Daily Reflections

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

February 28, 2024

  “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 to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” Jesus…

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Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

February 27, 2024

  Today is a great day to celebrate the gift of life! In our first reading, we hear “Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.” Our sins—our souls—have been…

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Monday of the Second Week in Lent

February 26, 2024

  In our responsorial psalm, we read “Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.” If the Lord dealt with us according to our sins, I have a feeling we would all be in big trouble! But the Lord is merciful and shows us His Divine Mercy! He took our sins and nailed…

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Second Sunday of Lent

February 25, 2024

       Today we hear in our first reading that God wants Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to Him. Just think about how Abraham must have felt sacrificing his beloved son! But because of the love that Abraham has for the Lord, he would not disobey Him. Of course, the Lord intervened…

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Saturday of the First Week of Lent

February 24, 2024

  And this week ends as it began, with a confirmation of the covenant between God and us. The covenant goes beyond keeping the commandments, although those are good places to start. Harming our enemies is not be done, according to the commandments. Not enough, however. We need to go further and actually pray for…

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Friday of the First Week of Lent

February 23, 2024

  On September 24, 2015, Pope Francis addressed the Joint Session of the United States Congress. He stated, “Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility.” He cited four Americans who helped “preserve the dignity of fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common…

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Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

February 22, 2024

  Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. Of all the apostles handpicked to be fishers of men, Christ chose Peter to be the foremost among them. The Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles include stories about the shortcomings of St. Peter. In frustration, Jesus even called him Satan…

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Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

February 20, 2024

  There are occasional gaps in Sacred Scripture, especially in the New Testament. Jesus obviously taught his apostles things that were so meaningful and life-changing that they abandoned what was familiar and sacrificed their lives for The Way. St. Paul spoke so movingly that people stayed up and listened to him until the wee hours…

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Monday of the First Week of Lent

February 19, 2024

  “Most young people think of virtue as something negative. They think that by avoiding sin they are being good. They think of purity as an absence of impurity. Yet we should think of purity as a shining positive virtue, rather than as a negative one – one that makes itself felt, that stands out…

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First Sunday of Lent

February 18, 2024

  Not so very long ago, we joyfully celebrated the birth of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus, and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Last Wednesday, we entered more fully into the reason for God becoming man. Lent is an olive branch. God, who provided us with this world and everything in it, reaches…

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Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

February 13, 2024

  In today’s Gospel, Jesus and the disciples are on a boat, a storm comes out of nowhere, and the disciples become worried and terrified of capsizing. But Jesus is asleep while the storm begins. When the disciples awaken Jesus, pleading for His help, he again calmly wakes up and rebukes the storm, which immediately…

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Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

February 12, 2024

  In today’s readings, I find a beautiful teaching on the value and necessity of faith, patience, and perseverance. Before, when I read this Gospel of Mark passage, I would be somewhat confused. Why would Jesus refuse to give “this generation” a sign? Why not just give it to them, and then they would believe…

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 11, 2024

  Today’s readings and psalm powerfully communicate that while we get caught up in this world by sin and wickedness, God constantly pursues us with love and the promise of salvation. In today’s first reading, we hear of the brutal, painful quality of life someone with leprosy endured as an Israelite in the Old Testament.…

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Memorial of St. Scholastica, Virgin

February 10, 2024

  “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm; For stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion.” This text, from the Song of Songs, given us by the Church for the feast of St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict, shows a side…

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Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

February 9, 2024

  “(Jesus) looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) In the Church’s rite for of baptizing an infant, there is this entry: Ephphetha or Prayer Over Ears and Mouth. In this ritual, performed at the discretion of the celebrant, he touches the ears and mouth of each…

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Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

February 8, 2024

  “She begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. You may go… When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.” This is the way faith must operate in our lives—we ask; Jesus replies; and then we act as if we believed in Jesus acting…

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Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

February 7, 2024

  “The things that come out from within are what defile.” The saint who the Church remembers tomorrow, St. Josephine Bakhita, provides a beautiful image of the contrast we heard in our Gospel today: what comes from outside and what comes from within. For the young girl, Bakhita, from the outside came slavery. Her slave…

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Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

February 6, 2024

  “You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.” Today the Church honors the memory of St. Paul Miki and Companions who died in 1597. These 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests,…

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Memorial of St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

February 5, 2024

  “… [they] begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak” Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing for a human being to have; boredom is a real drag! The people in our Gospel today are very enthusiastic. They want to get close to this wonder-worker. The Scripture scholar, Raymond Brown, remarks about…

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 4, 2024

  “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” All of us can agree that mental anguish is a great human suffering. Loneliness, fear, doubt, betrayal, infidelity, depression—these are hard to take. We who follow Jesus seek to square such experiences with the goodness of God.…

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Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

February 3, 2024

  There is a certain familiarity that comes across as we read the opening lines of the Gospel today. The apostles were returning from their first “mission trip” wanting to share stories, awesome experiences, fearful challenges, funny stories, and sad memories. And they simply needed to rest. It makes perfect sense that Jesus would want…

