Facing The Flaws of Our Lives

Daily Reflection – 10/2/2023

Sacred Scripture

And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” John answered, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9: 46-50)


What can a little child possibly teach us about greatness? Children in the ancient world had no rights, position, or privileges of their own. They were socially at the “bottom of the rung” and at the service of their parents, much like the household staff and domestic servants.

What is the significance of Jesus’ gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor at his right side. Who is the greatest in God’s kingdom?

The one who is humble and lowly of heart – who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a servant or child.

Jesus never says to us merely “Do what I say,” but always, “Come, follow me!” He sets an example for us to follow.

For us to become great, we first need to exercise our divine filiation to the full, allow Jesus to receive us as children, and then, learning from Jesus’ love for us, similarly extend that same, loving, often unrequited gift of self to all those children of God sent to us.

It is meant to characterize the Church as a whole and it’s therefore meant to radiate in every believer. It’s essential to the very definition of the culture of life. The culture of life is one in which we receive others in the name of God as we would receive Jesus himself. And that welcoming of course extends not just to children at the beginning of life, but God’s children at all stages.

Jesus mentions little children because little children cannot repay us. We are good to them not out of some quid pro quo but out of sacrificial love. Jesus’ lesson today is that the Church, and believers, become great through humbly and lovingly receiving others and is reduced whenever we reject with hardened heart.

It forces us to see the overlooked in our lives.  You know who the overlooked are: the poor, the needy, the troubled, the non-persons who suffer because they have value in the eyes of so few.  But the overlooked are also the people who tried to love us, and we did not love in return, the people who cried out to us and we did not hear, and every person we did not treat with the value that they deserved.

We should remember to include ourselves in their number.  Because every one of us has some part of our lives that we have overlooked.  There are some flaws that we were not willing to face, some fear that we will not deal with. Not dealing with those parts of ourselves is disastrous. None of us can become the person that God wants us to be unless we are willing to admit that there are flaws and faults in our life that we have overlooked.  If we had a second time around, would we not pray to see the people we have overlooked and the flaws in our own life that we were unwilling to face?

All of this requires a humble heart. The selfish ego withers when we walk the love of Christ.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your grace knows no bounds. You give freely to the humble of heart and you grant us freedom to love and serve others selflessly. May my love for you express itself in an eagerness to do good for others”.

It’s All About “Owning” Jesus

Daily Reflection – 9/29/2023

Sacred Scripture

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said, “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. (Luke 9:18-22)


At airports, at doctor’s offices, when cashing a check—so often we are asked to produce our ID. We routinely present our driver’s license or some other form of identification without a second thought. There it is: a card that says who you are.

But you also know that your identity doesn’t really exist on a card. Your identity exists in the web of relationships that define you and sustain you: your parents, your siblings, your close friends, and your children. All of them have helped shape you in ways that no single card could ever contain!

Peter and the others have been following Jesus for some time now, and he has made an indelible mark on them. He has reshaped them to the point that they are committed to following him even to his death.

Just as it did for the first disciples, so too with each of us. Your answer will come from the kind of relationship you have with him. For example, if you say, “Jesus, you are Lord and Savior,” then you’ll do whatever he asks of you. If you say, “You are the way, the truth, and the life,” then you’ll be willing to follow him, even in dark times. If you say, “You are my friend,” then you will trust him in every situation.

What is the essence of following such a Messiah? To be willing to act like him. To be willing to suffer and die for the Gospel, so God can raise the person up on the last day. To be willing to become Christ-like and reject self-centered interests. Especially in these days, we cannot say we believe unless we are living that belief.

The daily cross should not be confused with daily troubles in life. The daily cross was the day-by-day commitment a Christian made to Jesus Christ. The daily cross was not suffering quietly through each day alone. The daily cross was to be like Simon the Cyrene, to help Christ and those in his Body carry the cross that leads to glory.

