To Truly See, Look Deep

Daily Reflection – 6/1/2023

Sacred Scripture

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way .( Mark 10:46-52)


What a beautiful and tender Gospel. It shows all of the love that Jesus has for us.

But there is also a call to you and me. Bartimaeus responded to Jesus and said that he wanted to see.

Do you want to see? To understand more? To sort out the complexities of life? You can. You and I both know that it lies in Jesus and yielding to his presence in our lives.

You and I don’t may know each other but I think we have a lot in common. I think if we could truly see then this is what we would see.

We would see that relationships are the most important part of life.  This leads us to ask ourselves why we allowed the madness of individualism and consumerism to get ahead of our relationships?  Why did we allow our careers and our schedules, our entertainment and our desire to accumulate things push the people in our lives to the side? When we look at our lives, all too often our most important relationships—the relationships between husband and wife, children and parents, and friends—are not as treasured as we know they should be.  Yet, in our most sober moment we know that nothing is more important than our relationships.  Then why don’t we see it?

I believe that we would 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.  The overlooked are 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.

Those are the overlooked and we should remember to include ourselves in their number.  Because everyone of us here has some part of our lives that we have overlooked.  There is some flaw that we were not willing to face, some fear that we will not deal with. Not dealing with those parts of ourselves is disastrous because 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. 

Finally, I think you and I would want to see the presence of God in our lives, the hints of God’s presence that surround us.  God is always present in our lives, living in every moment and every breath.  The beauty of God pulses through our daily routine.  Yet how infrequently do we see that presence and take comfort and strength from it. How much deeper, how much more rewarding our life would be if we could have increased sensitivity to the ways in which God is present in our lives.

And if Christ were to ask you, what do you want to see, answer: I want to see the primacy of relationships in my life.  I want to see the people I overlooked and the flaws in my own life I cannot face.  I want to see the hints of your presence in my daily routine. 

If you make that request, do not be surprised if Christ will hear you.  Do not be surprised if Jesus grants your prayer.  For that is the good news.  The promise of the gospel is that the second time around can begin today.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, may I never fail to recognize my need for your grace and mercy. Strengthen my faith and trust in you that I may seek your presence daily and listen to your word with a readiness to follow you who are my All.”

Daily Note

To say to Jesus, “I want to see!” is not just to turn to a healer and ask him to restore his vision. It’s to say at a deeper level I want to live in your vision. St. John would write in his Gospel, which we have for today’s Gospel verse, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” That’s the gift for which Bartimaeus was begging. Likewise, with us, when the Lord asks what we want, we similarly want to see. We want to see Jesus in prayer. We want to see Jesus in others, in the faces of those we love, in the faces of those we find so difficult to love. We want to see Jesus behind the distressing masks of the poor, the sick, the lonely, the homeless, the abandoned, the blind. We want to behold Christ’s face in the beauties of creation. We want to see him behind each of the commandments, teaching us how to love. We want the eyes to see his will in our daily life, in the present and for the future. Ultimately, we want to see him forever face-to-face in heaven, smiling on us with love.

Our Faith Comes Alive When Our Lives Touch

Daily Reflection – 5/31/2023

Sacred Scripture

The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise.” Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them,“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:32-45)


What a disappointing scene in today’s Gospel.

Jesus describes for the third time what is going to happen to him in Jerusalem. And what was the response of the disciples?

Was it to commiserate with him? Was it to console him? Quite far from it. Instead, James and John came to Jesus and said, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask of you!” After Jesus asked, “What do you wish me to do for you?” they replied, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus had told them that he was going to die and they were asking for favors!!

We might believe that we would never treat a friend like that, but the reality is that no matter how often we hear about Jesus’ sufferings, crucifixion and death, no matter how frequently we stare at Cross, rather than seek to console the Lord out of love, we, like the apostles, are likewise prone just to divert our attention to what we really love, our own plans, careers, worldly hopes and hungers.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross so that we could concern ourselves with such trivialities. He didn’t pour out his love so that we could be selfish. “It shall not be this way among you,” he tells us today, before describing for us that to be great in his kingdom, we need to drink his chalice of suffering, to be baptized, to be immersed, in his self-giving love, to serve rather than be served, and to give our own life with him as a ransom to liberate others. Jesus doesn’t seek to take away our desire for greatness but to have us choose the path that will lead to eternal greatness, which is precise the humble way of self-giving love that will lead to eternal exaltation.

The very first gift that Jesus gave to us, is the gift of one another.  He did this because he knew that if his teaching was to be understood, if his miracles were to have an effect, if his mission was to impact the world, he would need a band of men and women who shared a common identity.  He would need disciples who would discover his presence  in their relationships with each other.

How unfortunate it is that are many who still associate their faith with a church building, as if bricks and mortar could on their own, lead us to God. How misleading it is for us to think that studying the bible or memorizing the catechism, or devoutly receiving communion or praying a memorized prayer would on their own adequately form our faith. 

 They can’t. 

We need community!  Because it is only when our lives touch, when stories are shared, when love is exchanged, that our faith can come alive and the power of Jesus’ presence emerge in our lives.

To live life as he asked means that we must heed the imperishable word of God announced to us today, drink of the chalice and be immersed in Christ, so that we may become the true, sincere, pure and intense servants of each other, giving our life to rescue people from slavery and loving them into eternity.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, your death brought life and freedom. Make me a servant of your love, that I may seek to serve rather than be served, and share in your victory over sin, suffering, and death.”

Daily Note

A follower of Jesus must be ready to lay down his or her life in martyrdom and be ready to lay it down each and every day in the little and big sacrifices required. An early church father summed up Jesus’ teaching with the expression: to serve is to reign with Christ. We share in God’s reign by laying down our lives in humble service as Jesus did for our sake. Are you willing to lay down your life and to serve others as Jesus did?

Our No Is His Yes

Daily Reflection – 5/30/2023

Sacred Scripture

Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Mark 10:28-31)


All of us are called to give up “everything” to follow Christ in our own unique way. But what does that really mean?

By giving up everything, we are called to completely surrender our own will and preferences in life to serve Christ in accord with His divine plan.

 The good news is that “giving up everything” is nothing other than giving up our own selfish ideals and preferences in life. The life He has in store for us is far better than we can dream of or imagine.

Jesus said first that when we give good things up for him — our loved ones, our material blessings and property — for him we’ll gain back much more in this life in terms of those same things. Many times, when Jesus asks us to give up something, he doesn’t intend to strip us from it but to detach us from it so that we may relate to it in a way far more united to him.

Jesus says finally that we will receive eternal life in the age to come. When we detach ourselves from possessions and persons, he makes it possible for us to do the impossible with God’s help, to have God thread us through the eye of the needle into eternity. That’s the great desire of us all, to live forever in happiness with God, and Jesus today promises that that will occur when we are willing to pay the price of the kingdom, to sell all that we have to obtain that pearl of great price.

These words of Jesus are meant to remind us that our relationship to God and our hope for eternal life do not depend on our own accomplishments or achievements. They depend only upon our ability to detach ourselves from all that detracts from him.

No earthly good or possession can rival the joy and bliss of knowing God and the peace and unity he grants to his disciples. The Lord Jesus wants to fill our hearts with the vision of the heavenly kingdom – a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

By saying “No” to our own will and doing things our own way, we are in fact saying “Yes” to doing things in the perfect way of God. Whatever the specific calling in life may be for you, it’s worth embracing God’s will. 

Let us reflect on how ready and willing you and I are to say “Yes” to Christ no matter what He asks of us. Are you willing to say “Yes” even to that which He has not yet revealed to you?  Say “Yes” today to whatever your future holds, and God will bless you in abundance.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, I want to follow you as your disciple and to love you wholeheartedly with all that I have. Fill my heart with faith, hope, and love that I may always find peace and joy in your presence.”

Daily Note

Christ makes it plain as he comes to the end of this Gospel passage that an eternal reward awaits those who sacrifice for the Kingdom. This is so affirming, so full of hope! But he also warned his disciples, and warns us now, not to become too sure of ourselves. We are not to be “first” in proclaiming how we have given up our worldly attachments; rather, we must humbly and lovingly live this detachment on earth, hopeful that our God who sees in secret (Matthew 6:4) fulfills his promise for such souls: a place at the heavenly banquet.

