Daily Reflections

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

January 25, 2022

  On this great Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the Alleluia verse reads, “I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” This little saying should make us feel good but also remind us that we have a mission to do! God chose us to…

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Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

January 24, 2022

  Today in our Gospel reading, there is one word that comes to mind, unity. Jesus tells the Scribes “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan…

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2022

  In the first reading today, we hear, “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep… Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for…

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Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

January 22, 2022

  On this day, the anniversary of the court decision of Roe vs. Wade, we pause to pray for the legal protection of unborn children. The opening refrain of the liturgy is the desolate cry of the unborn child: “For the sake of your name, O Lord, give me life” Cf. Ps 143:11. The first…

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Memorial of St. Agnes, virgin and martyr

January 21, 2022

  We commemorate today the early Christian martyr, Saint Agnes of Rome. The entrance antiphon for this day is a profound statement about the meaning of her martyrdom: “Blessed is the virgin who by denying herself and taking up her cross imitated the Lord, the spouse of virgins and prince of martyrs.” Agnes yielded to…

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Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 20, 2022

Foreword: During Ordinary Time, the entrance and communion antiphons of the Sunday liturgy are repeated throughout the week. In this way, the themes developed at the Sunday mass are enriched and expanded as they interact with the different readings found on each day of the following week in much the same way that a kaleidoscope…

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Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 19, 2022

  Foreword: During Ordinary Time, the entrance and communion antiphons of the Sunday liturgy are repeated throughout the week. In this way, the themes developed at the Sunday mass are enriched and expanded as they interact with the different readings found on each day of the following week in much the same way that a…

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Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 18, 2022

  On this opening day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (always one week before the Conversion of St. Paul), the first reading relates the story of the call of the young shepherd, David, to be the Lord’s anointed one (1 Sam 16:1-13). It is David whom God has chosen to unify the…

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Memorial of St. Anthony, abbot

January 17, 2022

  Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Anthony of the Desert, a Christian monk from Egypt whose life of simplicity caused many to consider him as the Father of Monasticism. It is fitting that we open the liturgy with the refrain from Ps 92, “The just will flourish like the palm tree, and grow…

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 16, 2022

  The Christmas season officially ended last Sunday with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. However, today and through the coming weeks, our scripture readings continue to show us God revealing his glory through Christ, the long-awaited Messiah. The liturgy today opens with an antiphon that reminds us of Epiphany: “All the earth…

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Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 15, 2022

  “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” This motive for his coming to earth is clearly expressed in these words of Jesus in today’s Gospel: he came to call sinners! We can even say that this is what the Church is – sinners seeking to repent and find a new life.…

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Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 14, 2022

  “Not so, there must be a king over us.” In each Eucharist, the divine call comes intimately to us. It is always a call to the blessedness of trusting in God as our Father! Yet we struggle because we do not want a king to rule over us! We want some intermediary between our…

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Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 13, 2022

  The story in the first reading, of the defeat of Israel and the capture of the Ark of the Covenant, can prompt us to give some thought to how we use sacramentals, such as medals or holy water. The Church tells us in her Catechism (#1670) that the “Sacramentals, …by the Church’s prayer, prepare…

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Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 12, 2022

  “(Jesus) went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.” C.S. Lewis, in his book, “The Screwtape Letters,” comments: There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to…

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Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 11, 2022

  Today’s opening prayer today is a good place to begin: Father of love, hear our prayers. Help us to know your will and to do it with courage and faith. Our faith is in the Risen Christ, present and at work in our midst and within us. His courage comes from his gift of…

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Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 10, 2022

  “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The initiative is God’s! Our lives don’t often feel this. Our energies, rather, are directed in ways that look very much like we’ve got to plan out our lives or they won’t get lived! There is nothing new in the struggling involved. Since…

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The Baptism of the Lord

January 9, 2022

    One of the things that parents, grandparents, and any who try to hand on the faith, find difficult is how to do this in a society that is not always friendly to the life of faith. The difficulty is real in a world increasingly competing for our time. Religious observances, family life, leisure…

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Saturday after Epiphany

January 8, 2022

  St. John writes, “Children, be on your guard against idols.” When I think of “idols” I most often think of small stone statues that a non-Christian might have adorning their house. Since I don’t worship statues, I should be fine, right? Perhaps a better way to examine our conscience might be to ask, “What,…

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Friday after Epiphany

January 7, 2022

  You need a retreat. Yes, you! Jesus finds Himself in the midst of full-time healing ministry—cleansing the leper and having great crowds assembled before Him to listen to His words and seek his healing power. He must have felt pressure and responsibility to minister to all of these people, but He also felt a…

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Thursday after Epiphany

January 6, 2022

  St. John writes, “If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar…” If these words don’t make you at least a little uncomfortable, then carefully read them again. Servant of God Dorothy Day reflected a similar sentiment when she wrote: “I really only love God as much as the…

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Memorial of St. Neumann, bishop

January 5, 2022

  St. John writes, “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.” Faith takes root and people are transformed when they come to a “heart knowledge” of this reality of God’s love. I have seen it again and again in spiritual direction and in the lives of my…