As you reflect on all of this, remember that when Jesus asks the question, he is also issuing you an invitation: “Stay close to me. Immerse yourself in my love. Spend time with my followers. Your identity will continue to change, and you’ll become more and more faithful to me, just as Peter did.”

Prayer of The Day

“Jesus, you are the Christ! Help me to find my true self in your love!”

Daily Note

To own Jesus as Messiah and Lord is at the very heart of Christianity. And that’s why Jesus zeroes in on this question with His disciples Two millennia later, we are asked the same question every day: “Do I really believe that Jesus is the Messiah?” Well, is He the hinge on which your whole life turns? Is your personal relationship with Him the decisive thing in your life? If so, then you do believe.

Until His Word Is Lived, There Will Never Be Peace

Daily Reflection – 9/28/2023

Sacred Scripture

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him. (Luke 9:7-9)


Herod sought to meet Jesus more out of curiosity and fear than out of a sincere desire to know God’s will. He wanted to meet Jesus – not to follow him but to prevent him from troubling his conscience any further.

Our conscience is a constant in our lives. When it gnaws at our awareness, we may try to wish it away or we can try to rid ourselves of guilt and sin by suppressing the truth or by ridding ourselves of anyone or anything that points us to the truth. No power on earth, however, can remove a guilty conscience or free us from slavery to sin.

And that thought brings us to this reflection.

Whose voice and message do you follow? Does God’s word take priority in your daily life? Or do you allow other voices and messages to distract you or lead you astray?  If it’s the latter, then what should you or I do when our conscience intrudes on our lifestyle and reminds us that it is not in keeping with His way? We may dull our conscience by not listening, but we can’t remove it. Why? Because our conscience is guided by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is within us. Jesus said that he would leave us a Paraclete.

The Holy Spirit is leading us to find true peace. How can we find true peace with ourselves and with God? The Lord Jesus shows us the way. Jesus explained to his followers, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Only Jesus can set us free. If we listen to his voice and obey his word, we will find true peace, joy, and freedom to live as sons and daughters of God.

If we seek that path, if we walk that path, then we can be brought to the second message . . . living our lives as an example of a follower of Christ. Is that important to anyone other than God? Yes. It is and decidedly so.   Our very lives can challenge the people with whom we come into contact day in and day out; not by preaching or lecturing but rather by the silent example of living His light on earth.

Very often, we do not realize how our example can influence or challenge the lives of others, especially when our lives prick the conscience of those with whom we come in contact. It is not that you go out of your way to prick their conscience but by living your life according to the values of the Gospel, you do set a noticeable example. The values of the Gospel should bring us to recognize that any person who is not living those values is a person that we should never emulate.

Are you just acting as a Christian or are you really living your life as a Christian? The Gospel reading today challenges us to make the values of the Gospel part of our life so that we will not seem just to be acting like a Christian in our daily lives but really living it.

Prayer of The Day

“Heavenly Father, form in me the likeness of your Son and deepen his life within me that I may be like him in word and deed.  Increase my eagerness to do your will and help me to know the saving power of your love.”

Daily Note

I think Herod has been included as an anti-type.  He’s exactly who we’re not supposed to be.  He’s included so that we can be on our guard and sincerely ask ourselves “am I surrounding myself with poor or with reliable sources of information? Or, as far as it concerns Jesus, have I been surrounding myself with people who tell me what I want to hear about Him?  Do I really seek the truth about Jesus? Do I ‘kill’ His prophets when they call me to repentance and call me to prepare my heart for Him?  Or instead, do I prepare my heart, and do I receive His emissaries with joy?”

I Am Because of Who He Is To Me. You?

Daily Reflection – 9/27/2023

Sacred Scripture

He summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere. (Luke 9:1-6)


Here are the 12 apostles in the second year of their apprenticeship with the greatest teacher of all. They know who He is because they have watched him perform miracles, seen people flock to His side and listened as His words transformed them and those around them.

But now comes the “double gulp.”

Jesus gathers them around and tells them they have all the power and the authority needed to perform good works (including miracles) in His name. And lest they become inflated with their authority, he teaches them about humility and about rejection.

He sent them in a manner that would require them to trust Him daily . . .  “take nothing for your journey” He asked them to do this task that was impossible by human means, taking nothing that would normally be thought necessary.

Trusting God to provide is fundamental to discipleship and mission. That’s hard. It’s easier for us to say: “Those were relatively primitive times. These days – with homes and mortgages and careers and commitments and a worldwide pandemic– you can’t live like that.”

Well, we can.

The Twelve had to leave behind everything essential to their lives. Letting everything go was as challenging for them as it would be for us.The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. Poverty of spirit frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory.

Shaking the dust from our feet is a way of saying that we ought not allow the hurt we receive to affect us.  It’s a way of making a clear statement that we will not be controlled by the opinions and malice of others.  This is an important choice to make in life when facing rejection.

Secondly, it’s also saying that we must keep moving on.  Not only do we have to get over any hurt we have, but we need to then move on to seek out those who will receive our love and our message of the Gospel.  Reflect, today, upon any hurt you still carry in your heart because of the rejection of others.  Try to let go of it and know that God is calling you to seek out others in love so that you can share the love of Christ with them.

The mission of these disciples and the mission of His church is all about engaging and proclaiming the gospel to other people. It is about serving and loving other people, it is about going out of our comfort zone to be a part of other people’s lives, and ultimately seeing other people come into relationship with God so that they may be a part of what He is doing in this world to restore all things to Himself.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, make me a channel of your grace and healing love that others may find life and freedom in you.  Free me from all other attachments that I may joyfully pursue the things of heaven.  May I witness the joy of the gospel both in word and deed.”

Daily Note

The Twelve had to learn the hard way. They had to literally abandon all for the One who is all. Is it any different for us? I don’t think so. I think the Lord wants us to love Him and our neighbor unconditionally. To do so still requires a radical approach, like Francis of Assisi who stripped himself in public and was followed and loved by a multitude. Detachment from worldly goods can only be achieved if there is attachment on what is above! True love can only be given if true Love is received. Who I am is directly related to Who He is to me. The Twelve began to walk, to preach, to cure, to live life because they kneeled, listened and experienced a life that was lived to the full in Christ Jesus.

Family Is Everything. Is It?

Daily Reflection – 9/26/2023

Sacred Scripture

Then his mother and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8:19-21)


Are you feeling alone because you have no family? Don’t.

Are you searching for a better moral compass in a world that seems to have gone awry? There is one that outshines all others.

With the holidays just around the corner, do you wonder whether you will be invited? You will.  

The only hitch is that there is a cost.

Today’s scripture does not illustrate a diminishment of the blood family of Jesus. Jesus is quite aware of the blessing of being His own kin, part of His own family. For that reason, He makes this statement as a way of inviting everyone present to see themselves as an intimate member of His family.

Jesus wants to invite all people to share His familial bond. 

He tells us that the true definition of family has God as its Father and its children are those “who hear the word of God and act on it.” The family is not first and foremost determined by bonds of earthly kinship, but rather by the bonds of spiritual kinship formed by Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection for us and our salvation.

Understood in this light, this passage reveals a framework for an authentically human and relational spirituality, a spirituality of communion. We are made members of the very family of God through Jesus Christ and His saving Incarnation. We are his mothers, brothers and sisters, as we live His Word and walk in His Way.

The message is simple but profound; God is a God of love and relationship. He has invited us into an intimate and eternal communion of love.

His spontaneous response is powerful: all men and women who do the will of God are His family, and each are related in the Spirit to each other. It is a beautiful proclamation to those hurting, isolated and longing for love and a call for people to recognize that all people are our brothers.

Ah, but there is a fee. Not for God’s love, that is eternal. But to be and remain a member of His family, there is a cost. It requires a total commitment to the will of God. That’s because when God speaks, His words are powerful and transforming. And acting on His words will change our lives.

Our hearts and minds must be blended and forged in the crucible of commitment to Christ. Our hearts and minds must reflect that in our words and our actions. Always.

 If we are willing to step forward, claiming to be part of that special family, then we change in the way we react to one another. No more disparaging others. Nope. No more diminishment of another. Nope. No more judging another. Nope. No more sarcasm or catty comments. Nope. No more differentiating another because he/she is different than we are. No more grudges, no more withholding forgiveness, no more anything that is contra to the love of Jesus Christ.

Reflect, today, upon the invitation of Jesus to be a member of His intimate family. Hear that invitation and say “Yes” to it. And as you say “Yes” to this invitation, be ready and willing to let His voice and His divine will change your life.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, I accept Your invitation to become a member of Your intimate family. May I hear Your voice speak and act upon all that You say. Jesus, I trust in You. “

Daily Note

In these verses, Jesus gives to those with ears to hear and eyes to see, a key insight – familial relationships touch upon, model and make present an eternal mystery into which each of us who are baptized are invited –God’s family. Understanding this insight, and living it, is the key to spiritual life.

Listen To How He Sees You . . .

Daily Reflection – 9/25/2023

Sacred Scripture

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:16-18)


We are reminded in today’s scripture that God’s grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace. Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God’s kingdom.

In fact, our mission is to be light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – and be freed from the blindness of sin, ignorance, and deception.

Often, phrases like “light-bearers” seem strange or a phrase that should be used for others. That brings us to the need to listen more intently to God. When we listen with our ears and heart, we begin to see how Jesus sees us, how Jesus  needs us, how we are in fact, already, a bearer of his message.

If we listen for his voice, we begin to understand that God wants us to know that our lives will unfold not as we dream them but as God dreams them. Scripture calls us to trust, to open our hearts and allow Christ to make his dream for us a reality.

All of us can think of things in our lives we had thought would be different, things in our family, things in our business, things in our relationships. There were successes we never achieved and dangers that we did not avoid. But all those expectations are secondary. What is primary is that Christ has called us, and we are to follow him.

We might be people who have been deeply hurt, because of the betrayal of a friend or the rejection of someone we love. The wound of that hurt still festers in our heart, coloring our life with hatred and anger. We long to be free from such emotions that pull us down, but we do not know where to begin.

When God sees us, God sees within us a treasure of forgiveness, a compassion that allows us to ease up, a strength that allows us to let go of what has been done to us, so that we can be free again. We might have no idea that such potential is within us, but God knows that it is there, buried deep within.

We could be a person who struggles to admit our own self-worth. A terrible disaster or the ridicule of others has somehow convinced us that we are second rate at best. But when God sees us, God sees within us the treasure of our own uniqueness, a particular way of contributing to the world for which we need no apology, a giftedness that is particularly our own. Although we might not be able to see it or own it, God knows that it is within us, as our treasure.

Now, the good news of Jesus’ parable is that the man who buys the field does so with joy, because he is confident that he can dig up the treasure and use it. The parable is telling us that God looks at us with joy. God is joyful because God is confident that with time, and grace, and more experience, the treasures buried within us can also be unearthed. What is hidden can be seen. Our potential for openness, forgiveness, and self-worth can become a reality, visible to ourselves and others, all contributing to the Kingdom of God.

We all know that we have a responsibility to worship God. Jesus asks us to listen: to listen to a fellow parishioner who greets us or shares a problem with us, to listen to the music that moves us, to listen to the Word of God as it addresses us.

 Because if we listen, we will hear the voice of Christ, and that will remind us to whom we belong. That will give us peace.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, you guide me by the light of your saving truth. Fill my heart and mind with your light and truth and free me from the blindness of sin and deception that I may see your ways clearly and understand your will for my life. May I radiate your light and truth in word and deed to those around me.”

Daily Note

There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God’s light and who seek his truth. Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him – abundance of wisdom, guidance, peace, and blessing. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God’s light?

