Daily Reflections

Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

July 31, 2021

  For King and Kingdom Today, the Church remembers and celebrates a great soldier-saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola, who died on this day in 1556. He was born in Loyola, Castile (modern-day Spain), and died in Rome, where he was still serving as the general superior of the religious order he founded, the Society of…

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Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 30, 2021

  Checking Our Calendars We Catholics have a liturgical calendar. We have days of celebration called memorials, feasts, and solemnities on which we remember a saint, a sacred event, or an aspect of our faith. We also have seasons of particular themes that encourage penance or jubilance, and special rites within a single liturgy for…

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Memorial of Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus

July 29, 2021

  Friends of Jesus Today is somewhat of a new Memorial. It used to be just the Memorial of St. Martha. Martha’s sister and brother, Mary and Lazarus, have been included in today’s commemoration. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, “considering the important evangelical witness they offered in welcoming the Lord Jesus into their home, in…

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Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 28, 2021

  With Unveiled Faces Our God is holy. He is so holy that Moses’ face would become radiant while he spoke with Him. It is as if God’s holiness was reflected on Moses’ face. His face would become so radiant that Aaron and the people were afraid to get close to him. Moses would have…

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 27, 2021

  Secrets Revealed We do not like secrets to be kept from us. We itch to know. And so do Moses and the Israelite people. (1) What does God look like? (2) Is God with us? (3) What kind of a god is the LORD? (1) The people are banned from going up the mountain…

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Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

July 26, 2021

  Our Christian Inheritance Today, we honor the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anne. We know their names only through Christian tradition, which has been passed down to us. We honor them because we honor Mary, their daughter, who was conceived without sin (the dogma of the Immaculate Conception). And we…

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 25, 2021

Signs of a Prophet We all have the need to eat and drink. Food and drink nourish us physically, yes, but they also nourish our spirit, especially when sharing a meal. We are often spiritually satisfied after a good meal taken in good company. In a similar way, we all need the Eucharist, the consecrated…

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Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 24, 2021

  The parable in today’s reading is really one of my personal favorites among all the parables. A master goes out and plants good wheat with his servants. An enemy comes along and plants many weeds. As the wheat grows, so also do the weeds. We hear again an allusion to our merciful God who…

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Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 23, 2021

  Here again, we read the passage in Exodus where God gave the Ten Commandments to the Jews at Mt. Sinai. God is a great lawgiver who institutes laws that are right and just. Our human laws draw their wisdom and inspiration from God’s divine laws. Human laws can become run down and lose their…

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Feast of St. Mary Magdelene

July 22, 2021

  Mary Magdalene is called the Apostle to the Apostles. She ran to tell Peter and the other apostle that someone had taken Jesus’ body. Then she later encountered two angels and Jesus Himself who had risen from the dead. She then went to the Apostles again, this time to tell them Jesus indeed had…

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Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 20, 2021

  Today’s first reading is used every year in the Easter Vigil. Exodus 14-15 tells of how the Lord led the Jews through the Red Sea to new freedom. The Lord set the people free. How amazing it is! With this victory, the Jews could now call themselves a free people. Moses proclaimed that the…

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Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 19, 2021

  Jesus is asked, or demanded, to give a sign. Jesus offers the scribes and the teachers nothing less than the Sign of Jonah. Jonah, or Jonas, preached repentance to the city of Nineveh. He called the people of that city to repent of their shameful ways and to come to authentic conversion. Jonah himself…

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 18, 2021

  Foreword: There is always a good time to honor a spiritual hero or role model who has influenced our spiritual journey. One person who I often turn to is Thomas Merton. He is considered one of the greatest Christian writers of the 20th century. His amazing story and mystique have grasped the attention of…

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Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 17, 2021

  Reflect on these words in the Gospel today, “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight.” The Father says these words to Jesus. Now imagine these words being spoken to you. We must see God as a father who loves us deeply. Our experience of God the Father is…

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Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 16, 2021

  In one way or another, we have had moments where we know without a doubt God has worked in our lives; God stepped in and helped us in a moment of crisis. I imagine you can remember this moment down to how you felt before and afterward, what it did for you, and how…

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Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

July 15, 2021

  It might seem hard always to believe it, but God is present to us in the difficult moments of life. We hear Jesus say to us today, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” but we may not experience that rest; life continues in its…

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Memorial of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin

July 14, 2021

  We all like having a clear path. We like knowing yes or no, this way or that way, right or wrong. Certainty is a human desire that we try to fulfill, and when that certainty is thwarted, we often react negatively. This is true in human affairs and affairs of faith. To accomplish this…

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Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 13, 2021

  Jesus continues, from yesterday, his harsh and brutal truths in today’s Gospel. Here Jesus rebukes the cities and peoples who have witnessed his great miracles and are left unchanged, and they refuse to repent of their sins. He says of them that Sodom, a city so corrupt that God’s wrath destroyed it, would be…

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Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 12, 2021

  We are used to hearing Jesus speak harsh and brutal truths towards his day’s religious and political establishment. We are not always used to, or we purposefully gloss over, the harsh and challenging truths directed to us. Today we have such a time. It is not easy to hear these words, “I have come…

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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 11, 2021

  “Jesus…began to send them out two by two…and…He instructed them to take nothing for the journey.” Each Christian is called to spread the Gospel in their unique way. Each of us has particular passions, skills, life experiences, and encounters with God that give life to that message. However, many people feel inadequate to the…

