It’s Not What You Have. It’s How You Love.

Daily Reflection – 12/5/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:21-24)


Christ came from heaven to earth to be with us!  He literally went from eternity to time to be with us.  To me, the fact that He did it is much more impressive than how he did it.    I want to understand why He did it.  

By all accounts, it was to restore a broken relationship.  What does it take to move heaven and earth?  By the looks of it, it takes great humility.  No wonder the Lord arrived to us as a child; but not only a child, a very poor child, a child born in a stable.

Secularists will say that He was born poor.  Believers will say he chose to be poor.  Which one is it?  It doesn’t matter.  What matters most is what He did with His poverty.  He did nothing.   He wasn’t discouraged by it. He rose above it because his love for us was part of a larger plan.

Maybe He wanted to teach us, the “talented” and “gifted” of this world, that it will never be what you have that makes you who you are, but how you love that makes you who you are:  a gift. –  human dignity descends to us from what is above us:  God.   

He knew that His mortal life was part of a greater mission – one established by His Father. His mission was, of course, to save us. He knew that his words and actions were and still are meant to teach us, to guide us and to love us.

God restored man’s dignity when He sent (and gave) His only Son to us.  Yes, with a child asleep in a manger, in a town called Bethlehem, and during a cold silent night, the child Jesus, without uttering a single word, delivered a simple message to all of us from His Father.  He said with his presence: “You are worth it.”   

Advent is that time of year to remember this.

When you love someone, you are more than willing to go the extra mile, to do whatever it takes, to go to great lengths to fix a problem.  Our Lord and Savior went above and beyond the imaginable to fix our relationship with Him.  He moved Heaven to earth.   

Advent is that time of year for us to go to great lengths, to go the extra mile and to do whatever it takes to fix our relationship with the Lord. 

God moved Heaven.  Now it’s our turn to move earth.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.”

Daily Note

Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the cross. The greatest gift as well as the validation of how much you are loved.

Be Reborn With Him This Christmas

Daily Reflection – 12/4/2023

Sacred Scripture

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 8:5-11)


A beautiful scene. A POWERFUL lesson.

Jesus is surrounded by his disciples and a large group which would have included some Pharisees and Scribes. A Roman soldier approaches, the very symbol of all that the Israelites despised. He risked the ridicule of his cronies as well as mockery from the Jews by seeking help from a traveling preacher from Galilee. Yet, he persevered and was rewarded.

There is much here that serves as a primer for the season of Advent. The centurion models for us those interior virtues we need this Advent and beyond to run out to truly encounter the Lord.

First, he went out to meet Jesus with faith. Jesus is amazed that he, a non-Jew, has so much faith. The Centurion had a confident assurance that God could give him the miracle that he sought, even if he didn’t see it done. At the beginning of Advent, we should assess the dimensions of our faith. Is it faith for the holidays? Occasional faith? Faith when we have a petition? Or is it the faith that guides and strengthens our lives?

At the root of our faith should be a true desire to be obedient to the words of Jesus Christ. Obedience is a tough word for some; they view it somehow as infringing on their personal freedoms.

Guess what. It does.

We are not the creators of our lives. Our Lord is. We cannot fashion a kingdom for us to pass to. Our Lord does. There is no need to enumerate more. You get it. So do I. He asks only that we bring alive his teachings in the actions of our lives. Those teachings must be lived in our thoughts, our words, our social media posts, in everything we do. If we do that, a small miracle happens within us.

Faith leads to obedience and obedience similarly strengthens our faith. Advent is a time when each of us should open our hearts to God and proclaim that he is the goal of our faith journey. He alone has our obedience.

The third Advent virtue also strengthens our faith. It’s humility. Even though the centurion was a powerful leader in the Roman army, he was still humble and recognized before Jesus that he did not merit even a visit. Advent is a season of humility in which we recognize that we’re not worthy of the Lord who is coming. That’s not a diminution of who we are but rather a reality that is meant to fill us with gratitude at the awesome privilege we have of encountering the Lord.

As the Lord comes to us this Advent, we need to renew our relationship with him. Not because it’s that time of year but rather for us to be reborn with him at Christmas. Our age, our lives, our mistakes, all of the things of our lives that have weakened our relationship with him stand ready to be absolved, renewed and filled.

Reach out to Jesus today in faith, acknowledging him as the Lord of our lives, and recognizing with a simple humbleness the enormity of his love for us.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, you feed us daily with your life-giving word and you sustain us on our journey to our true homeland with you and the Father in heaven. May I never lose hope in your promises nor lag in zeal for your kingdom of righteousness and peace.”

