Second Sunday of Advent

Posted on December 10, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

second sunday of advent

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Sometimes you have something to share with people that causes you to well up inside with excitement to the point of going crazy. A pregnancy test, a pay raise, a college acceptance, and a wedding engagement are all examples of moments in life when we might be bursting at the seams to tell somebody the good news. When we finally get the chance to tell somebody, joy just seems to flow through us with ease. We literally want the entire world to share in our jubilation.

When was the last time you shared with a friend or loved one how much your faith in Jesus means to you? Don’t you feel the same motivation to share? Are you not overwhelmed with a desire to spread the Good News?


First Saturday of Advent

Posted on December 9, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first saturday of advent

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

In the average Catholic parish, 7% of the parishioners are doing just about everything. Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” Apparently, the data wasn’t much different 2000 years ago!

Some parish communities are more engaged and vibrant than others, but all of them are constantly looking for ways to get more people involved. During the month of December, more people will be worshipping in churches than just about any other time of the year. Christmas and the planned events surrounding that date just seem to be more appropriate opportunities to get involved. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.


Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Posted on December 8, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

advent challengeReadings
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

My wife and I have three children. Each time we realized we would be having a child, thoughts ran through our minds about what would this child be like. Who would they become when they grew older? What would they like and dislike in this world? Would they grow in faith or struggle with truth?


First Thursday of Advent

Posted on December 7, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first thursday of advent

Isaiah 26:1-6
Matther 7:21, 24-27

I bet we all remember the story of The Three Little Pigs and the lessons learned for future homeownership. If you had thought about growing up and building your house with sticks or hay, you dodged a bullet there. Of course, what your house is built on may be just as important as what you use to build the walls. Build a house on a soft foundation and watch how long it takes show signs of settling. If and when something adverse happens to our houses hopefully we have insurance to help us start again. We might not make the best decisions in building or buying that first house, but oftentimes we get a second chance to move into that house that will really be the one for the rest of our lives.


First Wednesday of Advent

Posted on December 6, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

Isaiah 25:6-10afirst wednesday of advent
Matthew 15:29-37

This Advent, we should be considering giving gifts to more than just our family and friends. I think we should give gifts to every single person we encounter for the next several weeks! There is no need to do the math, because if you were thinking in terms of gifts you buy, that would be a fortune. The gifts I am talking about do not have a monetary value. These gifts are inside of us. They come from our time, our mindfulness, our emotion, and our love. These gifts will cost us something even if they do not require cash. In some ways, these gifts will be even more difficult to give than ones that originate in a store.


First Tuesday of Advent

Posted on December 5, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first tuesday of advent

Isaiah 11:1-10
Luke 10:21-24

Today’s reading from Isaiah 11 is so beautiful with its imagery of how from the lineage of Jesse one will come who will reshape our world and create peace in the face of chaos. The wolf will be guest of the lamb, the cow and the bear will be friends, and babies will lie without harm in the cobra’s den. These beautiful images have been used in poetry, song, and paintings for multiple generations. However, will you let your baby keep playing the next time you see a cobra near him or her? The images speak to the fact of our world being changed by the coming of Jesus Christ, but they are not literal.


First Monday of Advent

Posted on December 4, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first monday of advent

Isaiah 2:1-5
Matthew 8:5-11

Faith often requires us to acknowledge the true power of God and admit that we are not the center of the universe. When we are not mindful of these realities, we easily succumb to the temptation to focus on our will and not the will of God. Many wonderful things can come to pass in our lives if only we can allow God in to heal, love, and lead us. Truly, none of us are worthy of the many gifts offered to us by God, especially the gift of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ. However, if we allow God to be God and let go of our pride and selfishness, we can find ourselves transformed.


First Sunday of Advent

Posted on December 3, 2017 by - Advent Reflections

first sunday of adventReadings

Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b, 64:2-7
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:33-37

“What could happen next?” How many times have you asked yourself that question? Unfortunately, we most often use that expression when things don’t seem to be going our way. Then when the stars seem to align just right we might use the same expression to explain our feelings of being overwhelmed by blessings and good things.


Jesus in Disguise

Posted on November 26, 2017 by - Everyday Stewardship

everyday stewardship

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

One day when I was walking the city streets where I was giving a series of talks, I saw what appeared to be an older woman hunched over with a sign asking for help. At first I passed her, on my way to visit the local drugstore. But then I came back around when I realized I had not been very mindful upon first seeing her. I didn’t have much cash to give her, but as I always tell everyone else in my talks, often times what people need more than cash is someone to at least acknowledge them. I reached into my pocket to give her what little I had and I simply said, “Hello. I hope you are okay and I hope you can use this.”


What Are You Burying?

Posted on November 19, 2017 by - Everyday Stewardship

everyday stewardship

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

I remember watching a television show about a high school that dug up a time capsule students had buried 25 years earlier. They had buried it with the purpose of showing others many years later the trends of the day and how student life was at that time. It was a fun exercise and everyone, the current students as well as those now grown, laughed at the clothing styles, corny photos, and lack of technology from years ago.