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Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 10, 2021

  When Jesus spoke to his disciples, one of the most phrases he repeated most was this simple phrase: “Do not be afraid.” No matter who we are, no matter what our age, or circumstances we feel the power of those words. Fear can take on so many forms coming out of the past or…

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Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 9, 2021

  “People on the move” might be a possible theme for the two readings of today’s liturgy. Social anthropologists have documented the migration of peoples around the world throughout history but surely the most important from our perspective is the Old Testament migration of God’s people to and from Egypt. The powerful Joseph story reaches…

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Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 8, 2021

  Some people enjoy crossword puzzles and brain-twisters and are very good at them. Some of us like an occasional crossword puzzle but usually have to cheat when the right word just doesn’t come. It’s always amazing to me that someone can create the puzzle with all the interlocking answers (or pieces) and always with…

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Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 7, 2021

  We’ve all heard the saying, “what goes around, comes around!” What a powerful example we have of that in today’s readings. The brothers of Joseph had thrown him into an empty cistern and then sold him into Egyptian slavery. Now they come starving to Egypt and had to bow down and beg in front…

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Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 6, 2021

  Our first reading today again coming from Genesis is downright strange. What can we get out of this story in which Jacob (once he has managed to get his wives, his flocks, and all his possessions across the fording place) stays behind and has a wrestling match all night long with a stranger, namely,…

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Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 5, 2021

  Storytelling seems to be a special skill. We’ve all heard a good storyteller who can capture our attention with a story that is colorful, short, and to the point. Our readings for today are filled with gripping stories. The first story coming from the Book of Genesis (a treasure chest of Biblical stories!) presents…

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 4, 2021

  It’s a safe bet to say that we can all remember a very special Fourth of July celebration at some time in our life. It may have been our first experience of fireworks, or a hot July afternoon eating watermelon under a shade tree, or a Fourth of July parade around the square of…

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Feast of St. Thomas, Apostle

July 3, 2021

  We identify with the very modern seeming St. Thomas. He is the scientific, skeptical man of our age. The famous meeting of the doubter and the Risen Christ is burned into our memory. Notice, though, that a doubter does not start from doubt but from faith wounded. Have you ever noticed that the most…

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Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 2, 2021

  The reading from Genesis today is lengthy, and yet it cuts out a very key section in the liturgy. The underlying issue in this passage is that Abraham’s wife is dead and he has no more descendants for the covenant. He only has the promised son Isaac. Isaac is distraught at the loss of…

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Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

July 1, 2021

  Typology is a form of biblical interpretation. You look back into the Old Testament and find a type, a symbolic person or event which prefigure fulfillment in Christ (the antitype). Today we have one of the preeminent types for Christ: the Sacrifice of Isaac. Isaac is the beloved son, the son of the covenant.…

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Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

June 30, 2021

  Our two readings speak of expulsions: that of Hagar and Jesus. From a modern Christian point of view, the former case seems at one and the same time unjust and messy in how it came to this point. Suffice it to say that there was a lot of desperation, jealousy, and regret involved in…

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Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles

June 29, 2021

  Today the liturgy gives special witness to the confession of Peter on which our faith is built: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It is of great interest that the passage from Acts relates that Peter is arrested as the Passover begins. Unlike the Jews who participate in the Feast…

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Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr

June 28, 2021

  It never seems just to punish an entire group for the faults of a few. It is not fair to the innocent, and likewise, it often does not send the right message to the offenders, for whom hopefully the intent is amendment. In a parish, there are times where a priest must correct behavior,…

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 27, 2021

  The Judeo-Christian view of death is that it was a consequence of our first parents’ choice to sin. As St. Paul says, “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) and “just as through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all” (Rom. 5:12). Still, the…

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Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

June 26, 2021

  Lord, I Am Not Worthy It is good to be hospitable. In the first reading, Abraham and Sarah welcome three visitors to rest and eat during a hot summer’s day. Not only is it charitable, but it may also be to our benefit. One of the men promises that Abraham and Sarah will have…

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Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

June 25, 2021

  Law of Moses; Law of Christ Today, we begin a new section of the Gospel of Matthew: Jesus’ signs of healing. Jesus has concluded giving the new Law in his great Sermon on the Mount. He is now coming down from the mountain, just like Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Law…

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Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

June 24, 2021

  He Must Increase; I Must Decrease Only recently did I realize why the Nativity of St. John the Baptist occurs on June 24th. As it is recounted in scripture (see Luke 1:36), John was born six months before Jesus was. But we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord on December 25th, not 24th. Why…

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Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

June 23, 2021

  Descendants and Fruits In the first reading, the LORD makes a covenant with Abram, promising to give him his own descendants and his own land. But before they make a covenant (a solemn pact), Abram expresses his doubt about how this can be. He does not have an heir. The land he is in…

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Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

June 22, 2021

  Pearls and Holy Things The first saying of Jesus from the Gospel today is enough for the day’s reflection: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6) In my Bible, I had written a…

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Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

June 21, 2021

  Splinters and Beams Recently, I got a wooden beam in my eye. Well, it felt like one, but it was just a tiny splinter of mulch. I was mulching around a tree and it blew right in. Boy, it hurt! I rushed to the nearest sink and splashed my eyes with water. I thought…

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