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Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

January 4, 2022

  St. John reminds us of the foundational truth necessary for our lives: God is love, and God first loved us. Love is both the foundation of our life of faith and the test of our faith. Love must demonstrate itself in practice. Jesus shows us what love is as His heart is moved with…

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Monday after Epiphany

January 3, 2022

  Discernment is a word that is rather common if you work in seminary formation, but for most people, it’s probably not one that enters into your everyday conversation. Discernment is the ability to judge well, or distinguish between choices or options. Most often in the Christian context, it has to do with distinguishing between…

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The Epiphany of the Lord

January 2, 2022

    The story of salvation history is a story of adventure, of people on a journey. Abram is called away from his homeland to go to a land God would show him. Moses is to lead his people out of Egypt, Jesus’ disciples are sent out two by two. When we seek God, we…

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Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

January 1, 2022

  Not many of us have left Mass on Corpus Christi crying out: “Transubstantiation!” Not many of us here have probably ever left the Feast of Christ the King to shout: “Viva Cristo Rey!” Yet in the year 431 after the Council of Ephesus, the common folk of that city ran through the streets in…

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The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

December 31, 2021

  As we become more technologically advanced, we think less about times and seasons. Even farmers who are tied to land and weather have found ways to overcome much. Here in the country, farmers’ wives lament that farm implements now have headlights and that they plant and harvest without ending when the sun goes down.…

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The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

December 30, 2021

  I find myself jealous of the Evangelists at times – only four men got to write Christ’s story, inspired by the Holy Spirit. When we consider the differences in the gospels, we consider that they were not just chroniclers of facts but also storytellers. In other words, they used details to bring out greater…

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The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

December 29, 2021

  For the first time in Scripture, we find someone happy to die: St. Simeon. Before this, death was a punishment or at the very least a resignation. Even King David rests with his ancestors but not without running from rivals and enemies and mourning the loss of his son Absalom. Now, Simeon is happy…

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Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

December 28, 2021

  There are horrible martyrs’ feasts, and then there are horrible martyrs’ feasts. It is difficult to think of anything more detestable than the slaughter of innocent children. Yet, those are the martyrdoms we celebrate today. It is a hard feast to celebrate, but we note the sacrifice of these little ones who were embraced…

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Feast of St. John, Apostle and evangelist

December 27, 2021

  The arrival of Apostles Peter and John at the Empty Tomb on Easter morning represents two forms of the Church. St. John is the Mystical Church that arrives at the tomb first, but does not go inside – it sees the mystery glimpsed from afar. In contrast, the Hierarchical Church is represented by Peter…

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Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

December 26, 2021

    Once in eighth grade, I passed out, hit the back of my head on a desk, and had a seizure. I remember waking to a circle of my classmates above me with faces full of horror. I felt the back of my head thinking it must have been broken and bleeding but it…

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

December 25, 2021

    There are many ways that people over the centuries have expressed their deepest spiritual longing. Sometimes we call it a desire for salvation, or redemption or reconciliation; sometimes we describe it as a desire for wholeness, or peace, or union. One of the most recurrent images in all religions and all eras for…

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Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent

December 24, 2021

  King David found himself in an embarrassing situation: he lived in a sumptuous palace and God lived next door in a tent. David wanted to rectify the imbalance and build God a magnificent temple even more beautiful and grand than his own house. But God said “No! Not for now. Leave things as they…

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Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent

December 23, 2021

  John the Baptist’s greatness and the reason he has such an important place in our Advent liturgy is because he prepared the way for Christ. The work of the one who prepares the way for another is finished when the expected one arrives; and John suggested as much when he said of Jesus, “He…

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

December 22, 2021

  Today’s liturgy compares Hannah and Mary. In the birth of their respective sons, the power of God is made manifest, inspiring each to raise her voice in praise of the Almighty. We heard Hannah’s canticle in today’s responsorial hymn and Mary’s Magnificat in the gospel. There are differences between Hannah and Mary: the one…

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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

December 21, 2021

  God’s love for the human race was not an abstract, theoretical love. It was very concrete. It took flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. People were able to see and experience God’s love for them in the human person of Jesus Christ. Mary’s love in visiting her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth, was also not…

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Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

December 20, 2021

  The story of Mary’s Annunciation is a high point in the Advent liturgy, as it was a high point in the history of salvation. This is the moment of both Mary’s “Yes” and the savior’s conception. There are two vocations at play in this story: God’s and Mary’s. Before Mary was offered a mission,…

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 19, 2021

    Today in our Gospel, we hear the great story of Our Lady’s Visitation to Elizabeth, when Elizabeth tells Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment…

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Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

December 18, 2021

  Yesterday the Gospel passage from St. Matthew sets the stage for the unfolding of God’s great plan. “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham…Jacob, the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.” Today that story…

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Friday of the Third Week of Advent

December 17, 2021

  Today we make the turn towards the Feast of the Birth of the Lord. There are now eight days of preparation that remain. We focus our attention on the mystery of the Incarnation in an even greater way than before. You could say the unfolding of the Incarnation over many centuries. The time when…

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