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Welcome!

We are glad that you found us, the DEACON-5! Here, we will be posting daily Gospel reflections, Mondays through Fridays, each day written by a different permanent deacon in our group. We pray that you find inspiration and a touch of God’s love for sharing some time with us. Please feel free to leave a comment or a prayer request for us!

Blessings to you all!
Deacon Ray Gallego, Deacon Steve Hillmann, Deacon Paul Machuca, Deacon George Mora and Deacon Chuck McDaniels

June 28th, 2022

The Gospel according to Matthew (8:23-27) 

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us!  We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

Reflection:

As a Deacon, I’m required to take a retreat each year.  The speaker at the retreat this last summer was Fr. Greg Adolf.  He spoke about this scene we have in today’s Gospel, and I thought his observations about it would be good for us to consider as we ponder this particular story.  He spoke about the story as recounted by Mark, but the lesson still applies to the retelling of the story by Matthew.

Fr. Greg’s comment about Jesus being asleep focused on the fact that He was sleeping on a cushion at the back of the boat.  Those who heard this story knew about boats and the fact that Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat on a cushion meant He was at the place where the one who steered the boat would be.  It was a position of stability.  It was a reminder to His disciples (and to us) that Jesus is that one who provides stability for our days.

The question one can consider, though, is why did He just sleep while the storm tossed the boat on the water?  Didn’t He care about His disciples?  Didn’t He want them to feel safe and secure?  The answer to those last two questions is (obviously) that He did care for them and He did want them to feel safe and secure.  The problem is that they took their eyes off of Jesus and focused only on the waves throwing the boat around on the sea. 

That’s a lesson we can take to heart as well.  If life is tossing us around on the waves, let us remember that Jesus is there on the cushion, providing stability for us, if only we focus on Him, not on the stresses we encounter.  If we focus on Him, we trust that He will help us to find a way through our current challenges, because He promised that He would never leave us.  May that be a source of comfort to each of us today!

Action for the Day:

Sometime today, find a moment to look for that calm that Jesus brought to the sea in today’s Gospel.  If your heart is burdened with care and worry, give that to Jesus and know that He will bring you through whatever challenges you today.

If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below! 

June 27th, 2022

The Holy Gospel according to John (13:16-20)

When Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of His disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,

and let the dead bury their dead.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Encountering Christ

In Jesus’ time, it was customary for a would-be disciple to pick the rabbi who would become his mentor/teacher. He would scout a “master” much the same way an aspiring student today picks a college, studying his options and picking the rabbi he felt would best equip him for future success.

The scribe that approached Jesus was a teacher of the law – a super-elite scholar, who declared his intent to choose Jesus as his rabbi/mentor. Jesus should have been thrilled, in the eyes of the world to have such a follower.

Instead of welcoming the star disciple into his fold, Jesus redefined discipleship for him. There would be no prestige or perks waiting for him as a follower of Jesus. Rather, he would have to give up his place of honor among the religious establishment. He’d be expected to endure sacrifice, hardship, and a deliberate abandonment of the demand for basic human necessities such as home and hearth. It was going to be all or nothing—just the way Jesus lived it and also the way he intended it to be.

St. Matthew doesn’t tell us if the scribe changed his mind about following Christ. So, until we know otherwise, I like to believe this man meant it when he said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go”—even when it meant humbling himself and abandoning all the comforts and prestige he’d known before.

Action of the Day

How many times do we put our own agenda before God’s?  What holds us back from following Jesus wholeheartedly?  It is easy to make a list of all of the things that we need to do.  Do we put prayer on the top of the list?

Spend 15-30 minutes in prayer today.   Whatever you do and however you pray, take some time to listen to God’s call.  To what is God calling you?  As you spend some time in prayer, ask for the grace to respond to God’s call wholeheartedly and unreservedly.

June 24th, 2022

The Gospel according to Luke (15:3-7)

Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes: “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

Reflection

To some, The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus may seem like an old and outdated celebration in the Church.  It is often seen as one of those ancient feasts that have little meaning in our lives today.  Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is exactly what we need to know, experience and receive in our lives today.  His heart, that heart which was pierced by the lance and from which flowed blood and water, is the sign, symbol and source of the burning love of His very soul.  The blood is an image of the Most Holy Eucharist and the water is an image of the cleansing waters of Baptism.  

This celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a celebration of Jesus pouring out on us His whole life and all of His love.  He held nothing back, which is symbolized by the pouring forth of the last drop of this blood and water from His Heart as He lay there dead on the Cross.  Though it’s a very graphic image, it’s graphic to make a point.  The point, again, is that He held nothing back.  We need to realize that Jesus continues to give us everything if we are willing to receive it.  

Action:

We need to know His love more deeply in lives today. Try spending time thinking about this particular Scripture: “…but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out” (John 19:33-34).  Spend time reflecting upon that last self gift, the gift of that water and blood flowing from His wounded Heart.  It is a sign of His infinite love for us.  Reflect upon it being poured out especially for you.  See it, be immersed in it, and be open to it.  Let His love transform and fill you.  

Audio Reflection:

June 23rd, 2022

The Gospel according to Luke (1:57-66, 80)

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Reflection:

In August, Ana and I will be married 42 years. You don’t get there with luck, good will, or any other form of positive thinking. It takes commitment, perseverance, and a whole lot of faith! If I had a nickel for ever time I thought or said something that I knew would get me in trouble by not honoring my commitment to love Ana, I would have an Olympic sized pool full of them little suckers. As opposed to knowing when I am leading with my faith, trusting that God will provide me with the most appropriate thing to say or do that will lift Ana rather than putting another nickel in the pool. The difference is faith!

Faith is being able to let go and let God. There have been many times when we have had our challenges and I lose sleep and worry that we won’t be able to overcome or get past whatever it is.  Those are the times I must remember that we have to keep God in the center of our relationship like Paul and I learned in Marriage Encounter. I have to believe we are not alone and we can count on Christ.   

Earlier in Luke’s gospel Zachariah loses his speech as a result of not believing the Angel Gabriel’s message from God. In other words, he lacked the faith to believe with God all things are possible. His speech did not return until what the angel had testified came to be and Zachariah, with faith in God’s plan declared what had been shared with him. He was cooperating with the grace of God and relying on his faith to move beyond his doubt. That is how it has been for me in my relationship with Ana. When I cooperate with the grace of God and follow His will what I think, say, and do edifies our Sacrament. And, in our little corner of the world God’s glory is revealed and the impossible is made possible.

Action of the Day:

Is there a time recently you have struggled trusting God’s plan? Has your faith waivered regarding something specific? Go back to that and let’s all pray for each other to have the strength, courage, and faith to trust that God’s ways are above ours. Like with Zachariah and Elizabeth, God makes the impossible possible.

Audio Reflection:

June 22nd, 2022

The Gospel According to Matthew 7:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So, by their fruits you will know them.”

Reflection: Have you ever trusted someone, like a close friend, only to end up making a poor decision that you later regretted? I have. When I was in my twenties. I needed a car but didn’t have a lot of money to spend. A close friend of mine knew someone that had a ‘great’ deal on a used car. He said this car that was in perfect condition. The body was spotless, and he had all the service records to prove that it was kept in perfect running condition from this original owner. I test drove it and it ran great. But for some reason, unknown to me, something seemed amiss. But he convinced me that this was a great deal and my friend also convinced me that he was an honest man. Done deal! Sold, no warranty implied. Well 2 months later as I jumped into it to go to work in wouldn’t start. After 2 attempts, I thought I would try it one more time. Boom, the engine literally blew up! And all of a sudden, my so-called friend avoided my phone calls. Lessen learned the hard way.

Today Jesus warns us about those false prophets who promise you the world but are only looking out for themselves. There is an old saying, “If something seems ‘to good to be true. It probably isn’t. They disguise themselves as something very good for you, but in reality, there is nothing right with the situation. Learn to trust in your instincts, that little voice inside you that says, “There is something wrong here”. Look at the whole picture, ask questions that will help you see the ‘good’ fruit in a person or a situation. If you’re not truly convinced, think on it, don’t make that snap decision. 

By their fruits you will know them.

Action of the Day: By our Baptism we are anointed Priest, Prophet, and King. Be the Prophet that speaks of the truth about God. Learn from the scriptures so that you can go out and evangelize by telling others about the good news truthfully and honestly.  Let others see, by your actions, YOUR good fruit.

Audio Reflection: