Reflections on the Gospel

September 19, 2021: A Reflection for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Mark 9:30-37 Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not be but the One who sent me. (Mark 9:37) Like a bright stream alive with music, you wash upon our hearts. Stones in the streambed of our being are the strings you brush, making song out of your dance of love upon the places within us we have long thought to be obstacles and stumbling blocks to you. Places we thought even your tender mercy could not find. You...

September 12, 2021: A Reflection for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Mark 8:27-35 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me Satan.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.'  (Mk 8:32-34) Jesus, you speak the deepest, most sublime and difficult things to us as if we can understand it, penetrate its depths and live it with ease. Today’s Gospel is a case in point. After eliciting from Peter his confession of faith in who you are, you revealed your mission as the Son of Man: you must suffer greatly, be killed and rise...

Blessed are you who are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. (Luke 1:42) Today we celebrate the assumption of Mary into the fulness of life in God – body and soul into heaven at the end of her life. In our love for you, Mary, we call to mind your privileges and they are indeed beautiful and great. But you speak of these privileges only in terms of God and his greatness. You knew so well that you, like us all, are his lowly servant and that your greatness lies in the trust you have in the Almighty and his merciful love. Your holiness was in your ‘yes’ to God and...

July 25, 2021: A Reflection for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Ephesians 4:1-6 John 6:1-15 There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many? (John 6:9) “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many?” In one sense, a very practical sense, your disciple was correct, Jesus. With a huge crowd assembled in a deserted place, how would they supply enough food for this throng of people who had followed you there? And you are the one who initiated the whole thing by asking, “Where can we buy enough food for them to...

February 28, 2021: A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent, Year B Mark 9:2-10 … he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” (Mk 9:3, 8) Jesus, it was done unto to you. You who are the Yes of the Father, received all things from him. All things, without argument, without contention. In today’s Gospel you give us a glimpse into a very private moment between you and the Father, one in which you invited Peter, James and John to experience. The time was...

February 21, 2021: A Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent, Year B Mark 1:12-15 The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert. (Mk 1:12) Into the desert. The Spirit drove you there, Jesus. From deep within, you experienced the imperative – for what? You are like us in all things but sin. Did you also, like us, feel the pull to connect with God and abide there? To descend deep within, to the Source of all being that is the Well-Spring of life and love, the Well-Spring whose name is Father. The Spirit drove you there. You were impelled to spend forty days and forty nights among the wild beasts and tempted by Satan. And as Scripture says, you...

February 14, 2021: A Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Mark 1:40-45 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him… (Mk 1:41) He sat by the side of the road, looking into the faces of the passers-by for some shred of recognition and maybe a coin or two that would provide sustenance. Most hurried by, eager to be as far as possible from the man whose sores and scabs shouted more loudly than his cry of “Unclean! Unclean!” He was a leper. He was literally ‘untouchable.’ It broke his heart that he had to carry a disease that made others shun him. “After all,” he would say to himself, “it’s not my fault...

February 7, 2021: A Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Mark 1:29-39 Jesus approached her, grasped her hand her hand, and helped her up.  Then the fever left her.  (Mk 1:31) You hear our hearts, Jesus, even when we can’t find words.  Maybe it’s better that we don’t flood you with words…  Maybe we just need to come to you as we are:  poor, needy children who are trying to make sense out of mystery and our earthly sojourn.  Your heart carries our restlessness and our longing for shade and rest, even for just a little while. And so, here we are, each of us longing for your healing touch, your understanding heart. Jesus, you were...

January 31, 2021: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Deuteronomy 18:15-20 1 Cor 7:32-35 Mark 1:21-28 I know who you are – the Holy One of God! (Mk 1:24b) Everything living has roots of one sort or another. We’re used to seeing it in the plant world: trees, grass, flowers, etc. Our thoughts, our emotions, our personal histories. All these have roots deep within us, too, as we all know. The world of the spirit has roots. Once we understand that we are incarnated spirit we can see the importance of living in touch with our deepest source. Going down to our roots. Today’s Gospel and first and second readings deal with our deepest and...

January 24, 2021: A Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B Mark 1:14-20 Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men and women.” (Mk 1:17) The waves lapped against the shore as the two fishermen sat in their boat mending their nets. It was very familiar work and in this familiarity they found comfort. You might even say they found a certain feeling of security. They were fishermen by profession, and this is what you did after a catch. It was who they were, and it brought them food, livelihood and a sense of contentment that surely all their days would lap against the shore of life in peace just...