Claiming Your Place at God’s Table

Daily Reflection – 9/22/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. (Luke 8:1-3)


Today’s scripture is a snapshot of the daily life of Jesus Christ.  Going from town-to-town healing and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Accompanying him were a number of women. Here only 3 were named. All of the women were the caretakers of the small group surrounding Jesus. They assured that the group travelled relatively free of material needs and their compassion inspired the group.

The three women named were as disparate as could be. Mary Magdalene had lived a troubled life but she was privileged to see Jesus as the risen lord. Joanna was the wife of King Herod’s chief financial officer (if you will). Under ordinary circumstances, they would never have met one another. But they and the other women were united in a bond of friendship, service, and loyalty to Jesus.

 It was Jesus and his message of the kingdom of God that had transformed these women. Unlike the apostles, who took great pride in being the chosen twelve, these women did not seek position or demand special privileges. Jesus had touched them so deeply that they were grateful to be of service. They brought their gifts and resources to Jesus to use as he saw fit.

They came to serve just as Jesus did.

What about us? Isn’t there a message for us? It begins with recognizing that each of us had something to contribute. Each of us has a place at the Lord’s table. Each of us is loved by God. It does not matter from whence we came. It does not matter what our economic or social status was or is. We are called as we are to serve him by proclaiming his good news. We are called to recognize the common bind of his love. We are called to live his love and, in so doing, to honor his life and his death for us.

But too often we let the news of the day and the latest falsehood or conspiracy taint our thoughts and actions. Suddenly instead of being united by his love, we look for the divisions that set us apart. Instead of a language of love prompted by him who was love, we resort to crude incivility. Words are used to divide us. To cheapen us. To call out to the dark spots in our lives. To invite evil in where only love and goodness should prevail.

The measure of the authenticity of our love is measured by the kindness of our life. Where sadness prevails, we are called to bring joy. Where pain is dominant, we are asked to bring the salve to deaden the pain. Where coarse words become part of our daily existence, we are asked to rise above them, to call them out as divisive, to replace them with words of acceptance, respect and love.

We are called as we are to be more than we are.

Our privilege as children of God and disciples of Jesus is to serve as Jesus served with humility, selfless love, generosity, joy, and a willingness to do whatever God asks of us. God, in his turn, gives us every good gift and grace we need to carry out our task and mission.

God in his infinite power needs no one, but in his wisdom and love, he chooses to entrust his work through each one of us. His Holy Spirit equips us with all that we need to love and serve others. No one is unimportant or unnecessary in God’s economy. The least in his kingdom find a home and a mission at Jesus’ side. Do you know the joy of serving Jesus in company with others who love and serve him willingly?

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, set my heart on fire for you that I may give freely of the gifts, talents, and resources you give me, for your sake and for the work of the Gospel.”

Daily Note

Are you more like the status-conscious apostles who were concerned for their position, or like the women who were content to serve Jesus quietly and generously with their personal resources? In our fallen state, our natural tendency is to want to be served and placed first and to avoid giving too much of ourselves to the service of others. And besides, who really prefers to take the lowly place of a servant who puts the needs of others before their own needs? Jesus is our best example who “came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom” for us (Matthew 20:28). The Gospel honors these women who imitated Jesus in his selfless sacrificial love and humble service.

The Consequence of Accepting His Friendship

Daily Reflection – 9/21/2023

Sacred Scripture

A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50)


Today’s scripture is replete with several messages. For me, this is  a beautiful story of a hand extended in love met by a heart filled with love.

The “back story” of course begins with how rude Simon had been to Jesus from the time he entered his home. Notice the signs of respect that were not given to Jesus, as a respected guest in his host’s home. He was here judging Jesus.

But the sinful woman has heard of Jesus. She has probably heard his teaching. She has heard his gracious words of God’s love and forgiveness and healing and restoration. Her self-image is tattered and ragged. She is shunned by the best people and used and abused by the worst. Yes, she is still broken, but now she can see light and hope beyond.

Jesus, the ultimate source of love, sees her heart and recognizes her need for forgiveness. He doesn’t judge. He doesn’t put her in a category or attach a label. He recognizes a person who needs forgiveness so that she can move on with her life.

