Reflections on the Gospel

August 9, 2020: A Reflection for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a Matthew 14:22-33 After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When Elijah heard this he hid his face in his cloak. (1 Kings 19:13a) Take courage it is I; do not be afraid. (Matthew 14:29) You reveal yourself in the most unlikely places and ways, Jesus. Is it any wonder that we miss your tiny whisper which announces your Presence? Surely you would be in the great, grand, and glorious. It is befitting a God to make a splash. To announce divine Presence with a real eye opener. Who would ever even begin to look for you in the ordinary, obscure...

August 2, 2020: A Reflection for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 14:13-21 There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves. (Matthew 14:17) Jesus, today’s readings envelop us in the free gift of your love. We don’t have to earn it: “Come without money and without cost.” We come from Love and by very definition of our creature-hood we are the extension of your hands and heart in this world because in you we live and move and have our being. It is our essence to be love in our daily lives, Jesus, because nothing can separate us from your love. You teach your disciples what it means to be your...

July 26, 2020: A Reflection for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 11:25-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11:30-31) Labor, burdens, rest. Jesus, that is something you, like us, were no stranger to. It is the cycle of each day and stretches into the years with its sameness. Yet in today’s Gospel, the clouds part, and the yokes of our outer and inner being which we place upon ourselves become tinder in the fire of an invitation to accept your yoke, the yoke of letting go into the...

June 28, 2020: A Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 10:37-42 What would you say unifies Jesus’ life and teaching? Today’s Gospel gives us some manifestations of what this unifying focus is. When Jesus counsels us to take up our cross and follow him, to lose our life in order to find it, to see his Presence in every person and make it our purpose to serve them in their need, he is giving us a glimpse of his inner disposition, his abiding way of being. This unifying disposition is his complete inner surrender of himself to the Father. Today’s Gospel gives us a peek at what it looks like and to what he invites...

June 21, 2020: A Reflection for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A Matthew 10:26-33 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:31) Here we are again, Jesus, dealing with fear. You approach it from so many angles. Today, it is “Fear no one.” Other times it is, “Do not be afraid” and “Do not live in fear.” You know how our fear can be triggered by so many unpredictable and scary things. And today you take it up again. "Do not be afraid," you say. And the best thing of all is that you don’t just leave us hanging with a command but no direction. You once again remind us that we...

May 24, 2020: A Reflection for the Feast of the Ascension, Year A Matthew 28:16-20 Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20) “I am with you always,” you proclaim to your disciples as you ascend from their vision, Jesus, and return to the Father. How comforting it must have been to hear you promise to remain with them – and yet how puzzling to wonder how it could be that you would remain with your beloved sisters and brothers until time runs out and yet disappear from their sight with the heavens closing behind you. Gone. Or so it seemed. Once more you reveal the depths of your heart. It is a relationship...

May 17, 2020: A Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter, Year A John 14:15-21 Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. (John 14:20) This is not how we usually think of expressing love, Jesus: doing what you ask of us. If we had our way, it would be something a little warmer and fuzzier. Yet you equate the two in today’s gospel and even offer the Holy Spirit, the bond of love between you and the Father, to remain with us as friend and Advocate to not only hold your commandments in our hearts but to observe them in what we do. And that, you say, is what distinguishes the fact that we...

May 10, 2020: A Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter, Year A John 14:1-12 DWELLING PLACES Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in me. (Jn 14:1-2) Jesus, how comforting it is to hear you remind us time after time: do not be afraid, do not live in fear, little flock, fear not. And today you remind us again to rest our concerns and fears in your heart. You even reveal how we may do this: believe in me as you believe in the Father. Believe in God, believe also in me. Our very being is your dwelling place. You have made us creatures of the earth who bear infinity within. To believe...

May 3, 2020: A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A John 10:1-10 THE GOOD SHEPHERD I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) Jesus, Good Shepherd, you know each of us by name. You know us better than we know ourselves. And for each one of us you have given a particular name that crystallizes who we really are and who you have called us to be. The name symbolized by the white stone in Revelation (Rev 2:17) is for us a new name, but for you, it is our essence and our call. And it seems that our essence is life, life given in abundance as a flowing stream at...

April 26, 2020: A Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A Luke 24:13-35 Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way? On the way. So much is packed into those three words, Jesus. You ARE the Way and so you come up beside your disheartened disciples and walk with them, all the while drawing them out. In early Christianity, Christians were called followers of The Way. Such a simple and direct description. You knew that it had to be something more than an intellectual exercise. You hunger for more than just a superficial acknowledgement of you. You desire a relationship with us, a mutual exchange of hearts. You desire our love....