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?

We Don’t Need Eyes To See

Daily Reflection – 11/20/2023

Sacred Scripture

Now as Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God. (Luke 18:35-43)


The story of Bartimaeus is tender and beautiful. His faith was so strong. He didn’t need his eyes to see. He had his heart. A heart filled with faith.

I see faith every day. I see it in the tender touch of a mother for her child, two senior citizens holding each other hands as they cross the street, the warm smile and welcoming words from someone I don’t know, the call from an old friend whom I have not seen in decades (in my case, that’s a lot of decades)!

What brings such warmth to me in these incidents is that they are unplanned. They happen. They happen because a person was motivated to reach out. He/she may not view their action as faith filled but it does come from love.

To me, an angel smiles each time another person touches the heart of another,

That is where faith begins. Seeking God is a matter of faith not sight. There are many times in our life that we stop and use our faith to get us through. Often, we don’t even need another to tell us to have faith. We have it deep within us because that’s where the spirit of Christ resides in us. We act in faith because He guides us to a place where we know it’s the right thing, or place, or situation.

This is why Jesus spoke about those with a pure heart seeing God.  You can’t see the invisible God with your physical eyes!  We need to work on our inner self, our soul, using the eyes of our heart to see God. Jesus gives to the blind man what the blind man already believes.

We could almost stop at this point and not talk any more. But we can’t do that because there is another side to faith. It’s when a person is closed – sometimes through a negative action, harsh words or a tragedy that immobilizes the senses.

That moment that a person is closed often brings us back to an and emotional hurt we carry — for example, a negative image of ourselves from our youth that we hold onto, the hurt from a friend or the abandonment we felt when our spouse walked out.

We can’t go there! Why?

Jesus Christ is pure love. Love that is already in our hearts. Bartimaeus sought out that love because he knew that love would heal him. That was his faith, and it is ours. In any of those moments when you are overcome, or confused, or hurt. Stop. Stop and just repeat this one thought. Jesus loves me. Then simply move to another place – talking to God. He knows your need and is always there to guide us, or heal us, or simply let us experience a moment of love. When and as we do, there is another step that He takes.

When God reaches out with healing grace, it is not just for the sake of making us whole. God heals us from something so that we might be able to extend that same healing to the world beyond us. The kindness and compassion of Jesus embrace the blind man so that he in turn may become kind and compassionate toward others.

In our life, we will come across people who need God’s compassion and healing mercy. Before they can hear about God, they need someone to speak words of encouragement, a friend to hear the hurt they are carrying, or a faith pilgrim who’s willing to share his or her own journey of faith. Great healing can come in sharing our hurts with someone who has also known pain, hurt, and misfortune.

Our willingness to pass on the compassion of God is the way we give thanks for the healing that’s come to us.

Prayer of The Day

“Dear, gentle Jesus, my faith is tender. I come to You needing to know that You love me. Only in your presence can I find the courage to look at my brokenness and to see myself as You see me. Help me to let the power of your love, reach into those painful places in my heart that are bruised and need healing. Let me rest for a moment in the comfort of your embrace.”

Daily Note

Just as Bartimaeus had his opportune moment to cry out to Jesus, and then it would be gone, so it is with you. Today is the day of salvation; you may not have tomorrow! Today you are hearing the Word of God, about a Savior who invites you to come to Him for mercy. Jesus is passing by, and He may never pass so close to you again! He is the only one with the power to open eyes that have been blinded by sin. Call out to Him while He is near!

Saving Life By Letting Go

Daily Reflection – 11/17/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.” They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” (Luke 17:26-37)


The tonality of this passage is quite somber. But don’t let that distract you from its inherent significance. So, let’s break this down and walk through it.

Basically, if we try to direct our lives and our future by our own effort, things will not work out. It should never be Self Above All. In fact, Jesus is telling us that we must “lose ourselves.” By calling us to “lose” our life, Jesus is telling us that we must abandon ourselves to Him. Two especially significant thoughts.

Losing ourselves in Jesus Christ begins first with forming a relationship with Him. A relationship that is as active as we would have with a dear friend. We talk with Him throughout the day. We think of Him often. We know that our joys are a gift from Him. We also know that when hardship confronts us, our Lord is there to comfort and sustain us. In fact, it’s especially during those dark days when we pray not expecting Him to change the day but knowing that, in prayer, He is there to provide the love and guidance to get us through those days.

That relationship then leads us to abandon ourselves to Him.

We are to trust Jesus and ask him to guide us into doing those things that are consistent with His holy will. This is the only way to save our life. We save it by letting go of our own will and letting God take over.

This level of trust and surrender is hard for us. Our culture promotes self-sufficiency as we grow. But His words remind us, again and again, that we must have complete trust in God. When we do just that, we will be amazed at the fact that God’s ways and plan for our life is far better than we could ever come up with on our own. His wisdom is beyond compare and His solution to all our concerns and problems is perfect.

We are to trust Jesus and ask him to guide us into doing those things that are consistent with His holy will. This is the only way to save our life. We save it by letting go of our own will and letting God take over.

This level of trust and surrender is very difficult– to come to the level of complete trust in God. But if we can do just that, we will be amazed at the fact that God’s ways and plan for our life is far better than we could ever come up with on our own. His wisdom is beyond compare and His solution to all our concerns and problems is perfect.

When we grasp that, when we bring that into our whole being then we begin to live a Christ centered life. We are still human, and we will be subject to human emotions. There will be times when we despair, when we need, when we are not sure which direction to take and more. And those are precisely those times when He will be most present in our lives because we took the time to build a relationship with Him.

All of this leads us to ask ourselves how are we living? Jesus has been revealed, is being revealed and will be fully revealed. What difference does that truth make in the way we are living our everyday lives, and in how we are using time?

Because each day is one that we journey to the Lord. Each day, God who gives and governs time is inviting us to draw closer to Him. In fact, He is asking us to re-dedicate ourselves to living in and through Him.

We are to live as though time really does matter. We are invited by grace to give ourselves away for others; to imitate the One who gave Himself for the entire human race. We are invited to pour ourselves out as Jesus did. If we live life this way, when we face Him on that final day, we will do so with our arms full of gifts borne over time. These gifts will have paved the way for eternity.

The people in Noah’s time ignored the Lord’s warning of judgment. They missed the boat, literally! Whose boat are you taking — the world’s boat to success and happiness or God’s boat to heaven and bliss with him? Those whose hope is firmly anchored in heaven will not be disappointed when God’s judgment comes. They rejoice even now that they will see the Lord in his glory! Seize this day and mark it as one which marks the best day with your best friend

Prayer of The Day

Dear Jesus, help me to better understand your kingdom. Help me each day to build your kingdom within me, in my thoughts, in my words and in my desires. Let there never be distance between us. Help me make my life both the light and salt to spread your kingdom to those with whom I come in contact every day.

Daily Note

As we consider the timeline of God’s unfolding plan, the redemption of the whole cosmos, the God who gives and governs time, invites us to re-dedicate ourselves to living differently, in time.  We are to live as though time really does matter. We are invited by grace to give ourselves away for others; to imitate the One who gave Himself for the entire human race. We are invited to pour ourselves out as Jesus did. If we live life this way, when we face Him on that final day, we will do so with our arms full of gifts borne over time. These gifts will have paved the way for eternity.

Affirming His Presence In You

Daily Reflection – 11/16/2023

Sacred Scripture

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first, he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation. (Luke 17:20-25)


In today’s Gospel the Pharisees ask Jesus, with a mixture of interest, curiosity, and fear when will the Kingdom of God come? When will it be the last day, the end of the world? Imagine how perplexed they were by Jesus’ answer!

Jesus tells them the kingdom of God is not to be identified with a point of time. He also refuses to locate the reign of God “here” or “there.” He simply says that the reign of God is already in their midst.

Today, Jesus is telling us the same thing he told the Pharisees in the Gospel reading: God’s reign is already here! He gently reminds us that we already live within it. Whether in moments of stillness or phases of change, Christ “lights up the sky from one side to the other,” assuring us that the Kingdom of God has no end, and through the Incarnation, we gladly share in it.

That should not surprise us. After all, Christ’s kingdom is concerned more about the state of the soul and the struggle between good and evil than external nations. His Kingdom is not a place but a condition where God reigns. Jesus taught what God wanted us to do. When we follow Jesus, God reigns in us.

Like a seed planted in fertile soil, Jesus, the sower of the soul, plants God’s kingdom first in our hearts. The kingdom begins from within and transforms our hearts to be like God’s heart — a people who know the power of his love, mercy, and forgiveness.

That means we should be living as Kingdom citizens now.  We’re not waiting for Christ’s return to live like Christians but we’re doing so now in anticipation of His return.  We’re not waiting for someone to lead us, we’re not waiting for conditions to be favorable or unfavorable, we’re not waiting for any earthly act. Instead, we live and submit to the reign of Christ here and now. THAT is what is important. His Kingdom is the ONLY kingdom we should be pursuing.

Please think this through with me. I know you believe in Christ and His power. I know you are striving to live a Christian life in a world turned upside down. I know humanity and the events of the world seek to distract you and me. But there is only one phrase I pray you will adopt as part of your life.

Christ lives in me.

