mistakes that have been or are being made. This requires that each of us remembers our imperfections.

Like the Good Samaritan, we are called to be agents of healing, understanding, and filial love. It appears that mercy not only brings comfort to others, but also heals our souls, making us ready for the life to come. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Monday, October 5, 2020

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels

Have you entered into the sources of the sea, or walked about in the depths of the abyss?

Have the gates of death been shown to you, or have you seen the gates of darkness?

Have you comprehended the breadth of the earth?

The peace of the Lord be with you. The reading from Job offers a dialogue that continues to ponder the mysteries of God and creation. In response to a question from Job, God offers a series of questions that help Job to understand how very limited his understanding is of all that God created and maintains. Such an appropriate reading on the Memorial of Holy Guardian Angels. Here is what the Church teaches about these beings:

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.

CCC 336

These beings not only seem to protect us from physical and spiritual harm, but they also guide us toward salvation. Guardian Angels are further evidence of God’s tender care for believer and non believer alike. May we thank our Triune God for these supernatural helpers and call upon their prayers in times of confusion and trouble.

The Angele Dei prayer:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God’s love commits me here,
ever this day, be at my side,
to light and guard, rule and guide.

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

Readings for Friday, October 2, 2020

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’

Luke 10:8-9

The peace of the Lord be with you. Today the Gospel outlines what it means to be a disciple. It means to be sent, it means to be one who discerns, it means there will be more work than a single person can accomplish, it means worrying less about how to provide for ourselves and being more concerned with the message we are to carry to others. That message is this:

‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’

Our job is to let people know that God sees them, walks with them, offers healing, and has a home for them. Jesus also reminds us that some will reject this message and that we cannot take that personally as we continue doing our part.

So today, we are sent to carry this invitation into the world in various forms. Let us do so with joy and hope. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Readings for Thursday, October 1, 2020