A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Mike Hidalgo for September 22nd, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to Luke (8:1-3)

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.  Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. 

Reflection:   Luke’s Gospel is distinguished by the significant role women play in Jesus’ ministry.  In today’s Gospel, we hear that some of Jesus’ followers were women, and they are even named.  There is Mary Magdalene, a woman with a dark and troubled past.  There is Joanna, whose husband was Herod’s financial controller.  There was Susanna, likely a woman from the upper class of society.  What did these women have in common?  They had all been “cured of evil spirits and infirmities” by Jesus.  These women were from opposite ends of society.  After their encounter with Jesus, they all put their differences aside and became his followers.  They women provided for them out of their resources, using their own money to fund Jesus’ needs during his ministry.   The women were generous with the gifts God had blessed them with.  They did not use their resources in order to attain more.  They shared their resources to support Jesus and his ministry.

This Gospel also tells us that the “Twelve” accompanied Jesus.  Jesus travelled with a group of men and women from different backgrounds and walks of life.  All those who were following Jesus were inspired by his teachings and way of life. 

As followers of Jesus, how do we use our “resources” or money to support our Church and the Church’s ministries?  Whatever resources or money we have are gifts from God.  How does God want us to use those resources?  We all need money to our lives and pay our bills, but we should also be generous with what we have.  Remember that we cannot take our money with us when we die.  To quote Evangelist Billy Graham, “I never saw a U-Haul behind a hearse.” 

Action for the Day:  One of the precepts of the Church is to support the Church financially.  How much of our resources/time, treasure, and talents, do we give to our Church so that the Church can continue its mission?   A good guide to use is whatever amount of money we make in one- or two-hours wages is what we offer to the Church.  Only you can decide how much to give.  Prayerfully consider how you use your resources to support the Church is spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.  

Audio Reflection:

grayscale photograph of church

A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Paul Machuca for September 21st, 2023

The Gospel according to Matthew (9:9-13)

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”


Did your parents or other adults ever tell you, “Birds of a feather flock together”. Or “Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”.  My mom used to tell me stuff like this.  She was trying to guide and teach me a lesson.  That’s what concerned parents do.  So then why does this seem wrong in light of today’s gospel.  Because Jesus is doing what Jesus does.  He goes against the grain of what people think pleases God.

The Great physician came to those that needed his love, mercy, and attention the most.  Those who were pushed away because of where they fall in the religious or social pecking order.  I get why tax collectors were treated that way.  They benefitted from the taxes their oppressors collected from their people.  But sinners is a very broad term.  Who were the “sinners”?  I’m sure the usual suspects such as prostitutes, etc.  But this is a very us and them mentality.  Keep in mind that the “righteous” were not perfect.  They, like everyone, had their own issues.  But there was a very clear distinction between them and others.  Jesus did not respond well to segregation or separation based on human standards or human interpretation.  He came to minister to the most wounded, the most in need of his healing presence and touch.

Do we need to be reminded of the lesson Jesus offered the Pharisees?  Do we desire mercy, not sacrifice?  Or do we emphasize or find greater joy in what we say and how we worship instead of going to places and being with people who challenge how we live our faith.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, like Jesus, tended to each other’s wounds and with the grace of God became the merciful servants we are called to be.  There is no us and them, there is only us.  I am reminded of 1Corinthians 12:12-26.  In it we hear that although we may be many parts, we are one body in Christ.  Mercy does not exclude; it invites all to the banquet of plenty with the one who came to heal and unite us.

Action of the day: Who do we percieve as tax collectors and sinners?  Do we think of ourselves as the righteous?  Allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds and fill our hearts with compassion.  May we be mindful of the lesson Jesus has for us today regarding mercy.  We too are callled to share the healing grace of God.

A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Carlos Porras Jr. for September 20th, 2023

The Gospel, according to Luke (7:31-35)

Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

REFLECTION: In our Gospel today, Jesus challenged those who failed to have the proper human response at the right time when it says; “We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.” The image of playing a flute and singing a dirge (hymn) and the failure to dance and weep reveals a certain failure that many people had in connecting to John the Baptist and to Jesus Himself during their ministries.

In commenting upon this, in today’s Gospel passage, Saint Augustine says that John the Baptist’s preaching was like a dirge (hymn) that called people to the “weeping” of repentance. However, when he preached, there were many who failed to respond with the appropriate repentance. When Jesus came, He preached and gave witness to the new life of grace that He came to offer. Though some listened and responded to Him, there were many who did not. Jesus’ message was like the music of the flute that was to inspire people to “dance.” But many failed to respond with the joy that they were invited to experience and live through His transforming message and grace. In the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” The mission we have been given is to be attentive to that time in which God is speaking to us at each and every moment of our lives.

Well, the crowds in today’s time are not that much better in connecting with Our Lord Jesus Christ – St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said; “Sometimes we think that we don’t hear God’s voice. Not because He isn’t speaking, but because We have the volume of the world way too loud.” At times we must “weep” by looking at our sins honestly, experience the horror of those sins, and reject them with all our heart. As we do when we go to Confession; “O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee…”

And other times we will “dance” when God invites us into His consoling grace and asks us to see clearly His merciful love. At those moments we are invited to be deeply grateful and to express that gratitude with our whole souls. Those can be moments in which we allow our souls to become sensitive to the signs of grace and as a result we may respond accordingly. Seeking to align our souls to the Cross of Our Lord Jesus so that we may live and experience the life that God places before us each day in accordance with His perfect will.

Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, did not failed to hear and danced to God’s dirge after encountering Christ. They chose Him over the rest in society. God rewarded them with eternal life, and death became their gain for God. They became so deeply devoted to Christ that nothing, not even death, deterred then from following Him. May the hope that they witnessed gives you and me, the inspiration to become saints like them.

ACTION FOR THE DAY: Reflect, today, upon the calling you have been given to live in a well-ordered way – childlike and not childish. Do so by considering how attentive you are to the people around you. Does the attentiveness of your charity help you to see the hurt within the hearts of those who are suffering? Are you compelled to offer them a compassionate ear and merciful heart? When others are experiencing the joys of life, are you able to share that joy with them? Can you do so fully, without jealousy or envy of any kind? When God inspires you to some act of conversion and offers some grace, do you listen and promptly obey, responding in the most appropriate way?


A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Chuck McDaniels for September 19th, 2023

The Gospel according to Luke (7:11-17) 

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.


I recall reading or hearing someplace that “death is the great equalizer”.  I don’t remember now where I saw it, but it is a remarkably true statement.  All of us, no matter what we have, no matter where we live, no matter what kind of life we have lived, will eventually reach the end of that life.  Modern science has done a lot to extend human life, but it hasn’t done away with death (and I don’t believe such a thing is likely to come soon, if ever).

For the story in today’s Gospel of the widow of Nain, death was especially painful, as not only was she a widow (so her husband had already died, leaving her dependent on her son), but now that son was also dead.  She literally had no one who would have responsibility for her.  She would be utterly and totally dependent on strangers for her most basic needs.  What a terrifying prospect for a widow at that time!

It is into that scene that Jesus arrives, and notice what He does.  He reassures the widow, and raises her son back to life.  Her fears of being cast off and forgotten were removed!  Is there any difficulty in understanding how “fear seized them all”?  It’s one of Luke’s examples of Jesus doing two things: showing His power over death, and of Jesus caring for one who would be quite literally outcast in their society.  That’s a hallmark of Luke’s view of Jesus’ ministry.

Thinking of that power over death is especially close to my heart now, as we are preparing to celebrate the life of Linda’s brother Michael soon, and today is actually the anniversary of my mom’s passing, twelve years ago.  Both of these deaths were fairly sudden, and the ache that we feel never really goes away.  But, we trust in the one who has power over death to care for these whom we love, that the parting is temporary – we will see each other again!  That hope allows us not to drown in grief, but to pray even more earnestly that we will live a life where Jesus calls to each of us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, and we enjoy life with Him and all of those gone before us, forever.

Action for the Day:   

It’s a more personal action this time – won’t you please pray for Linda’s family, and for her brother Michael’s soul, that he may even now be in the presence of our loving Lord, and the Saints?  Thank you!

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

A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Ray Gallego for September 18th, 2023

The Gospel according to Luke (7:1-10) 

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come here, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

REFLECTION: Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya rewarded 2000 Chobani employees with 10% of the company’s shares, he announced this in person at the main Chobani factories in New York. The Greek yogurt company had humble beginnings in 2006 when it started production of yogurt in an old craft manufacturing plant, but now the company is worth an estimated of an excess of $3 billion. Hamdi Ulukaya said he would transfer up to 10% of shares if the company is sold or goes public, which means employees could take home an average of $150,000, and those at the company would longer tenures potentially receive over $1 million. Shares will be given to every full-time Chobani employee and are designed as an incentive reward to continue to drive the Greek yogurt company forward. Ulukaya said, “This isn’t a gift. It is a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility, to continue to create something special and of lasting value. (Article taken from the dairy reporter dated May 3rd 2016.)

This concept is unheard of in this world today but look at the incentive versus the reward, everyone wins. Everyone is happy at home and at work. There probably isn’t any drama or office feuds. And life goes on with new things to tackle.

This story of the centurion reminds me of Major General, William F. Mullen II, USMC who was in charge of 29 Palms marine base. He was the head guy, the top dog. He was a tough and rugged guy by his own rights. And was prepared to go to battle with his own men and women anytime. But yet he was humble and kind. When he spoke, you can truly hear that he cared for his men and women. 

He expectedly spoke about his Marine’s getting P.T. (Physical Training) and preparing themselves for battle. But then he spoke about being mentally ready. Major General was referring to his Marine’s having S.T. (Spiritual Training). These men and women were trained and prepared for battle through their own spiritual life. It didn’t matter what religion they were from, although he was a Catholic, he made sure they were ready through prayer. 

These two stories are about two powerful men that could call their shots in their life and really didn’t need anyone to make them more influential.  These men humbled themselves and chose to care for other people. Other people were placed before themselves.

In this story, there is something saintly about this centurion. He is a model of compassion and humbleness. Taking great pains on behalf of a slave. In those days, the more common attitude would have been to discard a slave once he could no longer work. Though an officer of the imperial army, he humbles himself and begs a favor of this travelling rabbi, Jesus. And by doing this, he becomes a model of faith, recognizing the authority of Jesus, who marvels at him.

This is what this world needs, and it doesn’t matter what you believe in or what religious affiliation you belong to. This world is starving for the compassion and the humility to put your neighbor before you which ultimately would bring peace, love, and joy.

ACTION OF THE DAY: Meditate on these two virtues. Compassion and Humility. Are these virtues that you possess, or do you need to work on it? Either way, ask yourself what you can do to be more compassionate or humble?