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Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

February 2, 2024

  This beautiful feast of the Presentation of the Lord is often an overlooked treasure in the course of the liturgical year. The core meaning goes far beyond a description of the holy family fulfilling a legal requirement. Something powerful and amazing is happening. Divinity is revealed through the humanity of a little child. But…

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Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

February 1, 2024

  Many years ago, one of the most popular TV suspense/action shows was “Mission Impossible.” Besides the awesome challenges of the mission itself, there were the equally awesome (then) gadgets and electronic gizmos used to help accomplish the weekly mission. Our liturgical readings for today make us think of those assigned missions. Some of those…

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Memorial of St. John Bosco, Priest

January 31, 2024

  We celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco today. Whenever we celebrate the life of a saint, we tend to wonder what they were like. Surely, they must have been people with great determination and clear focus. No matter what might have stood in their way, their mind was fixed on the goal before…

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Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

January 30, 2024

  Today’s liturgical readings present a feast for those who love multitasking and sorting out plots and subplots. Rather than getting lost in details, it’s far better to ask the Holy Spirit to touch us and show us the insight meant for us. We begin by hearing of an exhausted messenger coming to King David…

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Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

January 29, 2024

  If our liturgical readings for today could be color-coded to measure their emotional content, we would get a full spectrum of color. Since the Word of God uses the prism of human experience to teach us, it’s not surprising to see the full range of human feelings. The first reading from the Second Book…

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 28, 2024

  Amid a crisis, such as a car accident or a serious illness, someone needs to step forward and “take charge.” Without that self-appointed leader, chaos can reign. Or perhaps it is just the opposite—a paralysis of fear. I suggest a connecting thread found in the liturgical readings for this week might be the theme…

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Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

January 27, 2024

  Be Still After a long week, with lots of activity, maybe we need to take a break and be still. Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” (See Mark 4:39) Is he saying that to you? Set a timer. Five minutes. Just be still for five short minutes. What…

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Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops

January 26, 2024

  Administration as Gift Today, we reflect on the early Christian saints, Timothy and Titus, who were disciples of St. Paul. Both are mentioned throughout the New Testament, and some of Paul’s letters addressed to them have come down to us: the First and Second Letters to Timothy and the Letter to Titus. Timothy was…

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Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

January 25, 2024

  I Thought I was Right Some people are blind. Including ourselves. “On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’” (Acts 22:6-7, NABRE)…

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

January 24, 2024

  Sowing Seeds Have you ever sown a seed? Being January here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s been a while since sowing season. But in a few short months, those green thumbs up here will be at it again. But even if you’re not green-thumbed (myself included), Jesus’ Parable of the Sower is still relatable.…

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Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2024

  Move for the Lord The Lord has come. He is in our midst. Can you feel Him? King David danced before the ark of the Lord with abandon (2 Samuel 6:14). What a sight it must have been to see the ruler of the nation dance with abandon before the ark of the Lord,…

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Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

January 22, 2024

  Death and Life Recent events have been a legislative victory for the Pro-Life Movement in the United States. Namely, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade from 1973, which made the right to have an abortion constitutionally protected, was overturned on June 24, 2022 (in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization). This…

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 21, 2024

  Repent. Repent. Repent. How many times do we have to hear it preached? How many times do I have to repent? What does it mean, anyway? Merriam-Webster, America’s oldest and foremost publisher of dictionaries, defines this intransitive verb to mean: “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.” Turn…

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Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 19, 2024

  We continue the saga of David and Saul with Saul gathering an army to search for and to kill David. But when David had the opportunity to strike first and kill Saul, he was remorseful and showed him mercy. In our lives, we might have moments in which we are persecuted, hated, or betrayed,…

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Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 18, 2024

  In today’s first reading, we see Saul and David returning after David had slain the Philistine. They were greeted with much joy and festivities as the women sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Saul became jealous that they attributed more to David, and the jealousy consumed him to the…

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Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot

January 17, 2024

  Today’s first reading is known well by many people. The story of David and Goliath is not a story of David’s strength or bravery, but it is a story of his deep faith and trust in God’s strength and glory. He says to the Philistine giant, “You come against me with sword and spear…

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Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 16, 2024

  In today’s first reading, Samuel was sent to Jesse of Bethlehem to seek the LORD’s anointed among Jesse’s sons. Upon seeing Jesse’s son Eliab, he thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before me” but he was not the chosen one. For Samuel looked upon them and saw their stature, strength, and outward appearance…

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Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

January 15, 2024

  In today’s readings, we see that it is not by action alone that we please God, but by the desire behind the action. The Psalm says, “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always.” And further, “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant…

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 14, 2024

  In today’s readings, we hear God calling out to us. In the first reading, the LORD called out to Samuel but he did not realize that is was God speaking because “at that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD.” Thinking it was Eli, he went to him saying, “Here I am. You…

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