Daily Reflections

  • Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012221.cfm" linkrel=""]   Do you remember in grade school, when sides had to be chosen for anything, from spelling bees to inside games to outside games? There was always that sinking feeling...

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  • Memorial of St. Agnes, virgin and martyr

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012121.cfm" linkrel=""]   Have you ever thought of the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim? Tourism is obviously big business today. On the other hand, making a pilgrimage seems to have...

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  • Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012021.cfm" linkrel=""]   There is an American Dominican sister who has been a missionary among poor villages in northern Nigeria for the past 40 years. One of her most successful community help...

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  • Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011921.cfm" linkrel=""]   Some of my favorite memories as an Iowa farm kid were all about summer threshing time. A great time to experience “neighborliness” when farmers (and kids like us) came...

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  • Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011821.cfm" linkrel=""]   Today the Church has begun the annual World Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. As we observe the various struggles and divisions among some Christian denominations today the thought...

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  • Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011721.cfm" linkrel=""]   Sleep is one of our most natural and yet most necessary functions. We all need restful sleep for our physical and mental health but also for our spiritual well-being....

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  • Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011621.cfm" linkrel=""]   As we come to the end of this week’s reflections we need to take stock of what we have learned. We have learned we must take the time to...

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  • Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011521.cfm" linkrel=""]   Today, we must confront that there will be times when we fail and sin. We fail to listen to God’s word, to act on that word, or to live...

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  • Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011421.cfm" linkrel=""]   We all suffer. This is a given fact of life, we come with many wounds. These wounds can be from a childhood marked by abuse, poverty, ridicule, maybe racism,...

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  • Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011321.cfm" linkrel=""]   This week’s readings offer a powerful tool to the path that a Christian must take in our world to be a true witness of Christ. First, he or she...

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  • Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011221.cfm" linkrel=""]   Yesterday we reflected on the Word of God as Jesus Christ who speaks directly to us words of comfort, of conviction, and of hope: “The kingdom is here, repent...

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  • Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011121.cfm" linkrel=""]   We have probably played the game telephone, where students all line up single file, and the first student is tasked to whisper a phrase to the next person in...

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  • The Baptism of the Lord

    [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kemj4ZM3wfI[/embedyt]   [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/011021.cfm" linkrel=""]   Throughout the scriptures, we get to witness the dramatic event of the 'heavens being torn open.' It can be a unique and frightening event that manifests...

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  • Saturday after Epiphany

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010921.cfm" linkrel=""]   There's a flashback today in the Gospel to the time before John the Baptist was imprisoned. He's asked about why Jesus is baptizing and why the people are going...

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  • Friday after Epiphany

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010821.cfm" linkrel=""]   "Who is the victor over the World? The one who believes in Jesus Christ…” We have our victory in the Lord Jesus. He is the one who conquers sin...

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  • Thursday after Epiphany

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010721.cfm" linkrel=""]   Reading this section of First John is a challenge for me because I haven’t always lived by this maxim, “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” In elementary...

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  • Wednesday after Epiphany

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010621.cfm" linkrel=""]   Amongst Catholics, very few topics hit the raw nerve of people like liturgy. Yes, liturgy. I want to discuss this because it’s so important to our faith. Jesus did...

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  • Memorial of St. John Neumann, Bishop

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010521.cfm" linkrel=""]   I will often look over the readings for the coming week when writing a reflection like this and think, “what is the best way to approach this?” I’ve found...

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  • Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, religious

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010421.cfm" linkrel=""]   As we move from the Epiphany to the Lord’s Baptism, we hear today about the arrest of John the Baptist in the Gospel reading. Jesus “withdrew to Galilee.” John’s...

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  • The Epiphany of the Lord

    [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L03aGDD22k[/embedyt]   [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010321.cfm" linkrel=""]   Introductory Note: Many of my reflections are taken from an essay I wrote for the American Benedictine Review’s annual writing contest. The theme I chose to...

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  • Memorial of Sts Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010221.cfm" linkrel=""]   Saints Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, whose feast we commemorate today, were lifelong friends. They studied rhetoric together in the best schools, they lived a monastic life together, and later...