The Three Things Necessary To Know God

Daily Reflection – 5/29/2023

Sacred Scripture

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” ( Mark 10:17-27)


This parable is not about an economic process. And it’s not about Jesus disliking wealth. Instead, it is about Jesus seeing into the heart of a person and identifying our greatest need.

In the end it is not how much money we have, how many people like us, how much work we have finished; but rather how happy we are that matters. Although it might not seem so at first, this question is a profoundly religious question. Because, as all people of faith know, our ability to be happy, our ability to live life deeply is directly connected to our relationship with God. If we seek life and happiness, we cannot find them apart from the One who is the source of all life and happiness. We cannot answer this ultimate question apart from God.

Rabbi Abraham Heschel, one of the great religious thinkers of the last century, has said that only three things are necessary for us to connect with God: God’s willingness to love us, the capacity of the human soul to receive that love, and a moment in which those two realities can meet. Moreover, Rabbi Heschel insists that there is not a time in our lives when any one of those three things is missing. God is always loving us, we are always capable of receiving that love, and there is always a moment in which we and God can connect. Therefore, in this sense, finding joy and connecting with God is easy. It is simple, immediately accessible, like breathing in and breathing out, as present to us as our own consciousness.

Yet at the same time connecting with God is challenging and elusive. That is what today’s gospel is about.  For in this gospel, Jesus and a man who runs up to him try to connect. All three things that are necessary are there. Jesus is willing. He loves the man and offers to him joy and discipleship. The man is open. He has kept the commandments his entire life. He seeks Jesus out and asks for his direction and advice. The moment is there, when Jesus and the man meet, where joy is offered and deeply desired. And yet—nothing happens. The man walks away grieving. How is this possible? How is it possible to have life and joy so freely offered and so deeply desired and yet have nothing happen?

The simple answer is: something else got in the way. The gospel says that the man left because he had many possessions. We do not know what those possessions were, but whatever they were, the man put them before what Jesus was offering. Whatever they were, they distracted him from the life and the joy that Jesus was offering and that he so deeply desired. That is the tragedy of today’s gospel. It is a tragedy which you and I can share.

We can be so involved in our work, in our responsibilities, in our problems, in our aches and pains, that we miss the beauty that surrounds us. In missing that beauty, we miss the joy that it can give us and the God who offers it to us. Think of the people in your life who love you, who belong to you, who give you joy. Could you imagine greater blessings? Yet we can become so preoccupied by all we need to do before we go to bed tonight, by the things which make us angry, by the way we want our lives to be different, that we miss the love that surrounds us.

In missing that love, we miss the joy that it can give us and the God who offers it to us. Look at the real opportunities that are present to you in your life right now: the opportunity to grow, the opportunity to understand, to serve, to laugh, to enjoy what you have been given. Yet we can be so deadened by the routine of living, by doing the next thing, by responding only to the next impulse, that all of those opportunities pass us by. When they pass us by, we have lost the joy they can bring and the God who offers them to us.

In this very moment, God is offering you what you desire. In this moment, there is love and joy and beauty. Take it! Do not turn and walk away. Do not place anything between yourself and what God is offering. Step over the obstacles and accept the embrace that God offers you.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus, you have captured our hearts and opened to us the treasures of heaven. May you always be my treasure and delight and may nothing else keep me from giving you my all.”

Daily Note

Why does Jesus tell his disciples to “sell all” for the treasure of his kingdom? Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire and longing, the place of will and focus. The thing we most set our heart on is our highest treasure. The Lord himself is the greatest treasure we can have. Giving up everything else to have the Lord as our treasure is not sorrowful, but the greatest joy.

I Love Chocolate But It’s Not The Center of My Life

Image result for free photo of John 21:15-19

Daily Reflection – 5/26/2023

Sacred Scripture

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”( John 21:15-19)


In today’s scripture, we are reminded that Simon Peter has something that we do not have . . . the opportunity to tell God, face to face, how much we love Him.

But is that true?

We may not have the luxury that Simon Peter had but there is another dynamic at work. Sometimes when Jesus is asking if we love Him, we don’t even hear the question. We just assume that Jesus ‘knows that we love him,’ even though we do not often say it out loud. And, in that, we are right; he knows that we love him.