Daily Note

What are we hoping for this Advent? Perhaps we have one overwhelmingly pressing need–”a servant lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully”–or perhaps there are many concerns in our heart. Do we bring these worries to God? Are we waiting for the coming of the Messiah, Our Lord, confident in his power to transform hearts? Or have we perhaps let our spirit grow weak, to the point of eliminating all expectations? Jesus is coming. He is Emmanuel, God with us, and he wants to renew our hearts this Christmas. Let us open the doors of our hearts to Baby Jesus.

His Shadow On Ours

Daily reflection – 12/1/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Luke 21: 29-33)


Today’s scripture is sobering.  Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the fig tree.  He describes the natural cycle of trees from spring through winter.  Jesus uses the metaphor of nature to help us understand his teaching.  We know the cycle of the seasons and we understand the changes that occur with each season.  This analogy enables us to better understand what Jesus is saying to us.

Jesus tells his disciples that all created things will pass away.  However, his words will never pass away.  As we know from our own experience, life can change quickly.  The change may be a positive one.  However, change also can be difficult and painful.  A family member may get seriously ill.  Financial troubles may create great distress and fear.  Changing jobs or moving to another city is not an easy process.  Or perhaps your teenager is “hanging out” with the wrong crowd.  

However, Jesus reassures us that there is one reality we may always rely on: “Heaven and earth may not pass away, but my words (and my love) will never pass away!”  When life is difficult, painful or confusing, Jesus is with us.  He pours out his love, grace and strength upon us.  He will not abandon us! 

Sometimes it is trials that are the most powerful change agents in our lives. In difficulty or tragedy, we grieve, we falter, we pray to pass through it. Have it go away. In time, it does. We learn something about ourselves. We learn that we may be stronger than we think, we find that walking alone is difficult, but we do, we find that constant worry is debilitating and more but somehow, we move on.

Our faith teaches us that our God is with us. Strrengthening us even though we may not know it. Consoling us even though we may not feel it. Giving us hope even though we may not feel it immediately. That’s our God.

The earthly world may push us down. But the kingdom of God never changes. His love for us and His promises of bringing us to our eternal home endures. We must always focus on his love for us, his presence at our side, his shadow in ours.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, give me a greater faith and confidence that every cross and burden, no matter how trivial or small, is a means to love. I want to build your Kingdom with you. Keep me focused on the opportunities and demands of the present moment.”

Daily Note

While we wait for the Lord’s physical return in glory, we can know his presence with us through the work and action of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts. The Lord Jesus comes daily and frequently to those who long for him and he speaks tenderly to our hearts like a lover who whispers in the ear of the beloved. He comes to show us the way to our heavenly Father and to give us the hope of eternal life

His Promise of Hope Overcomes Any Fear

Daily Reflection – 11/30/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus said to his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:20-28)


This is a prophecy of the end of times, a.k.a. the apocalypse, the Omega, Armageddon, the End Times, the promised return of Jesus to judge both the living and the dead.

But it is also a Gospel of promise and of hope . . . the last verse reminds us; “But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

The message was initially directed toward Christians in situations of crisis and meant to offer hope and comfort by placing their struggles in the larger story of Christ’s eventual triumph over evil and return in righteousness.

But these same words can apply to us, and so we should focus less on the specific descriptions and instead fasten our eyes on Jesus’ words of promise.

He commanded us not to fear but live in hope. No matter what may come, no matter how bad things may get, no matter how bleak the future may seem, Christ has promised to return for us and all creation.

That promise is especially important in our world today. Around us wars are raging and people are suffering. In these troubled times, we must focus on the majesty, power, and love of Christ. Though the world may seem to be in turmoil, we can put our hope and trust in His. It’s part of the Christian DNA.

 The very heart of Christianity is inclusion and welcome and invitation. It is trust and contentment and hope that cannot be overtaken. It is serving and yielding and sacrificing. It is reaching out, not pointing fingers. It is offering words of praise not derision. It is seeking opportunities to build bridges, not to constantly tear down fences. Faithful following of Christ gives us the best assurance that our lives have meaning

We look forward to the day of Jesus’ return in glory. We are called to help others prepare for that day and to be ready to greet it with confidence. On the last day we might regret many things, but we will never regret the things we did for Christ.  Until then, let us make our hope in the Son of God’s return burn brightly in our hearts, until the sky shines brightly with his glory. And he will say, “I forgive you. Welcome into paradise.”

