May 15th, 2023

The Gospel according to John (15:26 – 16:4a)

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify because you have been with me from the beginning. “I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”

Reflection: This reminds me of the wonderful people from Mary’s Mercy Center. These are folks that have seen “rock-bottom” … more than once. These people ostracized because they look dirty and hungry. These people are judged by others just because they are homeless. Our society categorizes them into one category … dangerous, mentally ill, and on drugs. WRONG!!

These beautiful people around Mary’s Mercy Center are so grateful for what they have. Almost every time I stop and ask any of them how they are doing; they respond with a very positive answer. They are grateful for what they have such as life. They don’t ask for much although we all know what they need. It’s obvious that they need a place to live, a job but most of all, they need LOVE. Just like all of us. We are all “made in the image and likeness of the Lord”. So why should these beautiful folks be different? 

The interesting thing about all these folks is that they never, ever blame God for their situation. They will tell you right away that it was all their own doing. How many times have we looked at God and blamed him for certain situations in our life? These folks are so grateful that in any conversation they Thank God for something that we wouldn’t even think of thanking him for. Some of these folks even go a little over-board when it comes to profess their love for Christ but even that is better than nothing. Ultimately, they are not afraid to talk about their faith, lend a helping hand, or to give their love. But society is afraid to accept it.

Jesus taught his disciples with his word and prepared them for life when he would no longer be with them. He knew that there would be opposition to them and danger to their lives because of their following of him. Banishment from their places of worship would bring them to remember what he told them. Prayer is listening over and over again to the word of God so that it becomes part of us like our daily food and daily bread.

God gives us gifts for ourselves, but they are not private personal property. Jesus asks us to give witness. I think of how I might do this and ask for the help I need.

In these days before Pentecost, I ask God to sharpen my hope and to strengthen my faith, that the Spirit of God may strengthen me.

Action of the Day: I pray with compassion for all who do not know God. I give thanks for all who do good without knowing its source. I pray for the change of heart of those who do evil.

Audio Reflection:

May 12th, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to John (15:12-17)

Jesus said to his disciples:  “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.  I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.  It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.  This I command you: love one another.”

Reflection:  Today’s Gospel begins and ends with the same command of Jesus, “to love one another.”  He would never command us to do what is impossible for us to do. The secret is that we are too love as he loves us.  Jesus shows us his love for us by laying down his life for his friends.  As Jesus tells us, “I no longer call you slaves…I have called you friends.”  Jesus is offering us his friendship and wants us to be his friends.  The dictionary defines a friend as “one attached to another by affection or esteem.”  The Scriptures, in the book of Sirach 6:14-15, describes a faithful friend. 

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.”  

True friendship has 3 characteristics.  

  1. Reciprocity.  It is a mutual, two-way relationship.  
  2. Fidelity.  It is about being loyal and trustful.  
  3. Freedom.  There are no conditions on the relationship.  

All of these characteristics certainly describes Jesus’ friendship with us.  Jesus also reminds us that we are his followers, because he has chosen us first.  Friendship with Christ is not supposed to be a static thing.  The deeper our friendship with the Lord, the deeper our obedience to Him, the deeper our sensitivity to the work of His Spirit in our lives, the more fruitful we’re going to be in the mission that he’s given us.   

Action of the Day:  If I truly believe that Jesus regards me as his friend, does this have any effect on my life? Does this show in the way I treat others? How am I called to respond to this offer of Jesus’ friendship? Our live as Catholic Christians must be productive in building up the kingdom of Heaven in our environments.  What will we do today to build up that kingdom?  

Audio Reflection:

May 11th, 2023

The Gospel according to John (15:9-11)

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”

Reflection: When Jesus said; “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” He followed it by saying, “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”

These two lines, taken side by side, provide a helpful unity of Jesus’ teaching regarding holy obedience to Him. First, Jesus speaks of the necessity of keeping His commandments. To some, such a statement, when taken by itself, can seem troublesome, overbearing, unfair and limited. But is it? The answer is found clearly as we read on.

