Daily Reflections

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 20, 2021

  Be Still and Have Faith I’d like to this of today as “Good Refuge Sunday.” Just as there is “Good Shepherd Sunday” in Easter, named after the gospel of that day, so today’s gospel is of Jesus, our Refuge, who calms the wind and seas of our lives. As the story goes, Jesus and…

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Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 19, 2021

  Today is the memorial of St. Romuald (956-c 1027), a Benedictine monk who founded the Order of Camaldoli in Tuscany, Italy. The entrance antiphon presents the image of the cedar tree, a metaphor for the monk who flourishes in the courts of the Lord (the monastery): “The just will flourish like the palm tree,…

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Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 18, 2021

  In our first reading today, St. Paul continues the defense of his ministry to the Corinthians by reminding them of his qualifications over those of the “superapostles.” He declares that he is also a Hebrew, a descendant of Abraham. He carefully enumerates the many trials and hardships he has endured in bringing them the…

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Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 17, 2021

  In our opening reading today, St. Paul addresses the Corinthian community concerning division within the church. He speaks of “superapostles,” intruders who are preaching a message different from the Gospel of God he had proclaimed to them. He reminds them that it was he who “betrothed you to one husband to present you as…

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Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 16, 2021

  Our readings today focus on the proper interior attitude needed in our works of charity and manner of worship. St. Paul explains to the Corinthians that one must give according to what one has so bountifully received from God without sadness or compulsion, “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). The responsory…

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Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 15, 2021

  Today we hear St. Paul encouraging the Christians of Corinth to model their lives on the example of Christ: “Christ…became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). He exhorts them to share not only of their material goods but also to be generous in…

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Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 14, 2021

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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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 13, 2021

  In the scriptures this Sunday, we hear of trees and kingdoms! The opening reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel relates God’s wondrous plan of redemption for the Kingdom of Israel, which is now in exile in Babylon. Using the metaphor of the cedar tree, the prophet gives hope to the exiles by…

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Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

June 12, 2021

  “The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14). This powerful phrase from St. Paul has inspired Christians for ages. Conception Seminary College, our main apostolate at Conception Abbey, has this as its motto. We are impelled to do all things with and in Christ. Mary is a perfect example of this maxim. She…

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Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

June 11, 2021

  When Notre Dame burned down in Paris, France in 2019, it was a true travesty. That Cathedral not only represented the Archdiocese of Paris, it also represented France’s history. The whole country of France, and many in the World, mourned this travesty. In Paris, there is another Church that is not as well-known as…

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Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

June 10, 2021

  Second Corinthians describes a veil that covers “the hearts” of those who read from Moses in the Old Testament. St. Paul admits that even the Gospel is veiled, but only for “those who are perishing.” He declares that through “the ministry” we have received “through mercy… we are not discouraged.” The same God who…

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Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

June 9, 2021

  Jesus told His followers that He didn’t come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. He said with certainty that not even “the smallest letter of the law” would pass away. Jesus knew what the Law was for. It wasn’t just a set of rules and standards. The Jews left Egypt in the…

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Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

June 8, 2021

  “You are salt of the Earth…light of the World.” Salt and light are not often things you think about that go together. We use salt as seasoning, and any doctor worth their salt would not suggest adding more salt to your diet! When it comes to light we are used to artificial light being…

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Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

June 7, 2021

  The Beatitudes are the subject of today’s Gospel. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” “Blessed are the Meek,” “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” “Blessed are the pure of heart,” etc. These teachings give clear insight into Jesus’ heart. They show what He valued (and still values). Jesus did not respect wealth or the prestige of…

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

June 6, 2021

  It is quite something to think that the Body and Blood of Jesus, His real presence, total and true, could be contained within the consecrated host and wine at Mass. Yet this is exactly what the Eucharist is. We believe that Jesus Christ is fully and truly present in the Eucharist at Mass. This…

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Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

June 5, 2021

  One of the local Catholic university presidents once told me this maxim: “No money, no mission.” Jesus tells us to leave everything to follow Him, to sell everything and give to the poor in order to be perfect. However, even the Lord relied on the charity of some wealthy women to subsidize his public…

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Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

June 4, 2021

  When tragedy occurs people say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” Since most everything in society has become political, some politicians have used this phrase to decry inaction on the part of their opponents. “Keep your thoughts and prayers,” they say, “What we need now are actions!” This rejoinder is a false dichotomy.…

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Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs

June 3, 2021

  In the seminary, a man sometimes discerns that he is not called to the priesthood. There are times, however, when a man may or may not be a good candidate but it is unclear. Why? Because he is unformable – he is somehow resistant in his will to be conformed to the man who…

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Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

June 2, 2021

  I remember getting to know an elderly woman who spoke fondly of her husband. At the same time, she looked forward with excitement to heaven without reference to reunion with him. It was unusual but to me seemed appropriate. God denies us no good thing that would contribute to the joy of heaven. This…

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Memorial of St. Justin, Martyr

June 1, 2021

  The Pharisees and the Herodians make strange bedfellows. As the saying goes, however, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I would guess that they teamed up to catch Jesus on either side of an issue. For the Pharisees, Roman coinage was unclean because it bore the image of man (hence moneychangers in…

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Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

May 31, 2021

  The rather unfamiliar prophet Zephaniah personifies the holy city of Jerusalem and gives her a message of future hope. Daughter Jerusalem is an image used by the Church today on the Feast of the Visitation as fulfilled in Mary and Elizabeth. Elizabeth says to Mary that she is blessed because she believed what was…