Now, that’s more than a little hopefulness: that’s comfort, reassurance, glad tidings of great joy. “I forgive you. Welcome into paradise.”

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, fill me with gratitude for the gift of redemption and increase my hope and longing for your return again in glory. May that day bring joy to my heart rather than sorrow. Help me to serve you faithfully and to make the best use of my time now in the light of your coming again.”

Daily Note

For those who have tried to live by the vision and values of the Gospel, for those who have tried to seek and find Jesus in all the people and events of their lives, who have spent hours with Him in intimate dialogue, it is the time of their final liberation, a time when there will be no more sorrows, no more tears, no more hardships, no more disappointments. Rather, they will be entering an unbroken time of love and intimacy, of freedom and peace, of joy and consolation.

No Trial or Test Will Ever Be That Big

Daily Reflection – 11/ 29/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize 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. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Luke 21:12-19)


Today’s Gospel passage may seem bleak, or dark, or perhaps threatening. But the words of Jesus Christ are never that. In fact, in one sentence, he offers us everlasting hope.

The history of Christianity, is replete with the courage, faith and serenity of the early martyrs who, in the face of tortures and executions, were the proximate cause of the conversion of hundreds of thousands. So many conversions would ensue from their deaths that the early Christians coined a saying, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of [new] Christians.”

None of us here may have to suffer for Christ to the point of shedding our blood, but all of us have indeed been suffering to the shedding of tears. We may not have suffered in courtrooms or jails, but we have suffered at kitchen tables reading newspapers, in living rooms in front of television sets, in our work places, in our schools, in gyms, on the streets, even outside of some of our churches. We may not have sensed ourselves “hated by all” on account of our fidelity to Jesus and the Church He founded, but many us now know what being derided and despised because of our beliefs feels like.

The greatest temptation that faces any of us whenever we’re suffering, whenever we’re doing anything hard and challenging, is to give up. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel the same message that Winston Churchill gave his countrymen during the height of World War II, when so many Brits were wondering if the fight against Nazi tyranny was worth it. He got up to the microphone and gave what many scholars say was the greatest speech of this famous orator’s whole life, eighteen words in all: “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.” That’s the message Jesus gives us at the end of the Gospel: “by your perseverance, you will save your lives.”

Sometimes the greatest gift we can be given is that which is most difficult, because it fosters this virtue of perseverance. By remaining strong through the trials of life and by retaining hope, mercy and confidence in God, we will become victorious. This is such an important message. And it’s a message that is certainly easier said than done. But when difficult opportunities present themselves to us, we are able to live this

But we know from His words that He will be there with us no matter what, giving us “words and wisdom,” courage and grace to remain as faithful to Him to the end, as He has been and will be faithful to us to the end. When we base our lives on fidelity to Him who is faithful, we can weather any storm with confidence. St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “No trial has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1Cor 10:13).

By his perseverance, he opened the gates of heaven. By our perseverance, we will enter those gates. Not a hair on our head will perish, because we will gain every strand back, gloriously, at the final resurrection. That is His promise!

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your grace and mercy abounds even in the midst of trials and difficulties. Help me to seek your kingdom first and to reject whatever would hinder me from pursuing your way of peace, righteousness, and holiness. Fill me with the joy and hope of your everlasting kingdom.”

Daily Note

The Lord Jesus tells us that there will be trials, suffering, and persecution in this present age until he comes again at the end of the world. God intends our anticipation of his final judgment to be a powerful deterrent to unfaithfulness and wrongdoing. God extends grace and mercy to all who will heed his call and his warning

The Invitation Is There. Are You Ready to Accept ?

Daily Reflection – 11/28/2023

Sacred Scripture

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”(Luke 21:5-11)


The words of Jesus were startling to those around him. The temple of Jerusalem was not only immense and not only breathtaking in its opulence but it stood as a reminder of their relationship with God. The destruction of the Temple foretold change that was soul shattering and humans have an issue with change.

Then came 2020 and the pandemic exposed fissures in our society that were deep, ominous and life threatening. Change, not as we like it, was imposed upon us. Change, not as we like it, magnified the inequalities in our society. Change, not as we like it, shook at the fabric of our family life – sometimes through disease, sometimes through the body politic. The temples of our lives seemed destined to tumble and perhaps be destroyed.