But Jesus asks us more than three times. He asks us throughout our lives. Especially whenever we are on the verge of sinning. When the subtle gnawing of our conscience reminds us that we are on the verge of doing something wrong, perhaps it is the Holy Spirit asking “Do you love Me?”

How hard is it really to love Jesus?  He asks of us only two things: to love God, and to love our neighbors. Every sin contradicts one or both of those commandments. Each time an action, a spoken word, or a disrespectful thought, which damages a relationship with another person, it also damages our relationship with the Lord. Each time we judge another, we are contradicting his commandment of love.

Yet, we say we love Him. Then what do we need to do to be able to follow His commands of love? We so do by yielding control of our lives to Him. . . by making the decision to walk with Jesus daily and to trust Him with all our hearts.

Complete surrender to Christ is asked and demanded of each of us, but we fall and linger as Peter and the disciples did. They went back fishing, which shows a falling away from trust and complete confidence. Once more Jesus shows them (half of the 12 apostles) but particularly Peter who He addresses as Simon, his old name before becoming a disciple, how little they can accomplish without Him. All their work, effort, toil, and experience – even as a team – achieves nothing without Christ’s word and instruction.

Jesus sees the potential in all of us too to do great things for Him and out of love for Him in the Church and in the world as His witnesses, but we all have to come to that point where we have to answer the question for ourselves – the leap, as it were, to an adult faith, by answering the question Jesus asks of Peter today and which is extended to all of us – you and me – ‘Do YOU love Me?’
The story makes clear that nothing can be accomplished by our own efforts in the darkness because we toil without Christ. But with Him, attentive to His voice, we can accomplish wonders. Christ is the light. We must cultivate our love for Him in prayer. He gives us a sense of purpose, a sense of meaning and especially CLARITY. But first we must answer the question that Christ puts to each one of us this morning – DO YOU LOVE ME? 

Prayer of The Day

Lord thank you for our lives, help us to glorify you through all that we do. Lord, you are our God, and you know what is best for us, help us to never veer from the path of which you have laid down for us. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Daily Note

Like Peter, we cannot follow God unless we realize how much we love Him and how much we are loved. God is calling out to each of us; “do you love me?” Once we say “yes Lord, I love you”, then we are ready to follow Him.

Prayers Don’t Define You, Your Life Does

Daily Reflection – 5/25/2023

Sacred Scripture

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”(John 17:20-26)


In today’s gospel we overhear a portion of Jesus’ prayer to his Father. He prays for us. Three times he asks our Father that we would all become one as he and the Father are one. He prays above all for unity among his disciples as the most effective sign of witness. 

It is said that, in the early Church, people marveled, “See those Christians, how they love each other.”  In a world divided along so many lines, people were amazed to see Jews and Greeks, men and women, slaves and freemen, rich and poor sharing a common community life in love and forgiveness and mutual support. 

Is that the witness that we are giving today? It does not appear that way.  Instead, we live in a world full of divisions – male or female; rich or poor; gay or straight; Hispanic or Anglo; Christian or Muslim; conservative or liberal; educated or uneducated; young or old. I could go on and on listing the boundaries that we encounter. In truth, they have become oppositions.

We seem to overlook the fact that behind every boundary we establish there is a human being. Ultimately, boundaries and differences are not about issues. They are about real people, with names, lives, joys, sorrows, concerns, and needs just like us.

But God’s love knows no boundaries. God loves male and female, rich and poor, gay and straight, Hispanic and Anglo. God loves Christian and Muslim, conservative and liberal, educated and uneducated. God loves young and old, heaven and earth, divine and human. God loves sinner and saved, orthodox and heretic.  All are loved fully, completely, and uniquely. His son welcomed all to His side just as His father did. Time and again, we are called to love, not to judge and to honor the image of God in each of us.

There are some who read this who even may be offended as they read this. But we can’t deny the universal love of our Father for each of His children.

God does not even draw boundaries between Jesus and us. God loves you the same as he loves Jesus. God loves your neighbor the same as he loves Jesus. If that is how God loves how can we do anything less and still call ourselves Christians?

Our churches make a careful effort to provide spaces, prayers and sacramentals to help us pray more deeply and to develop a relationship with God. For prayer is all about a relationship with God. It is not about the words we use or how frequently we use them. If prayer is a relationship with God then what about our lives when we say the prayers but live a life that judges, that criticizes, that delineates us from them?

We can’t live in holiness unless all of our life is holy. We can’t live in holiness unless we live the commandments of love.

Though Jesus is praying to the Father, you and I will in large part be the ones to answer Jesus’ prayer. Perhaps it is time we answer Jesus’ prayer and deal with one another in love.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord God, have mercy on your people and heal the divisions in the body of Christ. May all Christian people throughout the world attain the unity for which Jesus prayed on the eve of his sacrifice. Renew in us the power of the Spirit that we may be a sign of that unity and a means of its growth. “

Daily Note

The unity of Jesus and his Father is a unity of mind and heart, mutual love and trust, honor and respect. Because Jesus loved us first and united us in baptism we are called to live in a unity of love. Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his sacrifice shows the great love and trust he has in his beloved disciples. The Lord entrusts us with the same mission – to make him known and loved by all. 

Looking In The Mirror To See Jesus

Daily Reflection – 5/24/2023

Sacred Scripture

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them, I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” (John 17:11-19)


We all go through periods of self-doubt. We all, from time to time, question our “value” or the purpose of our lives. Today’s scripture stops us dead in the track. It reminds us that we are valued because of His love for us and for the purpose for which we were created.

On the eve of his sacrifice on the cross and in the presence of his disciples, Jesus made his high priestly prayer: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that they may be one as we are one”. Jesus prayed for the unity of his disciples and for all who would believe in him. Jesus’ prayer for his people is that we be united with God the Father in his Son and through his Holy Spirit and be joined together, in unity with all who are members of Christ’s body.

What motivated Jesus to lay down his life on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world? It was love – love for his Father in heaven and love for each and every one of us who are made in the image and likeness of God.

Jesus was sent into the world by his Father for a purpose and that purpose was a mission of love to free us from slavery to sin, fear, death, and hopelessness. Jesus trusted in his Father to give him strength, courage, and perseverance in the face of opposition, trials, and temptation.

We also must take up our cross and follow the Lord Jesus wherever he may call us. He will give us the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to live as his disciples. Just as Jesus was called by the Father to serve in holiness and truth, so we, too, are called and equipped for the task of serving God in the world as his ambassadors.

God may ask us to help someone understand their own calling. God may call us to be an agent through whom another person recognizes God’s will. This could happen in our own family, when a family member is stuck and unable to make the decisions that will allow life to move forward. It could happen with a close friend who is hurt by a person or a situation and now is unable to live, because he or she cannot find the path to forgiveness. It could happen in our workplace or in our school when we see someone overwhelmed by their responsibilities, fighting to keep their head above water and wondering whether their life has a future.

Two insights are important here. The first is this: You do not need to be a perfect fit to undertake this helping function. We do not need to be a perfect fit to help others. We might think, “I hardly know that person? Should not his or her family be the ones to give guidance?” We might believe that we are too old or too young to speak out, that we are not as educated or outgoing as other people are. All of these things can be true, but God may be still calling us to help another person to find his or her way. 

As we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, he transforms us by his purifying fire and changes us into the likeness of Christ. Is your life consecrated to God?

Today, take a good long look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself, “I am highly valued. Jesus Christ, the Lord of all creation, considered me worth dying for. He treasures me so deeply that he is now consecrated to me for all eternity. He will never abandon me. He will never leave me. He will never forget me.”

Prayer of The Day

“Jesus, I am humbled by your commitment to me. Come, Lord, and fill my heart. Help me to consecrate my life to you.”

Daily Note

Jesus is suggesting in the gospel reading that the essence of eternal life will consist in being in a loving relationship with God and with Jesus. Eternal life consists in a communion of love between us and God and God’s Son, a communion in which we will experience God’s love to the full and respond to that love in full. All of the New Testament strongly suggests that this experience of loving communion with God will not be a merely private experience. Rather, our communion with God in love will at the same time be a communion with others.

