Showing posts from January, 2020

'I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A. [In the Philippines, The Feast of the Santo Niño]

The Gospel of John (1:29-34) Directed by Philip Saville

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
GospelJohn 1:29-34 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)
The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God…

On Aging

Seek a Quiet Place

As we go through these weeks known as *Ordinary Time, we will be covering a large portion of the Gospel of Mark.In these chapters we will continue reading about the miraculous healings of Jesus, the mission he sent the twelve apostles on, and the rather lengthy, but incredible, Parable of the Sower.There is much to learn over these weeks leading up to the season of Lent, which kicks off with Ash Wednesday on February 26, 2020.

The Gospel of Mark was written around 53-63 A.D. and is the earliest of the four gospels.It was primarily written for a Gentile (non-Jewish) Christian audience in Rome.

Mark’s Gospel zeroes in on the proclamation of the kingdom and is fast-paced compared to the others.The parables Jesus told were really a device to give insights that are helpful for us even today.

Being the shortest gospel, Mark’s gospel is still packed with revelations about who Jesus is, as can be seen in his transfiguration and his divine personality as his relationships with Peter and his d…

Take Time for Discernment

When you need to make a big decision, do you take time for discernment? Do you gather all the facts and weigh your options? It is important to make the time to discern the appropriate course of action when facing life-altering decisions. As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I see all too often, those wishing to become Catholic wanting to rush through the process. I get questions like, “What’s the big deal?” “Why do I have to wait?” Using RCIA as an example, let me explain why it is important to gather all the facts and weigh all options. My example could apply to anything occurring in your life as well. Take Time for Discernment A desire to embrace faith, when there has been none in your life, to date, is a big deal! Therefore, it is one, big, life-altering decision. When you embrace the Christian faith, you make a commitment to living a Christ-like life. Now, that can seem like a tall order to one who has been raised with no, or little, faith. First, the p…

The Spirit of Cleaning Out

It was “advertised” to be an icy, snowy, generally very messy day in our area, so my husband and I—like newlyweds organizing their first home—decided to attack our kitchen cupboards, which, honestly, probably haven’t been rearranged since we moved in back in 1992.
You see, we have managed to accumulate a multitude of various plastic cups, dishes and glassware over the years that are endlessly crowding each other out for space.
Unbelievably, there were some hard decisions which resulted in what we came to call our pile of sentimental cups that would go back into an unused cupboard over the refrigerator.
These cups somehow rose to sentimental status because one or the other of us has carried them around for many years.That familiar glass cup that was always part of our childhood cupboards, the Arby’s glasses with the B.C. characters on them, or the mug that was given in honor of an 18th birthday.
But the better part of our cupboards got reorganized in a logical manner.And then, it happ…

The Silence of Winter Can Bring Joy

I love January! Why? Because I love the silence of winter, when everything slows down. We cozy up with a warm blanket, in front of the fire, while reading a good book, amidst the silence. Or, one could take a walk in the freshly fallen snow and hear silence. I find silence to be peaceful and that brings me joy! It is also, in the silence, that we open our ears to hear the whisper of God speaking to our hearts. Silence of Winter The silence of winter provides us with time to reflect on how we are doing, where we are going, and what we want to accomplish. When we assess how we are doing, we can count our blessings. This brings us both gratitude and joy. When we plan our futures, we set a course for ourselves. This fills us with the hope of endless possibilities. And when we crystallize our goals, God graces us with ... Read more...

Rounding Up Disciples

In today’s reading Jesus calls Simon and his brother Andrew.Where did he find them?He found them doing their everyday work—casting their nets into the sea because they were fisherman.
He simply walked up to them and said, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”They dropped everything and followed him.
Then Jesus walked on and grabbed up James and John.What were they doing?Their everyday work of course!They were mending their nets and when he called them, they left their father Zebedee in a boat with the hired help.
What will YOUR discipleship story be?
Simon, Andrew, James and John all acquired a story to tell.But their call was so significant it changed their life.Jesus called them to be his disciples and they responded with their lives.
For most of us, our acceptance of our role as a disciple does not have to be as dramatic as that of those first century fisherman.It is an error to think that we have to walk away from our work or family responsibilities to accept the c…

Singing in the Face of Evil

How do you stand up to a giant? With one smooth stone--prayer! The giant that is looking to crush religious freedom is on a rampage across the country. New Jersey is his latest victim. As too many cower in their homes, afraid to make waves or get noticed, (or perhaps stay asleep in their comfort) the giant stomps through our freedoms.

Our stone is prayer and gathering. Make our position known. Through peace and light, even the biggest obstacle can be overcome. Joshua marched with the footstool of Our Lord for seven days. The people of Jericho laughed, yelled horrible names at the Israelites, and did everything they could to make their efforts feel futile. Yet, he marched!

One of the greatest warriors of all time went to battle on his feet in prayer. And what happened? The walls came tumbling down! Will you help to pull down the walls of a modern Jericho?

Read more on Veils and Vocations blog.

Where's My Miracle, God?

I recently watched a special about Linda Ronstadt and I really enjoyed listening to the excerpts of her musical performances which offered some of her most popular songs.
Having those songs flowing through my brain, I suppose, is the reason I thought of the first line of her song When Will I Be Loved when I read today’s reading.
She sings, “I’ve been cheated.”
I wonder how many of us feel like we’ve been cheated when we read about swift, miraculous healings in the bible like that from today’s reading from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 5, Verse 13.
A man was suffering from leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was.He fell down before Jesus, pleading with him, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”The gospel tells us that Jesus “stretched out his hand, touched him, and said ‘I do will it. Be made clean.’”The man was immediately made clean.
I think it is important to recognize that some of us might feel cheated after we have pleaded and pleaded with God to cure us, or someone we lo…

Are You Struggling Financially?

It isn’t uncommon around this time of year for anxiety to set in, especially when the consequence of overspending at Christmas shows itself by way of incoming bills.
I happened across a short segment on a morning show the other day that described a couple that was—I think hundreds of thousands of dollars—in debt.They briefly described in the segment how they got there, as well as the steps they took to free themselves from debt.They outlined the usual warnings about credit card interest, budgeting and so-forth.
I think there are probably plenty of methods to help people figure out how to wrestle themselves out of financial ruin and it is, of course, always a good thing to try to do so in a responsible way through a trusted resource.But part of the problem, I suppose, is that there is a need to change the way we do things, as well as what we do.
A million years ago I went to a hair stylist who worked out of her home.She started talking about a vacation that she and her husband and her…

Appreciating the Virtue of Acceptance

During my convalescence these past three months, as a result of my ankle fusion, Christ gave me the opportunity to appreciate the virtue of acceptance. You see, when you can’t place any weight on your foot, you are somewhat helpless.  I couldn’t stand in the kitchen and make any meals. Nor, could I do any housecleaning, or laundry. I couldn’t run any errands or do the grocery shopping. All I could do was sit in a Lazy-Boy chair, with my foot elevated, and let others do things for me. This is where I learned the gift of the virtue of acceptance. Putting my pride aside, I gratefully, and humbly accepted meals prepared by my neighbors and friends. (They were all delicious. by the way!). One friend vacuumed my entire house (better than I could ever do it)! Yet, it was my husband, who made the biggest impact on me. He was there, in the middle of the night, helping me go to the bathroom. He took on all my household responsibilities, in addition to his own; cooking, cleaning, laundry, groce…

'Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.' Sunday Reflections, The Baptism of the Lord, Year A

The Gospel According to Matthew, Baptism scene Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 3:13-17 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition, Canada)
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ Léachtaí i nGaeilge

Baptism of Christ, 1596-1600 El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]
El Greco p…