Daily Reflections

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

April 15, 2021

The saga continues in Acts. The chief priests and Temple authorities continue to pressure the Apostles. They hoped to intimidate them into silence. St. Peter wouldn’t be denied. He declared that they must “obey God” rather than any human authority. This angered those in the Temple. The Apostles persevered in telling the truth nonetheless. In…

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Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

April 14, 2021

  If you ever needed a “get out of jail free card,” look no further than today’s first reading. The Apostles were apprehended and thrown into the public jail at the order of the high priest and Temple authorities. Prison life is hard today. I can only imagine how bad prisons were in the time…

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Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

April 13, 2021

  We hear the same reading today from the Acts of the Apostles that we heard on Sunday, except with an additional detail. Joseph, called Barnabas, sold a piece of his property and gave the proceeds to the Apostles. This act of generosity can be encouraging for us as well. Churches often ask a great…

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Monday of the Second Week of Easter

April 12, 2021

  We continue to hear the story of the Apostles in Acts. They were stuck in a hard situation that they didn’t deserve. When I was growing up, I loved to watch the Red Green Show, a comedy show produced out of Canada. One segment showed a few characters playing hockey on a street. (You…

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Second Sunday of Easter

April 11, 2021

Forward: I don’t know about you, but I am often caught off guard by the Easter Season. I walk through Lent with resolutions, and then when Easter comes, I fall right back into my old habits. Easter is indeed a time of celebration. It also is a time to keep at what you have been…

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Saturday in the Octave of Easter

April 10, 2021

  Peter and John replied to the leaders, elders, and scribes: “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” The boldness of Peter and James comes out most powerfully in their encounter. For them, their faith in Jesus Christ was not something confined to one day a week,…

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Friday in the Octave of Easter

April 9, 2021

  As we have seen, the Resurrected Jesus doesn’t stop teaching the disciples. The lesson from their failed fishing expedition and their sudden turn of good fortune helped them to solidify in their minds this reality: Without God, you can do nothing. We’ve all experienced how on our own, we toil and spend our time…

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Thursday in the Octave of Easter

April 8, 2021

  In the work of seminary formation (in which I am engaged), we are trying to help prepare these men for the priesthood by transforming their minds and hearts. The work involves the cooperation with God’s grace and the hard work and efforts of many religious and lay men and women who contribute to the…

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Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

April 7, 2021

  The reading from Acts of the Apostles is perhaps one of my favorite readings in the New Testament. It’s common that we will find ourselves in a position where what is being asked of us, we simply do not have or cannot provide. Peter and John are being approached by the crippled man who…

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Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

April 6, 2021

  Peter and the beloved disciple had visited the empty tomb and saw the burial cloths there. They left in amazement, but Mary Magdalene alone remained there in a sort of vigil. Her weeping communicates the state of her distress, but it also expresses to us the degree of her love. Mary Magdalene alone waited—patiently…

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Monday in the Octave of Easter

April 5, 2021

  A young man came to me seeking direction in his life. I asked, “Have you prayed about it?” The man responded with what I detected was a hint of frustration, “Yes—I prayed about it, but God didn’t say anything!” Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb to look for the body…

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Easter Sunday | The Resurrection of the Lord

April 4, 2021

    The summit of the Triduum occurs at the Easter Vigil when we celebrate the core mystery of our faith: that we are saved from sin and death through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These rites are meant not only to remind us of this mystery but also to insert us into…

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Holy Saturday

April 3, 2021

  This is an unusual day in the Liturgical Calendar. There is no event to commemorate and no Eucharist. However, there is profound meaning in this day and much to ponder. The first Holy Saturday was a day of quiet and rest because it was the Sabbath. Out of respect for the Sabbath, the body…

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Good Friday

April 2, 2021

  The part of the Paschal Mystery that we celebrate on Good Friday is God’s victory over sin and death. By the death of Jesus on the cross, we have access to the Father’s love and forgiveness. How difficult it is to forgive. Especially an intimate friend who has betrayed us or a loved one…

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Holy Thursday

April 1, 2021

  This evening we enter the Sacred Triduum or “three days” of our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection—what we call the Paschal Mystery. However, these events in Jesus’ life are one act, one gesture of love by God. Further, they are not separate from the other events in His life. The Triduum contains Jesus’ whole…

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Wednesday of Holy Week

March 31, 2021

  “The teacher says, ‘My appointed time draws near.’” It is good for us to remember that “the teacher” is the Incarnate Word! God’s Word, sent into the world to redeem it, is calling our attention to “the hour” when not just unredeemed humanity but the universe will be created anew in his act of…

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Tuesday of Holy Week

March 30, 2021

  “After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him…. When he had left, Jesus said: ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.” The lavish love of the Trinity pours forth into the universe only through one opening: the human heart of Christ, the Sacred Heart! There is no other…

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Monday of Holy Week

March 29, 2021

  “Then she dried his feet with her hair, and the house was filled with the ointment’s fragrance” As we continue to gaze upon the central figure of Jesus in this holy week, we come upon an ingredient in the link, which bonds desire for conversion: lavishness. For implicit in the baptismal grace – the…

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

March 28, 2021

  As we celebrate Palm Sunday, it is important to notice what Jesus is doing. Jesus is entering Jerusalem to begin the greatest week in all of history. How is he entering the Holy City? By riding on a donkey. That’s an animal of simple country people. And the donkey didn’t even belong to him.…