Our Crosses Are Joined With His (Thank God)

Daily Reflection – 5/23/2023

Sacred Scripture

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me, I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.” (John 17:1-11)


Today’s Gospel is one of the most encompassing and majestic prayers that Jesus uttered. It is also very intimate because it is a prayer from the Son to God, His father.

In that prayer, he defines all that was contained in His earthly life. It is as if Jesus is reporting to God on all that was accomplished.

As I have throughout my life, I am struck by the sacrifice that was made for God, by God. Jesus offers one sacrifice for the sins of the whole world to God. Jesus offers Himself.

The crucifixion completes Jesus’ work of glorifying God on earth, for by laying down his life he gives himself completely so that the world may know of Jesus’ love for God and God’s love for the world (John 3:16; 14:31).

By his resurrection and ascension Jesus returns to the heavenly glory that God prepared for him in love, and Jesus prays that his followers will one day join him in the Father’s presence to share in this glory and love (17:5, 24-26).

Jesus also spoke about our knowledge of God. Jesus tells his disciples and us that they can know God. To know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father.  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.   Jesus is the revelation of God — a God whose love for us surpasses every love that we could ever know.

There is one sentence in His prayer that moves me to tears because I am so humbled. One sentence. So simple. So powerful. Jesus, two millennia ago, prayed for me. Prayed for you. Prayed for us, on our journeys. Together.

He prayed that we could transcend the world. He offered our difficulties to the Father. He brought our crosses to the Father before he brought his own on Calvary. He prayed that we might have the strength, through our faith, to continue in the world, living apart from it.

Whenever I read this passage, I see Jesus passionately in prayer. I can’t help but see a man with his heart on fire with love, truly communicating, truly one with his Father in heaven from whom he came and to whom he will return.  He understood he was physically leaving his friends, both the Apostles and us, soon. He knew how difficult this world was to live in; he knew the challenges, frustrations, and persecutions firsthand, and he didn’t want to leave us alone. So he prayed. In His prayer, our crosses of life are joined with His.

We must always remember that every suffering we endure, every cross we carry, is an opportunity to manifest the Cross of Christ.  We are called, by Him, to constantly give Him glory by living His suffering and death in our lives. Reflect, today, upon the hardships you endure.  And know that, in Christ, those hardships can share in His redeeming love if you let Him.

I read. I reflected. I embraced. I believed. I wept.

Prayer of The Day

” Jesus, it is hard to keep fighting. Sometimes it seems I make little progress. I have the same struggles and difficulties every day. I’m overwhelmed by the evil I see in the world, and it can be hard to see your victory in many places, in many families and homes. Give me the hope that I need to keep seeking your will in all things.”

Daily Note

Prayer does not begin with “me” but with God and his glorification. However, the glorification of God is complete when love abounds, because where love is, there God is. The effect of our prayer has to be seen in tangible love, expressed in deeds, as it was in the life of Jesus.

To Hope Always, Never to Despair

Daily Reflection – 5/22/2023

Sacred Scripture

The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:29-33)


Jesus knew the hearts of his disciples better than they knew.  He knew they would desert him in his hour of trial.  Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty with supreme love and trust in his disciples. 

He knew that the cross would not bring defeat but victory over sin and death.  He will overcome, through his cross, all the negative powers that try to prevent his love from reaching the ends of the earth.

Jesus speaks the same word to us today.  “My love for you is unconditional and I will never abandon you”. While we cannot avoid all pain and suffering in this life, Jesus, nonetheless assures us that he will guide us safely through any difficulty or trial we may have to undergo for his sake. 

We look at the violence of the world, the war in Ukraine, shootings in our cities, and we shake our heads and say, “This is hopeless. We will never be able to control the violence that surrounds us.” But we remain people of hope because God is greater than us. God sees things we do not see. God can make moves we cannot make. And God is committed to eliminating the violence of our world.

We look at the anger and the partisan thinking that characterizes our politics today: So many opinions dead set against one another. So little honesty and respect for one another. So few attempts to find common ground for the common good. We say, “This is hopeless. We will never be able to govern our country in a way that is good for all.” But we remain people of hope because God is greater than us. God can open doors that we cannot open. God can present new possibilities. And God is committed to bringing our country together.