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  • Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/010121.cfm" linkrel=""]   In the year 428, there was a raging controversy in the Church over whether Mary could be called Mother of God—Theotokos in Greek. The dispute pitted Nestorius, the patriarch...

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  • The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/123120.cfm" linkrel=""]   John begins today’s gospel with “in the beginning was the Word,” and says in the first reading, “it is the last hour.” At least for John and the scriptures...

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  • The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/123020.cfm" linkrel=""]   Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.” In the spiritual life, our souls also grow in strength, wisdom, and grace....

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  • The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122920.cfm" linkrel=""]   There is an ancient tradition that a child is not given to parents by God but only loaned to them for a short time. The Jewish rites surrounding birth...

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  • Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122820.cfm" linkrel=""]   One can hardly imagine an evil more heinous than killing innocent children, nor a scene more heart-wrenching than their mothers witnessing and enduring such a violent act. This feast...

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  • Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

    [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T1sGXJGtlg[/embedyt]   [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122720.cfm" linkrel=""]   On this Holy Family Sunday, the Gospel reading is obviously about the Holy Family. In particular, this year, we hear the passage about the Presentation of...

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  • Feast of St. Stephen, first martyr

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122620.cfm" linkrel=""]   It is commonly accepted among scripture scholars that the stories of Jesus’ birth and infancy were the last parts of the gospels to be written. As the early Christians...

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  • The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

    [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Xzo36vX8BY[/embedyt]   [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122520.cfm" linkrel=""]   How beautiful and joyful is our celebration of Christ’s birth! A savior is born who brings salvation to the whole world. Yet, we hear in the...

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  • Thursday in the Fourth Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122420.cfm" linkrel=""]   Several years ago the Ministerial Alliance’s clothing and food pantry in Stanberry, Missouri was getting vandalized in the back alley. One of the ministers suggested putting up cameras. Considering...

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  • Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122320.cfm" linkrel=""]   People have trouble with my religious name. Shocking, I know… Frequently when I meet someone new, he will ask what my name means. I understand it is exotic; still,...

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  • Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122220.cfm" linkrel=""]   The Greeks had a goddess named Nemesis. She was the god of retribution – specifically pouring out wrath for human hubris against the gods. Nemesis has many attributes to...

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  • Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122120.cfm" linkrel=""]   When I was recently at my home parish, the priest asked me if I could recommend a book explaining some basic Catholic art because he feared people did not...

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  • Fourth Sunday of Advent

    [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjEEzrSWeXI[/embedyt] [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/122020.cfm" linkrel=""]   I know these days during the pandemic, many of us are tired of being in our houses. Yet this reality of sheltering in a safe place speaks...

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  • Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121920.cfm" linkrel=""]   Not many people in our society really give a second thought about a married couple, even one advanced in years, who are without children. But, during Elizabeth’s time, her...

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  • Friday of the Third Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121820.cfm" linkrel=""]   Joseph receives God’s message from the angel in a dream. The Lord’s promise to Ahaz will be fulfilled through the Virgin Mary: “The Virgin will conceive and bear a...

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  • Thursday of the Third Week in Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121720.cfm" linkrel=""]   Some priests are scared about having to proclaim the varied and difficult names that appear in the genealogy Gospel. Though there has been a resurgence in family lineage in...

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  • Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121620.cfm" linkrel=""]   The Prophet Isaiah emphasizes the greatness of the Lord God and the foolishness of placing our trust in any other gods— “I am the LORD, there is no other.”...

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  • Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121520.cfm" linkrel=""]   When I was in high school, my Mom would leave us a short to-do list, with some simple chores to do while she was away running errands. It was...

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  • Memorial of St John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church

    [button style="btn-primary btn-lg" type="link" target="true" title="Today's Mass Readings" link="http://usccb.org/bible/readings/121420.cfm" linkrel=""]   God surely couldn’t work through me, could He? Many of us have uttered, or at least thought of, some version of the statement above. It’s an admission of how...

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