You and I need to make that belief not just come alive but harness the power of that belief and let it drive everything we say or do. We need to surround it with gratitude when we celebrate joyful moments in our life. We need to hold on to it when the darkness of life comes around our day. We need to treasure it when we must confront an event that saps our courage. There will never be anything that we can’t face or do as long as that belief powers our very being.

It is written that there are three advents of Christ. The first advent is Christmas; the third advent is the one in which Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. The second, or middle, advent is the “time of visitation” by which Christ is present and active in each of our lives.

The Lord is present now in the words and deeds of people that build up and heal and bring life. We are called to do that. No, we are commanded to do that. That may seem difficult at times but the Lord has assured us that we will never be without his presence. Never!

The Christ in me salutes the Christ in you. Today and every day, share his love and presence in you.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus Christ may your kingdom come, and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Be the Ruler of my heart and the Master of my life that I may always live in the freedom of your love and truth.”

Daily Note

God’s Kingdom is present every time grace is at work. It’s so easy for us to be overwhelmed by the evils of this world and to miss the presence of God. God is alive in countless ways all around us. We must always strive to see this presence, be inspired by it and love it.

Reflect, today, upon the presence of the Kingdom of God present among you. Do you see it in your heart? Do you daily invite Jesus to rule your life? Do you acknowledge Him as your Lord? And do you see the ways He comes to you through your daily circumstances or in others and in your daily situations? Seek Him out constantly and this will bring joy to your heart.

A Prescription for Drawing Closer To God

Daily Reflection – 11/15/2023

Sacred Scripture

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:11-19)


Our scripture today can be discussed on so many levels. Its essence is, of course, the gratitude of the Samaritan leper who was cured — especially in contrast to the other lepers who never paused to thank the Lord for their healing.

It’s unfortunate they did not stop to express their thanks and, by not doing so, they were only partially healed. Physically, yes but not in spirit. By walking away, they lost because they did not experience the transformative power of gratitude.

In that is a life lesson for all of us.

At an early age, we are taught to say, “thank you.” As we grow older, we use the words more frequently. Often, however, the words are spoken and yet not felt. The words, at times, roll off our lips but lack a home in our heart.

Here is where the transformative power of gratitude comes into play because gratitude is the homage of the heart which responds with graciousness in expressing an act of thanksgiving.
We become a person who thanks God always and everywhere — and learns how to thank others too — through prayer. The majority of our time in prayer should be in praise and thanksgiving if we’re ever going to be able to thank God always and everywhere. That’s a habit we need to form, in which we count our blessings and thank God for each of them. The more we do so, the more we see these blessings, and the more we acquire that attitude of gratitude, the fuller we become as a Christian.

When we give thanks, we are no longer passive recipients; we become active givers, giving back to the One who has blessed us. When we become active givers, God places us on another level another level capable of receiving even more from him. By giving thanks for what he had received, the leper was capable of receiving more from God. Indeed, he did receive more, he was saved. Saved by God’s mercy, he was now capable of receiving still more, of growing in intimacy with God.

Growing in intimacy with God. That’s not a description for saints. It is a prescription for us.

Our time on earth is a journey. From birth to death. From infancy to old age. From joy to sadness. From a child with simple needs to an adult with complex layers. It’s also a journey to our spiritual home.

That journey takes several paths. Some are easy walks. Some are joyful sprints of exuberance. Some are difficult and painful. Some are marked by days of sunshine and gentle breezes. Others are dark and gloomy days with rain and tears.

But you and I can transform each of those days into a time of growth and wisdom. The map of life should and must be built on a personal objective of growing in intimacy with God. How do we achieve that? How do we even know that we are growing?

It begins with gratitude. It begins by saying thank you. Saying thank you to the Father who created us. Nothing brought that home to be more than the seven years of ministry I spent among the people of Panama. There I learned people who understood that all blessings come from God. One Saturday, I was in one of the more remote villages. As we walked door to door, I met an older man who had no home. He had a tarp strung between two banana trees. When I asked if there was anything he needed.  He looked at me and said “The trees bring me shelter, I have food to eat and, most of all, a God who loves me. Every day, I say Gracias a Dios.”

There it was. A profound expression of daily love and gratitude. He was filled by and with God. Every day reminded him of how blessed he was. His gratitude knew no bounds. He had developed an intimacy with God which filled his life and marked each step.

It was one of the most powerful lessons I have learned in more than four decades of ministry. I will never cease striving to know that intimacy. Thank you, Father.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, Fill my heart with compassion and thanksgiving, and free me from ingratitude and discontentment. Help me to count my blessings with a grateful heart and to give thanks in all circumstances”.

Daily Note

“Lord Jesus, Fill my heart with compassion and thanksgiving, and free me from ingratitude and discontentment. Help me to count my blessings with a grateful heart and to give thanks in all circumstances”.