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Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 30, 2021

  Several years after being ordained a priest, I went back to graduate school at a secular university. Once in a seminar, the professor brought up the notorious billboards that line Interstate Highway 70 in Missouri from St. Louis to Kansas City. “Oh yes!” I exclaimed, thinking we were all talking about the same thing.…

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Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

May 29, 2021

  It’s mysterious why some people have a very strong faith, but others have little or no faith in God. A friend of mine from college was so resistant of faith in God that claimed everything he experienced that might indicate God’s action was either coincidence or chance. We can never know exactly what is…

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Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

May 28, 2021

  Jesus astonishes the crowds by his teaching and at the same time infuriates the chief priests and the scribes when he cleanses the Temple—driving out the money changers and those who were buying and selling. In such a way, Jesus attempts to restore the Temple to a house of prayer. The Temple, with all…

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Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

May 27, 2021

  I remember when I got to that age where I was embarrassed to walk around with my Mom or my Dad holding their hand. I was a “big boy” and it was time to assert my independence, and I didn’t need either of them to walk me across the street or hold on to…

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Memorial of St. Philip Neri, Priest

May 26, 2021

  We celebrate the Memorial of St. Philip Neri, who was born in 1515 in Florence, Italy. Known for his cheerfulness and joy, St. Philip was not afraid to challenge men and women and call them to holiness. One famous story communicates his way of offering rebuke and urging others to conversion: On one occasion,…

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Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

May 25, 2021

  St. Teresa of Avila in her frustration cried out to God, and is supposed to have said: “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder why You have so few of them!” Thankfully St. Teresa persevered in her trials, but she realized that being a friend of God does not always mean…

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Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

May 24, 2021

  In 2018, Pope Francis decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church be inserted into the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost. The Holy Father wished to promote this devotion to Mary, Mother of the Church in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the…

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Pentecost Sunday

May 23, 2021

  Pentecost is regarded as the “Birthday of the Church.” Gathered in one place together, the Holy Spirit appeared to the disciples as “tongues of fire,” which rested on each of them. The Spirit first enabled them to communicate effectively the Gospel message without language being a barrier: “They were all filled with the Holy…

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Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 22, 2021

  Only Bear Witness Today, Paul is finally in Rome. A chain of events took place to get him here and bear witness to Jesus. Paul has certainly had God’s guiding hand. But amid the number of speeches, imprisonments, twists and turns, it’s easy to get lost in the story. We need a map. I…

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Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 21, 2021

  To Rome In Jerusalem, Paul had defended himself before the Sanhedrin, saying, “I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.” (Acts 23:6) He said this on purpose, knowing that it would cause a division and uproar. Smart move, as he meant to stay in the custody of Roman guards and…

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Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 20, 2021

  The Lord’s Will Be Done We arrived in Jerusalem a few days ago. Some time has passed since we left Miletus and the Ephesian presbyters. We landed at Tyre and stayed with some disciples, who “kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to embark for Jerusalem.” (Acts 21:4) We continued our journey, though, and…

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Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 19, 2021

  What Do We Do? Today, Paul is concluding his final farewell to the Ephesian presbyters, who met up with him here in Miletus. Like a good shepherd himself, Paul leaves them with parting words that are for their good and for the good of all God’s holy church, over which they have been appointed.…

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Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 18, 2021

Where Are We Going? So, I was telling you the story of how we got to Ephesus. Well, today, we are in Miletus, just thirty miles south of Ephesus. But we got here after a long journey around the Aegean Sea. And we won’t be here for long. Paul is heading for Jerusalem. “Compelled by…

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Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

May 17, 2021

Where Are We? This week, we conclude our journey through the Acts of the Apostles. Literally, throughout Easter, we have worked our way through this Spirit-driven testament of the early church. So, where are we now? Today, we are in Ephesus, a city and port on the western coast of Asia Minor. Sounds nice. But…

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Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

May 16, 2021

Where is Jesus? In these last days of the Easter season, the Church celebrates the Ascension of the Lord. After all his pain and suffering on the Cross, the Lord Jesus ascends to his Throne to rule over heaven and earth. So, where is Jesus? He is in heaven. But how did he get there?…

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Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 15, 2021

  The first reading continues our progress through the Acts of the Apostles. In these last verses of chapter 18, three new individuals are mentioned. They are the somewhat mysterious Apollos and the couple Priscilla and Aquila. Apollos is Jewish, but he was born in Alexandria, Egypt. This city was a lot like Athens, with…

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Feast of St. Matthias, Apostle

May 14, 2021

  On this Friday of the sixth week of the Easter Season, we make a slight break in our routine, by celebrating the Feast of St. Matthias. He is another interesting individual in the life of the early Christians. In the very first chapter of Acts, the early Christians are gathering in the Upper Room.…

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Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 13, 2021

  We continue the readings from the Acts of the Apostles. St Paul left the cultured city of Athens, with its well-educated audience, and proceeded to the seaport of Corinth, notorious as a rough but busy town. As a missionary apostle, Paul is developing a pattern. When he enters a city, he first seeks out…

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Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 12, 2021

We continue our readings from the Acts of the Apostles. We are now in the 17th chapter. St. Paul had proceeded further into Europe. He arrives in Athens, the leading city in the country of Greece. We can picture St. Paul walking through the streets of this famous city, with its beautiful buildings, many magnificent…

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