Our Lord’s loving treatment of both the woman and of Simon displays a remarkable balance of kindness. He carefully avoids the opposite extremes of condemnation and indifference to others’ sins. The reason Our Lord is able to offer hope and consolation to the repentant sinner as well as to invite the proud with a gentle call to repentance is that Christ will die for both. In this we see Christ’s goodness. He comes to save us all, but we must choose to accept his goodness.

Christ stands before each of us, and offers us his friendship. The more we accept His offer, the more we are transformed to become what we are meant to be. His offer of friendship is accepted by opening our hearts to allow Jesus in without fear or obstacles. Accepting Jesus’ friendship empowers us to do what others would never dream possible for us. We are asked to put aside our judgement and labels. We are called to be God’s hands now, hands to comfort and welcome the sinner or someone who may have offended us; we are God’s heart now—hearts to love and forgive and refuse to hang on to bitterness. The divine within us calls us to understand one another so we can forgive and then be free to love.

A contemporary poet puts the question to us with these words: “Is there anyone we wouldn’t love if only we knew their story?” “Is there anyone we wouldn’t forgive if only we knew their story?”

 Accepting Jesus as our friend, frees us from baggage of the past, so that we can live the life of Jesus fully now.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your grace is sufficient for me. Fill my heart with love and gratitude for the mercy you have shown to me and give me joy and freedom to love and serve others with kindness and respect.”

Daily Note

“Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Those last three words are just as important as the others. Go in peace. They express the great gift of forgiveness – freedom, the freedom to be whole, to be at peace with oneself and one’s community. We’re no longer bound by guilt or shame; we’re no longer bound by holding on to the righteousness of someone else having hurt us. Henri Nouwen calls it “the freedom to move on.”

God Never Put a Lock on Your Heart

Daily Reflection – 9/20/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” (Luke 7: 31-35)


Jesus’ parable about a group of disappointed musicians and their stubborn friends who refuse to sing or dance at the appropriate occasion challenges us to examine whether we are selective to only hear and do what we want to hear and do.

He describes his generation — and frankly every generation — like children in marketplaces “sitting,” in other words, not wanting to move. They play different music and want everyone to respond to that music: if they play the flute, they want people to dance; if they play a dirge, they want people to mourn.

The key is that they want to set the terms of the interaction. They want the others to move. They want to do as they do.

That’s what Jesus was saying they were doing to God’s messenger and God himself. They criticized John the Baptist for his ascetically fasting; and when Jesus wasn’t fasting because he was showing us how to rejoice because the bridegroom was with us, they criticized him for drawing close in mercy to the hedonists like the tax collectors and other sinners, who were enjoying the things of this world in a disordered way. They failed to grasp that it’s we who should be dancing to the Lord’s music and not the other way around.

Often, we too, try to play the music for our relationship with the Lord.

We play soft, sentimental hits and want the Lord just to touch our emotions. Or we’ll play marches and want the Lord to shape them up and boss them around like a drill sergeant. Or we’ll play heavy metal and drown out the Lord’s whisper. Or we won’t play any music at all, because we’re in a bad mood, or hate music, or can’t sing, or anything else.

The point is that we need to attune ourselves to what the Lord is playing.

God tells us through Isaiah, “I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.” We need to allow him to teach and guide us, rather than our seeking to teach him how the world, our life and the lives of those around us should run. We need to follow him rather than, like Peter when Jesus called him “Satan,” try to lead him. We need to learn in all of these ways to sing with him a new song.

He continually pleads with us to learn to see with his eyes and hear with his ears, even on this earth—to let him make himself present here, through our fiat. “It is like children,” he says, who know how to recognize a dirge or dance melody. A child’s simplicity is all sincerity and transparency. How much Christ desires that we approach him in this manner.