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Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

March 27, 2021

  Jesus had just raised to life Lazarus, the brother of Mary, a friend of Jesus. This unheard-of act of raising the dead lead people to believe in Jesus. Everyone was witnessing Jesus’ signs and miracles, some of the Jews were believing in Him, but some were resisting belief with every ounce of strength. Since…

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Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

March 26, 2021

  The tension in the readings is tangible, which is setting the stage for the drama that will unfold during Holy Week. Jesus is threatened by being killed by stoning, he is rejected, despised, and like the Prophet Jeremiah, Jesus hears the “whisperings of many” with “terror on every side.” Imagine the hurt, pain, and…

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Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

March 25, 2021

  After years of teaching the Catholic faith, a religious sister emphasized not only the importance of communicating intellectual knowledge of the faith but also teaching people how to pray. Her experience was that she could help others grow in their knowledge of the faith, but it often did not have as strong of an…

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Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

March 24, 2021

  During my junior year in high school, I was preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. My pastor suggested that my two friends and I took the names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (who all appear in today’s first reading from the Book of Daniel). One of my friends really wanted to take the name Shadrach,…

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Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

March 23, 2021

  One of my professors talked about pastoral counseling and ministering to others, and he reminded us that many people will come to us in times of difficulty, and more often than not, the challenges brought to us are not eliminated in any way by a conversation or any of our words of wisdom. However,…

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Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent / Transitus of St. Benedict

March 22, 2021

  Transitus of St. Benedict Transferred The monastic community at Conception Abbey will celebrate today the “Transitus (Death) of St. Benedict” as a Solemnity and will take different readings at Mass (this Solemnity is normally celebrated on March 21, but transferred from the Lenten Sunday to Monday this year). This reflection that follows will be…

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

March 21, 2021

    Some of the strongest friendships I have today are those I formed with my classmates in college seminary, and I think this is primarily because we had more in common than our interests in playing sports or other games and hobbies—we shared a strong faith in Christ and a desire to serve the…

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Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 20, 2021

  Isn’t it true that with the rise of skepticism and doubt in our society, the ‘fact check’ has become the gold standard to determine the truth of what we hear and see? In our first reading, the Prophet Jeremiah could have avoided many false attacks if he could have easily done a fact check…

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Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 19, 2021

  In the year 1906, in St. Joseph, Missouri, a railroad bridge was constructed to cross the Missouri River. This bridge is unique. This bridge is able to provide unlimited height to river traffic in both directions because a large section of it can pivot parallel with the river. This is accomplished by balancing the…

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Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 18, 2021

  At some point we’ve all heard the expression, “and that made a believer out of me.” It could be about buckling your seatbelts after seeing a terrible accident. It could be about the change in someone’s health as they took up regular exercise and a balanced diet. Or it could be about how a…

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 17, 2021

  If you were given the assignment to find a gentle loving description of God in the Bible, where would you look? You would probably choose the New Testament, right? Yes, unfortunately, most people imagine God from the Old Testament as the towering mountaintop judge of the 10 Commandments, reducing people to awe and fear.…

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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 16, 2021

  Thirty-eight years is a very long time. In fact, when you think of the paralytic waiting to be healed at the portico of the pools of Bethesda, some questions come to mind. You might wonder if he might have been a professional beggar. You might ask, were there people taking advantage of his handicap…

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Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 15, 2021

  Did you notice the upbeat tone in the readings assigned for today’s liturgy? In your imagination, you might hear a great trumpet fanfare sounding out over the Israelite people in exile as the great Prophet Isaiah ascends the watchtower to make a stunning announcement. He proclaims the Good News by reassuring his people that…

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 14, 2021

    Why is it that light makes such a difference in your life? That might sound like a simple question. First, think about the marvelous power of your eyes. Have you ever stopped to marvel at how your eyes gather light waves and allow your optic nerve to transfer images to your brain? Then,…

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Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

March 13, 2021

  Humility [Jesus said,] “I tell you, this [tax collector] went down to his house justified rather than the [Pharisee]; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14, RSV) A reading from On Humility by St. Basil the Great: “Be on your guard, therefore, and…

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Friday of the Third Week of Lent

March 12, 2021

  Charity One of the scribes…asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’…

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Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

March 11, 2021

  Repentance O that today you would listen to his voice! “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in the desert…” (Psalm 95:7c-8, Abbey Psalms & Canticles) A reading from a letter To Peter on the Faith by St. Fulgentius of Ruspe: “…no one should continue longer time in…

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Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

March 10, 2021

  Fulfillment [Jesus said,] “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17, RSV) A reading from the Tractates on Matthew by St. Chromatius of Aquileia: “He fulfilled the law and the prophets in this way: He brought…

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Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

March 9, 2021

  Forgiveness Then Peter came up and said to [Jesus], “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22, RSV) A reading from a Commentary on Matthew by…

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Monday of the Third Week of Lent

March 8, 2021

  Baptism And Elisha sent a messenger to [Naaman], saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” (2 Kings 5:10, RSV) A reading from On the Second Book of Kings by St. Ephrem the Syrian: “It was necessary that Naaman, in order to…

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Third Sunday of Lent

March 7, 2021

    Looking at my Daily Missal for this Third Sunday of Lent, I noticed a blurb at the top in red letters: “On this Sunday is celebrated the first scrutiny in preparation for the Baptism of the catechumens who are to be admitted to the Sacraments of Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil, using…

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