When Jesus foretold how difficult their lives were going to be, it was as if he was telling us of the effect of the changes upon us. The people who first heard this story were afraid. Jesus doesn’t sidestep their fear, and he doesn’t fan it. He tells them the truth. You will be arrested. You will be persecuted. This is a time of trial in every sense of the word. And your job is this: testify, stand up, step up, speak out. Remember who you are and proclaim it. You are equipped for these times with wisdom and endurance and ultimately grace-you will gain your souls. And you will not be alone.

In Luke 21:15-19, Jesus assures his listeners and disciples: “For I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair on your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls” (Luke 21:15-19).

He was assuring and strengthening them and us by saying, “I’ve set my table right in the midst of all of this. It’s in these places of fear and loss and confusion and pain that I set my table and I am a guest among you.”

In power and poverty and privilege and in pain, even as we endure persecution and the pain and complexity of our modern world, these are the places where Jesus sets his table, where he grants us the words and wisdom of a Kingdom vision that welcomes our neighbors and even our enemies–where Jesus waits for us to be His welcomed guest.

God extends grace and mercy to all who will heed his call and his warning. His table is set and His invitation of grace and mercy awaits us.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your grace and mercy abound even in the midst of trails and difficulties. Help me to seek your kingdom first and to reject whatever would hinder me from pursuing your way of righteousness and holiness. Fill me with the joy and hope of your everlasting kingdom.”

Daily Note

Today we hear our Lord tell us that the Kingdom of God is near, and it’s coming with all its fullness. But until that moment comes, I think our Lord is more interested in having us see the significant signs to be seen here on earth, than the signs to be seen in the heavens … not the signs in the sun and the moon and the stars, but signs in you and me and all of us. We are not so much called to see the signs, but rather to be signs … signs of God’s kingdom in the here and now.

He Values The Why More Than The What

Daily Reflection – 11/27/2023

Sacred Scripture

When Jesus looked up, he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” (Luke 21:1-4)


It’s easy to sum up this passage of scripture and move on. But there is a strong message here about quality rather than quantity. About reason rather than attitude.

In Provers 15 we read that “The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” Nothing is too little to escape His observation. No act is too trifling to be noted down in the book of His remembrance. The same hand that formed the sun, moon, and stars is the same hand that formed the tongue of the gnat and the wing of the fly with perfect wisdom. 

Our two givers in today’s Gospel passage are represented in terms of their heart’s relationship to the Lord. The heart of the rich man is small and miserly, turned away from the light of Christ toward the rusty glow of Mammon and enamored with the treasures he’s stored on earth.

On the other hand, the heart of the widow is a queen of heaven, as it were, holding fast to her Lord and gazing with hope and confidence into His face.

God knows what we hold back and why. He also knows how much we sacrifice and the attitude which has prompted that sacrifice. All around us are those living for the Lord but who would seldom receive human recognition or acclaim. Jesus, however, notices. He knows people’s hearts as they give and serve.

Not one kindness we do in the name of Jesus and for the glory of the Kingdom will be forgotten. Not one sacrifice for the Savior will go unnoticed. He knows the truth behind our gifts and is blessed when they come from a generous, joyous, and sacrificial heart.

And there are those who use their religious practice as a means of drawing attention to themselves.  In itself, this does not negate the value of the act itself, but it diminishes the merit that one derives from it.  In direct contradiction, are those for whom public acts of piety are a sincere expression of their deep faith and trust in God.

Therein lies a revelation about the depth of our faith.

Our faith must be lived deeply, so deeply that it permeates every ounce of our life. Whenever we are living for Him, there is no thought of how much of us it takes. There is no thought of what others might think of us. Nor is there any thought of what it might gain us in His eyes. We give because we believe. We give because our trust and faith in Him says that is the only way. We give because we truly want to try to contribute toward the building of His kingdom. We give because we are profoundly grateful for His presence in our lives.

We give because it’s not the quantity that is valued. Because Christ looks at who a person is and not what a person has, Psalm 40:17 says it so well:  “I am poor and needy; but the Lord thinks upon me.”

How blessed are we to be in His gaze! How blessed are we to live in His love

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds and you give without measure. All that I have comes from you. May I give freely and generously in gratitude for all that you have given to me. Take my life and all that I possess – my gifts, talents, time and resources – and use them as you see fit for your glory.”

Daily Note

These words teach us that Christ looks at something more than the mere amount of a person’s gifts in measuring their liberality. He looks at the proportion which their gifts bear to their property. He looks at the degree of self-denial which their giving entails upon them. He would have us know that some people appear to give much to religious purposes who in God’s sight give very little, and that some appear to give very little who in God’s sight give very much.

Weeping With Jesus

Daily Reflection – 11/23/2023

Sacred Scripture

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)


The imagery in this scripture is poignant and the words almost too difficult to read.

The eyes of Jesus Christ which have seen the forming and founding of creation are heavy with tears. Heavy, glistening drops fall gently on his beard. Perhaps we know of this event because the Apostles witnessed and later recounted it. What must it have been for them to see their Master weep? What insight into his heart did it give them?

“If this day you only knew what makes for peace.” He desires peace for us. Did his Apostles learn that God comes to heal, not to break; that he wishes for our wholeness, even if it means passing first through suffering, as Christ himself would do? 

When Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the multitude of homes surrounding the holy temple, he wept over it because its inhabitants did not “know the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:42). As he poured out his heart to the Father in heaven, Jesus shed tears of sorrow, grief, and mourning for his people. He knew that he would soon pour out his blood for the people of Jerusalem and for the whole world as well.

Is the world he saw much different today? War comes too often as nations seek to establish their cause in place of another. Worse yet, is that which is happening in far too many cultures. Citizens have embraced a culture of anger and incivility. Yet, we know from His lips that evil eats at our soul and moves us away from the peace that Jesus desires for us. It is totally antithetical to everything He taught us.

Too many people have closed their hearts to the light of his peace. When we close our hearts, darkness ensues. When darkness ensues, the evil one finds a habitat that he loves.

So, I must ask. Are you standing on the abyss of anger? Are you willing to slide down the slippery slope of anger, bigotry, discrimination? Are you now forsaking and setting aside friends and neighbors because they do not share your beliefs? Are you wrapping your political beliefs around you as if they were a shield that you are prepared to carry into battle? Are you closing your heart to the peace of Jesus Christ?

Is it wrong to embrace political beliefs? Of course not. It is only wrong when those beliefs overshadow the path of peace which He trod for us.

Stop and think about his tears. There is not one of us who professes to be His follower who can harbor anger within. Angry words, angry chants, vile gestures, threats of violence have no place in his kingdom.

What is the alternative if your passion for politics has become central to your beliefs? Pursue those politics. Promote those politics. But not in a way that betrays a closed heart. Not in a way that legitimizes evil words and actions.

Grasp and hold close the reality of the Christian faith. Jesus is the hope of the world because he is the only one who can truly reconcile us with God and with one another. Through his death and resurrection Jesus breaks down the walls of hostility and division by reconciling us with God. He gives us his Holy Spirit both to purify us and restore us as a holy people of God. Through Jesus Christ we become living temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Jesus weeps copiously for us when we don’t really let him into our lives to bring us the fullness of peace, he wishes to give us. But then we also need to shed tears and weep with Him for all those who similarly do not open their hearts to him, who refuse or reject his peace, his presence, his grace, his sacraments, his word, his brother or sister.

We Christians don’t reflect on Jesus’ tears enough. We don’t weep enough with him, not just for the hardened sinners far from the Lord, but also for those who believe themselves to be close to him but who out of stubbornness don’t allow Jesus to change them for the better because they don’t want to be disturbed.

Perhaps today as we give thanks, we should also confront the possibility that Jesus has been weeping for us because we haven’t internalized the words we’ve prayed thousands of times, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

His will. His Kingdom. His spirit. His love. His compassion. His forgiveness. His life for ours.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, you have visited and redeemed your people. May I not miss the grace of your visitation today as you move to bring your people into greater righteousness and holiness of life. Purify my heart and mind that I may I understand your ways and conform my life more fully to your will”.

Daily Note

It’s easy for us to point to many who are living lives clearly contrary to the ways of God. Those who don’t recognize the continuation of Jesus’ incarnation in people’s lives.  But what about those of us who, like the ancient Jews in Jerusalem, think ourselves religious? Do we grasp what makes for peace and how the Lord has come to visit us? We sing “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts,” and the reality is that many times the inner ears of our heart are closed to God’s voice calling us to conversion and holiness.

We Have A Lot In Common, Especially Our Ministry

Daily Reflection – 11/22/23

Sacred Scripture

While people were listening to Jesus speak, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.'” After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.  (Luke 19:11-28)


Today’s scripture does more than speak about how we are living our lives. It provides a pointed reminder of how much God values us and what he hopes to achieve in our lives.