When we listen to what the Lord teaches us for our own good and allow him to lead us on the way we should go, hearkening to his commandments, as Isaiah tells us, we will spiritually prosper like a river. But if we don’t, if we want to remain in control, the Psalmist tells us we will be like chaff, dead airy matter with no holy solidity, blown away by our whims.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, open my ears to hear the good news of your kingdom and set my heart free to love and serve you joyfully. May nothing keep me from following you wholeheartedly.”

Daily Note

What can make us spiritually dull and slow to hear God’s voice? Like the generation of Jesus’ time, our age is marked by indifference and contempt, especially regarding the things of heaven. Indifference dulls our ears to God’s voice and to the good news of the Gospel. Only the humble of heart can find joy and favor in God’s sight. Is your life in tune with Jesus’ message of hope and salvation?

If We Open Ourselves to His Love, Our Lives Will Never Be the Same

Daily Reflection – 9/19/2023

Sacred Scripture

Soon afterward he went to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country. (Luke 7: 11-17)


When we are desperate, we turn to the Lord.

That’s part of the human condition.  When we have no other options, when we have painted ourselves into a corner, when we are at our wits end, when we are confronting tragedy in our lives, we cry out to the Lord to help us.

 But when things are running smoothly, when our finances and our relationships are healthy and productive, we congratulate ourselves on how our earnest efforts and wise decisions have led to our success.

Now, do not misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with turning to the Lord when we are desperate. People in crisis continually approached Jesus throughout his public ministry. In today’s gospel, the widow was mourning her son’s death and as Jesus approached the funeral procession, his compassion and love moved him to effect a miracle. He raised the widow’s son from the funeral bier and brought him back to life.

This scripture reminds us that Jesus is Lord not only of the living but of the dead as well. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he also triumphed over the grave when he rose again on the third day, just as he had promised his disciples. Jesus promises everyone who believes in him, that because he lives (and will never die again), we also shall have abundant life with and in him both now and forever (John 14:19).

We should never feel embarrassed or apologetic about coming to the Lord in a time of need. We should never hesitate to cry out to the Lord when we find ourselves in a crisis. In faith we believe that God will hear us and will act. But what a waste it is to wait until we are in crisis. What a waste it is to wait until we are desperate before we turn to the Lord.  It is a waste because it is not what God wants. It is a waste because it is not what we need.

Now without a doubt God is our savior, our helper, and our healer. But God wants to be more to us than that. God has revealed God’s self as father, as mother, as lover, as friend. Why God loves us so, is a mystery, but that God loves us so, is the gospel. So we diminish our relationship with God when we approach God simply as a problem solver. We ignore what God wants when we approach God only as the “Mr. Fix-it” for our lives. It is a waste for us to approach God only as the healer of our ills. God wants more! God wants to share life with us. God wants our love. Approaching God only as a savior is not what God wants.

Neither is it what we need.  How much richer our lives would be if we turned to God not only when we were desperate but every day of our lives. How much wealth and joy would we have in our lives if we turned to God not only when things were in crisis but when things were running smoothly, and blessings were overflowing.

If we could begin each day remembering God’s love, if we could be conscious of God’s presence as we face each event and each person, how much deeper, more thankful, more joyful our lives would be. That kind of living is exactly what we need. It is a waste when we only turn to God in crisis.

So if you are in dire need, if you are at your wit’s end, if you cannot find a parking place, then by all means call out to God for help. To believe that God will hear and help you is central to the gospel.

 But don’t wait until you are in crisis before you turn to God. Take God with you to every moment of every day. God is loving you now. Claim that love today. That is what God wants. That is what we need.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your healing presence brings life and restores us to wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. Speak your word to me and give me renewed hope, strength, and courage to follow you in the midst of life’s sorrows and joys.”

Daily Note

The compassion of Jesus has no parallels because no one can ever done for us that which Jesus does. Born in love, he is love.  Every moment of our lives, his love surrounds us. If we can just remember that. If we could simply bring ourselves to reach out for his love, then every day would be a true blessing. Reach out for his love, wait in silence for his answer and then walk out to the brightest day of your life