We look at issues in our family: jealousy, resentment, divisiveness. Maybe we have tried time and again to heal those wounds without success. And we say, “I give up. There is no way that my family will ever be united.” But we remain people of hope because our God is greater than us. God can change hearts and move people to think again. And our God is committed to bring reconciliation to our families.

It takes courage to believe when we are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and difficulties of life. It is at times like these that our faith is tested and tried. It is at times like these when we have to ask ourselves whether we believe that God is still working for our good. To have courage in the face of adversity, to believe in the face of trials, and to trust and have faith when everything seems to be going wrong, is to have the confidence in the Father that Jesus had. This attitude can be ours if we open ourselves to God’s abundant grace and realize the impermanence of all that assails us. It is to know that, like Jesus, we too will overcome the “world”. The movement from present sorrow, pain and trial, to future joy, peace and hope, is possible and even guaranteed because Jesus has overcome.

No matter how difficult or divisive our situation may be, the power of God is greater than the forces that attack us. We must remain people of hope. When we cannot see a way forward, God has a way forward and is already working to bring us to salvation.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, help me to trust in your saving power, especially when I meet adversities and trials.  Give me your peace when I am troubled and let me know the joy of your victory over sin and death.”

Daily Note

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and the victory he has won for us (Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome every adversity and to persevere with faith and hope in God. Do you believe in the power of Christ’s love for you and in the victory, he has won for you through his death and resurrection?

True Joy Is Born From Pain

Daily Reflection – 5/19/2023

Sacred Scripture

“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” (John 16:20-23)


As Jesus approached his crucifixion, he tried to help his disciples through their confusion about his impending departure. He knew that they would be faced with a huge challenge when they saw him die on the cross. To prepare them, he explained that this was part of the great story that he had called them into. They would experience wrenching grief, and they would feel out of step with the rest of the world. But that wouldn’t be the final chapter. Their grief would be turned to joy, and the story would take on a whole new meaning.

While the disciples had to wrestle through the grief of Jesus’ death, you and I have come in later in the plot. We know about Jesus’ resurrection! If you can try to center our life in Jesus’ victory, you’ll know a joy, a stability, and a peace that nothing in this world can take away from you.
True joy – everlasting joy– comes only through a deep connection with our God, one built on and sustained by a deep reservoir of prayer. If we don’t remember who we are and who we belong to, we can be pulled off course by any flash in the pan, but that’s not what brings true joy; only true faith can provide that.

Is it at times difficult to love others, to place their interest and good before our own, to be flexible and willing to compromise, to be generous with our time and resources? Of course, it is difficult.

But being unkind, being selfish, being ungenerous, is not going to bring us joy. The deepest joy in life is in knowing that we have loved and are being loved in return, that we are kind and generous people. That is what will make us happy and that is why Christ commands it.

 Is it difficult to forgive, to put hurts behind us and move on with life? Of course, it is. But refusing to forgive is not going to bring us freedom. It will only assure us slavery to our anger, to our hurt and resentment. Forgiving another is in our own self-interest and that is why Christ commands it. 

Is it difficult to be a person of integrity, to be true to our word, fair to others, responsible to those who belong to us? Of course, it is. But one of the greatest satisfactions in life is to know that we have the respect of others and that we are a person of character. That is what brings us happiness and joy and that is why Christ commands us to be such a person.

What Christ commands us to do, he commands us to do for our own good. Ignoring the teachings of Jesus is not some clever way of avoiding an obligation. It is working against our own self-interest. There really is no other way. If we want happiness, if we want fullness of life and joy, there is no other path to choose. For we believe that Christ has the words of eternal life.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord, I surrender my anguish and burdens to You.  I unite them to Your Cross and trust that You will be there in all things walking with me through my life.  May I keep my eyes on the goal and rejoice in Your steadfast love.  Jesus, I trust in You.”

Daily Note

Jesus wants his disciples to know and believe that after the difficult days of his crucifixion and death, new life will come forth for them.  Jesus also wants us to know and believe that after our difficult days, we also will experience new life.  Once again, we will see him and experience His presence with us.   We will be able to rejoice when Jesus gifts us with new life and hope.