The nobleman in the parable is Jesus, who left this world but who will return as King one day. The servants the king charges with a task represent followers of Jesus. The King has given us gifts and we are to be faithful to serve Him until He returns. Upon His return, Jesus will ascertain the faithfulness of His own people in terms of what we have done with His commission,

The question we need to answer is how much we believe that we have been gifted by God. Do we truly see the correlation between a gift or talent we have and its source? It’s there. As obvious as it can be.

To see it, we need first to believe in our value to God. He created us. He loves us. He is at our side every day. He longs to have a personal relationship with us. Do you believe that? We all need to. Its why God sent His son, Jesus Christ to die for us. Every time we look at that cross, we need to remember that Jesus Christ died on it for you and me. That sure establishes our worth to Him.

Accepting that relationship to God moves us to the point of this scriptural passage. Each of us has been gifted by God. It’s not a question of quantity. To me, it’s a recognition that every child of God is expected to use those gifts to further His kingdom on this earth.

Each of us is truly a minister of His love and grace.

The way we live our lives is our daily “sermon” to those we encounter.

When we offer a word or act of forgiveness, we are offering forgiveness in His name to another.

When we persevere through trial or even persecution, we are mirroring the trials He overcame on this earth.

When we help another see brightness in their life, we are bringing a communion of His love to them.

When we use healing words to a troubled soul, we are using the power of His name to move a troubled soul back to Him.

Each of us is called to be a minister every day in His name. That gift cannot be overlooked. Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances, you are called to bring Christ to another.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, help me to be a better keeper of the gifts you have given to me. Mold my life so that your love is reflected in me and allow me to use my gifts to bring you glory.”

Daily Note

God has called each of us to use our gifts to serve others. Using our gifts to do good for others will give us comfort and peace, even in times of discouragement in this life, because we know when doing that we are being led into the kingdom of heaven.

Why We Must Always Stand Up

Daily Reflection – 11/21/2023

Sacred Scripture

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)


Most people have been taught that persistence is a virtue. If not a virtue, then certainly a step in life that gets us where we need to go.

Today is a story of persistence. One which changes a person and his life.

You have to give Zacchaeus an “A” for effort. Here he is, a tax collector, despised by his own people, cut off from the ability to love and be loved. His very job puts him at odds with the people around him.

He could have used his short stature as an excuse for not seeing Jesus. Or he could have used his unpopularity. Or he could have used the wealth that he accumulated as a taxpayer to sit in his back yard enjoying the beauty of the day rather than be part of the crowd.

But he did not. We can rightly imagine that there was a stirring in his heart. He felt it.
It caused him to climb a tree so that he could, at least, see Jesus. And Jesus knew that. As Jesus passed below the tree, he was rewarded. Jesus called to him and “received him with joy.”

Zacchaeus did whatever was necessary to get to Jesus. He knew he was unpopular. He knew even climbing a tree would be difficult. But he wasn’t swayed. He broke the social norm because he “needed” Jesus.

As we look around us today, there are lots of people and norms that seek to mold us. Some good and many not so good. Politicians love telling us how we should think and behave. Sometimes, even faith leaders can fail us. So, we put together our own norms.

But how do we know they are the social and behavioral norms that are right for us and allow us to live in God’s grace?

The answer is simple. The norms that we develop and the behavior that we live must be centered around Jesus Christ.

Living those norms faithfully and persistently is much easier when we have an active, ongoing relationship with God. That could include formal prayer. It may include daily meditation. At all times it involves putting Jesus Christ first in our lives. Repeatedly and persistently. Use Him as our arbiter. Use Him as our refuge. Act as He would. Live as He wanted. His word lived faithfully.

It may seem easier if we just adopt whatever the current thought or behavior. But if it is contra, in any way, to the teachings of Christ we should abandon it.

Zacchaeus proved that he was ready to hear Jesus through his actions: he no doubt had to leave his taxing tables, his livelihood, and a symbol of his ill-gotten gains, in order to seek Jesus out. He had broken every social norm to get close to Him, and when Jesus finally did speak to Him Zacchaeus responded immediately. His mind and heart were prepared beforehand and willing to respond when the Lord called.

That’s the mindset and attitude we need to have to deepen our relationship with Christ. There is much in this world that can try and suppress that. But there is nothing that should ever suppress your personal relationship with Him.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, come and stay with me.  Fill my heart with your presence. Help me to see my life as one tat is intimately connected with you. Let all that I do and say demonstrate that belief.”

Daily Note

Zacchaeus’ testimony included more than words. His change of heart resulted in a change of life, a change that the whole community could experience as genuine. The Lord is always ready to make his home with us.  Do you make room for him in your heart and in your home?