The next thing Jesus teaches is that the result of keeping His commandments is that we “remain in His love.” He further explains that He is not asking us to do anything that He Himself was not willing to do. He was obedient to the will of the Father, keeping the commandments of the Father to perfection. Therefore, we should hear His command as an order flowing from His own freely lived choice to be obedient. As the Incarnate Son of God, He perfectly obeyed the Father in His human nature. The result was that He remained perfectly filled with the love of the Father. But that’s not all. Joy is also experienced in a “complete” way when we imitate Jesus’ perfect obedience.

Considering the teaching from our Lord, how do you view holy obedience to the will of God; for example, each of the Ten Commandments? Do you struggle with solid obedience to them? Do you experience them as unfair and/or forced limitations, rather than what they truly are? 

When understood correctly, the Ten Commandments, and every other order of the will of God, are exactly what we need and, even more so, exactly what we deeply desire in life. We want interior order rather than chaos. We want integrity rather than fragility. We want joy rather than sadness. And we want unity with the love of God rather than the loss of God. The path to the life we so deeply desire is obedience to the commands of the will of God in all things.

Action Of The Day: Reflect, today, upon your immediate interior reaction to holy obedience. If you do find yourself resistant in any way to this teaching of Jesus, then that is good sign that you need this teaching more than you may know. Try to look at obedience in the light of truth. Try to see that, deep down, your soul yearns for obedience and the interior order it brings. Examine, especially, any areas of obedience you struggle with and firmly recommit yourself to solid obedience to each and every command of our Lord.

Audio Reflection:

May 10th, 2023

The Gospel According to John 15:1-8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire, and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Reflection: The first thought I had when I read this passage was about a song by Linda Ronstadt titled ‘Love is a Rose’. This is the main verse; Love is a rose, but you better not pick it, only grows when it’s on the vine, handful of thorns and you’ll know you’ve missed it, lose your love when you say the word mine.        She is talking about relationships between a man and a woman, and how sometimes, that love, is lost when they become separated or possessive from and of each other. Anyone who has ever loved and lost knows how painful this is, as sharp as a thorn from that same beautiful flower. 

When we lose touch with God, we too become separated and wither from our relationship with Him. God never does and will always continue to love us, unconditionally, as He waits for us to return back to Him. If we continue to cultivate our relationship with Him, we will have the ability to grow and bloom wherever we are planted. 

Pruning a plant is a way to shed those flowers that have withered away and are robbing water from new flowers and those still in bloom, of this much needed nourishment. Shedding our sins through regular reconciliation frees us from those burdens, that are robbing our souls, from all the beautiful blooms of love we can share with God and others. 

Action of the Day: Today, let’s refocus ourselves on the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. Our season of Easter is slowly coming to its conclusion, keep the growth of our love for God and our brothers and sisters, especially those unfortunate, cultivated to produce beautiful roses. 

Audio Reflection:

May 9th, 2023

The Gospel according to John (14:27-31) 

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”


One of the things that definitely changed as a result of the COVID pandemic was the exchange of the sign of peace at Mass.  Other than the congregation joining hands for the “Our Father”, the “sign of peace” was probably the one thing that I loved most during Mass when I was still figuring out if I wanted to be Catholic or not.

Since COVID, now it’s not nearly as demonstrative (and of course, that is for good reason), but we are the poorer for it, I think.  It’s the one time during the celebration of Mass that we are encouraged to reach out to those around us (whom we may or may not know), and extend peace to them.  And, it’s not just any peace, either!  It is Jesus’ peace, which as He says far surpasses any kind of peace the world may give to us.

The truth, though, is that peace should live within our hearts.  It should be what keeps us calm(er) when life is not going as we wish, and it should be what we feel most deeply when we cooperate with it by loving as unselfishly as we can.  During these days of the Easter season, we are particularly called to experience that peace, and above all, to share that peace in a world that has so little of it.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was reminding His disciples that He was giving them His peace, and that they were to carry it, even when Jesus Himself was no longer physically with them.  Those early believers carried that peace, and it has continued down through the centuries to us.  May we be instruments of peace in the world today through our kind actions!

Action for the Day:

Take a moment today to center yourself in that peace that Jesus gives each of us.  Then, hold onto it as you go through your day, and give thanks for it continually!

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